10 Best Restaurants in Santa Teresa, from Budget to Blowout

Foodies visiting Rio de Janeiro should make a beeline for the breezy, beautiful and bohemian hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa, where the steep cobbled streets are lined with dining opportunities to suit all tastes and budgets.

There's fine French-flavored dining at Térèze, while cozy Bar do Arnaudo entices with its fair prices, vast portions of northeastern dishes, and and friendly atmosphere. Cafe do Alto is a haven for families and fussy eaters - this centrally-located Northeastern restaurant offers vegan and gluten-free goodies alongside meaty stews and sausage dishes, and kids are offered crayons and paper.  There are organic, gluten-free treats at Cultivar Brasil, while those looking for a more formal dining experience can enjoy al-fresco meals with glorious views at the delightful, somewhat hidden Aprazivel. Santa Teresa is also home to some of the best examples of the carioca boteco.

Botecos are informal bar-restaurants where the conversation and ice cold beer flow freely, and two of the city´s most inviting are the Santa Teresa institutions Bar do Gomes and Bar do Mineiro. A little farther off the tourist track, Bar do Bonde offers delicious bar snacks and a perfectly-crafted caipirinha, sometimes to the sound of live samba music. 

Santa Teresa is fast becoming the destination of choice for interesting dining options, and Espirito Santa is a firm favorite on the neighborhood's dining scene. Chef Natacha Fink has created a menu that makes good use of fresh ingredients...  Read More

This Santa Teresa bar-restaurant was opened by a family of Spanish settlers in Brazil in 1919, when it doubled as a grocery store. The official name, Armazem Sao Thiago references this, but for decades this most inviting of watering holes has...  Read More

Bar do Bonde
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

Take just a slight detour from Santa Teresa's main tourist trail and you'll find one of the neighborhood's best value bar-restaurants. Located just a few minutes' walk (follow the tram line uphill from the main square at Largo do Guimaraes),...  Read More

With a prime location on the main drinking and dining strip in leafy, artsy Santa Teresa, Bar do Mineiro is the focal point for the neighborhood's famously lively social scene. As the name suggests, the menu bears the culinary influences of...  Read More

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, with...  Read More

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 -...  Read More

High on a hillside in the boho, historic neighborhood of Santa Teresa, each weekend sees Nega Teresa set up her chandelier-lit stall selling authentic Bahian acaraje (pronouced a-kah-rah-jay). These savoury treats are bean patties that are fried...  Read More

Cultivar Brazil
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

This small, unassuming, unsigned little lunch and brunch spot is a great option for anybody with an aversion to gluten or a preference for natural, organic ingredients. Alongside a range of wholemeal sweet and savory tarts and pies and some...  Read More

Occupying a corner building on Santa Teresa's liveliest square - Largo do Guimaraes - Cafe do Alto has carved out a reputation for serving delicious dishes at fair prices, in a wonderfully colorful setting. The emphasis is on food from Brazil's...  Read More

Fine international food and equally fine views are the order of the day at this upscale restaurant in the plush confines of 5-star Hotel Santa Teresa. It's not necessary to fork out for a room here in order to dine here (in fact there's a...  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.