be honest, food is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking
of Rio de Janeiro. Still, we immensely enjoyed every meal we had while
in town, and that says something when you are dealing with such strong
competition from the beaches, views and music!
One of our favorite restaurants was located at the base of the Sugar Loaf mountain, the fantastic churrascaria called ZoZo. This beautifully designed "dinner club" features an amazing buffet of high quality sushi, steak, ham, turkey, and all the trimmings. We celebrated our last day in Rio with a late lunch here, indulging in some unbelievably decadent desserts!
Aside from the inspired interior design, the impeccable service, and the impressive views toward Pão de Açúcar, the best thing about ZoZo was the value! There
is only one price for the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet (I believe we
paid around USD $30 a head), and we all completely pigged out! As the
meal came to a close, we met with the owner and chefs. They were
clearly all very proud of their establishment - and rightfully so! Do
yourselves a favor and check this place out, night or day. You will
not be disappointed.
ZoZo is not open on Mondays. The lunch buffet is open Tuesday - Friday, from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM and Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Dinner (à la carte only) is available Tuesday - Sunday from 8:00 PM to midnight. Reservations are recommended, specifically for parties of 6 or more. At dinner time, expect loud music as ZoZo features a revolving schedule of local DJ's.
ZoZo - Av. Pasteur, 520-Parte Praia Vermehla, Urca, Rio de Janeiro, RJ-CEP 22290-240, 011 (55) 21 2542-9665
Travel means exploration. Exploration requires walking, and walking drains energy. When power bars just don't cut it anymore, it's time to take a break and grab a refreshment!
hit up Sobrenatural Restaurante while visiting the ultra-groovy boho
neighborhood of Santa Teresa (see "sights"). Plopping down on its
wooden benches was certainly a welcomed relief from the mid-afternoon
rain sprinkle outside. (Oddly enough, the beer on tap here is called
Bohemia.) Sobrenatural features a voluminous menu of great seafood
dishes and, perhaps most importantly, pommes frites (every trekker's favorite!)
Set of Drifters tip: While you're resting those weary soles at Sobrenatural, make sure to check out that cheesy Brazilian shrimp dish that all of the locals seem to be scarfing down at nearby tables!Sobrenatural - Rua Alm Alexandrino, 432-Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, RJ-CEP 20241-260, 011 (55) 21 2224-1003
Featuring fabulous meats, sushi, salad bar and of course, desserts, Porcão does not skimp on quantity - or quality. The caipirinhas were succulent and the never-ending parade of different cuts of meat, chicken and pork brought to our table was astounding! (Not so great if you are a vegetarian we suspect, but there were certainly tons of side dishes and desserts at the buffet.) The plethora of high-quality all-you-can-eat sushi was well worth the R$79,00 per person (about USD $47) alone.
We even got to see a celebrity! British actor Rupert Everett was Porcão-ing out at a nearby table with a local Brazilian man (no doubt in town for friend Madonna's first Brazilian concert in 15 years!)
Set of Drifters tip: Foodies beware, this is a chain restaurant that you can find in other Brazilian cities! Porcão Ipanema Beach is open daily from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight. Where do they get all of that meat?
Porcão - Rua Barão da Torre, 218-Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - RJ-CEP, 22411-000, 011 (55) 21 3202-9158