Brazilian Food That Scores Goals

Posted by on in Travel

¡Olá! Brazil hosted the World Cup this summer, and nations all around the globe watched as their teams fought hard for the title. Many people know that soccer is an important piece of Brazilian culture. In fact, Brazil is the only country to have never missed a World Cup since the games inception in 1930. However, what many people don’t realize is that food is another part of Brazilian culture that should not be missed.

My mother lived in Brazil as a child, and I was lucky enough to grow up eating Feijoada and smelling the rich spices and beans cooking through the house. So, whether it’s to keep the spirit of the World Cup alive, to impress house guests, or to get ideas of what to eat when visiting Brazil, here are a few traditional Brazilian dishes that score goals.

Just click the name of the dish for the recipe.*

Appetizers and Sides

  • Coxinha – This tasty appetizer is basically a chicken croquette with a Brazilian kick. It’s like a samosa, if you’ve had one of those, but filled with chicken salad. The fried outside adds a nice crunch to compliment the savory filling.


  • Bolinho de Bacalhau Fresco – This is another fried appetizer similar to a croquette, but instead of chicken it’s filled with cod. Brazil is known for seafood, so I’m sure it’s delicious

       Bolinho de Bacalhau Fresco

  • Acarajé – As a popular street food, this dish is a great side or appetizer to a Brazilian meal. Acarajé is like a black bean and shrimp fritter. I can’t wait to try one.


  • Farofa – Farofa is a side dish recommended with feijoada. It is a grain-like flour mixed with oils and onions to give flavor that you toast in a skillet. The flour, manioc flour, sounds like it might be hard to find, but I bet the end result is worth the effort.


  • Pão de Queijo – This cheesy bread dish is one of Brazil’s most famous foods. Adding cheese boosts how good anything is, in my opinion, and these rolls are no exception. I remember my grandmother making these for special occasions and my mouth watering just from the smell. Adding these as a side to your meal is like Pele scoring a hat trick – always a win. 

       Pao de Queijo


  • Panqueca de Carne Moida – These Brazilian crêpes with meat filling look as delicious as they sound. Like all foods Brazilian the spices and flavors sound mouthwatering.

       Panqueca de Carne Moida

  • Feijão Tropeiro – Known as “trooper’s beans” these aren’t your average baked beans. Combined with sausage, bacon, pepper, eggs, and garlic, you’ll never look at beans the same. Farofa, the appetizer described above, is also recommended with this dish.

       Feijao Tropeiro

  • Feijoada – Oh, feijoada. This is the dish I remember so clearly growing up. When the smell filled our house everyone would show up to dinner without being called. The rich flavors of the beans and the meats makes you wonder why American chili is so bland in comparison.


  • Moqueca de Camarão – This Brazilian shrimp stew takes less than an hour to make and is a cultural favorite.

       Moqueca de Camarao

  • Empadão – The Brazilian version of a chicken pot pie. The recipe attached is passed down through my family, so it must be good.  



  • Brigadeiro -  It’s like a bonbon, and you can never go wrong with chocolate.


  • Mousse de Maracujá – If you like your desserts a little more tangy, this is for you. It’s a passion fruit mousse – and easy to make!

       Mousse de Maracuja

  • Bolinho de Chuva – These little cinnamon doughnuts are a delicious version of doughnut holes and remind me of the cinnamon sugar doughnut holes you can get at Auntie Anne’s or Cinnabon. They are named after their shape – a raindrop.

      Bolinho de Chuva

  • Pavé - This is a lemon and coconut layered cake. Sometimes other fruits and creams can be used to give it a different flavor.


  • Beijinho de Coco – The name translates to coconut little kiss. These are small candies made of condensed milk, butter, and coconut flakes.  

      Beijinho de Coco

If you aren’t a chef but still want to experience the food of  Brazil, there are plenty of places to enjoy delicious Brazilian cuisine in the United States. Or, if you’re lucky enough, there are restaurants in Brazil known for their delicious cultural fare.

In the United States:

One complaint about Brazilian options in the U.S. is that only meat is offered, so try a recipe along with eating out if that’s all you can find. I have picked a few of the most well known and loved Brazilian restaurants in the states. Be sure to check around your city for one we missed.

  1. Boi Na Braza – Located in Dallas and Ft. Worth, Boi Na Braza is a true blue Churrascaria.
  2. Fogo de Chão – Located in many places across the U.S. with a large salad bar and meat selection. It’s the only one on the list I’ve been to and it is delicious.
  3. Rodizio Grill – With multiple locations and a large menu specializing in steak.
  4. Café Brazil – Located in Denver and offers seafood and meat.
  5. Brazzaz – Located in Chicago, Brazzaz is a Churrascaria with 18 selections of meat.

In Brazil:

I’ve picked out five from a list that looks delicious. To see the entire entry, click here.

  1. Fazenda Babilônia
  2. Manu
  3. Mocotó
  4. Camarões Potiguar
  5. Valle Rustico

In Rio de Janeiro:

As one of the most impressive cities in Brazil, and a host city of the 2014 World Cup, here’s a quick list of great places in Rio. For a complete list, click here.

  1. Casa da Feijoada
  2. Academia da Cachaca
  3. Porcao
  4. Chumasco Lanchonete
  5. Siri Mole & Cia

In São Paulo:

São Paulo is another must see city in Brazil. Here are just a few places pulled from this article to check out.

  1. Restaurante Figueira Rubaiyat
  2. Tenda do Nilo
  3. Dalva e Dito
  4. Frangó
  5. Kinoshita

¡Viagens seguras!

*all images were borrowed from the accompanying linked recipes


  • facebook
  • twitter
  • pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • rss