Experiencing Feijoada, the National Dish
It's impossible to single out one restaurant in all of Brazil for its feijoada. Just try it and try it right. Start with a caipirinha (that potent, delicious lime and sugar-cane drink) and some caldo (soup), followed by steaming hot black beans with all the various meats. Side dishes include farofa, cabbage, orange slices, and white rice. Dab some malagueta peppers on the beans for an extra kick.
Whether you want prawns, chicken, tapioca pancakes, coconut sweets, or corn on the cob, it can all be purchased on the street for next to nothing. Don't be afraid to try some of the best snacks that Brazil has to offer.
All Beef, All the Time
Rodízio churrascarias are all-you-can-eat meat orgies. The best cuts of beef are served up one after another; try one or two, or try them all. As long as you can take it they dish it out. Our favorite is surely picanha, the lean, tender rump steak -- it will melt in your mouth. One of the country's most popular restaurants is Porcão, a nationwide chain. Their flagship location is in Rio's Flamengo neighborhood (tel. 021/2554-8535), with views of the bay and Sugarloaf Mountain.
Sophisticated Amazonian Cuisine
Don't miss this all Amazonian 10-course gourmet meal fit for a king (and presidents) at Sofitel's Le Pré Catelan (tel. 021/2525-1160). French top chef Roland Villard has outdone himself with this unique feast of ingredients unknown to even most Brazilians.
Colonial Coffee in Rio
For the most elegant coffee experience, visit Confeitaria Colombo (tel. 021/2221-0107). This 19th-century Belle Epoque establishment is one of the most beautiful salons in all of Brazil.
Fine Dining in São Paulo
Brazil's biggest, richest city is where you'll find the best chefs and the most demanding customers. It is the place in Brazil for sophisticated fine dining. Two places you won't go wrong, for service, ambience, or food are Figueira Rubaiyat (tel. 011/3063-3888) and D.O.M. (tel. 011/3088-0761), both in the Jardins. D.O.M. offers ultra-high-end dining, with one of the best wine lists in the hemisphere. Figueira offers excellent food, and one of the nicest dining rooms anywhere, beneath the limbs of a huge fig tree.
Moquecas in Salvador
You can't say you've been to Salvador without trying moqueca, the tasty stew of fresh seafood with coconut milk, lime juice, cilantro, and red dendê palm oil. Try Jardim das Delicias (tel. 071/3321-1449).
Fine Dining in Porto de Galinhas
Beijupirá (tel. 081/3552-2354), in a small resort town in Brazil's Northeast, is perhaps one of the most pleasant little restaurants in the country. The decorations are whimsical and rustic, the food an inspired Brazilian cuisine that makes use of fresh seafood, tropical fruit, and spices.
The Regional Cuisine of Belém
Located in the Tropics, on the Amazon River but at the mouth of the ocean, Belém has access to a richer assortment of ingredients than almost anywhere else in Brazil. Local chefs make the most of the variety. For regional cuisine, try Lá em Casa (tel. 091/3212-5588).
Travel page content provided by Zagat © 2013, Google.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.