Veja São Paulo’s best restaurants for 2021

São Paulo is a city that rightly prides itself on its gastronomic excellence, offering not only the best of Brazilian cuisine, especially the barbecue houses, but also a truly eclectic mix of restaurants serving dishes from the four corners of the globe. For many food critics, São Paulo now boasts the best selection of top restaurants in the world.

For that reason alone you will want to know what are the picks from Veja São Paulo’s restaurant guide “Comer & Beber”, which like Veja Rio is celebrating its 25th edition. Not exactly the same categories as Rio, but Veja’s best in São Paulo for 2021 are (and see if you agree):

  • Best Overall Restaurant: Casa do Porco (Centro)
  • Contemporary Brazilian: Maní (Jardim Paulistano)
  • Brazilian: A Baianeira (Masp – Av Paulista))
  • Barbecue / Meat: Rubaiyat (Itaim Bibi)
  • French: Président (Cerqueira César)
  • Italian: Fame (Jardim Paulista)
  • Trattoria: Lido Amici di Amici (Pinheiros)
  • Pizza: A Pizza da Mooca (Mooca)
  • Japanese: Ryo (Itaim Bibi)
  • Arab: Shahiya (Moema)
  • Mixed: Chez Claude (Itaim Bibi) 
  • Newcomer (Asian): Kazuo (Jardim Paulistano)
  • Hamburger: Z Deli Sandwiches (Pinheiros / Centro)
  • Sandwich: Zoe Sandwich Shop (Tatuapé)
  • Botequim / Bar: Esquina do Souza (Perdizes)
  • Cheap & Cheerful: Cuia Café (Edificio Copan – Centro) / Pão com Carne (Itaim Bibi)
  • Ice Cream: Frida & Mina (Pinheiros)

Veja Rio’s best restaurants for 2021

In 1997 Veja Rio launched its excellent restaurant and bar guide “Comer & Beber”, which also chooses its best restaurants and bars in Rio for the year (it does the same for São Paulo). The list of the city’s best for Rio 2021 are:

  • Contemporary Brazilian: Oteque (Botafogo)
  • Barbecue / Churrascaria Rodizio: Churrascaria Palace (Copacabana)
  • Seafood: Escama (Jardim Botanico)
  • French: L’Etoile – Sheraton Rio (Leblon)
  • Italian: Grado (Jardim Botanico)
  • Pizza: Ferro e Farinha (Catete / Botafogo / Leblon)
  • Portuguese: Gajos D’Ouro (Ipanema)
  • Asian: Spicy Fish (Ipanema)
  • Japanese: San (Leblon)
  • Hamburger: Sabor D.O.C. (Leblon)
  • Veagan: Ganic Lab (Barra)
  • Gastropub: Pope (Ipanema)
  • Botequim / Bar: Bafo da Prainha
  • Cheap & Cheerful: Cantón (Copacabana)
  • Ice Cream: Mil Frutas (Ipanema / Leblon / Jardim Botanico / São Conrado / Barra)
  • Breakfast: Café 18 do Forte (Copacabana)
  • Kiosk: De Lamare (Posto 8 – Ipanema)
  • Best Terrace: Boteco Belmonte (Ipanema)

New Boteco – Boa Praça – for Ipanema

Many regular visitors to Rio in the 1970s, 80s and 90s will remember Barril 1800 on Ipanema Beach. Sadly Barril departed the scene in 2007 to be replaced by Bar Rio and then the Astor. But it appears Astor has not survived the pandemic and having been closed for nearly a year will give way to a branch of Boteco Boa Praça, a group that started life in São Paulo and opened a popular Rio branch in Leblon (Rua Dias Ferreira 12) in 2019.

The new Boa Praça is expected to open in May 2021 with plans for a third Rio branch in Barra (Av Olegário Maciel) by the year end.

No news yet as to what may happen to the upper floor in Ipanema that some will remember during Barril’s time as Jazzmania (1983-1994) where you could have been lucky enough to catch the likes of Chet Baker, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis, Toots Thielemans, Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter, Marisa Monte, Hermeto Pascoal, João Bosco, Jorge Ben and many, many others.

Rio’s New Restaurants in early 2021

Crisis? What crisis? Pandemic? What pandemic? Despite what is going on in and around the world, Rio de Janeiro has still seen the opening of a number of new restaurants since the start of the year including recently the 600 seater Nordic Steakhouse, O Nórdico, in Av Olegário Maciel in Barra which comes with a Viking theme!

More tempting may be Escama, a new seafood restaurant in Rua Visconde de Carandaí in Jardim Botânico. While you can find fish on the menu at most restaurants in Rio, actual seafood restaurants are surprisingly quite few and far between.

A new Italian, Amalfitana, has opened up in the space vacated by Quadrifoglio in the Village Mall in Barra, while Leblon has a new bistro, Sole, in Rua Dias Ferreira. And Burgers Rio has opened a new branch at Rua Voluntários da Pátria 1 in Botafogo to add to the one at Rua Aníbal de Mendonça 55 in Ipanema.

Veja São Paulo picks best restaurants for 2020

Despite Covid-19 and lockdown Veja São Paulo has also managed to produce its annual guide to São Paulo’s bars and restaurants and pick its best in a number of categories. The city, without question,  is one of the world’s great centres for gourmands.

As a taster the top three for Brazilian cuisine in São Paulo are Jiquitaia, Tordesilhas and Banzeiro; for contemporary it is D.O.M., Maní and Corrutela; for meat, Varanda (photo), Rubaiyat and Templo da Carne Marcos Bassi; for French, Bistrot Parigi, Chef Rouge and Président; for Italian, Evvai, Picchi and Fasano; for Trattoria, Lido Amici, di Amici, Moma (Modern Mamma Osteria) and Antonietta Cucina; for Pizza, Deveras Pizza, Carlos and Leggera; for Japanese, Kan Suke, Shin-Zushi and Murakami; for Portuguese, Tasca da Esquina, Costa Nova and Quinta de Santa Maria; and for Arab, Monte Líbano, Miski and Farabbud.

Veja Rio picks best restaurants for 2020

Despite Covid-19 and lockdown Veja Rio has still managed to produce its annual guide to Rio’s bars and restaurants and pick its best in a number of categories.

As a taster the top three for Brazilian cuisine are Maria e o Boi, Sabores de Gabriela and Capim Santo; for contemporary it is Oteque (photo), Lasai and Iraja Redux; for meat, Malta Beef Club, Esplanada Grill and Corrientes 348; for French, Emile, Didier and Chez Claude; for Italian, Cipriani, Grado and Anna; for Portuguese, Gajos d’Ouro, Rancho Portugues and Adegão Portugues; for seafood, Venga Chiringuito, Satyricon and Posi Mozza & Mare; for Pizza, Ferro e Farinha, Ella and Braz; for Japanese, Naga, Mitsuba and Haru Sushi Bar; and for vegetarian, Org Bistro, Naturalie Bistro and Prana Vegetarian. 

Changes at Fasano in Rio

All change at the Fasano Hotel in Ipanema in Rio, at least as far as restaurants go. Out goes Fasano al Mare, which never had much of a fan base, and in comes a branch of the Fasano’s Gero offering sophisticated, contemporary Italian cuisine.

The standalone Gero, in Aníbal de Mendonça, now becomes a more relaxed branch of Panini Gero, offering sandwiches, pastas and pizzas. Gero Barra, remains closed for now, but Gero Trattoria in Shopping Leblon has reopened as has the hotel’s own beach kiosk on Ipanema, Marea.

50 Best Restaurants in Latin America 2019

The list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2019 was revealed on 10 October 2019 at the seventh annual Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, that was held at Usina del Arte in Buenos Aires, Argentina. With seven new restaurants and entries across eight countries, the 2019 list reflects the diversity of the ever-evolving Latin American gastronomic scene.

Brazil claims nine spots in the top 50 – including new entries Evvai and Manu. The “Best Restaurant in Brazil” was judged to be São Paulo’s A Casa do Porco, at No.6 overall. D.O.M. (São Paulo) is at No.10; Maní (São Paulo) is No.18; Oteque (Rio) is No.23; Lasai (Rio), which won the Art of Hospitality Award, is No.24; Olympe (Rio) is No.35; Evvai (São Paulo) is No.40; Manu (Curitiba) is No.42; and Mocotoó (São Paulo) is No.43.

Maido in Lima took the No.1 spot for the third consecutive year, retaining its status as The Best Restaurant in Latin America. Maido, or ‘welcome’ in Japanese, is the flagship restaurant of chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura, serving inventive tasting menus of Peruvian-Japanese bites such as fish hotdog and sea urchin rice, alongside à la carte options and a classic sushi counter.

Three-time former winner Central is at No.2. Pujol, in Mexico City, is ranked at No.3, followed by Don Julio in Buenos Aires at No.4 and Boragó in Santiago at No.5 – receiving the titles of The Best Restaurant in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, respectively.

The Art of Hospitality Award 2019, which recognises excellence in restaurant service and dining experience, was awarded to Lasai in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The restaurant itself is very much the product of the partnership between chef and co-owner Rafa Costa e Silva and his wife Malena Cardiel. Cardiel runs the small but elegant dining room, ensuring that Costa’s plates are enhanced through knowledgeable service, exquisite drinks pairings and creating that all-important atmosphere of conviviality.

Mexico and Peru lead the 2019 list with 11 entries each, including Alcalde for Mexico, winner of the Highest Climber Award, and Central for Peru, recipient of the Sustainable Restaurant Award. Brazil claims nine spots, followed by Argentina with eight entries and Chile with six.

This year, Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants features seven new entries: Kjolle, Pía León’s rising restaurant based in Lima, receives the Highest New Entry Award, occupying the No.21 spot on the list. De Patio in Santiago, Chile enters the list at No.34; Mil in Cusco, Peru sits at No.36; La Docena in Mexico City’s Polanco district occupies No.38; while Manu in Curitiba, Brazil enters the list at No.42. The seventh new entry is Mayta from Lima, Peru at No.49.

1 Maido (Lima, Peru) *The Best Restaurant in Latin
America/The Best Restaurant in Peru
26 La Mar (Lima, Peru)
2 Central (Lima, Peru) *Sustainable Restaurant Award 27 Rosetta (Mexico City, Mexico)
3 Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) *The Best Restaurant in Mexico 28 Máximo Bistrot (Mexico City, Mexico)
4 Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina) *The Best Restaurant in
Argentina
29 Chila (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
5 Boragó (Santiago, Chile) *The Best Restaurant in Chile 30 Ambrosía (Santiago, Chile)
6 A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil) *The Best Restaurant in
Brazil
31 Nicos (Mexico City, Mexico)
7 El Chato (Bogotá, Colombia) *The Best Restaurant in
Colombia
32 Le Chique (Cancun, Mexico)
8 Leo (Bogotá, Colombia) 33 Parador La Huella (José Ignacio, Uruguay) *The Best Restaurant in
Uruguay
9 Osso (Lima, Peru) 34 De Patio (Santiago, Chile) *New Entry
10 D.O.M. (São Paulo, Brazil) 35 Olympe (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
11 Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico) 36 Mil (Cusco, Peru) *New Entry
12 Isolina (Lima, Peru) 37 Restaurante 040 (Santiago, Chile)
13 Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Peru) 38 La Docena (Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico) *New Entry
14 Alcalde (Guadalajara, Mexico) *Highest Climber 39 El Baqueano (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
15 Pangea (Monterrey, Mexico) 40 Evvai (São Paulo, Brazil) *New Entry
16 Sud 777 (Mexico City, Mexico) 41 La Docena (Guadalajara, Mexico)
17 Maito (Panama City, Panama) *The Best Restaurant in
Panama
42 Manu (Curitiba, Brazil) *New Entry
18 Maní (São Paulo, Brazil) 43 Mocotó (São Paulo, Brazil)
19 Rafael (Lima, Peru) 44 Osaka (Santiago, Chile)
20 Mishiguene (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 45 Elena (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
21 Kjolle (Lima, Peru) *Highest New Entry 46 Gran Dabbang (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
22 Harry Sasson (Bogotá, Colombia) 47 99 (Santiago, Chile)
23 Oteque (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) 48 Malabar (Lima, Peru)
24 Lasai (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) *Art of Hospitality Award 49 Mayta (Lima, Peru) *New Entry
25 Tegui (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 50 Narda Comedor (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

 

More Top Rio Restaurants for 2017 – This Time from O Globo

Guia Rio Show, the guide to Rio published by the city’s main daily newspaper, O Globo, has sent a team of reviewers out to visit over 200 of the city’s bars and restaurants to review them and to pick the and list the very best.

For the 15th edition of Guia Rio Show, eight of the 200 establishments were considered worthy of the judges’ maximum score. They are:

Fasano Al Mare (Seafood – Ipanema)

Gero (Italian – Ipanema)

Lasai (Contemporary Brazilian – Botafogo)

Mee (Pan-Asian – Copacabana – PHOTO)

Naga (Japanese – Barra)

Nosso Bar (Bistro – Ipanema)

Oro (Contemporary – Leblon)

Shiso (Japanese – Barra)

Veja Picks Rio’s Top Restaurants for 2017

Veja, one of Brazil’s top weekly news magazines, has chosen its top restaurants and bars in Rio de Janeiro for 2017 from over 600 featured in the 22nd edition of the publication’s Comer & Beber (Eat & Drink) guide. Felipe Bronze of Oro in Leblon was elected “Chef of the Year”, the chef considered this year’s “revelation” was Nello Cassese of the Copacabana Palace’s Cipriani, while sommelier of the year was Jorge Nunes of Eleven Rio, located on the Lagoa. Laguiole in Flamengo got a special mention for its wine list.

Others to be chosen by the publication’s panel of judges include as “best in class”:

  • Asian: Mee (Copacabana)
  • Brazilian: Capim Santo (Barra)
  • Cheap and Cheerful: L’Ulivo Cucina e Vini (Copacabana)
  • Contemporary: Lasai (Botafogo)
  • French: Le Bistrot du Cuisiner (Ipanema)
  • Gastronomy: Eleven Rio (Lagoa)
  • Italian: Fasano al Mare (Ipanema)
  • Japanese: Naga (Barra)
  • Meat: Giuseppe Grill (Centro / Leblon)
  • Pizza: Braz (Jardim Botanico)
  • Portuguese: Rancho Portugues (Ipanema)
  • Vegetarian: Org Bistro (Barra)