Best Restaurants near the Cruise Port in Rio de Janeiro

Best Restaurants near Rio de Janeiro's Cruise Port

With work in progress on Rio's ambitious 'Marvellous Port' project, cruise visitors calling at Rio de Janeiro's cruise port currently need to take a quick cab ride in order to make the best of nearby eating options. The city's port zone is currently the subject of a major regeneration project ahead of the 2016 Olympics but remains a little run-down at present, so it's best to head to nearby Centro - where Confeitaria Colombo is a grand reminder of Rio's Belle Epoque, and a plethero of fairly-priced buffet restaurants catering to a business crowd offer the opportunity to tuck into everything from steak to sushi and salads. Alternatively, take a 10 -minute cab ride  into the hills of Santa Teresa, where culinary adventures await at local favourites such as Bar do Arnaudo and Sobrenatural. Those looking for something romantic can find al-fresco dining with glorious views at Aprazivel, while Cafecito is a great bet for a quick coffee and a tasty toasted ciabatta. Rio de Janeiro's cruise port is also located close to the neighborhoods of Gloria, where there are many simple snack bars and good buffet spots with a local flavor, and to Flamengo where one of Rio's real culinary gems can be found in the form of the legendary all-you-can-eat meat restaurant, Porcao Rio's.  Bon appetite!


Seafood fans should make a beeline for this popular spot in leafy Santa Teresa. Located right in the middle of the main drinking, dining and shopping strip in this artsy neigjborhood, Sobrenatural specialises in fish and seafood dishes- served grilled, baked and made into tradtional moquecas (seafood stews). Vegetarians have a reasonable choice too, thanks to some colorful salads and tasty side dishes (try the brocolli cooked in oil and garlic, and the bread rolls with rosemary) that make an ample light meal in themselves. Live music and colorful artworks from local artists lend a festive atmosphere to the proceedings, and the place is always buzzing on weekend evenings.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Some of the best seafood in town is served at this colorful restaurant in Santa Teresa.

Lucy's expert tip: Prices may appear steep, but most dishes easily serve two people.

Read more about Sobrenatural →

It doesn't look like much, but this unpretentious little spot in leafy Santa Teresa offers vast portions of delicious Northeastern Brazilian food at more than reasonable prices. The walls are hung with paintings by Chilean artist Selaron - whose masterwork, the Lapa Steps, lies just a few minutes' walk from the restaurant - as well as giant pumpkins and rustic kitchen utensils. Not the best spot for dieters, the restaurant (it's a bar in name only) serves hearty dishes such as sundried beef with cassava, rice and beans, while vegetarians can opt to switch the meat for 'queijo coalho' - thick slabs of grilled white cheese. Exercise caution when spooning on the pepper sauce that is served with each dish, it's fiery stuff. Set meals for one easily serve two or even three, making this a cost-effective spot for couples, families and groups of friends with hearty appetites.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Affable staff, delicious, hearty food and more than ample proportions make this cosy spot a delight to dine in.

Lucy's expert tip: There's no wine list here, but bring along your vino of choice and staff will happily uncork it for you at no cost.

Read more about Bar do Arnaudo →

In the historic heart of Lapa, this reformed colonial mansion home has received a colorful makeover with illuminated artworks on the brick walls, vibrantly-colored cocktails and an equally bright and breezy playlist. An eclectic musical menu takes in electro-heavy club nights, more gentile jazz-fests and live samba sessions, and downstairs dancefloors are packed well into the small hours almost every night of the week. A mezzanine balcony provides ample space for sipping drinks and chatting - should you be able to make yourself heard over the pumping music. Alongside an extensive cocktail list, some tempting finger food. Groups of friends may want to opt for the mixed platter, which includes tasty finger foods such as rosemary and garlic breadsticks, focaccia, sundried tomato paste and little oven-baked pastries.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Fair prices, a vast range of colorful salads and a meat grill make this a good bet for families and groups with diverse culinary tastes.

Lucy's expert tip: Those who aren't up for clubbing can head here in the early evening for nibbles and drinks on the sidewalk patio - ideal for people watching.

Read more about Leviano Bar →


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 grass-roofed gazebos sitting amid lush tropical gardens visited by toucans and monkeys. At night, the scene is lit by candles and flickering fairy lights which, when combined with the views and the delicious French-Brazilian dishes on the menu, makes this one of the best spots in Rio for a romantic meal. Chef Ana Castilho has combined Brazilian culinary influences with tricks of hte trade learned during her training in France, and the result is a menu of light dishes that add some chic French touches to the wealth of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood available locally.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Stunning views, delicious food and a delightful tropical garden give this restaurant a real wow factor.

Lucy's expert tip: Call ahead to book tables if you want to sit outside - these seats are extremely popular on balmy evenings.

Read more about Aprazivel →

Set in a vast space that doubles as an antiques warehouse, Rio Scenarium's appeal lies in its intriguing fixtures and fittings as well as its quality food and nightly live music performances. Locals and tourists alike flock here to samba the night away, but those who don't rate their dancing skills are free to simply order a meal and admire the fleet-footed skills of the dancers as they whirl around the floor. Dishes are traditional Brazilian, including steaks and a range of light dishes such as codfish balls. There's a decent wine list, too, with some surprisingly fair prices for Argentine wines in particular. The live music starts around 7.30pm nightly and, who knows, after a couple of glasses of Malbec you may be keen to try out your samba skills.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: With an intriguing interior and some of the best live bands in Centro, this is a great place to combine a meal and a night's dancing.

Lucy's expert tip: Book a table here in advance if you don't fancy a lengthy wait to be seated.

Read more about Rio Scenarium →

The down-town branch of Pampa Grill (the original branch, in Barra, has been in business some 30 years) is a popular choice among local business people, who head here for the excellent cuts of meat on offer, along with the vast range of hot and cold side dishes that tempt diners to the heaving buffet bar. Pampa Grill operates two dining systems - you can choose to pay by weight (around R$6 per 100 grams) or you can pay a set price of R$90 for all you can eat feasts. The first option is great for those looking for a light lunch, while those with hearty appetites would be wise to opt for the latter. Whichever you opt for, you are guaranteed a memorable culinary experience, with the opportunity to feast on top quality cuts of meat, fresh fish and seafood, and fresh tropical fruits and vegetables in more variations than one could ever imagine.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Top quality meats and a heaving buffet of salads and sides makes this a top spot in Centro.

Lucy's expert tip: As the price per 100 grams is a little steep, avoid loading up your plate with starchy rice and beans and opt for the more luxurious items instead. With a piece of fillet steak priced, gram for gram, the same as white rice, who wants rice?

Read more about Churrascaria Pampa Grill-Centro →

Rua do Lavradio
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

Visitors looking for the historic heart of Rio won't find it by the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, but in the heart of downtown Lapa. Rua do Lavradio was one of the first streets to be built in Rio de Janeiro back in the 1770s, and its handsome colonial buildings offer plenty to offer architecture buffs. Fittingly, many of the buildings have been converted into antiques stores, while others now serve as bars and restaurants. On the first Saturday of each month, the street packs with vendors, shoppers and sightseers when the famous Feira do Rio Antigo - an antiques, fashion and arts fair - takes place.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: This historic street in down town Rio is lined with pavement bars, cafes and restaurants.

Lucy's expert tip: The Feira do Rio Antigo is a must-visit for anyone in town on the first Saturday of each month.

Read more about Rua do Lavradio →

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 take the weight of your feet and soak up the opulence during a Centro shopping or sightseeing spree. It's just a few minutes' cab ride or a 20-minute walk from Rio de Janeiro's cruise port, and the rush of shoppers and workers on the streets nearby provides a glimpse into daily life in the business district of this bustling Brazilian city.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: A visit to Confeitaria Colombo is like stepping back in time to Rio's Belle Epoque.

Lucy's expert tip: There's formal dining upstairs, a leafy garden outside, and a takeaway counter for picking up pastries and sandwiches on the hoof.

Read more about Confeitaria Colombo →

Located just a few steps from Catete Palace, with its pleasant gardens and interesting museum, this unassuming spot is the only place in Rio to sample food from Macau - a region of Southern China settled by the Portuguese. The result is an interesting hybrid of culinary traditions from both countries, with a splash of Brazilian influence thrown in for good measure. Along with a decent lunchtime buffet that features staples such as rice, beans and cassava as well as oriental favorites such as spring rolls and wonton, there's an a-la-carte menu that sees dishes such as tofu with ginger and spring onion sitting happily alongside Caldo Verde (traditional Portuguese soup made with greens, potato and sausage) and mains that range from stir-fried noodles and vegetables to Brazilian feijoada. To wash it down, you might want to try a Portuguese cherry or bitteralmond liqueur, or stick to Brazilian tradition with a caiprinha.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: This unique spot is a quick cab ride from the cruise port and handy for visiting Catete Palace and the Museum of the Republic

Lucy's expert tip: Overlooked by tourists, this intimate little restaurant is a good place to ditch the crowds at lunchtime

Read more about Fat Choi →

This downtown vegetarian lunch spot is slightly hidden above a backstreet store, but it's well worth seeking out. A popular choice with local workers - whether veggie or just looking for a healthy and budget-friendly lunch. Each day there's a set meal - including a soup, main, drink and healthy dessert, while the buffet also offers a staggering array of tempting healthy options - including colorful salads, wholegrain rice, lentils and beans in various incarnations, and even meat-free versions of classic Brazilian dishes such as feijoada. It's not entirely vegan - cheese and eggs get a look in, but there are plenty of vegan options.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Restaurante Green has been serving delicious, healthy dishes at fair prices for more than three decades.

Lucy's expert tip: The restaurant's location above a store is a little confusing, but look out for the sign and you'll find the stairs up to the dining area.

Read more about Green →


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.