That Rio de Janeiro is one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world, we already know. But if you’ve been to this Cidade Maravilhosa in the past few years, you’ve seen how much the prices went up. Today I’ll give you a list of the best cheap places to eat in Rio de Janeiro! Eat amazing food without breaking your wallet, from local cheap food all the way to a more sophisticated place for a nice dinner with your loved one.
Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro
But I guess it is interesting to suggest a few places for you guys to stay before giving you a list of the best Cheap places to eat in Rio de Janeiro, right? After all, we all need to know this kind of things before we buy the tickets and fly across the ocean.
In this small segment, I will give you an overview of what I consider the best for nature lovers all the way to budget options. In case you want to know more or if you’re looking for tips from experienced travelers and locals, join our Facebook group. Or just subscribe to our fabulous newsletter! We’re sending out exclusive discounts to our big family over there, and maybe you can find the deal of your life when you least expect.
So, if you like nature and cute monkeys, look for places around Barra da Tijuca around Jardim Oceanico. Or even try the neighborhood called Alto da Boa Vista. The last one is a bit higher in altitude so if you think Rio de Janeiro is a bit too warm for you; Alto da Boa Vista is a good option for you.
For the beach lovers but yet crowd haters, try to stay around Leblon. Usually – with real emphases on the usually – the beach is less crowded and perfect for a relaxed vacation. If you’re into a more young and hip alternative, Botafogo, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Lapa are the way to go. The last one, Lapa, is where THE PARTY happens. Around the Arcos da Lapa, at night, many bars with or without live music are open.
Here are some of the places you can find on Booking.com, I usually use their ratings to choose my hotels. And as a Brazilian, I can guarantee that they are accurate.
Now, to our lovely list of Cheap places to eat in Rio de Janeiro!
Cheap places to eat in Rio de Janeiro
Cantinho do Leblon is one of those places that you’ll find out ONLY if you have a local friend in Rio de Janeiro. But since you have me, your favorite Brazilian girl, you have everything!
This place is located just a few blocks from the beach, the food is incredible, 100% Brazilian food and the portions are so big that one dish was enough for me and another girlfriend to eat and take away the rest. So I guess that if you come from a cave and you can eat like an ogre, maybe you won’t take anything away. But you’ll share. Trust me; it is a lot of food!!!
This is maybe my favorite item in this list of Cheap places to eat in Rio de Janeiro. Really! And I recommend the business lunch with picanha, farofa, feijão and arroz de brócolis. In English that would be steak, rice with broccoli, black beans and farofa, which you can not translate, you can only love. A smart “gringo” once said on tv that farofa is bacon flavored sand and it is my favorite definition ever. So go there, eat it and share your love with me afterward. And before I forget, you can eat, share your food and have food for later for as low 15 euros. For me was four meals for 15 euros!
Zaza Bistro is one of the best restaurants in Rio de Janeiro. The food follows an international and contemporary style, and it is just to die for. It is not the cheapest alternative here on this list, but I decided to include because you get quality for the price you pay.
A meal there will be around 20 or 25 euros per person with drinks.
Are you into vegan and healthy options? Vegana Chácara may be the answer to your prayers. It is located in Botafogo in a very calm and almost hidden little cute street. The atmosphere of this place is simply magical. You’ll spend no more than 10 or 15 euros per meal with drinks included, and the dishes are typically Brazilian.
Pavão Azul (Blue Peacock) is one of the most traditional places in Copacabana. And I can’t choose if I like the pastel or the bolinho de bacalhau more. I guess you have to go there and try everything, you know? I understand that it is a hard task, but somebody’s gotta do it. And this person is you. I urge you to go and have great food for an honest price while you experience one of the most amazing rituals of my country: the boteco way of life.
Boteco is a kind of bar with chairs on the street, super simple with cold beer, honest drinks, and fantastic food. No luxury, no pretentious shit, just 100% Brazil!
Pavão Azul is good, and it is no secret, so arrive early. If not, be prepared to drink and have a good time either standing up or sitting on the sidewalk, that is also ok. After all, you’re in Brazil and we’re super relaxed.
Delírio Tropical is a great option for people looking for a cheap and healthy meal. This place has amazing salads, outstanding hot dishes and desserts to die for! The prices here can be as low was 5 euros and go up to 10.
They have many restaurants, so just go to their facebook page and find the best one for you.
The last one on this list of cheap places to eat in Rio de Janeiro is one of the cities biggest mystery. The name is Rotisseria Sirio Libaneza. They have 2 restaurants inside the same gallery near Flamengo. The same restaurant, the same owner, the same food. One is with tables and nicer looking and the other one is just a big counter where you sit in a tiny space and order your food directly to the person behind it. So, even tho everything is the same and only space for you to sit is different, for some reason, the food on the big counter/tiny space is 10000x better than the nice table and more space side of it.
“But Marcela, why? Can you tell us why? Why is like this?” Babies, I cannot explain the unexplainable. It is like it is. One of the many mysteries about my favorite city in the entire universe. But if you don’t believe me, be my guest and try both. I dare you! Do it and then tell me in the comments below or at our Facebook Group if I am right or wrong.
You can also ask the people over there. I did, and they laughed at me and told me I was crazy. They did that, but the other customers were looking at me and agreeing with me. All of them. Unbelievable.
Rotisseria Sírio Libaneza
Cantinho do Leblon
So, I hope you enjoy this post and if you know any other place you want to share, let me know, and I will add this. And if you know anybody who is going to Rio de Janeiro, make sure you send them this post. Their wallet will thank you forever (and you might get a present or two in return!)
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