Best Spots to Eat near Rio's Legendary Maracana Soccer Stadium

Rio de Janeiro's mighty Maracana Soccer Stadium is a major tourist attraction. But the immediate surrounds have little to offer by way of fine dining or chic supper spots. It's not the most salubrious neighborhood in town, but the stadium's very own Metro station puts it in easy reach of downtown Rio. Closer at hand, the pleasant residential neighborhood of Tijuca has some nice spots, and the lively Feira Nordestina offers a chance to chow down on dishes from Brazil's northeast.

Known as Centro, downtown Rio offers a wealth of drinking and dining options, with hotspots including the kooky Rio Scenarium, where patrons can dine and dance samba in the unusual setting of an antiques store/movie props warehouse. Nearby Q Bar and Leviano are hot with the hipster crowd, while pre-match lunches at the grand, historic Confeitaria Colombo are always a pleasure.

Alternatively, hungry soccer fans can grab a cab to leafy Santa Teresa for good food and refreshing breezes at al-fresco favourtes Cafecito or Aprazivel, or stay on the metro a couple more stops to reach meat-lovers' favorite Porcao Rio's.

Weekday games at Maracana Stadium tend to start and finish late, so it's a smart move to eat before the match if you don't want to pay a fortune for potato chips or hotdogs within the stadium.

Indian food is hard to come by in Rio, so this this little lunch spot downtown is a welcome addition to the city's gastronomic scene. The dishes are less than authentically 'Indian' - there's a vegan version of the classic Brazilian dish feijoda...  Read More

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...  Read More

Located 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...  Read More

Feira Nordestina de Sao Cristovao
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

It doesn't feature on many tourist itineraries, but foodies in Rio should be sure to pay a visit to this vast market dedicated to all things Northeastern. A huge, purpose built space housing hundreds of food and drinks stalls and restaurants...  Read More

For a taste of Rio's Belle Epoque past, head to this historic cafe-restaurant in downtown Rio. The vast space is divided into areas for standup snacks, light lunches and full-on feasts, and the clientele is a mix of local worker and...  Read More

Rio is synonymous with samba, and the city's historical downtown district of Lapa should be the first port of call for anybody looking to hear the real thing played live. At Rio Scenarium, the kooky factor is ramped up to 11 thanks to the...  Read More

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...  Read More

This inviting Italian restaurant in the pleasant residential neighborhood of Tijuca is within walking distance of Rio's Maracana soccer stadium, and offers a good wine list as well as tempting flavors from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. A...  Read More

Art and architecture buffs checking out the exhibits at Rio's downtown modern art museum (MAM) should be sure to find time for this outstanding lunch restaurant. Under talented young chef Elia Schramm, the restaurant is one of just three...  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.