Best Hidden Restaurant in Santa Teresa

Aprazivel (Rua Aprazivel 62) is hidden away on a small street high on the hills in Santa Teresa facing the Northern areas of Rio de Janeiro. Note: Taking a taxi in and out is a must as you have to drive through some ‘dodgy’ areas to get there. I would never have found it myself if it wasn’t for a friend who recommended it.  You could walk past the entrance without realizing the restaurant is right in front of you.

After walking down the steep narrow steps (tip for the ladies- walk very slowly!), we were welcomed by the friendly staff and shown to our table.  Since we did not have a reservation we were not seated in one of the ‘tree house’ style tables for this this restaurant is famous for.  Yes, I plan to make a reservation and go back to sit at one of those cute tree house tables.

Besides the incredible tree house tables, the rest of the candle lit tables are outside spread out in luxurious gardens.  It is a very charming restaurant with many intimate seating locations scattered through the property, great for a romantic night out. Check out the view (see below)

Food was delicious! Direct from the Amazon, it is prepared in an open kitchen with a lot of attention to detail and great taste.  Everything on the menu looked, and smelled fantastic.  Our fish was prepared perfectly, and our small beef with pumpkin starter hit the spot.  Aprazivel has an extensive drink selection- I recommend having champagne mixed with one of the amazonian fruit juices!

When visiting Rio, this restaurant is worth a detour if you are looking for a romantic escape and nice cuisine in Rio.

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Espirito Santa Teresa

After visiting Ruins Park, we were starving and stumbled upon Espirito Santa From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but once inside you will see how charming this restaurant really is.  It is rated one of the best restaurants in Santa Teresa (apparently we still have good taste even when famished!) for its Amazon-style cooking.  This is a place to get a ‘real taste of Brazil’ as the chef uses only local ingredients when creating delicious traditional Brazilian dishes ie. lots of different fresh fish choices, exotic fruits and vegetables are on the menu.

The outdoor patio area hangs over the hills, so sit back and enjoy the amazing views while sipping your Caipirinha.  Great spot for a late lunch or dinner (before heading to Lapa!)

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Ruins Park- Santa Teresa

Thinking of visiting Santa Teresa for the day? Take the Bonde (tramway) from Largo da Carioca station for R$.60 to the top of the mountain where you will arrive in Santa Teresa.

Parque das Ruinas (Ruin Park) in Santa Teresa was the home of Laurinda Santos Lobo, and was one of the most lively spots of Rio’s until the 50´s. It is currently used as an exhibition hall, auditorium and the setting for various special concerts, open to the public it is a great place to visit before or after lunch.  The view is breathtaking, you feel like you are on top of the world looking down on Rio—- For you shutter-bugs, this is a great place to take lots of pictures:)

It is fun to explore all 3 levels of this hollowed out skeleton of an old mansion, each floor creating a unique view of Rio.

There is also an outdoor bar/café so grab a coffee or a snack and enjoy the view!

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Enjoy Drinks With A View at Bar dos Descasados

Whether you are heading to Santa Teresa for dinner or drinks, everyone you meet will tell you that you must go to Bar dos Descasados at the Santa Teresa Hotel.

The hotel occupies an old house that was once an old coffee plantation home…. and the bar area was actually once the slave quarters! Now, fully restored, the decor is extremely tasteful, using and abusing a lot of demolition wood and the beauty of Brazilian handicrafts. But the real reason people gravitate to this tucked away beautiful hotel is for the breathtaking view of Rio and the delicious drinks!

Spend an afternoon or evening (or both, once you get comfortable you may not want to leave) lounging in a big comfy chair,or plush cabana bed on the terrace. 

Order the ‘French Pink Mojito’ (champagne, rum, cranberry and mint) or the ‘Iced Teresa’ (Mojito with Mate) both are delicious while you enjoy the fabulous views of Rio de Janeiro. If you are hungry for a little snack I recommend the freshly made chips with alioli dip. Though I didn’t eat there, the food looked great and the desserts were to die for— might actually have to make a trip back specifically to try the desserts!  Tip:  This is a prime sunset spot so try to get there half an hour before so you get a comfy seat! 

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