In Rio - Where to buy Asian Food and 2nd Hand furnitures?

Hi there everyone! I'm new to this forum so I'd appreciate any help at all.

My wife and I have recently moved to Rio and being Asians, one of the first things we would like to find are Asian food stores along with places that sell spices (Indian, Chinese, Thai and such).

Secondly, does anyone know if there is a good 2nd-hand furniture shop?

Looking for some tables, chairs and the likes. Thirdly, electronic stores, and looking for plug converters as we have some electronics that require a converter to plug into Brazilian sockets.

It would be a great help if you could provide the address of places you know!

I can google the directions for myself.



First of all, on behalf of everybody here at Expat-blog, welcome on board and from me personally welcome to Brazil and the state of Rio de Janeiro. I'm about a 4 hour drive north of you!

I hope your participation here will be both enjoyable and informative.

I think that you may have a bit of trouble finding Indian foods in Rio and would suggest that you find a good Indian restaurant and ask them where they buy their foodstuffs. Spices shouldn't be a problem because you can buy almost every kind of spices at supermarkets and farmers markets everywhere.

Many supermarkets sell basic cooking supplies for Chinese cooking in their specialty food aisles, but don't have a really wide variety. However if you look you can find things like oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, bean sprouts should be readily available almost everywhere, they're quite common here. Mushrooms.... rare you'll find fresh (decent) mushrooms. Brazilians are only just catching on to mushrooms, they're in love with those God Awful ones in a bottle in brine. YUCK.

You might want to ask at the Raajmahal Indian restaurant, Rua General Polidoro, 29, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ
and for Asiatic foods ask at Mekong restaurant  Rua Gen. Urquiza, 188 - Leblon, Rio de Janeiro where they buy authentic Asiatic foods and spices.

James   Expat-blog Experts Team

Hi James. Thanks for your insights. I googled around a bit and found some Asian shops somewhere in Flamengo. Do they call shops around her Mercearia? Here are two that I found.

Mercearia Mei. Rua Marques de Abrantes 222, Lojas B, Flamengo

Mercearia Asiaticos. Rua Marques de Abrantes 207, Flamengo.

I'm just assuming they are Asian food shops because of their name "Asiaticos" and saw some pictures of their shops.

And by the way, does anyone know a good gynae? My wife is 24 weeks pregnant and we would like to find a reliable hospital. It will be a big plus if there is one with a doctor who can speak Chinese but I'm not counting on it. A gynae who can speak good English is good enough already.

Thanks. And oh, by the way, my name is Edwin.

Hi Edwin,

The shops you mentioned may probably sell more than just food products, but do check them out.

Good luck finding an OB/GYN or any other doctor who speaks Chinese. While Brazil does have a population of people with Chinese origins, I don't know how many might be doctors.

You could check with your Consulado-General in Rio to see if they have a list of Chinese speaking doctors. They usualy do keep a list of both doctors and lawyers for emergencies.

James   Expat-blog Experts Team

Hi James,

Thanks for the info. How do I contact the Consulado-General? Do you have their contact? Also, my friend keeps telling me this phrase "ta ligado". Do you know what it means?

Edwin :

... my friend keeps telling me this phrase "ta ligado". Do you know what it means?

"It is in fact a contraction of "você esta ligado?" which literally means "Are you switched on?" which in turn means "Do you understand?" or " Are you listening?" … -6-ta.html

Thanks OsageArcher, both for your completely accurate explanation of the phrase and for your understanding of the Portuguese language.

It's amazing the reaction we expat who speak Portuguese fluently from the Brazilians we meet! More amazing still is the number of expats here who don't understand the necessity of speaking the language well.

James        Expat-blog Experts Team

Thank OsageArcher! That explains a lot. Yeah, I understand what you mean James. I've traveled a fair bit in my time and while I had no problem in English-speaking countries, it's when I go to other countries that don't speak English at all that is the problem. I spent 6 years in China and from the first week, I started to learn and it took me 6 months to speak simply Chinese. Now that I'm here in Brazil, I hope to pick up on Portuguese. I'm only been here a week but at least I know how to greet and say some stuff. Still a fair bit to go.

I'm using this app called Duolingo to learn. It says I'm 2% fluent now. Haha... any other apps to recommend?

Go up to the top of the first Brazil Forum page and read my posting "LEARN OVER A THOUSAND PORTUGUESE WORDS IN A FEW MINUTES", you'll find it extremely helpful and it will make things much clearer for you when you learn a few of the simple tricks outlined in the topic.

James   Expat-blog Experts Team

Hi James,

Yes I have had a browse through that posting and it is very helpful to know how and when to pronounce certain words and phrases. I started with an app called Duolingo and it has helped a bit but lack a searchable dictionary when I want to find certain words. Your posting is very helpful. Thanks for putting in that effort.


Casa Pedro they sell lots of dry spicies and sauces for a decent price.  Best store is one in Barra da tijuca . Just google it

Hi, newcomer.

The first store you mentioned, Mei-Jo, has a pretty good selection of Asian foodstuffs.
mei jo - r. marquês de abrantes 222, flamengo. sauces, oils, cooking wine, rice, noodles, wrappers, implements, some prepared foods and frozen meats., (21)  21 2551-2824

If you're into cooking in general, and into Facebook, there's a group with a rather long name called "Food, Restaurant Tips and Home Cooking for Expats." It has a stored file of places to get specifically what you're looking for. The above information is from that list. Alternatively, I go into the growing number of Chinese import stores and ask where they shop.

As for Portuguese learning aids, I use Ultralingua, which I keep on my iPhone and Mac desktop. It's not as cheap as others, but it's fairly comprehensive. The best free learning aid I've found is IM Translator, which is an add-on for the Firefox browser. You can highlight any text online, and it's instantly translated. Or you can open an IM Translator window and write in any of dozens of languages and translate what you wrote. I learn most from this tool because when I write in English, to get Portuguese, it translates from four different sources - PROMPT, Babylon, Google and Microsoft. To my surprise, I've found the Microsoft translation to be the most accurate - or rather, how I think Brasilians would most likely say what I've written. But usually, I take parts of each translation to compose sentences the way I want and, in the process, I learn different ways of saying the same thing. It's indispensable when I'm writing formal emails in Portuguese.

Welcome, and good luck.

This place has a good selection of Asian foods.. It's mostly Chinese.. But you can get Thai fish sauce and other Thai food ingredients. Prices are reasonable....

Sorry SWalter, you'll need to just give the name of the establishment. New members aren't able to post links to outside sites. That's part of Expat-blog's Automated Anti-Spam System.

Just the same as you don't activate your private message privileges until you've participated in the forums for a while.

James    Expat-blog Experts Team

No problems, James... Though I come here often to read all the wonderful information you supply here, I know I should participate more... Thank you for all the good work you're doing here... We are so grateful...

The address for the Chinese Grocery store is :
Meisim, Rua Barao de Mesquita,456 loja A Tel:021-3238-5898 Tijuca-RJ...

For any serious Chinese cooking you can find all the required ingredients here. From Sichuan pepper corns to old fashioned carbon steel woks from China, you can get it here.... I go to China often and I used to bring all the food stuff i need from there... But after I found this place, not anymore... You can find most of the stuff right here...

Hi again SWalter,

Thanks for your input, see you really do have something important to share. You've helped a lot in fact.


Thanks for the information, SWalter. Yes. A friend whom I met recently, took us to MeiSim on Sunday and it is a piece of heaven for us really. They also recommended another store nearby called JinLong.

Has anyone gone to this place called Chinatown Atocado (I think that's how you spell it). Would like to hear about some people's experience. It seems to be quite far away on google maps.


in Barra da Tijuca, go to Casa Vitana in Barra Garden shopping. It's a small asian supermarket, not complete but good enough! :)

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