A simple and usually inexpensive option, which is also a good bet for vegetarians, is comida a quilo or comida por quilo restaurants (literally “food by kilo value”). In this buffet, food is paid for by weight. Another typical style is the all-you-can-eat restaurant where customers pay a prix fixe. In both types (collectively known as “self-services”), customers usually assemble the dishes from an extensive buffet.

Prepare to indulge in a unique dining experience with rodízio, a popular style of service in Brazil. In this style, a prix fixe is paid, and servers circulate with a tantalizing array of food. This is particularly common in churrascarias and pizzerias, offering an all-you-can-eat barbecue and pizzas of varied flavours. Each slice is served with care, ensuring you savour every bite of the culinary delight.

The regular restaurant with a specific price for each meal is called “restaurant à la carte”.

Food is a vibrant part of Brazil’s culture and identity, with churrasco (barbecue) taking centre stage. Churrascarias (steakhouses) are a hot spot, and the tradition of ‘barbecuing a little meat’ at home with loved ones transcends weather conditions, making it a year-round favourite. Barbecued meat and feijoada (meat and bean stew) are quintessential parts of Brazilian cuisine, showcasing its unique flavours and culinary heritage.

The connection between humans and meat is a tale as old as time, harking back to our primal ancestors when hunting was a matter of survival. The allure of meat’s flavour and the simplicity of its preparation led to its widespread consumption. In Brazil, this primal connection has evolved into a cultural trademark, with barbecued meat becoming a symbol of local tradition and heritage.

For tourists who visit Brazil, irrespective of region or city, a trip to a steakhouse is a must, an irresistible opportunity to savour the incomparable and authentic taste of Brazilian barbecue.


The way meat is served in these steakhouses, known as rodízio (which loosely translates as “rotation”), works on the principle of “eat as much as you can” and is as popular among foreigners as it is among Brazilians.

This is how it works: the restaurant charges a fixed price per head (drinks not included), and you can try every type of meat – chicken, lamb, sausages, and a wide range of beef and port cuts – repeating as many times as you wish. However, these days, Brazilian BBQ is not only about the more traditional cuts. In Brazil, some steakhouses already offer some unusual options on their menus. These meats go down well with the more demanding and adventurous diners, such as wild boar, alligator, frog, quail, rabbit and ostrich.

At a churrascaria, the dining experience is a feast for the senses. The rodízio system is a spectacle, with waiters parading around the tables, each carrying a large skewer of sizzling meat. They present you with a variety of options, and right at your table, they expertly slice the meat to your preferred thickness, cooked just the way you like it. It’s a personalised dining experience that truly caters to your taste.

While you are eating, there is a unique etiquette of “table signs” – which are made of paper, wood or metal, depending on the creativity of the steakhouse – which indicate your appetite via a simple colour code: the green sign, which says “Yes, please”, means that the waiters are free to circulate the table, continuing to offer all kinds of meat, until you flip the sign over to show the red side, which says, “No, thanks”, indicating that you are satisfied for now. In addition to the meat, the steakhouses also offer a buffet of salads, and some go even further, adding hot dishes, sushi, fish, cheeses, cold meats, and other side dishes like chips, pão de queijo (cheese bread), and pastéis (deep fried puff pastry with filling).

Brazil is known for the flavour and quality of its coffee, being the largest exporter in the global market, accounting for one-third of the world’s production, which makes it the largest producer globally, a position it has held for over 150 years. Among the countries that consume the beverage, it ranks second.

The Brazilian states distinguished in coffee production are: Minas Gerais, responsible for 50% of national production, Espirito Santo, the second-largest producer, São Paulo, one of the most traditional in coffee cultivation, Bahia, Paraná, and Rondônia.

There are many ways to prepare a tasty coffee: with filters, electric machines, and, more recently, domestic espresso machines that use coffee capsules filled with various portions and flavours. Whether prepared at home or consumed in a café, bar, or restaurant, the consensus is unanimous: coffee is excellent, and if it’s Brazilian – given its unquestionable quality – even better. Having a “cafezinho,” as the small cup of coffee is affectionately called in Brazil, is an invitation to chat and socialize around a good cup of coffee.

New research in the field of health and well-being suggests that daily coffee consumption (between three and four cups per day) can actually help prevent certain diseases, such as diabetes in adults, cancer (colon, liver, and breast), and Parkinson’s disease, to name just a few.

Exotic Coffees

Brazilian coffee has an interesting variety: Jacu Bird Coffee. The jacu bird, native to the Atlantic Forest, ingests coffee fruits digesting only the husk and pulp, leaving the beans (seeds) intact which are excreted by the jacu, then cleaned, roasted, and commercialised. Jacu Bird Coffee is expensive, nearly 20 times above the price of standard coffee.

In Brazil, a melting pot defines not only races but also food.

The traditional food of Brazil is a combination of many different cultural inheritances that have mixed and created an exciting and unique cuisine. Originally, the food of Brazil was created by the native indigenous people, who have given most of the main roots of the country’s actual gastronomy.

When the Portuguese colonised Brazil, their gastronomy harmoniously blended with the traditional indigenous dishes. Then, during the times of slavery, Africans brought their gastronomy to Brazil as well, further enriching the combination of indigenous and Portuguese cuisine. However, these gastronomies didn’t completely merge; in most cases, they coexisted in a beautiful culinary symphony.

Then, many other immigrants arrived, including Lebanese, Germans, Italians, Japanese, Spanish, and many more, adding their dishes to Brazil’s gastronomy. Thus, Brazil’s actual gastronomy is the result of a combination of cultures and dishes of many different origins.


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