Regional cuisines

regional cuisines

Churrasco is brazilian barbecue, and is usually served "rodizio" or "espeto corrido" all-you-can-eat. waiters carry huge cuts of meat on steel spits from table to table, and carve off slices onto your plate use the tongs to grab the meat slice and don't touch the knife edge with your silverware to avoid dulling the edge. traditionally, you are given a small wooden block colored green on one side and red on the other. when you're ready to eat, put the green side up. when you're too stuffed to even tell the waiter you've had enough, put the red side up... rodizio places have a buffet for non-meaty items; beware that in some places, the desserts are not considered part of the main buffet and are charged as a supplement. most churrasco restaurants churrascarias also serve other types of food, so it is safe to go there with a friend that is not really fond of meat. while churrascarias are usually fairly expensive places for brazilian standards in the north, central and the countryside areas of the country they tend to be much cheaper then in the south and big cities, where they are frequented even by the less affluent. black beans stew feijao ou feijoada is also very popular, particularly in rio de janeiro, where most restaurants traditionally serve the dish on saturdays. it comprises black beans cooked with pork meat accompanied by rice and farofa manioca flour with eggs and greens fried with garlic.

regional cuisines

Is the "miner's" cuisine of minas gerais, based on pork and beans, with some vegetables. dishes from goiás are similar, but use some local ingredients such as pequi and guariroba. minas gerais cuisine if not seen as particularly tasty, has a "homely" feel that is much cherished.

regional cuisines

The food of Bahia, on the northeast coast has its roots across the Atlantic in East Africa and Indian cuisine. Coconut, dende palm oil, hot peppers, and seafood are the prime ingredients. Tip: hot "quente" means lots of pepper, cold "frio" means less or no pepper at all. If you dare to eat it hot you should try acarajé deep fried edible black bean soup and vatapá prawn-filled roasties.

regional cuisines

Espírito Santo and Bahia have two different versions of moqueca, a delightful tomato-based seafood stew prepared in a special type of clay pot.

Amazonian cuisine draws from the food of the indigenous inhabitants, including various exotic fish and vegetables. There is also a stupendous variety of tropical fruits.

regional cuisines
Praia do Futuro

Ceará's food has a great sort of seafood, and is known to have the country's best crab. It's so popular that literally every weekend thousands of people go to Praia do Futuro in Fortaleza to eat fried fish and crabs usually followed by cold beer.

regional cuisines

In the coastal cities of Paraná like Morretes and Antonina, the dish named barreado is served. It's a meat stew thickened with manioc flour and served with slices of banana, slowly cooked for at least 12 hours on hermetically-sealed clay pots.

Brazilian cuisine also has a lot of imports:

regional cuisines

Is very popular in brazil. in sāo paulo, travellers will find the highest rate of pizza parlours per inhabitant in the country. the variety of flavours is extremely vast, with some restaurants offering more than 100 types of pizza. it is worth noting the difference between the european "mozzarella" and the brazilian "mussarela". they differ in flavor, appearance and origin but buffalo mozzarella "mussarela de búfala" is also often available. the brazilian "mussarela", which tops most pizzas, is yellow in color and has a stronger taste. in some restaurants, particularly in the south, pizza has no tomato sauce. other dishes of italian origin, such as macarrão macaroni, lasanha and others are also very popular.

regional cuisines

Middle-eastern actually Levantine; i.e., mostly Syrian and Lebanese food is widely available. Most options offer high quality and a big variety. Some types of middle-eastern food, such as quibe and esfiha have been adapted and are available at snack stands and fast food joints nation-wide. You can also find shawarma kebabs stands, which Brazilians call "churrasco grego" Greek Barbecue

regional cuisines

São Paulo's Japanese restaurants serve up lots of tempura, yakisoba, sushi and sashimi. The variety is good and mostly the prices are very attractive when compared to Europe, USA and Japan. Most Japanese restaurants also offer the rodizio or buffet option, with the same quality as if you ordered from the menu. Sometimes, however, it can be quite a departure from the real thing. The same can be said of Chinese food, again with some variations from the traditional. Cheese-filled spring rolls, anyone.Japanese restaurants or those that offer Japanese food are much commoner than Chinese and can be found in many Brazilian cities, especially in the state of São Paulo.



Restaurants will add a 10% service charge on the bill, and this is all the tip a brazilian will ever pay. it is also what most waiters survive on, but it is not mandatory and you may choose to ignore it, although is considered extremely rude to do it. in some tourist areas you might be tried for extra tip. just remember that you will look like a complete sucker if you exaggerate, and stingy and disrespectful if you don't tip. 5-10 reais are considered good tips.


There are two types of self-service restaurants,sometimes with both options available in one place: all-you-can-eat buffets with barbecue served at the tables, called rodízio, or a price per weight por quilo, very common during lunchtime throughout Brazil. Load up at the buffet and get your plate on the scales before eating any. In the South there's also the traditional Italian "galeto", where you're served different types of pasta, salads, soups and meat mostly chicken at your table.


Customers are allowed by law to visit the kitchen and see how the food is being handled, although this is extremely uncommon and doing so will probably be considered odd and impolite.

Some Brazilian restaurants serve only meals for two. The size of the portions might not say in the menu, -ask the waiter. Most restaurants of this category allow for a "half-serving" of such plates meia-porção, at 60-70% of the price. Also, couples at restaurants often sit side-by-side rather than across from each other; observe your waiter's cues or express your preference when being seated.

Fast food is also very popular, and the local takes on hamburgers and hot-dogs "cachorro-quente", translated literally are well worth trying. Brazilian sandwiches come in many varieties, with ingredients like mayonnaise, bacon, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, corn, peas, raisins, french fries, ketchup, eggs, pickles, etc. Brave eaters may want to try the traditional complete hot dog just ask for a completo, which, aside from the bun and the sausage, will include everything on display. The ubiquitous X-Burger and its varieties X-Salad, X-Tudo, etc. is not as mysterious as it sounds: the pronunciation of the letter "X" in Portuguese sounds like "cheese", hence the name.

Large chains: The fast-food burger chain Bob's is found nationwide and has been around in the country for almost as long as McDonald's. There is also a national fast-food chain called Habib's which despite the name serves pizza in addition to Arabian food and the founder is Portuguese, by the way. Recent additions, though not as widespread, are Burger King and Subway.


Brazil's cuisine is as varied as its geography and culture. On the other hand, some may find it an unrefined melange, and everyday fare can be bland and monotonous. While there are some quite unique dishes of regional origin, many dishes were brought by overseas immigrants and have been adapted to local tastes through the generations. Italian and Chinese food in Brazil can often be as baffling as Amazonian fare.

Brazil's national dish is feijoada, a hearty stew made of black beans, pork ears, knuckles, chops, sausage and beef usually dried. It's served with rice, garnished with collard greens and sliced oranges. It's not served in every restaurant; the ones that serve it typically offer it on Wednesdays and Saturdays. A typical mistake made by tourists is to eat too much feijoada upon first encounter. This is a heavy dish — even Brazilians usually eat it parsimoniously.

The standard Brazilian set lunch is called prato feito, with its siblings comercial and executivo. Rice and brown beans in Rio de Janeiro there is only black beans, other types are rare in sauce, with a small steak. Sometimes farofa, spaghetti, vegetables and French fries will come along. Beef may be substituted for chicken, fish or others.

Excellent seafood can be found in coastal towns, especially in the Northeast.

Brazilian snacks, lanches sandwiches and salgadinhos most anything else, include a wide variety of pastries. Look for coxinha deep-fried, batter-coated chicken, empada a tiny pie, not to be confused with the empanada - empadas and empanadas are entirely different items, and pastel fried turnovers. Another common snack is a misto quente, a pressed,toasted ham-and-cheese sandwich. Pão-de-queijo, a roll made of manioc flour and cheese, is very popular, especially in Minas Gerais state - pão-de-queijo and a cup of fresh Brazilian coffee is a classic combination.