Wow...what luck. My wife and I are always on the lookout for new places to eat and drink in Rio. The other night we stumbbled upon Bracarense in Leblon, while killing some time after not getting into a sold out movie. Bracarense is a Rio Botequim, one of those neighborhood places where traditional food is served, and in some cases traditional music played...we love them! Bracarense does not look like anything special, a long counter, and a few plastic tables set out on the sidewalk, there where even plastic stools for sitting, no backs on the chairs here. But it was packed with well dressed locals of all ages from the upperscale neighborhood of Leblon, and we soon found out why! The choppes (drafts), were cold and CHEAP, we asked our waiter to recommend a started and he suggested "Shrimp Deleciosa" and it was, large shrimp in a light pastry, with an additional huge shrimp decorating the top, we had two each. I was told by a customer that the place was famous for its carne seca, but my wife chose the shrimp risoto which was awesome, I had a filet mingon sandwich with pineapple and cheese, it was superb, our total dinner with a number of beers was under US$20.00! Tip...if you want to sit, go ealry, or plan on eating and drinking standing at the counter.
Favorite Dish: I had the filet sandwich with pineapple and cheese, my wife shrimp risoto, both were superb! The beer is cold and cheap. The waiters are very attentive, even in a chaotic enviroment.
Its a tipical bar from Rio de Janeiro. People sit in the front of the bar and drink some "chops", "caipirinhas", and eat some "bolinhos de bacalhau" ( its made with codfish, very good and easy to find in bars ). During the weekends it gets busy, people come from the beach and go lunch or drink some beer at Bracarense. Its not open at night, just in the mornings and afternoons. Bracarense was recently elected the best botequim style café and restaurant in Rio. Braca (for the initiated) has a tradition of 50 years of good services and honest food. The atmosphere is casual and familiar, making it a favorite spot to hang out after the beach.
Favorite Dish: It's perfect for a light meal with a cold draft, after the beach. Order portions of empadas (shrimp, crab or chicken), bolinhos de bacalhau (cod fish croquettes), and by all means, the famous bolinhos de aipim, with manioc, melted Catupiry cheese, and shrimp. Your best bet are the perfect appetizers, like the legendary croquettes (bolinhos) or small crusty pies (empadas). The jerked beef with onions (carne seca acebolada) is also something to write home about. Take a table on the sidewalk and act like you belong. We will not be surprised if you soon start making friends with locals.