Whether you’re one of the thousands of people flocking to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games or traveler planning a bucket-list trip weeks, months, or years from now, your trip to Brazil’s ‘Marvelous City’ wouldn’t be complete without a meal at these five amazing markets, restaurants, and juice bars.
Visitors to Rio should definitely check out CADEG Market—even just to work up an appetite. Here, you’ll find more than 350 wholesale vendors selling everything from fresh fruit and produce to meats, seafood, spices, and flowers. It’s a bit tucked-away, but well worth the trip for veritable feast for the senses. Here, you’ll find Cantinho das Concertinas, which may be the best place in the city to sample bacalhau—a dried, salted codfish fritter. They serve theirs with octopus rice. On Saturdays, the market has live Portuguese music.
While there’s a considerable distance between Rio and the Amazon, this enormous rainforest greatly influences Brazilian cuisine. One of star chef Andrew Zimmern’s favorite places to eat in Rio is Espírito Santa. Inside a 19th-century mansion, guests can sample distinctly Amazonian flavors and ingredients, like an apple tart with tonka beans and soursop compote. Zimmern notes that Espírito’s chef-owner, Natasha Fink, also creates an impressive selection of vegetarian fare.
One of the most fun things to do in Rio is to seek out traditional Portuguese barbecue, which is served at so-called churrascarias. They’re scattered across the city and range from street-side stalls to upscale restaurants. Porcão Rios is one of the best-known examples, and the local chain is known for having a pretty outrageous salad bar (think: olives, sushi, cheeses, even caviar).
For something a bit more casual (though just as filling) seek out homestyle feijoada. This pork-and-black-bean stew has been celebrated as the country’s national dish. Try it at Bar Do Mineiro—a popular spot with white tiled walls covered in vintage snapshots of Rio.
What to do in Rio when you’re hungry, thirsty, and you really need to cool down? Just hit-up any one of Rio’s juice bars, or sucos. They display exotic and unusual fruits like sugar apples, cashew fruits, and acerola, which can be pressed and blended together to make smoothies. For a punch of energy, ditch the hot coffee and opt instead for an acai and guarana seed smoothie at Polis Sucos.