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Best foods to try in Brazil

Some foods in Brazil just sum up everything about the country that warms your heart and your palate. Our trip to Brazil would be income[plete if we don't talk about their snacks and of course acai.

Brazil food acaraje
Our first food in Salvador, Bahia was so different from food in Rio

When you leave a place, you carry a piece of it with you wherever you go!

My first introduction to South America was via our amazing trip to Brazil with my 15-month toddler During our 12 trip to Brazil, we explored Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, Bahia. There was so much to see and experience that we came out craving for more. We will definitely come back to explore other areas of Brazil like Floripa, Paraty, Iguazu Falls, and the Amazon rainforest.


Their music and food are more than enough to keep coming back. This post is dedicated specifically to the amazing foods we tried and debunking some of the myths related to it.




Traditional Brazilian Food

There are so many dishes in Brazil, that one cannot point out the exact dish that defines them. Brazil is a very big country and food styles are very regional. You should embrace and enjoy these regional differences when you’re traveling in the country.


The South is known for its barbecue; Rio for Feijoada; Minas Gerais for their traditional ancient cuisine which is similar to soul food and southern American food in general as well as their boteco (the Brazilian equivalent of dive bars) snacks and dishes; São Paulo for international cuisine, especially Italian; Bahia for West African influenced dishes; the Amazon region for amazing ingredients that don’t exist anywhere else and so on.


Before I dive into the best foods to try in Brazil, let's talk about the common misconceptions related to it.


Debunking Brazilian Food Myths:

  • Spicy Food I initially thought Brazilian food was spicy, probably because I somehow associated it with Mexican food. And no, it’s not particularly spicy unless you’re in Bahia and maybe some other parts of the Northeast where typical regional dishes are sometimes very hot. Brazilian food is generally seasoned with garlic and onions. Chili is only used mildly if at all.


  • Not vegetarian friendly It’s vegetarian-friendly. Just ask if they use pork to season the beans. If they don’t, just replace the meat with something else - or nothing - and you’ll be fine.

Truth to the rumors of Brazilian Food

  • Rice and beans are the main staples Yes, the most common Brazilian everyday meal is based on rice and beans, a salad or vegetable, and an animal protein, usually beef. Its commercial version is the Prato Feito, the standard lunch served for workers in eateries all over the country and it’s comprised of the standard rice, beans, salad, and steak but can also include a fried egg and French fries.

  • Lunch is main meal in Brazil Yes, breakfast is not a big deal and is just supposed to get you going until mid-day when you get a real meal with cooked, hot food, not a snack. Dinner is lighter than lunch but not always. Dinner is usually at a later time around 9 pm.

  • Expensive food Yes, overall food is expensive in Brazil. Even if you are in Rio or Salvador, the average cost is R100 for good food. The snack foods on the beach are cheaper of course.


  • Beach food is best You can find finger food almost everywhere for your baby/kid. Especially on the beaches, where vendors will keep coming with different kinds of snacks or coconut water.

  • Other cuisines If you are tired from eating all the Brazilian food, def try other cuisines. They are really good in Rio. We tried Mediterranean food and Italian food and they were comparable to the US standards (actually better)

  • Seafood Brazilian cuisine wouldn’t be the same without seafood. Fresh prawns on a skewer are the number one food to be spotted on the beaches in Brazil, where beach vendors wander up and down selling giant grilled prawns impaled on giant wooden skewers. My husband gobbled them down.


Best foods to try in Brazil

Traditional Brazilian food is delicious, colorful, diverse, and exciting. Because Brazil is such a melting pot of colors and customs, its cuisine varies from one region to another, reflecting the country’s diverse backgrounds and vast territory. So let's jump right into the must-have food to try!

 

What to eat

What's special

Acai

Add some coconut flakes, wheat, and granola to this smoothie.

farofa

a toasted cassava flour mixture

pastel

[think deep-fried empanadas]

eijão

 

Pao de queijo

bread with cheese

coxinhas

Brazilian take on chicken nuggets (a fried dough ball stuffed with chicken)

pastéis

fried pastry with beef and cheese

Feijoda

National dish- a stew of beans beef and pork

Brigadeiros

Balls of truffle with condensed milk and chocolate

acaraje

black eyed peas


Brazilian Drinks to try

Drinks to try

Whats special

Chopp

Brazil Draught beer Or order a local Brazilian beer like Brahma, Bohemia or Antarctica

Água de coco

Coconut water

Caipirinha

It is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça, sugar, and lime (a spirit made from sugarcane juice)

Mate Tea

one is filled with mate, a caffeinated infusion made from the leaves of the native yerba mate plant, and the other with lemon juice.

These are served on the beaches.

caldo de cana

sugarcane juice (best in Sao Paolo)



Insider Tip

  • Try the BBQ meats on a skewer in the Arpoadar area. Enjoy it during sunset time in Arpoadar.

  • Drink as much coconut water and orange juice as you want, anytime, anywhere. As a mom, this was a savior!


Recommended Restaurants

We went to so many different restaurants in Rio and Salvador that blew our minds. Here are some that are worth mentioning:

 

Rio Restaurant/cafe

location

Specialty

Bar do Mineiro

Santa teresa

 

Confeitera Colombo

Centro

Basically a Patisserie shop. Great décor & coffee etc.

Go for lunch

Churrascaria

Copacabana

buffet menu, BBQ meat. Brazilian steakhouse

Zazá Bistrô Tropical

Ipanema

Moroccan and Asian fusion

Bar e restaurant

Urca

Beer crab fish cakes. Go during Sunset time

Aprazivel

Santa Teresa

 

Casa da feijoda

Ipanema (right behind is Praca General Osorio for kids)

Specialize in Feijoda with a relaxing terrace

Porcao churrassia

Centro

Slightly expensive. Lot of salad options with BBQ options

Manekineko

Humaita

Japanese restaurant. Have the best sushi

Cafe 18 du forte

Copacabana fort

inside a fort in Copacabana beach. Amazing view and food. try their incredible bolo gelado de coco dessert.

Alessandro Frederico

Ipanema

Amazing Italian food. Must try their Grouper fish and spaghetti.

Capriciosa

Ipanema

Pizza restaurant. Their burrata were delicious.

Cafe du lage

Parque Lage

Come for breakfast with a view of Christ Redeemer

Oia

Ipanema

Great Greek and Mediterranean food

 

Salvador Restaurants

location

Specialty

 

Freshly brewed coffee and cakes

Cuco bistro

Pelourinho, near church of Sao Franscisco

caipirinhas very good with local fruit. Live music close by and show of drums

Le Glacier Laporte

Pelourinho

caraíba ice cream (acerola cherry, ginger and lime)

Acarajé da Dinha

Rio Vermelho

Acaraje

Sorriso da Dadá

Pelourinho

best local cuisine including moqueca and coxinha

Casa de Tereza

Rio Vermelho

good fejoada and a moqueca

 


I hope this guide helps you and your family plan an amazing and fun trip to Brazil, just like we did. Comment if you liked or disliked any particular food during your travels.



                                                                                                                                                              HAPPY TRAVELING!!

 

 



                                                                                                                                               

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Absolutely love this post! Your vivid descriptions and mouthwatering photos truly transport me to the vibrant streets of Brazil. As a foodie and a traveler, I'm always on the lookout for new culinary adventures, and your recommendations have me itching to book a trip to Brazil ASAP! Thanks for sharing your passion for food and travel with such enthusiasm and detail. Can't wait to taste these delicious dishes firsthand! 🌴🍴

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Guest
Apr 21
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Love this, food and travel are the perfect combo 😍

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