Where to Eat – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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The world has changed dramatically over the last year and a half. Sadly we have lost many good souls. Covid has transformed the way we live, work, and play. Things previously taken for granted at times are cherished now. With digital means the world has managed to make sure we are all still connected in different forms. Digital technology cannot solve all problems though. The in-person connections and experiences such as traveling and entertainment have become extremely difficult or nonexistent anymore at times. What took seconds can now take months to accomplish. For better or worse this is our reality whether you want to believe it or not. No one is immune. This post is not an endorsement or a recommendation of safety. Until the pandemic is over everyone has to make choices for themselves of the risks you are willing to take. I understood the risks and thankfully the rewards were bountiful and everyone returned happy and healthy. This is not the case for everyone. Hopefully one day soon we can all just say we are going somewhere and the biggest worry will be if it will be a sunny day or not when we arrive. Until then please remember to take care of yourself and others in a friendly and conscientious manner. If we are lucky, maybe those on the left and right could meet again in the middle someday without masks on.
Now about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. What an amazing area to explore, dine, and relax. The beach areas of Ipanema, Leblon, Copacabana, and Leme are spectacular in their own ways even though they are so close to one another. Each has its own characteristics to make it special and unique and it is fun to hear the local’s debate which one is the best. No matter where you choose, you won’t be disappointed. My only advice is to make sure that you get a room on a high floor with a beachfront view wherever you stay. The landscape alone will make you never want to leave. I can tell you from experience that the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro* 2 bedroom oceanfront executive suite may be one of the best around Copacabana since you are situated smack dab in the middle of the beach and activities. Be rest assured though, even if you don’t stay there no matter your budget there is something for everyone. Best part is that you can arrive in Rio in just 10 hours from Philadelphia International Airport on American Airlines*.
Most importantly, what about the food? Below are listed some places I enjoyed during my visit and I’m sure you will too. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t judge anywhere by the picture as many places had multiple courses or my picture is terrible.
Marius Degustare – Leme – Nautical memorabilia, rocks & antiques set the scene at this organic meat & seafood restaurant. Marius Degustare appears on page 827 of Patricia Schultz’s best-selling book, “1000 Places To See Before You Die” as it truly is a feast for your eye and stomach alike. The seafood and steak options are endless, top quality, and the buffet is AMAZING! The servers here make it an experience as well with how great they are and happy. Sorry, the picture is terrible of what they really offer as this was just 1% of what we ate and not even close to the best food they served. Just go to Google and see better ones.
O Caranguejo – Copacabana – A laid-back tavern that serves beer, fresh fish, its famous shrimp patty, and CRAZY delicious seafood moqueca. This place is a gem and was one of the best overall meals I’ve had in a long time.
Braseiro – Galeto – Copacabana – Quaint spot with roast chicken & fries, plus farofa & vinaigrette. The chicken is some of the best you’ll ever have at a price that can’t be beat.
Meia Pataca – Copacabana – Beachfront restaurant that serves amazing seafood. Had the Seafood Symphony with grilled lobster, shrimp, squid, and potatoes that was so GOOD. The service here was beyond world class. My son had a Philadelphia Phillies shirt on and they had baseball playing on the television and provided him a front row seat for him to watch the game. Even more surprising was that when the baseball game was over they put on the television the NFL Films Super Bowl LII Champions movie for us to watch. Just crazy cool they would do that figuring we were from Philadelphia!!!
Haru Sushi Bar – Copacabana – More Philadelphia love here as you can still get a Philly Roll in South Americ that is actually really good. Sushi was fresh, the dumplings yummy, and the chicken and shrimp dishes were wonderful. Great meal here.
Chon Kou – Copacabana – A family-run Chinese restaurant that has been serving classic dishes for over 40 years with ocean view dining on their balcony. Had Mongolian Beef, Chicken and vegetables, and pork fried rice.
Estação Minas Bistrô – Copacabana – An old-fashioned classic style Brazilian eatery featuring a Minas-style buffet. Google address is incorrect, but they only moved right around the corner. The people here were so pleasant and kind. They made you feel like family and that you were visiting their own home. Nice choice of fresh dishes that change daily.
Quick Galetos – Copacabana – A traditional Brazilian grill with some of the best seasoned grilled chicken since 1975. You won’t be disappointed with a visit here.
Carretão Ipanema Classic Grill – Ipanema – A charming, traditional steakhouse with a variety of all-you-can-eat meats & a full buffet. Again, the picture is terrible as I just wanted to eat. The servers were top notch and there were endless delicious meat options to eat. Good spot to dine especially if you are hungry.
Salada Verde – Copacabana – Old school style Brazilian cafeteria where you have endless options of food to choose from and pay by the kilo. Enjoyed everything I had and prices were crazy cheap for the decent quality of meal.
The Carioca – Copacabana – Fantastic breakfast choices with an ocean view while dining. They have something for everyone here and it was all fresh with international favorites.
Pappa Jack – Copacabana – Pizza, pizza, pizza is the name of the game here. Many different varieties to fit whatever you like.
Momo Gelato Artesanal – Copacabana – Located at the Art Deco Masterpiece Copacabana Palace a Belmond Hotel is some of the best stracciatella gelato you will find anywhere. HIGHLY recommended!
Sorvete Alex – Copacabana – Hands down a great milkshake made with their pistache ice cream. It was SO GOOD!
Sorveteria Cairu – Copacabana – Really nice dessert of banana caramelizada ice cream.
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(*Sponsored content as was provided certain accommodations)