If you are planning on visiting Rio de Janeiro anytime soon, here is a list of Dr. Alexandre Charão’s favorite restaurants. His top five include Spanish tapas, an oyster bar, pizza, and Arabian, which shows some of the many diverse options offered in Rio. One even made it on Eater’s “11 Hottest New Restaurants in Rio de Janeiro.” With the Brazilian Real (R$) trading so low against currencies like the US Dollar and Euro, you can fully indulge without hurting your wallet.

Venga Ipanema

“Common in Spain, a chiringuito is a beachside food stand that serves tapas and drinks to beachgoers. That’s the idea behind this spot, located in Copacabana beach. The menu pairs well with its shoreline setting: think octopus carpaccio, fried shrimp, and tuna and beet tartare. There are also some paellas. To complete the Spanish experience, order a pitcher of sangria; you can take it with you to your bathing spot and return later” (Eater).”

“The menu has typical recipes like pulpo a la galega (octopus with potatoes and spicy paprika), revueltos de Bacalao (shredded cod with creamy scrambled eggs, potatoes, and spicy paprika), as well as preserves and croquettes. To wash it down, there are several options of sangrias, and an exclusive drink list put together by the awarded mixologist Jean Ponce, as well as wines and Spanish beers (Visit Rio).”

Astor Ipanema

“A gorgeous Art Deco–inspired bar and restaurant, Bar Astor is a welcome alternative to Ipanema’s thumping nightclubs. Vintage posters line the walls, while mirrors, white tiles, and vintage light fixtures add to the bar’s sophisticated appeal (Architectural Digest).”

“Evenings are well spent with a cocktail…at Bar Astor, a hop, skip and a jump away, which serves hearty Brazilian fare along with excellent cocktails (Guardian).”

“Astor main strength is the unexcelled localization. Facing Arpoador, it is an excellent choice for a happy hour by the sunset light. Astor is inspired on the antique french brasseries with a decoration full of mirrors and photographs of the main bars in town. Besides the quality of the food, such as the fried Calamari and “Casquinha de Siri” (crab cake in a shell), the place has an outstanding service (Visit Rio).”

El Born Copacabana

“Rua Bolívar is a short cross street that leads inland from the southern end of Copacabana’s crescent bay towards the lagoa. It is full of life and in the evenings…El Born and Zot offer…sophisticated dining on the street…(Guardian).”

Don Camillo Copacabana

“For 21 years the good food, the live music, and the wood deck of Don Camillo lends charm to the sidewalk of the “princess of the sea”. At the corner of Bolívar with Avenida Atântica, the house has established itself as one of the best trattorias – typically Italian establishments of quality regional cuisine with friendly prices – in Rio. Its cellar with over 140 labels of domestic and imported wines has won over an exclusive public (Visit Rio).”

Arab Copacabana

“Stop along the 7.4km course way for fresh coconut juice, a cold chope (draught beer) or an evening meal at one of the lakeside restaurants (my favourite is Arab da Lagoa, which serves hummus and pitta) (Guardian).”

“The chef and owner Vivian Arab offers the traditional dishes of the Arab cuisine in a creative way. The tip is to sit on the porch, on the famous Atlântica avenue, and enjoy the classic Mezze Arab, a combination of hummus bi tahini (chickpea paste with sesame); baba ghanoush bi tahini (eggplant paste with sesame); labne (dry curd paste); quibbe naye (raw kibbeh); mini-kibbehs and mini safihas; and tabbouleh (Visit Rio).”

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