The gastronomy of Rio de Janeiro is all about spices, strong flavors, rice and feijoãda, the national dish comprising black beans and pork stew seasoned with orange peel and pepper. The home style breakfast is entirely different which is delight cakes, jellies, fresh fruits, breads, cold cuts, cheeses, coffee and jams. Pão de queijo is another popular snack made from yucca flour, cheese and eggs.
The best place to savor a home-style dinner is Bar do Arnuado, an inviting and simple dining place in Santa Teresa that serves Northeastern Brazilian cuisine in mammoth portions. The national dish of Brazil, feijoada is served with rice, spring greens and farofa (seasoned manioc flour). Casa da Feijoada is famous for serving this dish every day while Leblon´s Vegetariano Social Clube serves the vegetarian version of the national dish. Grilled Meat which is another Brazilian specialty is available at Churrascaria Pampa Grill among many others. Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail which is a blend of lime, sugar and sugar cane hard liquor or rum, is as exhilarating as the city.
Feira Nordestina de Sao Cristovao
Although it is listed on very few tourist programs, yet foodies in Rio ought to visit this huge Northeastern market. It houses numerous beverage and snacks stalls and restaurants along with dress and crafts stores. The 'Feira Nordestina' features the spicy cuisine from the northern area of the country. The people fond of the picante will love this place serving pepper sauces and chili peppers. Seafood is also served here. Eating options include snack as well as square meals which are priced by the weight.
Bar do Mineiro
It is a prime location for dining and drinking in verdant Santa Teresa with an effervescent social scene. Legendary singers in monochrome adorn the walls of this old timer boteco. The menu features culinary style of the owner, a native of Minas Gerais. Lively crowds love to visit and relish Minas sausages served with butter-cooked ‘aipim’ (cassava). The pasteis which are deep fried pastries (filled with meat, cheese, shrimp or beans), are among the popular favorites. Strong caipirinhas lighten your mood and let you enjoy the ambiance.
Stuzzi located in Leblon, is based on the Italian ‘Stuzzichini’. These are small appetizer platters served along with drinks based on the Italian concept of 'Stuzzichini' - small plates of light bites for sharing over drinks, akin to Greek Mezze or Spanish Tapas. Stuzzi is a combination of deadly cocktails and tasty finger foods to offer enticing ambiance on the foodie strip of Rua Dias Ferreira in Leblon. Renowned chef Paula Prandini works magic with Brazilian fresh produce and deli ingredients of Italy. This place is quite popular among the gourmands visiting Rio with the perfect cuisine and laidback lounge which is as modern as the neighborhood. The restaurant was inaugurated in January 2011 and since then the it serves Italian delicacies such as goat cheese strudel, arancino of ragu and a lot more. The illuminated bottles hung to the roof of the house form a sophisticated ambiance. Décor architect Bel Lobo designed the interiors of the restaurant.
Casa da Feijoada
No one can ever leave Rio without trying the Brazil’s National Dish – Feijoada. All of the restaurants serve the dish on Saturdays except Casa da Feijoada; this hearty feast of delicious stew simmers in huge pots every day. The restaurant serves the dish with farofa (toasted and season manioc flour), couve (spring greens), torresminho (pork rinds), aipim (cassava), rice and orange slices. One can choose from nine types of meat but if you visit for the first time, the safest option is the one with sausage, pork and beef. The three course meal includes a dessert, black bean soup and sausage appetizer and passion-fruit or lime batida. Other options on the menu are equally scrumptious including shrimp in coconut milk, baked chicken, filet mignon and grilled trout. Dessert menu features Romeo and Juliet (guava compote with fresh cheese) and quindim (a yolk-and-sugar pudding with coconut crust). The caipirinhas can have tangerine, pineapple, passion-fruit, lime or kiwi.
Bar do Arnaudo
Located in a neighborhood in Santa Teresa which is popular for over three decades, this casual bar serves the best Northeastern cuisine in hearty portions at a reasonable price. Carne do Sol (Sun-dried beef) with cassava is the best dish for the non vegetarians while the vegetarians opt for queijo coalho which is grilled white cheese served with rice, brown beans and seasoned farofa. The meal portions easily serve two or three people. Weekend evenings see the maximum crowd while lunchtime is quieter. One can always choose a table that offer great views of Guanabara Bay.