Brazil 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 foods were brought by overseas immigrants and have been hybridized through the generations. In Brazil, Italian and Chinese food can often be as baffling as Amazonian fare.
Brazil stands out by the soybean production. This food high in iron helps metabolize proteins and plays a role in the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells.
Brazil national dish is feijoada, a hearty stew made of black beans and pork (ears, knuckles, sausage and pieces of beef (usually dried)). It's served with a side of white rice, garnished with collard greens and sliced orange. It's usually not served in restaurants, and ones that do, typically have it only twice a week (usually Wednesday and Saturday). A typical mistake made by tourists is to eat too much feijoada shortly after arriving. This is a heavy dish, you need to get used to it before you eat it. Even Brazilians usually eat it parcimoniously. While you are at it, try the caipirinha, Brazil´s signature drink made of wedged limes, sugar and cachaça.
Excellent seafood can be found in coastal towns. Especially in the Northeastern part of the country.
In even the smallest most towns it is easy to find self-service restaurants with good food. Brazilian restaurants tend to be quite clean, considering that this is a developing country and in many of them you can actually see the kitchen. At least you should be able to, since it´s required by law.
Most of the self-service restaurants offer two kinds of deals: they have an all-you-can-eat fixed price (called "Rodízio"), or you go "por quilo", which means that you weigh your plate after you serve yourself. This is very common during lunch time throughout Brazil.
Snacks and street food
Brazilian snacks, called lanches, include a wide variety of pastries. Look for coxinha, empadinha, and pastel. Another common snack is a misto quente, a ham-and-cheese sandwich. Also pão-de-queijo is very common...
Southern - Churrasco is Brazilian barbeque, and is usually served "Rodizio" ou "espeto corrido" (all-you-can-eat). Waiters carry huge cuts of meat on steel spits from table to table, and carve off slices onto...
Eating out is a great bargain and a pleasure in Brazil. Service varies in quality but is usually inexpensive. Even in "expensive" Rio, and in the tourist...
Vegetarian food in Brazil
Although many traditional dishes are prepared with meat or fish, it is not difficult to live on vegetarian food as well. The country has a rich supply of all kinds of fruits and vegetables...
Hot drinks and soft drinks
Brazil is recognized world-wide for its high-quality strong coffee. Cafezinho (little coffee) is a small cup of sweetened coffee which is usually served for free after meals in restaurants (just ask politely). Essentially it's just a shot of espresso..
Brazil's most famous alcoholic drink is cachaça, an extremely potent sugar-cane liquor known to knock the unwary out quite quickly. A great place to visit in Rio de Janeiro's neighbourhood of Leblon is Academia da Cachaça...