Rio de Janeiro has taken concept restaurants to a whole new level. Outside of Brazil, we associate Brazilian cuisine with all you can eat steakhouses but that is only one of the offering you find here in Rio. In fact, the locals love to eat out and cannot afford the high end steakhouses every day. Neither is it healthy for you. There are actually many types of foods and restaurants in Rio, each differentiated by price, quality and dishes. Some of these include…
Juice Bar - There are juice bars practically at every corner, serving fresh fresh juice made with mangoes, papayas, oranges, pineapples and more. The cost is $2-3/ glass and people get some on the go. Coconut water is also found at the juice bars and on the beach. It is very healthy.
Galeto – meaning “grilled.” There are several casual restaurants that serve slow grilled meats seasoned lightly with salt, garlic and olive oil. You can order a side of rice, beans, salad or french fries to go with it. Galeto restaurants will give you a true taste of Rio without draining your wallet.
Snack Shop - The concept of eating snacks between meals (especially around 5-6pm) is central to Brazilian culture. This is when you go to a cafe and have a dessert, sandwich, crepe or pastel with a cup of coffee or a beer. The snack shops in Rio are casual yet sit down restaurant and often open late until 2am.
Rodizio – If it fits in your budget, visit a Rodizio or Brazilian steakhouse where the servers bring different kinds of meat preparations to your table until you flip over the card to red indicating you are not taking more servings. They also include a buffet of salads, sides and sushi with your ticket of $40-45 per person. Radizio style restaurants have been imitated across the world and are becoming increasingly popular for upscale dining.
Kilo – Literally, you select the items you want, weigh your plate and pay a flat per kilo rate for your meal. These type of restaurant are extremely popular with the locals, especially with the lunch crowd. It allows you to have the freedom of controlling your portions and paying for only what you are going to eat.
Pes Sujos – translates to “dirty feet.” These hole in the wall establishments serve alcoholic drinks and appetizers to patrons who have come for a bite after visiting the beach. There are no seating arrangements, so you eat and drink while standing at the bar.
Supermarket -There are restaurants inside some of the supermarkets that serve made to order pizza with toppings such as banana and Nutella. You can buy a bottle of wine at the market and drink it with your meal. You probably won’t meet someone for a date at a supermarket restaurant, but its an economical place to grab a bite after shopping.
In addition to these, there are typical cafes, bars and restaurants serving different cuisines from Italian, Mexican to Thai and Sushi. More about the food of Rio coming up.