A phenomenal restaurant for so many reasons. The ceiling has a triangle shape so it feels as if you are dining in a farmhouse (turns out chef Landgraf designed the elegant restaurant himself). The service, food and presentation is impeccable. The wine pairing option was just a little over priced so we opted for cocktails from their well-curated cocktail menu (that roughly worked out to $11/drink, which is very cheap). I would go back in a heartbeat. The restaurant is described as: Ethical farming practices and local produce are the cornerstones of this haute-cuisine menu. The open kitchen gives guests an all-access perspective while the in-house aquarium ensures fresh daily catches. Highlights on the eight-course tasting menu include oyster, brazil nut milk and green apple, and roast onion, sea urchin and mussel cream.
Chez Claude & Mesa do Lado (Side Table)
Chez Claude is the casual modern French bistro from Brazilian TV star Claude Troisgros (of the renowned French cooking family) who also founded Olympe, a regular in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants until its recent closure. With a large open kitchen taking up much of the intimate dining room, Chez Claude is an energetic, fun place to eat while getting up close to the chef action. We ate here twice it was so good. Midway through one of our meals we kept noticing customers walking back into the kitchen. Turns out they have a restaurant speak-easy called Mesa do Lado (Side Table). They walked us back there to see it (through the kitchen). We've been to a lot of places, but this was a first: almost a nightclub with music playing, only a few tables, projected neon lights on the walls and I believe instead of a DJ at the front there was a chef cooking in front of everyone (although I can't be sure as it was a lot to take in).
One of those institutional diner spots that appear like a grungy hole in the wall but are completely amazing dining experiences. We had been to one of these low key diners in Barcelona called Xamapgnete. The food is behind a counter, you point and place your order and both food and drinks are served fast. In this case it was seafood salads, sausage and vegetable dishes like garlic and sundried tomato. They served small beers and had a 1 to 100 chart on their serving sheet where they just crossed off the number of beers your table had ordered. We watched a few games here while ordering tons of these small dishes and beers.
Liz Cocktail & Co
A great cocktail spot with menu that categorizes their cocktails by country—making them with the local spirit of the country. The ambience was great with two floors, a spiral staircase and good outdoor seating.
The rooftop patio is the place that you want to be here. While they have a downstairs bar and outdoor seating, the rooftop has good views and is lively. This place knows how to make cocktails with their ratatouille martini being a big hit!
We watched a Brazil world cup game here and every inch of this place was packed and crowded. We stood outside in a large group at standing tables watching the big tvs—actually an ideal way to watch the game, although this was supposedly their line up for tables. Right on Ipanema. Highly recommend.
Other Food & Drink
Coffee Shops • Cafe Ao Leu, Aussie Coffee, Plage Café, The Coffee (chain, but good)
Activities & Attractions
Sugarloaf cable car & Helicopter over Rio
The cable car up sugar loaf is entertaining and has great views. Even better is the fact that sugar loaf experience consists of two steep hills with cliffs, so you need to take a second cable car to get to the higher one, which is 1300ft high. The tops of both hills are developed in a tasteful way and have restaurants, bars and vendors selling goods. On the higher hill you have a forest with monkeys on the trees and a nice patio restaurant with incredible views of Rio. To add onto this, on the lower hill there is a heli pad where you can hop on a helicopter and do tours over Rio including circling Christ the Redeemer and seeing all the beaches from a birdseye view. It's worth noting that we saw Christ the Redeemer twice in-person by hiking and tram and by far the best view of it was from the helicopter. (Helisul: https://www.helisul.com/rio-de-janeiro/)
Cable Car or hike up to Christ the Redeemer
There are a few ways to get up to Christ the Redeemer including tram, car and hike. The best is probably the tram from Cosme Velho station (which is sort of on the backside of Mount Corcovado) with great views and generally a pretty quick way up. We also hiked from Parque Lage (on the front side) up the Trilha Parque Lage trail. I downplayed the challenge of the hike, which was actually pretty long and took us an hour and twenty minutes. It was beautiful but I was covered in sweat by the end, which didn't make for great pictures by Christ the Redeemer. Anyway, Christ the Redeemer on Mount Corcovado has amazing views of Rio and the statue is spectacular to witness up close.
Ipanema and Copacabana beaches and beach activities
These beaches are beside each other in a neighborhood that is almost a city within a city. They are large crowded and have amazing restaurants, bars and shops around them. Some of the most prestigious hotels are right on them, so you can squeeze in a classy cocktail or hit up a beach bar for local Brahma. These beaches have activities ranging from paddle boarding to volleyball to surfing.
Copacabana, Ipanema, Botafogo Beach, Red Beach and Urca Beach
Parque das Crianças, Praça Paris, Parque Lage
ARPOADOR Concept Apartment
One block away from Copacabana and close to Ipanema, this Airbnb was a hit. They have a doorman so you feel very safe and it's easy to frequent Copacabana to take a morning, evening or lunchtime dip.
A memorable hosting experience designed by renowned architects in one of the most spectacular areas of the South Zone. An apartment with the Lifestyle and practicality of Carioca to make you feel at home in the wonderful city.
Spacious, cozy and functional just 120 meters from Copacabana beach and next to the beaches of Arpoador, Ipanema and Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas.
Fairmont Rio de Janeiro Copacabana
Located at the intersection of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, this hotel has one of the best locations as you can pick your choice of beach to relax on or neighbourhood for restaurant and bars. The Fairmont brand is first class and the location is unbeatable.