By Mary Carroll, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Dining out in Rio can be a real treat with a variety of up-market eateries around the city, and the arrival of the sixth edition of Rio’s Restaurant Week may be just the reason to get out and try somewhere new. The popular Restaurant Week, which originated in New York, is celebrated in one hundred cities throughout the world and lasts until June 3rd.

One of the Eñe lunch plates offered during Rio Restaurant Week, photo by Beto Roma.
One of the Eñe lunch plates offered during Rio Restaurant Week, photo by Beto Roma.

For Rio’s Restaurant Week, 51 of Rio’s top restaurants, bars and cafes, will give people the opportunity to sample the finest cuisines as they offer a special discount for the event.

Each combines three course dinners on their specially made menus for the week, setting the prices at R$31.90 for lunch and R$43.90 for dinner. However, drinks and service (ten percent) are separate. In each restaurant the customer can choose from two starters, two main courses and two deserts.

Mary Byker, an English expatriate in Rio who owns Mekong in Leblon with his wife Ana Vance explained: “The best part of restaurant week is that a lot of people come to try the food for the first time,” and in terms of what is different about the 2012 event is, “this year has seen an increase in the numbers of people coming.”

Jonathan Gil, the manager at Eñe, also says they are getting a lot of customers in for Rio Restaurant Week. “We are a Spanish restaurant and we have a special menu with some delicious food for the occasion […] for the starter on the dinner menu, we give the customer a choice of a cold vegetable soup or bread and a Spanish style sausage with eggs.”

Gil goes on to discuss the main courses “we offer a local white fish called garoupa with a lovely bisque sauce, it is very tasty, and there is also Frango à La Catalana, a Catalonian style chicken with peanuts and prunes which is absolutely delicious.”

One of the appetizers offered at the very popular Nik Sushi in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
One of the appetizers offered at the very popular Nik Sushi in Ipanema, photo by Rio Restaurant Week.

To top it off with the desert “we have a chocolate souffle which we serve with an orange and ginger ice cream, and we have an Eñe version of churros, it’s quite nice.” It is possible to make a reservation with Eñe from the Rio Restaurant Week website.

Luiza Cardoso, a University student from Rio, explains that she wouldn’t normally dine at the restaurants listed for the event. However, now that there are set prices she is more enthusiastic about the prospect of dining out and she is “considering dining at one of the restaurants for Rio Restaurant Week.”

She continues that Zozô is usually quite expensive but “the food there is divine.” Cardoso describes how they used “to have a kind of fish topped with champagne bubbles.”

Speaking of the restaurants that caught her eye, Cardoso says “Opium in Ipanema is a quite well known restaurant, as well as Manekineko, which serves Japanese food. Other interesting ones on the list are the French Bistrot du Leme, St. Bastien and Terrazas.”

This event is a success as it is giving Rio’s eateries a lot of exposure, and for those looking for a reason to try somewhere new, Rio Restaurant Week offers the chance to experiment with Rio’s best restaurants, and the discount certainly doesn’t hurt either.


  1. I will be comeing to Rio in December arriving on the Tall ship Lord Nelson along with up to fifteen other disabled “sailors”.
    Both for myself and on behalf of others could you answer a question for me: To a tourist like me is Rio a dangerous place as the only time we hear about Rio in England is when there is a gun battle in the streets. Is the rio night puntuated by sporadic gunfire as our media would have us believe?

    With the 2016 Olimpic and Paralympic games getting closer, is it now time for RIO to take note of how it is regarded around the world?

  2. After living in San Francisco for over 15 years being back in Rio for the past five years there was one aspect of my American life style I missed; the many choices of restaurant available. As Rio becomes a international destination more money has been invested to better serve the one who appreciate good food and the article above proves my statement.

    Carlos Tour Guide

  3. Noel,

    In response to your inquiry: Rio is not a dangerous place if you take some precautions: do not wear flashing jewelry, stay out of badly lit areas at night, stick to the nicer neighborhoods, etc. The English media definitely seems to by hyping up the crime situation. You do have violence but it much more often takes place in the poor neighborhoods where the gang bangers are living. The police presence on patrol in residential neighborhoods has increased substantially. Thankfully the violence has decreased materially over the years. Just looked at Rio’s murder rate now compared to ten years ago.

    What I would be more concerned about is getting around Rio as disabled person. Rio, like many developing countries, has a long way to go in terms of making its streets and establishments disabled-friendly. I have become more sensitive to this pushing my baby around in a stroller. The sidewalk situation is pretty bad and there are often a lack of proper ramps for wheel chairs on sidewalks, in restaurant and shops. I assume you are being led on a tour. The tour operator should definitely put extra effort in to make sure your travel group is accommodated. Some of the most accessible areas are close to the beach fronts of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. Leblon is probably the most accessible neighborhood for the disabled and also one of the nicest for strolling around.

    You will have a great time in Rio. It is definitely one of the most amazing places on the planet.

  4. Hello

    I think Noel is correct Rio had gotten a bad reputation is past few years for being a dangerous city but what was true about it , some of the violence has been addressed. And the questions that needs to be made is will Rio host the some of the largest events like World Cup , Olympics and Rio+ 20 if it wasn’t safe? Very unlikely.

  5. As an American, now living in Rio, I can tell you that you can live and vacation in Rio with total safety. I have not a single concern living here. After living in Sao Paulo, in a wealthy area, I still feel more safe in Rio. The main thing to remember is that if you never leave the south zone “Zona Sul” and Barra da Tijuca of Rio then you will never have problems. Why would anyone go to favellas and the terribly poor areas of Rio out in the west and south? Ther is nothing to see there but poverty and crime. The things you will want to see in Rio are all in the safe areas. Even Centro is safe in the day time with only small crimes at night.

    The pacification of the slums has helped a lot (short term) but, it has helped non the less.

    I hope you have an AMAZING visit to this city which I now so fondly love. Don’t believe any of the stupid hype about murder and crime. I see none of that and live in Copacabana area and spend most of my time either here, Ipanema, Leblon or Barra da Tijuca. Stay in those areas and you will feel you are in a very wealthy area without much crime at all, because you are…. ;)



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