Get Plenty of Bang for Your Buck at Rio's Best Value Restaurants

Formal dining in Rio de Janeiro can be an eye-wateringly expensive, but that's not to say that travelers on a budget will go hungry in Rio.

Many locals have a keen eye for places that are  'bom e barato' (good AND cheap), so bargain hunters should avoid restaurants aiming themselves squarely at the tourist market, and look out for spots that are packed with cariocas (Rio natives).

It is also worth bearing in mind that main meals in Rio often - but not always - serve two people, so check before ordering to avoid spending twice as much you need to.

In some places, even meals for one are huge - the 'individual' set meals at our top pick, Bar do Arnaudo in Santa Teresa, easily serve two or even three hungry diners. 

Also popular with budget conscious visitors to Rio are the city's many 'por kilo' restaurants - where diners take their pick from a buffet and pay according to the weight of their plate - offer everything from sushi and colorful salads to steak for a set price per 100 grams.  Generally catering to the lunchtime market, these spots are a great opportunity to try a number of different foods without spending  a lot of money.

There are even affordable options in famously pricey neighborhoods such as Leblon - try funky Mexican La Calaca for delicious dishes and cocktails that won't break the bank.


Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

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Meet Lucy Bryson

Lucy is a British freelance writer living in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. While there are some things she misses about her home country, the lure of year-round sunshine has proved too powerful to resist.

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