Ipanema may be for Rio de Janeiro what Tribeca or Soho represents for Manhattan, guarded obvious geographic and cultural differences. Even within Brazil, the neighborhood famed by the lovely song 'The Girl from Ipanema' is a synonym for new trends, fashion, and eclecticism. To a certain extent, Ipanema may be microcosm of the colorful Rio character itself. Although the neighborhood is a relatively small, being the strip of land between the beach and the Rodrigo De Freitas Lagoon, the district shows the magical possibility of peaceful coexistence between diverse identities.
The district is also home to some of the best gathering points for locals and tourist in Rio. Some of these include the Sunday Hippie-Fair,. Farme de Amoedo Gay area, movie theaters and fancy fashion stores, apart from the beach itself. In this Ipanema-Rio district review, we will be highlighting the district best sceneries, starting with its famed restaurants.
Ipanema-Rio hosts some of the most exotic and sophisticated restaurants in Rio de Janeiro. Within a few blocks, one can try the Latin taste of the trendy Pecado, which literally means Sin, in the heart of the neighborhood, or decide for a softer tone at the seafood specialist Satyricon. Ipenema has more than 100 fine restaurants, bars, "botecos", coffee shops, juice bars and ice cream parlors. Below, you will a review of what we consider the crème de crème of the neighborhood´s restaurants. In total, you will see below a detailed review of 13 restaurants where you can find real Rio de Janeiro carriocca girls and boys. Additionally, we compiled a list of the most significant food establishments including juice bars, coffee shops, botecos, bars, and pubs. All of their details like addresses, phone numbers, photos, and web addresses were also included.
Make your own dish by choosing from 5 to 15 of the 42 combinations of vegetables, side dishes, hot dishes, and fruit at Doce Delícia. Quiche, salmon, grilled tenderloin, chicken, and cold pasta are some of the choices. Dressings range from the light and yogurt based to innovative creations combining mustard and lemon. There are plenty of vegetarian options. The slick decor and fresh ingredients make this a popular choice for a regular clientele in this trendy area within the district. For a reasonable price you can also pick main dishes from the menu -- for example, the chicken breast with honey and rosemary sauce for R$17. Another hit at Doce Delícia is its rich pre-beach breakfast.
Additional Information on Doce Delícia: • Address: Rua Anibal de Mendonca 55, IpanemaRio de Janeiro • Phone: 2259-0239 • Credit Cards: AE, MC, V
On a well-manicured shopping street in central Ipanemma, four short blocks from the beach, this impeccable Brazilian steakhouse is a magnet for Ipanema Brazil girls diners and highbrow carnivores. Known for its distinguished patrons and prized kitchen, the dining room features wall-to-wall photographs of semi-famous patrons and the bewildered Hollywood celebrity inundated by flashbulbs. The dark-paneled main room features tightly arranged wood tables with leather-cushioned club chairs surrounded by picture windows overlooking the surrounding neighborhood. Esplanada Grill is surprisingly formal given the more casual nature of Rio. Patrons should expect a dress code of long pants and sleeved shirts in the evening, with slightly more liberal requirements for afternoon lunch.
A prompt waiter welcomes diners with a two-handed selection of complimentary appetizers including warm breads, artisan cheeses and traditional yucca flour. The menu at Esplanada Grill features Brazilian steakhouse specialties and hearty appetizers perfect for sharing. Meals begin with market fresh salads as well as small-plate seafood specialties like grilled octopus and calamari or jumbo shrimp cocktail. If you're a vegetarian you're probably in the wrong place, as main courses are a meaty symphony of kilo-sized fillets, porterhouses and double T-bones. Meats are presented on a signature iron grill, seared to perfection and normally on the rare side of medium. Esplanada Grill ´s desserts are a more predictable presentation of house cakes, ice creams and baked goods.
Additional Information on Esplanada Grill •Address: Rua Barão da Torre, 600 • Phone: 2512-2970 • Credit Cards: AE, DC, MC, V • Metrô: Siqueira Campos, then shuttle bus to Praca General Osório
Garota de Ipanema-– Restaurants Food
One of the holy shrines of modern Brazilian music, the bar Garota de Ipanema was renamed after the famous bossa nova song where the poet Vincius de Moraes had his inspiration from a beautiful, young woman called Helô Pinheiro as she walked to and from the beach each day. Enter the place and ask one of the waiters to show you the chair Vincius de Moraes sat in every day and where he wrote many famous songs and poems, and where he gathered with his friends including Antonio Carlos (Tom Jobim) to discuss life, music, love, and women. Have a chopp (draft beer) and wander around the place, and get lost in the images and beauty of the poetry and lyrics on the walls. Today the tradition continues, with many beautiful women (and men) taking the same path. After you've had your fill of fine Rio beer, walk along Vinicius de Moraes Street in the direction away from the beach, and in a few short blocks you will find the Toca do Vinicius a store with historical displays where you can buy the “girl from ipanema” with lyrics, bossa music and memorabilia. (The “Garota de Ipanema Bar” was called Bar Veloso in the 60´s.) In this poetic scene, you might be able to sense Tom Jobim´s and Vinicius bossa nova spirits.
Additional Information on Address: • Rua Vinicius de Moraes 39 • IpanemaRio de Janeiro •Phone: 2523-3787 • Metrô: Siqueira Campos, then shuttle bus to Praca General Osorio • Major Credit Cards Accepted
Rogerio Fasano, one of Sao Paulo's gastronomic legends, opened this Italian eatery—his first restaurant in Rio. Socialites, artists, political bigwigs and true Ipanema Brazil girls flock to Gero to savor such specialties as partridge and radicchio risotto or white polenta with squid. Vegetarian options are plentiful. Typical Italian desserts served include gelato and profiteroles. Gero is located at the more expensive end in this part of town but justified entirely. Daily for lunch and dinner.
Additional Information on Gero: • Rua Anibal de Mendonca 157, Ippanema - Rio de Janeiro. • Phone: 2239-8158 • Most major credit & debit cards.
Guimas is restaurant where real Cariocas hang out. Guimas opened their original restaurant at the Gávea district, which became a reference for Rio gourmet fans in terms of quality and style. Later, the owners opened another unit at the district, maintaining the Rio´s lassie-faire culture. Guima´s most successful dishes are the trout with leeks and the honey-roast duck with pear rice. Both move smoothly with the superfine caipivodcas (caipirinhas made with vodka instead of cachaça). The small but cozy open-air restaurant attracts a more colorful mix of diners as the night progresses. Additional Information on Guimas •Address: Rua Paul Redfern, 33 Ipannema – Rio de Janeiro, • Phone 2239-8158 • Most Major Credit Cards.
For a lighter and healthier meal or snack, stop in at Gula-Gula. The menu includes delicious fresh salads such as the caprese -- a layered tower of sliced tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella – “the salada da casa” with mixed greens, pumpkin, goat cheese, and crisp bits of Parma ham, or the more Brazilian palm-heart salad with turkey and pineapple. Gula-Gula also serves a variety of grilled meats, chicken, and fish. Each selection of meat comes with a choice of sauce and two side dishes (vegetables, potatoes, or salad). Other lunch or light dinner options include pasta, quiches, and sandwiches. The Ipenema location has a lovely sidewalk patio. For dessert, you can try some of the low-cal options, but to live up to the name (gula means gluttony) it behooves you to try a “banana crème brûlée” or fruit strudel. By Frommer´s Review. Please note that Gula-Gula is a chain and there are several restaurants spread out over Rio de Janeiro. Additional Information on Gula-Gula Ipaanema • Address: Rua Henrique Dumont, 57; Ipanema-Rio de Janeiro, Brazil • Phone: 2259-3084 • Most Credit Cards Accepted.
For over 10 years, Margutta restaurant has been considered one of the best Italian restaurants in Rio. The menu includes a wide variety of seafood dishes. This charming, elegant Italian restaurant is owned by Conceição and Chef Paolo Neroni. Excellent dish selection include the risotto ai funghi secchi (rice with dried mushrooms) and the pesce alla neroni (fish with tomatoes and herbs). Margutta offers casual atmosphere with touches of sophistication. The restaurant is lovely: cozy and intimately lit and pleasantly decorated with nice linen and fresh flowers. All and all it's easy to see why Margutta is still at the top of its class.
Additional Information on Margutta: • Address: Av. Henrique Dumont 62, Ipenema, Rio de Janeiro. • Phone: 2259-3887 • Most Credit Cards Accepted.
Considered one of the most sophisticated and expensive Japanese restaurant in Rio, Madame Butterfly is a must for Japanese food lovers, and was elected best in its category by gourmet specialists, rivaling with Sushi Leblon. Located at the heart of this fashion district, the food in Madame Butterfly is superb, and the highlights are the fish with shimeji mushrooms in ginger and sake sauce, the many different types of sushi and rolls with unusual shapes. Main dishes include grilled salmon with honey and miso, and the best sukiyaki in Rio. The restaurant occupies two floors, with a dining room located in the first floor and reserved booths upstairs. Valet parking is provided.
Additional Information on Madame Butterfly: •Address: Rua Barão da Torre, 472, Ippanema • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2267-4347 • Credit Cards: AE, V
One of the best ice-cream parlors in town, Mil Frutas offers a whole gamut of chocolate and fruit flavors, including some exotic ones from northern Brazil such as açai, cupuaçu, and caja. The staff at Mil Frutas is happy to give you a taste of several flavors before you decide on one, or two, or three. A perfect after beach snack for all Rio de Janeiro carriocca girls, boys, teens, seniors, etc..From Frommer´s Review
Additional Information on Mil Frutas: • Rua Garcia D´Avila, 134, IpanemaRio de Janeiro • Phone 2521-1384
By far, this was the best meal I had both times I have been in Rio (and I had customers take me to the best barbeque places in town). The food is Italian, and the proprietors are Italian. I also went with a group of Italians (those nine Italian men I met at the hotel bar) who were treated like paesani of the owner.
Our meal was fabulous. We had at least seven courses, most of which were seafood. After antipasti of typical cold meats, steaming and savory plates of shrimp, white fish, and linguine al pescatore were passed around family style. There were baby lamb chops, pasta al pesto, you name it, and it all was delicious. Bottles of wine were quickly drained and replaced, until for dessert we decided we needed a digestivo of limocello. It felt like I had been invited to dinner with old friends. Part of that was the company and the "in" they had with the owner, but I think the rest of it had to do with the congenial service and the terrific atmosphere of the restaurant.
Decorated in white and yellow, the restaurant was in the corner of a building, with the seats by the window being lower than the seats in back, so all diners had a view of the streets. This design seems common in Rio, and creates a very comfy ambiance as you can see most of the other diners and folks walking by the place. Also, we lingered over our meal for at least three hours, with no pressure to leave.
For three people, the bill came to $115 (based on an exchange rate at the time of 1.5 Reais to the dollar). However, we also ate a lot of food. Ordering less food and maybe wine by the glass, you could easily keep it at $20 a person and still eat like a glutton.
If you are thinking about dining here, I suggest dinner, not lunch. I walked by once at lunch time and the place was empty. But, even so, without exception, I highly recommend il MIO restaurant (Written by Tavia from www.roughguides.com).
Additional Information on Mio •Address: Rua Farme de Amoedo, 52 Ipanema – Rio de Janeiro, • Phone 2223-2886 • Most major credit cards.
Famous for being international celebrities’ choice like Madonna and Sting, Satyricon is considered one of the top sea-food restaurants in Rio, if not number 1. The pargo (fish baked in a thick layer of rock salt) is the house specialty, and the sushi and sashimi are also well loved. Satyricon´s menu features were recently expanded offering several fish capriccios. When the season is right, try the fresh lobster with tagliatell. The service in Satyricon is usually excellent and it has a nice ambience. Although the restaurant has a reputation for being expensive, try to waive off the couvert and don't order drinks or desert and you'll get out of there for a reasonable price. Valet parking is provided.
Additional Information on Satyricon: • Address: Rua Barão da Torre, 192 • IpanemaRio de Janeiro • Phone 5221- 0627 • Credit Cards AX VI MC DC
Zazá is probably Rio's funkiest eatery, serving up a creative and interesting menu of South American cuisine fused with Oriental flavors. Everything about Zazá is fun, from the playful and eclectic decorations to the unique and excellent dishes. Diners can choose from a table on the terrace or in the dining room. The more adventurous can ask for a spot upstairs where everyone sits on the floor, leaning back on masses of silk-covered pillows. Surrounded by candlelight and lanterns, the room feels like a palace from the Arabian Nights. The menu offers plenty of choices, that make the spot one of the favorites for the famous Ipanema Brazil girls. Appetizers include a deliciously grilled squid salad served on a bed of greens with an orange vinaigrette and mango chutney, or an order of mini-acarajés (deep-fried dumplings made of mashed beans and stuffed with spicy shrimp) served with tomato chutney instead of the usual hot-pepper sauce. Main courses also mix up the flavors. Try the namorado fish filet served with a purée of banana and palm heart, or prawn ravioli served with grilled salmon in a saffron sauce. For vegetarians there is always a daily special, made with seasonal produce and interesting spices.
Additional Information on Zazá • Address: Rua Joana Angelica, 40 • IpanemaRio de Janeiro, • Phone: 2247-910
One of Rio's best lanchonetes (dinner or lunch counter), Big Nectar is a bit like a magician's top hat. You glance into this hole-in-the-wall diner and think there's nothing there, then the guy behind the counter conjures up any kind of fruit juice you care to name, all of it made fresh and to order. Actually, the menu in this standing-room-only spot lists just over 25 different kinds of fruit juice. In addition to the standards such as passion fruit (maracujá), pineapple (abacaxi), or cashew fruit (caju), there's carambola (star fruit), goiaba (guava), jaca (jack fruit), and açerola (red juice from the tiny açerola fruit). This is where things get fun. You can mix anything with anything else. Try laranja com açerola (orange juice with açerola, a very popular combination); maracujá with mango; or pineapple and guava, cashew, and açerola. Some of these work, some don't. The magicians behind Big Nectar´s counter are full of suggestions if you have any doubts. Or just throw caution to the wind and see what comes out of the hat. For a quick lunch or snack, Big Nectar also serves a selection of sandwiches and individual-size pizzas. (From Frommer´s)
Additional Information on Big Néctar • Rua Teixera de Melo, 34 A - Ippanema. • Credit Cards Not Accepted • Phone: 2522-3949
Food Restaurants, Juice Bars, Coffee & Ice Cream Shops
Below you will a list of the more than 30 charming restaurants and food establishments in the Ipanema-Rio district. In this list we put together, you will find Italian restaurants, Japanese food, French bistros, pizza spots, traditional Portuguese restaurants, relaxed bars, ice cream parlors, juice & coffee shops, typical “botequins”, natural – organic food, contemporary gourmet and seafood restaurants. This restaurant list is organized in alphabetical order. We always recommend making a reservation for dinner occasions, especially during high-season (November through March ), when finding a table may be difficult for the more sophisticated and famed restaurants. Restaurants´ web site, addresses and phone numbers are also provided.
Alessandro & Frederico Café - Glamour Lunch & Snacks • Address: Rua Garcia D´Ávila, 134 • IpanemaRio de Janeiro • Phone 2521-0828
• Address: Rua Maria Quitéria, 77 – • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2522-5039
• Address: Av. Epitácio Pessoa, 204 – • Rio de Janeiro - Ippanema • Phone: 2512-6107
• Address: Rua dos Jangadeiros, 6 - • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2521- 9055
• Address: Rua Henrique Dumont, 71- • Rio de Janeiro • Phone:2540-4829 /2540-4830
• Address: Rua dos Jangadeiros, 10 - Ipanemma • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2513-5184
• Address: Av. Visconde de Pirajá, 462-A • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2287-5157
• Address: Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 276 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2521-6110
• Address: Rua Farme de Amoedo, 43 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2521-2194
• Address: Rua Prudente de Moraes, 10 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone:2247-2776.
• Address: Rua Farme de Amoedo, 39, Ipaanema • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2523-3018
• Address: Rua Maria Quiteria 46, • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2247-8609
• Address: Rua Barão da Torre, 340 – • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2521-1289
Empório Saúde – Vegetarian Food
• Address: Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 414 • IpanemaRio de Janeiro • Phone: 2522-1494
• Address: Rua Gomes Carneiro, 30 – • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2522-7749
• Address: Rua Aníbal de Mendonça, 112 – • Rio de Janeiro • Phone 2540-8045
• Address: Rua Barão da Torre, 348 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2247-6711
• Address: Rua Joana Angélica, 159 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2513- 3000
• Address: Rua Gomes Carneiro, 132 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2522-0303
• Address: Rua Vinicius de Moraes, 130 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2247 8832
• Address: Rua Barão da Torre, 152 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2513-3017
• Address: Rua Paul Redfern,44 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2259-3148
• Address: Rua Maria Quitéria, 70 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2247-2518
• Address: Rua Barão da Torre, 218 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone:
Sandomenico - Italian Food
• Address: Rua Gomes Carneiro, 30 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone 2247-1733
• Address: Rua Visconde de Pirajá 112A • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2267-5860
• Address: Rua Farme de Amoedo, 57 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2513-3775
• Av. Henrique Dumont, 71 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone:2239-1396
• Address: Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 175-A • Ippanema-Rio de Janeiro • Phone:
•Address: Rua dos Jangadeiros, 28 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone: 2247- 6797
• Address: Rua Prudente de Morais, 1810 • Rio de Janeiro • Phone 2540-5100
But Ipenema is not only about eating and drinking. This district is home to several tribes that live in a harmony: the tourists, the surf crowd, the rich and famous, the new hippies, the jocks, “the gay friendly” and the typical local resident. Maybe one of the reasons of Ipanemas success is exactly this heterogeneous environment that captivates mainstream and alternative vibrations. One of the greatest examples of this peaceful coexistence is the legendary “Ipanema´s Hippie Fair”.
Originally known as “Ipanema´s Handcraft and Arts Fair”, the Hippie Fair used to be a spot at the General Osório Square Rio where locals gathered to display their art in the late 60´s. By 1968, the Hippie Fair established itself and became the world’s largest handcraft open art gallery and fair. Today, “Ipanemas Hippie Fair” opens every Sunday from 09:00 AM to 02:00 PM and is definitely the best place in Rio for you to find that quintessential souvenir gift. At this Hippie Fair, you will be able to find several kinds of Brazilian Native craftwork techniques including: wood, stone, canvas, clothing, leather, paper, metal, semi-precious gems, metal, bones and straw. One of the reasons why the Hippie Fair became “Hype” is exactly because of this heterodox atmosphere and constant evolution of its products in terms of fashion and glamour. Some example of this fashion products are the leather Franciscan sandals bought by Giorgio Armani, artsy-fashion ladies bags and real life Samba instruments. Important notice: Don’t forget to bargain, as it is part of the culture, just like in many street markets around the world.
Farme de Amoedo Gay Area
Another very famous gathering area within the district is the Farme de Amoedo gay area block. The region is located between Teixeira de Mello and Joana Angélica Streets, and is also perpendicular do Barão da Torre, Visconde de Pirajá, Prudente de Morais Streets & Vieira Souto Avenue. The Farme de Amoedo block is known to be Rio´s greatest concentration of gays. The area gets hot after 9:00 PM, when people mingle at the Farme de Amoedo surroundings gay friendly bars and gourmet restaurants. Farme de Amoedo´s main hub would be the corner of Farme and Visconde de Pirajá streets. According to the Brazil Gay Guide, there are at least 5 specific gay bars and nightclubs close to the Farme de Amoedo block, including: A Casa da Lua, at Barão da Torre Street #240; Bofetada Bar at Farme de Amoedo Street, # 87; Galeria Café at Teixeira de Mello Street # 31; Dama de Ferro night-club at Vinícius de Moraes street # 288 and finally Lounge 69 (specialized in electronic music), also at Farme de Amoedo Street. Some other restaurants and bars at the region although not specific, are generally very receptive and gay-friendly, especially with foreigners. During carnival, this Ipanema-region is completely packed with tourists all over the world.
Garcia D´Avila´s Diamond Square
One of the most important facts about Rio de Janeiro for the girls, the glamorous shopping block in Rio Ipanema´s Garcia D´Avila “Diamond Square” makes window-shopping an entertaining experience, and is an excellent way of getting to know the true spirit of hype-fashionable Cariocas. Garcia D Ávila´s Diamond Square encompasses Barão da Torre & Prudente de Morais Streets with Garcia D´Avila & Rua Maria Quitéria. This fetching quadrilateral sells top fashion bikinis, glamour clothing, design jewelry, contemporary art furniture, Brazilian music & audio, collectors´ books, and expensive souvenirs to wealthy Brazilians and sophisticated tourists. The Garcia D’Ávila magical block, also known as the “Ipanema´s Diamond Square” has become the "in" place for the well-to-do Brazilian brands like Ellus, Rosana Bernardes, Lenny and branches of world-famous names like Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Puma. Two of the best Brazilian jewelers, Amsterdam Sauer and H-Stern are located there and have permanent museums. The area also has a good number of enchanting restaurants like Alessandro & Frederico Café, fast-food spots and branches of international banks such as Citibank and Itaú Boston Fleet. If you really wish to find Rio ´s best shopping, don´t miss Ipanema´s Diamond Square.