The açaí (say: assahi) berry has only recently begun making furor as a so-called super food from Brazil, but it has been around for a long time in Brazilian culture. Originally from the Amazon, this berry is typically sweetened with Guaraná syrup and blended to what people know as açaí. It is a must for every tourist to experience açaí in Rio de Janeiro at its best. In our opinion a good açaí is served mixed with banana, a little bit of Guaraná (you need to ask this when you order: um pouco de xarope só, por favor) and with granola at the side, or even better, castanha de caju or cashew nut.
Casa do Açaí
Casa do Açaí is a hidden shop, with a unpretentious ambiance, in the back streets of rowdy Copacabana. Their “premium” açaí is the pricier alternative offered in the shop, but it is very well worth it. In this particular option, their açaí is blended to a grain-free, seamless consistency that is smooth in the mouth. It is not too sweet, unlike most places that sell açaí in Rio de Janeiro, that are sugar packed due to the Guaraná syrup (an essential component in açaí) in the mix. Whether a newcomer to this trend or not, a mouthwatering experience is granted in Casa do Açaí.
Rua Siqueira Campos 143, Loja 11, Copacabana. Tel: +55 21 3437-1408
If Amazônia Soul’s açaí is not the real deal, then what is? Their açaí is typically made with no sugar, and blended to the creamiest of consistencies. With the high price tag attached to it, also comes the high quality, that makes it worth experimenting. In case you want something more than just açai, a crab tapioca will prove to be a great order. Amazônia Soul is a hidden gem in the neighborhood of Ipanema – at the same square where every Sunday the famous hippie market in Rio, takes place – for açaí lovers and those who want a piece of Amazonian Brazil in their mouth.
Praça General Osório – R. Teixeira de Melo 37, Loja B, Ipanema. Tel: +55 21 2247-1028
This restaurant specializes in the açaí berry; ASA Açaí doesn’t limit the açaí options to only the famous açaí bowls, for it also incorporates it into its dishes. They serve açaí guacamole made with the berry instead of an avocado, and a couple of other varieties of classic dishes. Their menu specializes in their pasty açaí formula, however, they also offer other typical Brazilian foods, that include cashew nuts, tapioca and traditional dishes. ASA Açaí açaí bowls can be personalized to taste when ordering, and are even better with the homemade granola formulated by the restaurant’s nutritionist. The great food and açaí, plus a pleasant and clean environment, will not disappoint customers.
Rua Sacadura Cabra 79, Saúde. Tel: +55 21 2263-9094
BIBI Sucos has already been mentioned in a previous blog article (check Burger places in Rio de Janeiro you can’t miss), however, its reputable açaí has made it inevitable not to include the restaurant once again in a top five list. The açaí in this casual restaurant can be ordered with protein or milk powder, granola, banana and an extensive assortment of other toppings. It is nevertheless, delicious by itself. The formula of their açaí is simple but very loved across Rio de Janeiro. BIBI Sucos has recently come out with Dragon-fruit bowls, a trend that only just arrived in Rio, and is still a rare sight to come across. If in need of an afternoon pick me up, the restaurant’s energetic environment (surf themed) and a bowl of açai won’t fail their job.
BIBI Sucos has franchises in different neighborhoods.
Set in Leme, Natu Sucos serves the typical açaí in Rio de Janeiro, but it is sweetened to the right point. Located in a street almost across the ocean, it is the perfect stop after a hot day at the beach. This small shop offers basic toppings such as banana and strawberries, and in addition, they have off-the-menu options that include raspberries and passionfruit. Apart from the mandatory açaí, Natu has an incredible assortment of juices and tasty snacks to offer. Stop by and let their açaí take you by surprise!
Rua Gustavo Sampaio 323, Leme. Tel: +55 21 2542-7782
And then we have one bonus place for you, which is:
Tacaca do Norte
By locals this place is considered to have the best açaí in Rio de Janeiro. This obviously is a bit of subjective opinion, but the açaí at this simple bar – that serves other dishes from the Amazon as well – is for sure really delicious. It doesn’t come with nothing fancy, but maybe that makes it even better. In these days where fancy açaí bars are popping up on every corner of the street, Tacaca is still focusing the traditional way of eating açaí. And that should be appreciated. If you wouldn’t know the place, you would walk by without even thinking about entering, but now you know, it can be one of those original local experiences.
Rua Barão do Flamengo 35, Flamengo. Tel: +55 21 2225-7329