Carrot and orange. Pineapple and mint. Rio brings the art of mixing and freshly squeezing fruits to a new level
If you randomly ask Cariocas (the suntanned natives of Rio) where is the best spot around the neighborhood to have a quick bite, chances are you will be directed to a casa de sucos. Translated into “juice houses,” these are the least fancy and unpretentious corners to have a meal – and that’s why locals love them. Casas de sucos are open to the street, without facades, offering a narrow space between the sidewalk and the counter.
Up on the wall they meticulously display the best fruits of the season, and never run out of the substantial bowl of açaí with granola, Rio’s beloved natural boost of energy; and, you may have one of their rich sandwiches – vegetarians or not - that will certainly keep you fed for the day.
Everyone has a favorite casa de sucos, a favorite fruit mix, and oh, a favorite attendant: someone who knows you by your nickname and exactly how you love your sandwich done. Except for the few casas de suco that have seats at plastic tables spread onto the sidewalk, everything happens at the counter.
You choose (that’s the hardest part), you order, and the attendant shouts the command to the back of the house – that’s usually divided by a wall, except for a small window, where food travels from the kitchen to servers. Behind the scenes, cooks work nonstop bombarded by all requests, miraculously keeping all of them on top of their minds. To stop and watch this fascinating teamwork is an experience by itself.
Casually dressed, or even with sandy feet, you go there for breakfast. You go there for lunch. You go there for meetings. You go there for dates. You go there for dinner. You go there for late dinner. You just go there. And, just like every carioca, you will end up tasting the endless variety of tropical freshly squeezed, colorful, and yummy juices only to choose your all-time favorite: orange and carrot? Pineapple and mint? Acerola and strawberry? Whatever combination, it will always come with Rio’s best spice: a smile.
Our favorite spots are Bibi, BB Lanches, Balada Mix and Big Polis. But if you’re not in Rio, you can still find the smile and healthy eating concept shipped to Manhattan by Market Ipanema a stylish branch that mirrors the original Carioca restaurant. This hidden gem located on 66 Kenmare Street, in SoHo, brings new flavors to your mouth by wrapping crepes in tapioca, offering the so-beloved açaí bowl, and squeezing fruits into juices right on the spot. All ingredients come from local farms – and, yes, your food is, happily, prepared from scratch. Stop by at Market Ipanema and use code BRAZILJUICE for a 15% off a juice of your choice. (Discount code valid in-store only and until 08.31.17.) Just one of our Brazilian summer perks to you. Stay tuned!