I’ll say it straight away (it should be obvious from the picture above anyway), this is not a fancy place. If you are looking for a place for a sweet anniversary meal then this probably isn’t it. Tacacá do Norte is all about authentic food and ingredients from Brazil’s Amazonian states (Amazonia and Pará). This is a simple place where many homesick northerners come when they want a taste of home. You may see guys in suits sat next to taxi drivers and doormen. If you want to try some of the all-time classic dishes from the Northern states then this is the place to come.

Top of my list when I first visited was Tacacá. This bizarre soup mixes gloopy goma de mandioca, large shrimps and a rich, tangy flavouring called Tucupí. But I was most interested in the final ingredient, a leaf called jambu which has quite a strong anaesthetic effect. Within seconds of tasting the soup your tongue starts to tingle and your lips go numb. It’s a strange, interesting sensation.

Other highlights from the north include ‘proper’ açaí (anyone from the north will tell you that the açaí they serve in most places down here in Rio is rubbish compared the stuff they get back home), some delicious juices (try the lovely, subtle bacurí) and you could finish off with a rich, creamy tapioca ice cream.

If you want to try something really interesting and are prepared to step out of the everyday comfort-zone of steaks and pizzas, then this place is really worth a visit.

Pros: Genuine Amazonian food right here in Rio – perfect for the adventurous eater.

Cons: A simple, no-frills place. If you’re looking for a comfortable place to while away hours drinking wine, this ain’t the place.

Expensive: 2/5

Address: Rua Barão do Flamengo, 35 – Flamengo

Telephone: +55 (21) 2225-7329

Website: N/A