We had a bit of fun in Rio de Janeiro – we sunbathed a little, we ate a little, we drank a little.. and we shopped a little (I am a big fat liar, but a lady never tells!)
Here are some of the places we have been to (and many thanks to João, Alessandra and Mariana for the wonderful tips, which we followed literally!). This is my Rio de Janeiro address book.
To make it easier, I have added website links where possible and the neighbourhoods.
FOOD & DRINK
Mornings start early in this part of the world – one needs to squeeze in a dip in the sea, a run by the Calçadão or a full workout at one of the many (seriously many) gyms. It is an iterative process, i.e. you work out so you can have wonderful breakfasts!
– Celeiro – Leblon – known for its salads, which are supposed to be the best in Rio
– Gula-Gula – Ipanema – great outdoor space
– Aprazivel – Santa Teresa – a bit further away from the centre, but worth the cab ride
– CT (Claude Troisgros) Boucherie – Leblon – great executive lunch
– Braseiro da Gávea – Gávea
It is customary to make a little stop after a day at the beach in one of the “pontos”, which can be quite basic places where people meet up for a “choupe” (a small cold draught beer) and a pastel de carne (meat pastry). Always a good idea before you start with the caipirinhas.They are also good spots to go for a stand-up drink after dinner.
Please book a couple of weeks before going to Rio or you will be disappointed! The coolest restaurants are limited (in terms of space) and you will have a bit of competition!!
A BIT OF MUSIC
Venture out of Ipanema and Leblon and head towards Lapa, the home of samba in Rio. If you want to go to some of the most popular venues, book on the Monday before you intend to go, in order to get a table (usually best tables are on the ground floor, and you need to turn up by 8pm. If you are one minute late, it will (and believe me it will) be given to someone else. Bars as stay open til past 4am, but standing room only.
It would be so wrong to go to this amazing city and not help the local economy! Interestingly, the fashion scenery isn’t the same as in all global cities. There are many local chains which add a bit of variety.
Bikinis are a must buy for the ladies – and don’t worry, they aren’t all tiny. Best brands are Cia. Maritima, Salinas, Água de Coco and Rosa Chá, among others.
The main shopping street in Leblon is Ataúlfo de Paiva and its cross streets. You will also find here 2 of the best malls in Rio.
The main shopping street is Av. Visconde de Pirajá and its cross streets, where you will find many of the above mentioned brands.
If you like jewellery (who doesn’t?) it is worth going to H. Stern’s HQ in Ipanema (they do a free transfer to and from selected 5* hotels). It has a duty free shop (excellent!) and some incredible stuff, including a sale counter with an extra 25% off –
There are plenty more places to go, and I shall be updating this page on a regular basis. We tried, tested and loved all of these – and won’t settle for anything less!
If you want to see some great photos of Rio and how we fell in love with this wonderful city, just click here.