Overlooking Praia do Arpoador (Arpoador beach), this restaurant is located in a six-story hotel which is the only one in Ipanema or Copacabana that doesn't have a busy street between it and the beach. You'll catch superb sunsets from the beachside tables at this quiet little spot in Arpoador that serves high-quality seafood and pasta dishes for lunch and dinner and assembles a lavish breakfast buffet each morning. Across from the beach on the Arpoador Inn's ground floor, the restaurant has a giant window with panoramic views. Moqueca is the house specialty, made with shrimp, cod, lobster, crab, or octopus—or a mix of them all. It gets even better with the delicious Caipirinha of the house. The service at Azul Marinho is excellent and the seafood is ultrafresh, but an even better reason to come here is to sit at one of the outdoor tables next to the sand and enjoy early-evening appetizers, drinks, and a marvelous sunset.
Address: Av. Francisco Bhering s/n, Arpoador, Rio de Janeiro -
2- Bar e Restaurante Urca
Urca, the tranquil neighborhood that is home to Sugar Loaf mountain, warrants a longer visit than many tourists permit for in their itineraries, and there are few better spots in the city to linger over a beer and a bite to eat than this wonderfully relaxed bar-restaurant. Attracting a mix of locals, famous faces and tourists, the simple hole in the wall spot stands out for its stunning harbor-side location - after making your order of your caipirinha at the bar, you can drink it propped up outside, taking in a view of the Christ statue as you watch fishing boats bob up and down on the calm waters. Forget any culinary pretensions and, indeed, calorie-counting, and enjoy local dishes such as fried polenta with shrimp, and towering stacks of fried potato or aipim (cassava).
Address: Rua Cândido Gaffrée 205, Urca, Rio de Janeiro
Located high on a jungle-clad hillside in Santa Teresa, Aprazivel is worth a visit for the views alone. Wisely making the most of the sweeping vistas over downtown Rio, the owners have made al-fresco dining the order of the day, here, with grass-roofed gazebos sitting amid lush tropical gardens visited by toucans and monkeys. At night, the scene is lit by candles and flickering fairy lights which, when combined with the views and the delicious French-Brazilian dishes on the menu, makes this one of the best spots in Rio for a romantic meal. Chef Ana Castilho has combined Brazilian culinary influences with tricks of the trade learned during her training in France, and the result is a menu of light dishes that add some chic French touches to the wealth of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood available locally. The father of the owner produces a cachaça callled Santa Cana, which inspired Aprazivel to produce its own's: São Pedro e São João. And how is the best way to enjoy these cachaças ? Caipirinhas, all delicious there!
Adress: Rua Aprazível, 62 - Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro - RJ
4- Boteco Belmonte
This Rio chain is a great place for a relaxed meal and a drink after a hard day's sunbathing. On the menu are dependably good versions of traditional Brazilian dishes such as dried beef served with rice and spring greens, as well as pizzas and an extensive line of finger foods. For a light lunch you can have three or four empadas with different fillings—they're delicious little pies with a light, buttery pastry. Wash it all down with a Chopp Black(dark draft beer) or a Caipirinha or Caipivodka, considered one of the best in Rio. The line to get a table snakes out into the street on weekend evenings, but you'll have plenty of elbow room on weekday afternoons.
Aderess: Flamengo - Praia do Flamengo, 300 / Copacabana - Rua Domingos Ferreira, 242 / Leblon: Rua Dias Ferreira, 521
5- Casa da Feijoada at Ipanema
Feijoada and Caipirinha make a perfect match, a typical "must do" once in Brasil. In 1989 this charming monument to the national dish has been serving up one of the city's best feijoadas, as you would expect from somewhere called House of Feijoada. The much-cherished stew is of course the main attraction and served with more options than you'll find in most purveyors, with bull and pig and cow parts ready and waiting to be paired with the essential black beans. The stew for two with all its acoutrements (including rice, sausage, farofa, crackling and couve flor greens) will probably suffice for most foursomes and the Caipirinhas that come as part of the meal are a nice little boozy, fruity hit, all of which means that heading there on a weekend almost certainly means patience will be required before you find a table.
Adress: Rua Prudente de Moraes, 10
6- Rio Scenarium
The hippest and most swankily decorated place in Rio. A hit with all demographics, from college kids to their great-great-granmas.The Rio Scenarium is one of the temples of Rio's nightlife, possibly even the emblem of the capital's festive spirit. The interior of this restaurant/concert hall is original and this adds to the festive, quirky vibe. It boasts numerous antiques which give the place a certain air of prestige and class. If you have only one night in Rio, is where you must go. You can not miss the opportunity to listen to the iconic sounds of samba as you sip your caipirinha at this magic place in the Wonderful City.
7 - Quiosque do Português
It might have become one of the more fashionable places in Rio for a caipirinha, yet the name of this father-son joint – “Portuguese Kiosk” – suggests humility. Indeed, the pair got their start a decade ago in one of the numerous huts that line the city’s beaches. A year ago, they left trendy Leblon Beach and relocated to an open-air restaurant on the city’s elegant lagoon, the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, where athletic rowers and families in swan pedal boats pass by. The new, more upscale space can accommodate 150 guests, who, along with caipirinhas, happily chow down on the delícia de camarão com catupiry, an appetizer of battered and fried shrimp with white cheese. Another top appetizer for pairing with the drinks is the queijo brie cremoso ao fogareiro, a slice of brie served over a flame to slowly melt it into the apricot jelly that surrounds it. But the star attractions here are, of course, the Alves pair’s bold reinventions of the national drink – traditionally made with sugarcane-based cachaça, lime, sugar and ice – which also raise the question of when a caipirinha stops being a caipirinha. In some of their concoctions, just one of the original caipirinha elements is substituted, but others shun every traditional ingredient and are made with entirely different liquor and fruits instead. Caju, the acidic fruit that grows attached to cashew nuts and looks like a skinny bell pepper, is a hard swallow for some – many foreigners find the dry aftertaste on their tongue rather odd, while Brazilians gulp down the juice – but it becomes more than palatable when mixed with lime and high-end Santo Grau cachaça, in Carlos’s favorite caipirinha on the menu. Seriguela, a pleasantly sweet and slightly earthy thumb-sized orange fruit from Brazil’s northeast, is a much-ordered caipirinha flavor when in season. Another house specialty is jabuticaba, a Brazilian fruit similar to a grape but sweeter, which is served with cucumber vodka. The latter also mixes refreshingly with lima da pérsia, a sweet citrus fruit that tastes a lot like a less-pungent orange, for a caipirinha so light you can get away with drinking it at brunch.
Address: Avenida Borges de Medeiros 1424, Lagoa
8 - Praça São Salvador on Sundays
If you are a brazilian music fan you must dedicate part of your Sunday to go to Praça São Salvador, in Laranjeiras. From 11am to 1pm, there is a "roda de choro", that consist of people in circles singing and playing "chorinho", a brazilian popular music instrumental style from the beginning of the 19th century, in Rio. Despite of the name (choro = cry), the style often has a fast and happy rhythm played by different brazilian instruments like pandeiro, flute, guitar and cavaquinho. Most of the players are from the "Portable Music School". Its free and a very nice program for everyone... kids, teenagers, adults and grandpas. Ask for a beer in a bottle or a caipirinha do Luizinho and try to dance, sing and enjoy it!
Adress: Praça São Salvador, Laranjeiras
9- Bar do Lado - Leblon
Bar do Lado is a certain for a post-beach relaxation with straightforward nibbles and a decent selection of drinks and delicious appetizers. The purple interior looks better under the dim light of evening, while the addition of two clocks, neither of which actually work (intentionally) is either the kind of thing that will endear you to it or not. If the details are lost on you then all to the good, there is a whole ocean out there to gawp at whilst sucking back on a well-mixed caipirinha.
Adress: Avenida Bartolomeu Mitre, 15 - Leblon, Rio de Janeiro
10 - Paxeco Bar
Paxeco Bar, at Jardim Botânico neighborhood, offers a refined atmosphere. It's an open air space , with a stunning view for the Christ , and beautiful palm trees as background. Still, it's possible to see from close the only imperial palm tree planted outside the botanical garden. The menu is full of original creations, and many special Caipirinhas.
For those who are coming to Rio for the WorldCup, Caipirinha will prepare a selection of the best tips and spots in the "Wonderful City", where the final match will be played.
So, what can we say for now? Be prepared for an ncomparable natural beauty and the Cariocas, local people known for their extreme friendliness and laid back lifestyle, that will definitely make your football experience truly unforgettable. Joie de vivre is pretty contagious here, so why don’t you go with a flow, drink mate leão and Caipirinha to cool yourself down and join the fun on the street and the stadium?
Caipirinha team will guide you to experience stunning views of Rio and Guanabara Bay that can not be seen only from the top of the Sugar Loaf Mountain. In addition, we will select a wide range of bars, restaurants, entertainment options, transportation and safety tips, and everything you need to know to have a wonderful stay!
See you in the next post: Where and what to eat in Rio