Best Places to Enjoy a Meal in Rio's Bustling, Beautiful Copacabana

Copacabana is better known for its beach, bronzed beach beauties and touristy beach bars than for fine dining, but there are some surprisingly sophisticated restaurants to be found in this most touristic of neighborhoods. There´s seriously good Italian food on offer at  Cipriani, the formal Italian restaurant at Copacabana Palace hotel. There is equally glitzy, but more laid-back, dining at Pergula, the hotel´s poolside restaurant, and both welcome non-guests. More budget-friendly options can be found in the form of the kiosks that line the sands. These range from simple beach bars with plastic tables and chairs to champagne bars and pizzerias, and prices range from around R$15 for a plate of fried sardines to R$100 for a plate of smoked salmon. 

For informal dining, head to one of Copacabana's many botequims - casual bar restaurants that throng with locals and tourists at all hours of the day. One of the best for beer lovers is Espetto Carioca - where diners can munch kebabs and sip beers and caipirinhas while soaking up terrific beach views.



Sushi is taken seriously but the atmosphere is lighthearted at this excellent Japanese restaurant at the Leme end of Copacabana. Sushi and sashimi abound in seemingly endless variations, while edamame beans are satisfyingly crunchy and miso soup...  Read More



Seafood, sea views, ice cold beers and a chilled vibe make this one of the most popular of Copacabana's many beach bars. It's located at Posto 3 - lifeguard post three - making it pretty much midway along the beachfront, so it's a good place to...  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 kebab-focused food and drink spot has several branches in Rio, but the one at the Leme end of Copacabana beach is the most appealing, thanks to its stellar location. Tables and chairs are set up in front of the outdoor bar which sits atop a...  Read More

Photo courtesy of WhitneyinChicago


A history of Middle Eastern traders settling in Rio has had a marked influence on the city´s culinary scene, with dishes such as tabouleh and kibe popping up with suprising regularity in bars and restaurants across the city. This is one of the...  Read More

Copacabana Beach
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


There´s no danger of going hungry at Copacabana beach. While vendors stroll the sands selling simple snacks and sandwiches, the boardwalk is lined with bars and restaurants that range from cheap and cheerful to seriously sophisticated. Here you...  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



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



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

Pavao Azul
Photo courtesy of Los Viajes del Cangrejo/Flickr


Much of Rio's liveliest drinking and dining centers around its informal, unpretentious 'botecos' (casual bars) and this unassuming hole-in-the-wall bar-restaurant is a great case in point. Serving award-winning bar snacks and ice cold beers to...  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.