The Most Dazzling Spots for Beachfront Dining in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro beaches are the stuff of legend, and dining with a sea view at any beachfront restaurant is sure to be a memorable experience for the views alone. And while there are tourist traps to be wary of - plenty of restaurants are happy to rest on the laurels of their enviable locations and pay scant attention to the quality of their food and service - there is some genuinely fine dining to be found along the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, as well as at less internationally-celebrated beaches such as Arpoador and Urca. 

While visitors with deep pockets will find some top-notch restaurants at Copacabana Palace and Sofitel Rio, both located on Copacabana beachfront, budget travelers have plenty of options open to them, too. Simply take a stroll along the iconic black and white tiled promenades of Ipanema and Copacabana and you'll come across a seemingly endless parade of beach kiosks that range from simple spots serving cool beer and fresh sardines to more sophisticated kiosks offering imported wines and extensive cocktail lists. 

Where you choose to pull up a chair is entirely up to you, your tastes and your budget. And if you take a seat and are unimpressed by the menu, don't be too shy to get up and try somewhere else. 

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

Your morning coffee comes with a refreshing sea breeze and stunning sea views at this al-fresco spot in the grounds of Copacabana Fort. Breakfast is served at several outdoor table and, while service can be a little on the slow side, who's in...  Read More

Garota da Urca
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

This welcoming spot by the beach in the gentile neigbourhood of Urca is actually part of a Rio bar-restaurant chain, but is no less appealing for that. The location, right by the sands and within a few minutes' stroll from Sugar Loaf mountain,...  Read More

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

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

While Copacabana wins out as the most picture-perfect city beach in Rio, Ipanema is easily the more chic of the two neighboring stretches of sand. Less flanked by high rise hotels than its neighbor, Ipanema is the ideal place to while away...  Read More

This retro-chic gastrobar has a plum location in front of Ipanema beach and just a short stroll from Copacabana. Props to the place for maintaining a sense of fun while taking its food and drinks seriously. Top foodie picks are the seafood and...  Read More

Urca, the tranquil neighborhood that is home to Sugar Loaf mountain, warrants a longer visit than many tourists permit for in their itineraries, and there are few better spots in the city to linger over a beer and a bite to eat than this...  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

Copacabana Beach
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

Copacabana beach is a real treasure trove for hungry and thirsty visitors. There are options here to suit every taste and every budget. You can take your pick from the many kiosks selling everything from Champagne and seafood to peculiar...  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.