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Rio de Janeiro Restaurants: Best Local Cuisine

By Bianca Lambert

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One of the best ways to get to know a new place is to immerse yourself in their culinary culture. Food gives us a glimpse into the past and future while feeding our souls and filling our bellies at the same time. Rio de Janeiro, with its rich African roots and European influences, has a culture like no other — making it the ideal place to explore the food scene. Here are a few traditional dishes you must try.

 

Feijoada

Feijoada is a local dish that is served on Saturdays and dates back to slavery. The staple dish is made with stewed beans, pork gravy, pan fried yellow potatoes, pork cracklings, kale, toasted cassava flour, and orange slices.

 

Churrascarias

Brazil’s culinary world is one that favors meat and churrascarias is an experience you must take in while you’re roaming the streets of Rio. Churrascarias is a barbecue restaurant that traditionally offers a set menu side dishes and all-you-can-eat meat. If you’re planning to try out this dining experience, Churrascaria Palace is a local and tourist favorite.

 

Pastels

The pastry lovers out there won’t want to miss out on this deep-fried snack. Pastels are often filled with meat and cheese, but if you want to try a twist on the savory snack, Bar do Adão offers over 60 variations of the traditional pastry.

 

Brigadieros da Escocia

The Brigadieros da Escocia, which are chocolate truffles, is a dessert that was created during World War II when fresh cooking ingredients were hard to come by. They are made with a simple recipe—condensed milk and cocoa powder.

 

Pastel de Nata

If you enjoy custard, you won’t want to pass up a traditional Portuguese egg tart. The century-old Confeitaria Colombo seems to be to go-to place for the classic Brazilian dessert, and its elegant and classic decor is said to make visiting the shop worthwhile.


 

Tapioca

We’re not talking about the pudding. Tapioca is made with cassava flour and shredded coconut then fried into a round shape that resembles a crepe which creates a crispy shell and soft center. You can have them sweet with cinnamon or-or savory with cheese, beef, or chicken.

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Bianca Lambert

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