Americans Don’t Need A Visa To Visit Brazil Anymore. Here’s Where To Eat And Sleep When You Go.


As of June 17, 2019, Americans no longer need a tourist visa to enter Brazil (nor do Canadians, Australians or Japanese), eliminating a longstanding hurdle that kept many casual travelers from visiting South America’s largest nation. It’s now easier than ever to visit Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil’s two largest cities, where you’ll find lush parks and gardens, mammoth murals, enviable beaches, futuristic museums and near-endless shopping, but whatever may be on your agenda for your Brazilian break, the best food and drinks are sure to be high on your list. You’ll certainly want to try Globos, the puffed cassava starch snack found in both salty and sweet varieties all over Rio, and pão de queijo, the cheesy bread puffs served as a snack or with meals everywhere, but you’ll stumble across these favorites without even trying. To guide you toward more refined culinary experiences with locally immersive hotel stays in this freshly accessibly country, check out what Marriott has to offer in both Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Beachfront Rio

You may be on a foodie mission but you’re still in Rio de Janeiro, so you’re also here for the beaches, including two of the world’s most famous, Ipanema and Copacabana. While many of Rio’s hotels line its famous coast, all but one are separated from the shore by a road, making the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort the only beachfront property in this entire beach-crazed destination. The resort, recently renovated in preparation for the 2016 Olympics, takes full advantage of its waterfront prestige with private, ocean-view balconies in all 538 of its rooms and suites, but it’s nearly as well known for its culinary offerings as it is for its singular location, making this the ideal place to base yourself for your time in Rio.

A top dining experience

Aside from its top-floor location at the Sheraton Grand (that would be floor 26), with sprawling views of Ipanema and Leblon by day and its namesake stars by night, L’Etoile is a top fine dining destination for Rio residents, with locals accounting for about 70% of daily reservations. Expect an abundance of fresh seafood and mouthwatering meats on the seasonal menus at this upscale spot featuring French-Brazilian fare in a modern setting with plenty of windows. If you can’t make it for a meal, at least stop up for a drink at the bar and take advantage of the best views around.

Barbecue buffet

While it’s hard to say whether Brazil or Argentina is South America’s barbecue champ, you shouldn’t leave Brazil without sampling as much as you can from the grill if meat is even casually part of your diet. For a quick entrée into a wide variety of the country’s favorites cuts, try the grill buffet at Casarão at the Sheraton Grand. Here, there are plenty of salads, sides and a handful of meatless mains, but the grilling station is the star of the restaurant, featuring multiple meats cooked to order, accompanied by a selection of local sauces. Wash it all down with a caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil made with the country’s beloved sugarcane spirit, cachaça. As versatile as vodka, cachaça mixes well with just about any fruit flavor so feel free to branch out from the traditional lime caipirinha and adopt a “when in Rio” attitude by sampling a wide variety of concoctions.

Chow down at Copacabana

The famous Barry Manilow hit may not be about Rio’s Copacabana , but it was conceived here over a conversation at a hotel across from the beach. To find inspiration of your own, head to the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro and grab lunch at Terraneo on the hotel’s mezzanine level, overlooking the famed beach itself. The property’s first female executive chef, Maria Victoria, recently unveiled a new Brazilian menu, offering authentically local flavors with the service and quality of the upscale, international JW Marriott brand. Afterwards, head up to Moonlounge Rooftop Bar for a drink with a view and, if you saved room during your meal, some light bites from the international street food menu served here.

Navigate São Paulo

With more than 12 million people living in its urban center alone (and a greater metro population well over 20 million), São Paulo is Brazil’s largest city, and with more than 15,000 restaurants and 20,000 bars and clubs, there’s a lot to take in here. To point you in the right direction, talk to the Navigator at Renaissance São Paulo Hotel. Each Renaissance has its own Navigator, hired to scour the neighborhoods surrounding its respective hotel, seeking out the best in local culture for a variety of interests to bring you the inside scoop for your ideal personalized visit. When you tell your Navigator at Renaissance São Paulo that you’re looking for the inside foodie track, you’re likely to be directed to Margherita for crispy São Paulo-style pizza and sangria, Casa Mathilde for traditional Portuguese baked goods and Peixaria Bar e Venda, the casual restaurant and fish market where you can choose your own fish and preparation or let the local pros decide.

A local ritual and a local favorite

Each Renaissance property around the world has an evening Bar Ritual, often featuring a free signature cocktail and entertainment (typically live music) for hotel guests and the local community alike. You’ll definitely want to check out Renaissance São Paulo’s posh presentation (typically held a little later in the evening than in some of the brand’s other international locations) before heading to a refined meal at Terraço Jardins, the hotel’s signature restaurant that’s on many a must list. Here you’ll find an oft-praised staff serving elegant Brazilian cuisine with a heavy focus on seafood complemented by plenty of vegetarian options and dishes to please any carnivore, alongside a craft cocktail menu and large selection of wines.

Choose your own adventure

You can’t come to Sao Paulo for a food frenzy and not visit the São Paulo Municipal Market. This gorgeous venue is home to countless stands of produce, meat, fish, spices and anything you’d want to whip up a fantastic feast, but you don’t need your own kitchen to eat well here. In addition to the countless vendors boasting the freshest ingredients in town, the market is home to roughly 40 restaurants, bars and cafés presenting prepared foods and handcrafted drinks to keep you tasting throughout the day and beyond. Stop by here at least once.


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