Rio restaurants you need to know for Carnival

If you happen to be in town for one of the biggest festivals in the world you’ve got to make sure you check out some of these expertly selected restaurants. Trust us, you’ll have even more fun dancing samba after a good meal.

Carnival kicks off this Friday in Rio and the city is ready to celebrate with caipirinhas under the sun. If you happen to be in town for one of the biggest festivals in the world you’ve got to make sure you check out some of these expertly selected restaurants. 

This elegant French restaurant is the best rated in the Brazil’s most famous city. With a TripExpert score of 93, Olympe is always busy, so reservations are definitely a good idea. “Highlights include crispy suckling pig with panko-cacao dressing, scallops with hearts of palm carpaccio, and a passion fruit crêpe soufflé that's been on the menu since 1982,” says Travel + Leisure. Main courses here range from $20-$30.

This inventive restaurant is the place to come for Mediterranean food in Rio. Rated 87 on TripExpert, the French-Brazilian owners have turned a small colonial house into a paradise for people seeking a terrific meal in a relaxed atmosphere. All fish and meat dishes are recommended, and vegetarians can definitely find some treats here. “Leave room for dessert: the mini churros with doce de leite are an indulgent treat and a long-standing favorite on the menu,” says Fodor’s Travel. Main courses are around $15.

Aprazivel is a dining experience. It’s an open-air restaurant that offers unique views of the city. While ambiance is important, Aprazivel also “offers a whole host of delicious dishes from right across Brazil,” according to Michelin. In the range of $30-$47 for a meal, Fodor’s suggests trying anything with “native ingredients, among them baked palm heart with pesto, basil, and cashews.” Reservations are a must in this locale, which is rated 86 on TripExpert.

If you want to kick off your shoes (it’s compulsory inside) and relax, this funky eatery is a great choice during your Rio trip. The food is a fusion of Brazilian and Asian dishes, and “favorites include chicken curry with jasmine rice, flambéed prawns with risotto, and grilled fish served with caramelized plantain,” says Lonely Planet. The art-filled converted house is rated 85 by our experts and main courses range from $16-$22.

Your carnival extravaganza will only be better by eating at Gero. “Highlights include the ravioli stuffed with veal and mushroom sauce, as well as vegetarian-friendly options (a rarity in Rio), such as amaretto and pumpkin tortelli with artichokes,” according to Travel + Leisure. This elegant Italian eatery has been a Rio favorite since its 2002 opening. Rated 82 by TripExpert, expect main courses to be $10-$23.

Opened in 1894, this Victorian tearoom is a Rio staple. It has a TripExpert score of 82, and is most famous for its afternoon teas. Fodor’s says “R$46 ($12) buys a lavish spread of cakes, sandwiches, breads, jams, fruit salad, and your choice of hot drink”. Also, the waffles here get stellar reviews. Check out Confeitaria Colombo if you want to get a feel of Rio’s own Belle Époque.

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