Rio de Janeiro’s reputation for beach and samba culture may be worldwide, yet the Brazilian food shouldn’t be overlooked, because this country has some real gastronomical gems. If you already read my first article about traditional dishes you should try while traveling to Rio de Janeiro (or anywhere in Brazil), you know what I’m talking about. If not, here you are:
Let’s see what the other traditional foods you can eat in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil are:
Acai has the title of one of the most healthy foods, and it became a refreshing snack everywhere in the world. But long before its full recognition, Acai was a constant ingredient in the Brazilian everyday food. On a hot summer day, a bowl of Acai, topped with granola and sliced fruits is Cariocas’ favorite snack. You can order your Acai bowl in one of the many juice bars in Rio de Janeiro, or right on the beach.
Barbecued meat at a Churrascaria
Churrascarias, the traditional barbecue restaurants are very popular in Brazil; this is the place to go when you are starving, and if you’re looking for a hearty and generous meal. The meat can be done mal passado (rare), ao ponto (medium), or hem passado (well done) and is served with side dishes and salads.
Best Churrascarias in Rio de Janeiro: Churrascaria Palace, Porcão and Fogo do Chāo.
Eat at a Restaurant por Kilo
In these self-service buffet-style restaurants you choose your food – there are plenty of Brazilian and exotic dishes to choose from – and you’ll pay by the weight of your plate. The prices depend on the location, but usually, it is very convenient to eat in a Restaurant por Kilo.
Best Restaurants por Kilo in Rio de Janeiro: Frontera, Temperarte, Pampa Grill.
You can go to the beach in Rio de Janeiro without having anything with you because you’ll find everything you need there. Just sit back and relax and in no more than five minutes after you set foot on the sand, a beach vendor will appear and present his offerings: swimsuits, chairs and sun umbrellas, drinks, and, of course, food. Some of the beach eats I loved in Rio de Janeiro: Globo Biscuits (a carioca’s nostalgic sweat), queijo coalho (grilled cheese on a skewer, made just in front of you over a portable grill), Acai (bowls with granola or smoothies), Empanadas (pastries filled with chicken or cheese) and a large selection of Caipirinhas.
Agua de Coco
There’s nothing more refreshing than drinking Agua de Coco from the coconut you just bought from a street stand.
Moqueca is a seafood stew with prawns, vegetables and coconut oil, original from Bahia, in the north-eastern part of Brazil. This dish is today very popular throughout the country.
Together with rice and beans, Farofa is the most common side dish for many Brazilian recipes. It is basically fried cassava flour, and it can be served as it is, or mixed with eggs and bacon. Farofa is also the main accompaniment to Feijoada, Brazil’s traditional dish.
Bolo de Leite
I was at one of the many Vitaminas bars in Copacabana, browsing through the sugary temptations they served along with the smoothies and juices when a simple white cake caught my eye. Bolo de Leite, which first I thought it was a sort of cheesecake, is a dense cake, made with condensed milk and only other few ingredients. It is a Brazilian specialty and can be eaten even at breakfast.
Pastel de Palmito
Pastel de Palmito is a very popular street food in Brazil, made with hearts of palm and rum. Hearts of palm (palmito) are also sold in jars and can be eaten with a pinch of salt. Because of their high nutritional value, they protect your heart and immune system.
Fish and Lobster
The best Lobster I have ever eaten was in Copacabana, at Gosto do Mar, one of the many small eateries lined up in front of the beach. During the peak season, all these small restaurants can be very touristy, but when they’re not crowded, you can enjoy a great meal the local way.
Romeu e Julieta
Romeo and Juliet is a typical Brazilian dessert, a perfect pairing between cheese (Queijo Minas, from the region of Minas Gerais in Brazil) and guava paste (also called goiabada). It can be eaten on its own, as a snack, or in many desserts like cheesecakes, empanadas or croissants.
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