The Must-See Spots in Rio

The Must-See Spots in Rio

We turned to 5 of our favorite Brazilian's for the best local spots.

We don’t know about you guys, but whenever we travel we like to live like the locals do. That means finding those hole-in-the-wall restaurants and one-of-a-kind stores that aren’t stuffed with tourist keychains and lighters. Considering some of you may be travelling to Brazil this month because, hello, the Olympics are *the* place to be, and you probably used all the time you had pre-trip to purchase all of your country’s paraphernalia, we decided to turn to a few of our favorite Brazilians for advice on where to go once you get there. So when you’re not busy trying out the Brazilian’s beauty treatments or cheering your heart out for your team, you can eat the finest foods and shop ‘til you drop.


Lenny Niemeyer


Where to eat…

“One of my favorite restaurants is Sushi Leblon. I like to sit out on the balcony and watch people walk down Dias Ferreira street. I also suggest Fasano Al Mare at Fasano hotel and Prado at the Jockey Club. Bira is the perfect seafood restaurant at Pedra de Guaratiba. It is out of the city but only 40 minutes away from Ipanema. They have amazing food with a spectacular view and great service. I recommend shrimp pastel with caipirinhas! Confeitaria Colombo at Forte de Copacabana is a famous classic restaurant where I have an excellent breakfast with a landscape of Copacabana Beach.”

Where to relax…

“My favorite museum is Instituto Moreira Sales. It’s a house that was a project from Olavo Redig and the garden was made by [Roberto] Burle Marx. It’s an amazing place to see art, architecture, and nature. On Sundays you can have a great brunch there at the restaurant. Regarding art galleries, I would recommend Nara Roesler and Anita Schwartz.”

Where to swipe your credit card…

“[My] favorite sports are Garcia D’Avila Street in Ipanema where you can find great shops like Hermès, Louis Vuitton, H.Stern, and Elle Et Lui Home—an amazing home store with beautiful furniture.”


Melissa Rubini

Fashion Director, InStyle Magazine

Her favorite spot in Rio…

“I’m drawn to the ‘old guard’ of Rio. I love the Copacabana Palace – hanging by the pool and people watching is just fascinating. They also have live music (get ready to samba in bikinis) and incredible food. Try the Bolinho de Bacalhau (cod balls) and ask for their special pepper sauce [which is] a secret recipe, and wash it down with a Caipirinha de Maracuja (passion fruit cocktail.) To round out the day, schedule a massage at their spa to relax before continuing on to an evening out in Rio.


Helena Bordon


Where to eat

Sushi Leblon, Zuka, and Iraja—the best chocolate cake EVER!”

Where to stay…

“My favorite hotel in Rio is definitely Fasano hotel in Ipanema. Its right in front of the beach and the pool bar is incredible. You can have amazing drinks and snack, and enjoy the most amazing view in Rio.”

Where to get your tan on…

“Ipanema beach! Amazing sunset.”


Caroline Trentini


Where to eat…

“I would suggest Fasano Al Mare at Fasano Hotel if you love seafood! There is this new Thai restaurant at the Copacabana Palace Hotel and it's one of the best places in town. If you’re looking for real, authentic Brazilian food, you should try the acarajé at Quiosque OkeKa Baiana Tem which is this charming outdoor restaurant at Lagoa.”


Thassia Naves


Where to eat…

“Here in Brazil we really do enjoy good food. It’s a part of our culture to sit down with our nearest and dearest over dinners, lunches, etc. I would recommend Gero, it is my go-to place when I’m in the mood for Italian cuisine. If you want to enjoy fine dining, gourmet food, and the most wonderful desserts, Deena Irajá Gastro is the place to be! Of course here in Brazil we are known for our meat, so I would recommend visiting Rubaiyat Rio in the city. And don’t forget to sip on some Acacia at the beach bars!”

Where to lounge…

“You must visit the Fasano rooftop, I like to spend the day here at their rooftop pool drinking white wine. You’ll see one of the most beautiful sunsets here!

Where to explore…

“For sightseeing, the Corcovado is a must! It is very touristy, but it’s such a magnificent feeling to see the Christ up close, and don’t forget the view… the view is something else! Visit the Arcos Da Lapa to take some great pictures.”

Where to swipe your credit card…

“If you are in the mood to splurge then visit Brazil’s best shopping destinations at NK Store, Via Flores, Ka Store, and Havaianas.”

Part of the series:

City Guide

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