The Best Spots for Romantic Dining in Beautiful Rio de Janeiro

Romance and Rio de Janeiro go together like lime and sugar cane rum, and loved-up visitors to the city will find ample opportunity to wine and dine in some of the most romantic settings imaginable.

And while fine dining in Rio is undeniably expensive, the good news for couples on a budget is that even the most simple of spots can become infused with romance as long as it offers a view – after all, Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful cities.

There are few more romantic ways to enjoy a meal here than right in front of the crashing waves at Copacabana or Ipanema, and beachfront dining is often very inexpensive. While there are some chic, upscale kiosks right on the sands at Copacabana, there are plenty of simple family-run spots too, offering fresh seafood and tangy caipirinha cocktails.

For something more sophisticated, Rio's high-end hotels offer some of the city's best fine dining -there's upscale Italian at Fasano Rio's Al Mare and Copacabana Palace's elegant Cipriani, as well as some of the best French cuisine in town at Sofitel's Le Pre Catelan. Alternatively, take a cab to Santa Teresa’s Aprazivel restaurant, which is so well hidden that taxi drivers almost always have to ask direction from locals. Here, diners can eat al-fresco in tropical gardens lit by twinkling fairy lights and visited by monkeys and toucans, while enjoying delicious French-Brazilian cuisine and taking in equally appetizing views over the city below. Wherever you choose to eat in Rio, the city’s balmy heat and sensual atmosphere are sure to have you feeling romantic.

For the ultimate indulgent Rio experience, head to the Pergula, the elegant poolside restaurant at the enduringly elegant Copacabana Palace hotel. Less formal than the hotel's fine dining Italian restaurant, Cipriani. at Pergula you can dine in...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

The team behind Santa Teresa's acclaimed Cafecito cafe-bar have expanded into the floor above their much-loved establishment, transforming the leafy courtyard into a dining space that is arelaxed in ambiance and as rustic in decor as the name...  Read More

This top-end French restaurant is arguably the most celebrated eatery in Rio de Janeiro, and is manned by celebrity chef Claude Troisgros - of the multi Michelin-starred Troisgras family of France. The award-strewn restaurant offers such...  Read More

This elegant seafood-focused Italian restaurant at the super-chic Fasano Rio hotel is a favorite among business people looking to impress clients, as well as with romantic types looking to impress their dates. The Phillipe-Starck designed...  Read More

A relatively recent addition to Rua Dias Ferreira's already-illustrious drinking and dining scene, the chic whitewashed space that is Brigite's has fast become part of the well-heeled establishment. The bistro-style dishes are as immaculately...  Read More

For a taste of Rio's Belle Epoque past, head to this historic cafe-restaurant in downtown Rio. Ornate chandeliers and jacaranda wood mirrors make an elegant setting for breakfasts, brunches and afternoon teas, and this is the ideal place to...  Read More

Thanks to an enviable location at Copacabana's closest point to Ipanema, Atlantis offers stunning views that take in the length of Copacabana beach. An outdoor seating area makes the most of these sweeping vistas, and the food on offer is just...  Read More

This chic Italian restaurant is housed within the elegant confines of Copacabana Palace Hotel, and welcomes non-guests with reservations. The service is as impeccable as the renderings of Italian dishes made with fresh seasonal ingredients, and...  Read More

Located high on a jungle-clad hillside in Santa Teresa, Aprazivel is worth a visit for the views alone. Wisely making the most of the sweeping vistas over downtown Rio, the owners have made al-fresco dining the order of the day, here, with...  Read More


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.