Bistros and Beach Bars - the Best Restaurants in Barra da Tijuca

Home to the Rio 2016 Olympic Village, Rio de Janeiro's Barra da Tijuca neighborhood is famous for its gorgeous beach, US-style shopping malls, its affluent residents and its many upmarket restaurants. With hotels - including Rio's first Hilton - springing up here in the run up to the August 2016 Olympics, it is set to receive more tourists than ever before, and a new metro link is improving access to the rest of the city.

Foodies in Barra have plenty of options - many of them located inside the food courts of the neighborhood's many malls - and there are dozens of grills and carveries here. Among the best are Fogo de Chao or, for Argentine-style parilla - Pobre Juan.

Beachfront kiosks such as Barraca do Pepe serve drinks and wholesome light meals aimed at the sporty crowd that frequents the beach, while at nearby Recreio das Bandeirantes, there are simple beach bars offering a laid back alternative to formal dining. For a real treat, make advance bookings and take the little boat across the river to Laguna, a seafood restaurant sitting on a little island. 

This popular steakhouse has branches across Brazil and has even expanded internationally. The Barra branch offers top quality grilled meats on a 'rodizio' basis - waiters flit among the tables, offering slice after freshly-cooked slice to...  Read More

This traditional bar-restaurant in Rio is famous for its late opening hours and its alcohol-absorbing food as well as its lively atmosphere. Cervantes now has several branches in Rio, but this Copacabana was the first and is still arguably the...  Read More

One of several restaurants in the stable owned by celebrity chef Claude Troisgros, CT Brasserie feels like a chic French restaurant in the unlikely setting of a busy Barra da Tijuca shopping mall. While the interior and the menu have a Parisian...  Read More

This legendary beach kiosk is famous for its laid back vibe, its fresh, tasty sandwiches and snacks, and the beautiful young people that gather here. The sporty young types that frequent this stretch of Barra da Tijuca's beach gather here to...  Read More

One of several surprisingly good restaurants located inside Barra da Tijuca's Village Mall, Pobre Juan is part of a highly successful chain of Argentinean steak houses dotted across Brazil. And while Brazilian grills are abundant in Barra,...  Read More

The Devassa chain brews its own beers in a range of flavors and alcohol strengths, and while their marketing is playful, they take their brewing seriously. Here you might want to try a malt beer or a --loira--(blonde) beer, which are served ice...  Read More

Some 40-minutes bus or cab ride away from Ipanema and Copacabana, this scenic beach is a popular hangout for surfers and body boarders, and the kiosks along the seafront serve simple, tasty dishes such as sardines and fries. Although packed at...  Read More


Barra da Tijuca's many shopping malls are home to some surprisingly good dining options, and Yalla is an excellent case in point. Serving tasty Middle Eastern and mediterranean cuisine with a slick contemporary twist, it's popular with...  Read More

This rustic Italian restaurants has branches in Leblon and Barra da Tijuca, and is famous for its delicious home-made pasta as well as its well-stocked wine cellar. The menu has a Tuscan flavour, and many ingredients are imported from Italy. The...  Read More


Reaching this seafood restaurant in Barra da Tijuca is quite an adventure in itself. Once you've made a reservation, you'll be able to take a little boat across the river to a tiny island filled with palms and tropical fruit trees, and will be...  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.