We don’t pretend these addresses are soon to be Michelin-star restaurants or the latest trending spots, but we do guarantee good food, chilled vibes and lovely settings to soak in the Carioca atmosphere.
We went to Tapi on the last morning of our travel, before our last swim at Posto 9 on Ipanema Beach…so of course, it will always have a very special flavour! Sit on the small bench outside and enjoy the warmth of the morning sun, the delicious banana and nutella tapioca crepe (or any other ingredients of your choice), and the refreshing and velvety acai bowls. Their second address is at Rio International Airport and we may have had one, two or three more tapioca crepes (before AND after buying those 10 pairs of Havaianas).
We so enjoyed Quiteria‘s varied breakfast buffet, most mornings of our stay at the Ipanema Inn (look at us staying at Boutique hotels now). Sat on the small terrace, we drank coffee and fresh juices, ate tropical fruits and homemade coconut yoghurt with too many toppings, as we planned the day ahead.
Jarbo is the perfect place to gather energy before or after a few hours walking through all the shades of green of Jardim Botanico. For once, we favoured the inside, with its bright and the elegant simplicity of its decor. Sandwiches, salads and different types of eggs are served there.
Not too far from there, Plage Cafe in Parque Lage serves sandwiches and salads in a peaceful and gorgeous setting. It’s also a good place to start the day, before climbing (or rather tramway-ing) up the Corcovado to the must-see Christ The Redeemer.
Balada Mix is a small day-time restaurant chain that serves healthy, fresh meals (be reassured, there are also less healthy options!). We went to the Ipanema one, sat on the patio and opted for their Poke bowls – a slow transition from our visits to the beach.
In Ipanema, Maria e o Boi and La Carioca are our two favourite restaurants. Outside of their quiet-street location and outdoor/open air seating, they don’t have much in common though. The first one serves grilled meat and delicious vegetable sides, while the second one is all about ceviches.
(Yup, there is a recurring theme of outdoor seating throughout this post! It’s not necessarily our criteria to go to a restaurant, but clearly one that makes us enjoy the place even more.)
Drinks and late night
Walking through the streets of Ipanema and Leblon in the evening, you will easily find bars like Riba, Boteco Belmonte and Canastra but you need to know which streets to hit. We are working through a map of the main nightlife streets in both areas – stay tuned!
For beer lovers, Brewteco in Leblon is a must. They also serve pasteis, so that makes it a great place for a late night snack. The bar itself is not big, so everyone takes over the street which adds to the atmosphere. If you want to sit down, this might therefore not be the best option.
Antonio’s Bar, in Lapa, is a good place to start the night: the food is not necessarily the highlight, but the corner place with large opened windows and outdoor seating is a great way to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the night, before hitting Cafe Cultural Sacrilegio. There, you can dance your butts off to the rhythm of live samba music. That’s the place that got us started dance classes when we got back to NYC!
To learn more about Rio, what to do and how to make the most of your stay, head over there.