Aprazivel is one of Rio’s best restaurants, and is beloved both by locals and visitors. As a frequent visitor to the city, I make an intention to dine here every time I’m in town. It’s a fairly good sign when people, who don’t live in the city, continue to return, over and over, without hesitation. The treehouse-like atmosphere and stunning regional Brazilian cooking keeps me coming back again and again.
Ascending the hills of Santa Teresa isn’t easy, but taxis and Ubers both can get you there. The restaurant also has a hired car service that can collect you at your hotel, and take you back, too. The hilly neighborhood of Santa Teresa, with its charming crumbling Portuguese architecture and huge colonial mansions make for a great backdrop. But, the food here is the star.
Cozy wooden tables on platforms in the trees and on the hillside, all lit by candles, create one of the most magical spaces in Rio de Janeiro to dine. Open for lunch and dinner, any time of day is perfect to dine, but dinner is my personal preference. Seated at your table you can look across Rio’s hills and onto the twinkling lights of the city below.
What’s incredible about Aprazivel is that that its founder, the amazing Ana Castilho, harnesses the best ingredients and home cooking from around the country. Many of the recipes come from her native state of Minas Gerais. Every dish on the menu is phenomenal, and you can’t go wrong with anything.
Whether you choose the grilled hearts of palm, the arroz con pollo, tropical fish or something else – you won’t believe your mouth. Flavor explodes and the intensity of each bite hits you like a ton of bricks, in a good way.
If you’re visiting Rio de Janeiro, Aprazivel is a must.
A personal recommendation, ask the waiter to point out selections from the Brazilian state of Bahia – as the food there is insanely delicious.
Missing Aprazivel would be like not seeing Corcovado. It just doesn’t make sense.