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Rio de Janeiro Dining

The unforgettable Brazilian steak From the cheap chopperias offering cold beer and snacks, to the many specialty kiosks, and even to the upscale botequins with award-winning kitchens that stay open through the night , dining possibilities are endless in Rio, which has over 900 restaurants. Churrascarias, or restaurants specializing in grilled meats, have menus that will make the meat lover's mouth water. Vegetarians are offered a well-dressed salad bar, which is paid for by the kilo, and there is an abundance of seafood restaurants throughout the city. Portions are quite large, so its probably good to ask how much comes with each plate before ordering a 10 course meal.

Most restaurants are open from 11 am to 4 pm, and then from 7 pm until midnight or later, though some are open all day. Lunch in Rio is a small affair, usually just a snack, while dinner is a late night affair; many upscale restaurants have closing hours of 2 AM. The main exceptions to these hours are the restaurants in Rio' downtown areas, for the Centro dining services cater mainly to the business and office crowd, and only a few are open at night or on weekends. Many restaurants have a fixed-price menu as well as a la carte options. A 10% tip is sufficient in most restaurants, although sometimes a cover for the tip is already added to the bill.

A typical Brazilian cuisine option is the feijoada (a delicious mix of rice, black beans and pork). Hotel restaurants serve this dish on Fridays and Saturdays. There are also many tropical fruits and juices, that are unlike anything in the Westerners are used to. Try cupuacu, bacuri, caju (cashew fruit), umbu and acai (a purple fruit from the Amazon that is healthy and delicious and considered to be an aphrodisiac). The country's favorite soft drink is Guarana, made from an Amazonian berry. Dende, peppers, and coconut milk became established in the Brazilian food palate through the three centuries of slaves who came from Africa.

During the nineteenth century, when slavery ended, Brazil became a melting pot for immigrants from all over the world, and many diverse and unique foods emerged. Dining out in Brazil is always an interesting and delicious experience. The options in food are endless, the dress is almost always casual, and the experience a very relaxing, enjoyable one.

Dining Essentials
This is the traditional dish of beans, sausages and rice that is served in several separate dishes.

Brazilian barbecue is famous all across the world and in Rio de Janeiro, this is the site of a meat lover's feast. Restaurants all across Rio serve this cuisine in style.

Coconut Water
This beverage is served well chilled in an actual coconut shell. Best enjoyed at the beach, this is a deliciously refreshing drink to beat the summer heat.

This is made with cachaca, Brazil's national drink which is a sugar liquor. The ingredients for the drink are lime, lots of ice, water and additional sugar.

Brazilian beer is excellent and always served extra cold. Among the better-known brands are Brahma, Antartica and Bavaria.

Places to eat in Centro
Confeitaria Colombo
A practically unchanged restaurant since its opening in 1894. Come in for full lunches; the feijoada here is delicious.
Rua Goncalves Dias 32, Centro.

Places to eat in Copacabana
Siri Mole
Named after the soft shell crab, one of the best Bahian restaurants.
Rua Francisco Otaviano 50

Made-from-scarth ice cream, with a selection of over 40 flavors.
Rua Constante Ramos 13, loja A.

Places to eat in Ipanema
Madame Butterfly
The top Japanese Restuarant in Rio.
Rua Barao de Torre 472

Casa da Feijoada
Feijoada that is offered not just on Saturdays, but upon request any day of the week.
Rua Prudente de Moraes 10

Carretao Churrascaria
A great place to eat churrascaro (slow-grilled meats, a typically Brazilian cuisine.) When in Copacabana, definitely check this place out.
Rua Ronald de Carvalho, 55 , Praco do Lido.

Places to eat in Leblon
Tanaka San
Decorated with pieces of modern art; you can sit on the floor or at a table. Offers a large selection of sushi.
Rua Bartholomeu Mitre 112

Bibi Sucos
A cheap grab-n-go, sells delicious freshly squeezed juices, along with grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, and pastries.
Av. Ataulfo de Paiva 591

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