By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – While Rio’s much adored botecos (bars) are known as great places to gather over chopps (draft beer) and snacks, they are not often on the culinary map, especially when they are located in one of the many favela communities across the city. Yet Bar do David, in Morro Chapéu-Mangueira in Zona Sul (South Zone), set behind Leme, was recently named as the Best Buteco in Brazil.

Bar do David, boteco food, Comida di Buteco, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
The Bar do David dish called Ressurgência (Resurgence) was the winner of this year’s Comida di Buteco award.

It was the petisco, or “snack” called Ressurgência (Resurgence) on offer by Bar do David, that combines seafood and a vinaigrette with black-eyed beans served on red cabbage leaves, which was the champion of the national phase of the Comida di Buteco.

The owner of the boteco, David Bispo, 44, was already recognized for bringing the first favela community bar to participate in the contest in 2011. Now with this award, he also becomes the champion of the first national edition, which competed with nineteen other bars in Brazil.

“Today I can say that I have one of the best bars in Brazil, which receives people from all over the world.” Bispo told a government news source, “I am a representative of Rio’s favelas and bring more needed [positive attention] to my community and the rest of Rio.”

Bispo learned to cook at home, in Chapéu-Mangueira, with his mother as a child. The first time the boteco participated in the Comida di Buteco, Bar do David won third place with the Tropeiro Carioca dish, a recipe inspired by feijoada.

In the same year, he was chosen as Destaque do Ano (Highlight of the Year) in the culinary category of UPPs, Rio Show Award. Since then, the eatery has excelled in culinary contests. He explained “When I started to participate in the Comida di Buteco, we got in several culinary guides. Residents of Rio and tourists began to go into communities and experience the good services.”

Since 2000, the Comida di Buteco elects the best botecos in twenty cities. This year, more than five hundred locations across the country participated in the competition.


  1. While visiting Rio from the United States, 2012, I had read about Bar do David and made the extra effort after a day at the beach to check out the then acclaimed 3rd best feijoada in Rio. We decided to walk up the hill instead of taking a mototaxi (ok, I still haven’t taken a mototaxi), it is steep and probably would of seemed a bit easier of a walk had we not spent the day soaking up the sun on the beach and venturing into a favela for our first time. There were a few policemen around as we went up the hill, I’m never surprised anymore how someone will not know where something is located, even 1 block away so we kind of overshot it a bit going higher into the favela than necessary. As usual in Brazil most people either are friendly or completely indifferent to your presence, it makes wandering into places generally pleasant. This particular Sunday we were very lucky as an all female samba band was playing and later cake was served for one of the local soccer (futebol) teams. We probably spent over 3 hours just taking it all in, really nice bohemian mix in the crowd, very friendly. Dare I say family friendly….as folks had brought their children along. A few policemen showed up early to check things out and left quickly. Not only was the various feijoadas amazing (they do a seafood version too) but their drinks were great, excellent caiprahinhas. The prices were also very reasonable, especially if you are used to zona sul pricing or Sao Paulo. David came out and was very friendly, it was a great experience not to be missed. I would recommend going on the weekends when music might be in order…



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