Brazil does beef the right way. Honestly, it’s some of the best beef the planet has to offer, grass-fed and well-reared, so it makes sense that our Brazilian amigos know how to cook a damn tasty burger (props to Samuel L Jackson). I will name-drop some of Rio de Janeiro’s best spots to get a bite of some delicious ground beef.
Hells Burger – R. Muniz Barreto, 805 – Loja 1 – Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22251-090
I first visited Hells Burger in 2022; they have a few locations dotted around the city (the spot in Ipanema is also very cool and next to the beach), but the Botafogo location is my favourite. Mainly because it’s my favourite neighbourhood and right next to Rua Nelson Mandela. It’s a great street to watch sports and get a few beers in.
Hell’s classic burger is the 50/50. This is a simple but brilliant burger, 150 grams of beef rib fillet and bacon mixed in a single grind, combined with their signature Hell’s seasoning and cheddar cheese on a brioche bun. For a first-timer, I’d recommend this burger. Personally, though, I believe that Hell’s has the best smash patty in the city, my favourite being the Krusty. A Brazilian take on In-and-Out’s animal-style burger, a delicious twist on the West Coast classic.
Rio Tap Beer House – Tv. dos Tamoios, 32 – LOJA B e C – Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22230-050
This bar in Flamengo does juicy burgers and also has a wide range of craft beer. The beer menu is extensive, and they have a list of draught beers that get changed regularly, so there is always a new IPA or a larger to supple on while you wash down one of their delicious burgers.
There are two great options here. The Doube Tap Cheddar (this one is my favourite). They keep it simple: just two 100-gram patties of their artisanal Blend covered in melted cheddar, crispy bacon, and red onion served on a brioche bun.
The second option is the Tap Burger. This is everyone else’s go-to. My friends always get order this. One 220-gram patty of succulent beef topped with Monterey Jack cheese, crispy onion, bacon, and artisanal aioli. The burgers also come with fries, or if you are feeling adventurous, their spiced chips (crisps for us British folk)
LeMax Burger & Beer – R. Nelson Mandela, 100 – loja 118 – Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22260-005
Le Max is a dope spot on Rua Nelson Mandela, the road I was gushing about when declaring my love for Hell’s Burger. They offer some mad burgers here. They even do a 300-gram Kong burger … It’s not for the faint-hearted. The go-to munch, undoubtedly, is the Kevin Bacon burger. Named after the Hollywood actor himself, this lovely little morsel (it’s not little) consists of a 180-gram juicy picanha (rump) burger, cooked to the customer’s request, with melted cheese, delicious slices of crispy bacon, American lettuce, fresh tomato, red onion, house barbecue sauce sandwiched between an Australian bun (brown bread).
An honourable mention must also go out to TT Burger; they have many locations around the city and much to offer. Hopefully, this information has your mouth watering, and you have the details you need to tuck into a tasty burger in Rio.