Side Trips from Rio Restaurants

The food here is nothing if not eclectic. Expect to find sushi bars, Italian restaurants, and German biergartens sitting alongside restaurants selling typical Brazilian cuisine. Coastal towns serve a large selection of fresh seafood, and most have a local specialty that's worth trying. Beachfront restaurants, especially the ubiquitous baracas (kiosks), can be a pleasant surprise and most will bring food and drink right up to your chosen spot on the sands.

Paraty and Búzios have excellent restaurants serving international cuisine. During high season they fill up beginning at 10 pm and may not close until after sunrise. Restaurants in Petrópolis and Teresópolis serve European cuisine and comida mineira, the hearty, meaty fare from Minas Gerais. Generally, dinner starts at seven and restaurants close around midnight.

To be on the safe side, don't buy seafood from venders strolling along the beach. Be especially careful about the oysters in Búzios and Cabo Frio, which may not be as fresh as the vendor claims.

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  • 1. 74 Restaurant

    $$$$ | Centro | Seafood

    A culinary playground of talented Argentine chef Gustovo Rinkevich—who also now runs Rocka Beach Lounge & Restaurant—this innovative restaurant...Read More

  • 2. Cigalon

    $$$$ | Centro | French

    Often cited as one of the best restaurants in Búzios, French-inspired Cigalon is an elegant establishment with a veranda overlooking the beach...Read More

  • 3. Punto Divino

    $$$ | Centro Histórico | Italian

    Carefully prepared Tuscan and Sicilian dishes are at the fore at this charming candlelit spot set off Paraty's main square. Evening live-music...Read More

  • 4. Rocka Beach Lounge & Restaurant

    $$$$ | Brava | Seafood

    Overlooking beautiful Praia Brava, relaxed but sophisticated Rocka is one of Búzios's gastronomic highlights as it focuses on superbly fresh...Read More

  • 5. Thai Brasil

    $ | Centro Histórico | Thai

    This trendy, laid-back restaurant charms with its hand-painted interiors, alfresco courtyard, and affordable prices for its generously sized...Read More

  • 6. Banana da Terra

    $$$$ | Centro Histórico | Brazilian

    Seafood is always excellent at this long-standing favorite on Paraty's dining scene, and it's a great place to try giant shrimp when they are...Read More

  • 7. Belli Belli Gastrobar

    $$ | Manguinhos | Brazilian

    Owner Alfredo and chef Roque welcome locals like old friends at this great-value gastro-bar, which specializes in high-class cocktails and tasty...Read More

  • 8. Chez Michou

    $ | Centro | Belgian

    A pancake house might seem an unlikely meeting point for partiers, but this Belgian-owned crêperie is indeed the hangout of choice for many...Read More

  • 9. Churrascaria Majórica

    $$$ | Brazilian

    A classic steak house in the heart of Petrópolis’s historic center, Majórica has been a huge hit with meat lovers since it opened in 1962. Every...Read More

  • 10. Estancia Don Juan

    $$ | Centro | Argentine

    Take a walk through the center of Búzios and you might think you’ve suddenly landed in Argentina thanks to the large number of Spanish speakers...Read More

  • 11. Jardin

    $$ | Abraão | Vegetarian

    When you finally tire of eating grilled fish and rich moqueca stews, head to this contemporary dinner-only spot that specializes in fresh...Read More

  • 12. Lua e Mar

    $$ | Abraão | Seafood

    Expect fresh, well-prepared seafood and weekly live music during high season at this longtime favorite, which is often cited as the best restaurant...Read More

  • 13. Mistico

    $$$$ | Centro | Mediterranean

    With dazzling views over the bay and out across the mountains, the intimate restaurant at boutique hotel Abracadabara offers impeccable service...Read More

  • 14. O Pescador

    $$ | Abraão | Seafood

    Inside the pousada of the same name, this restaurant serves local seafood prepared using Italian cooking techniques. After dark, you can dine...Read More

  • 15. Pizza na Praça

    $$ | Abraão | Pizza

    On the flagstones of Ilha Grande's main square, this simple restaurant serves up more than four dozen types of pies, from simple margheritas...Read More

  • 16. Refúgio

    $$$ | Centro Histórico | Seafood

    Near the water in a quiet part of town, this seafood restaurant is a great place for a romantic dinner, with candlelit tables and a good wine...Read More

  • 17. Capricciosa

    $$$ | Centro | Pizza

    The Búzios branch of this pizzeria serves the same high-quality pies as the main location in Rio. The Margarita Gourmet is a classic, with a...Read More

  • 18. Satyricon

    $$$$ | Centro | Seafood

    The Italian fish restaurant famous in Rio has a branch here as well, and the beachfront location adds an extra dash of romance to the proceedings...Read More

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