Rio de Janeiro is a city of immigrants, and Rio's international restaurants reflect this migrational mixing pot, with French, Italian, Japanese, Thai and - of course - Portuguese flavours all making their mark on the city's dining scene.
Chinese settlers have made their biggest mark on the city's informal snack bars, but the arrival of the sophisticated Mr. Lam, in Jardim Botanico, made major waves among the city's wealthy elite when it opened in 2006. With a head chef brought in from New York, the restaurant is a cut above the average Chinese joint in the city, and diners on the top floor can enjoy first-rate views of the Christ statue.
Likewise, Arab restaurants are often little more than stand up snack bars, but the excellent Arab da Lagoa is a more upmarket option.
The international restaurants of Rio de Janeiro range from cheap and cheerful pizza and pasta houses to fine French dining, with Bistro 66 being a good mid-range option. Chef Thomas Troisgros is the son of acclaimed French chef Claude Troisgros, who heads up the kitchen at the much pricier (but worth every centavo) Olympe.
Japanese cuisine is big business in Rio de Janeiro too, with late night sushi stores popping up across the city in recent years. Of the sophisticated, formal options, Madame Butterfly remains one of the best.
Oddly, the rest of South America is not well represented among Rio de Janeiro's international restaurants, although the city's one Peruvian restaurant, Intihuasi in Flamengo, is well worth seeking out, not least for the delicious Pisco Sour cocktails.
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