Traditionally, we like eating at hole-in-the-wall kind of places when we travel to truly live the culture we are fortunate enough to be a part of. So we did feel guilty stepping foot (multiple times, admittedly) into Prima Bruschetteria, an Italian restaurant that surely wasn’t serving us typical Brazilian fare. But the decision to eat at Prima was one that none of us will forget. Not just for some of the best Italian food we’ve eaten outside of Italy, but for the ambience that made us feel like we were living the life we always dreamt of : cafe-hopping people of the city who can enjoy great meals in places that care about quality over anything else and at the same time, soak in the amazing world that surrounds us.
Less than a five minute walk from the coast of Leblon Beach, Prima Bruschetteria is a small restaurant that despite its sleek modern elegance manages to make you feel like you’re eating in your own dining room. When the heat of Rio isn’t overwhelming, you can sit outside the restaurant on bright red barstools and people watch (something nobody can get enough of in a city as culturally rich as Rio). I can’t point my figure on exactly what it was that made Prima so distinct design-wise, but the closest description I can give the place is a diner designed by Ikea. You feel like you’re in a modern getaway, yet at the same time, in a place of comfort.
The food at Prima had some of the freshest Italian flavors I have tasted internationally. The highlight of the restaurant is the same dish the place’s name proudly boasts: their bruschetta. It’s hard to imagine just how good a usual tomato, mozzarella, and basil spread over a slice of bread could get, but the freshness of every item even in something as simple as a bruschetta was very much mood medicine, curing our jet lag, heat-induced moods, and of course, huge appetites after climbing Sugar Loaf and hiking across Ilha Grande. The desserts were also standout (although served in somewhat small portions). This is the dessert kid talking here, the one who eats real food just to get to the sugar. The tiramisu was just irresistible.
To reiterate- we understand that eating Italian food if you find yourself in Rio de Janeiro may not be a priority. It certainly wasn’t for us. But sometimes, a sudden craving can lead to a very memorable discovery, as it did for us when we walked into Prima Bruschetteria.
Prima Bruschetteria is located at Rua Rainha Guilhermina, 95 – Leblon Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22441-120.
Phone Number: 21 3592-0881
Check their menu out here: