Rio de Janeiro has a very diverse culture. Throughout history immigrants from Italy, Japan, France and Portugal have blended their cooking styles with local ingredients to create a delicious nouvelle cuisine. Take a culinary tour through the city to taste the meshing of culture with local fare.
Some of the best sushi can be found at Sushi Leblon on Rua Dias Ferreira in Leblon. The ceviche and sashimi are decidedly Asian with the local fresh fish used as the main ingredient. Tuna, snapper, salmon and Busego are just some of the fish found off the coast of Rio and used in this restaurant. A good option is the most traditional Japanese restaurant in town, Azumi. Widely recognized in the city, located in Copacabana. They have a few signature dishes that are very popular so make sure to ask for it.
There are many wonderful Italian restaurants in Rio de Janeiro. Try Cipriani at the Copacabana Palace Hotel. One of the signature dishes is Medaglioni di pescatrice appena scottati. This dish, while distinctly Mediterranean is made with locally caught Monkfish. Quadrucci in Leblon under the direction of Chef Maia van Velthem makes fantastic rice ravioli with pumpkin and pirarucu all local ingredients.
The Olympe Restaurant near the Botanical Garden has been making a specialty dessert since 1982 called Crepe Passion. In this case, the French crepe is filled with caramelized passion fruit to give it a local tang.
The praised and famous Le Pré Catelan, already awarded one of the top ten hotel restaurants in the world, located in the Hotel Sofitel Copacabana, beach front has its award-winning French chef Rolland Villard serving recipes with French bases where Brazilian ingredients shine.
Adegão Portugues is one of the best restaurants in Rio. It has been opened since the 1960s and combines the heritage of Portuguese cuisine with local ingredients. Its signature dish is Bacalhau a lagareira, locally caught codfish with potatoes, broccoli and garlic. Antiquarius in Leblon has many Portuguese dishes made with some of the best beef and pork to found in Argentina.
Taking a culinary tour of Rio de Janeiro would mean traveling around the world and never leaving the confines of the city. What makes the cuisine so unique in Rio is the combination of ethnic styles of cooking using local ingredients.