Brazil Street Food

10 of Brazil’s Best Street Food Secrets

Brazil is a colourful melting pot of cultures and languages and this diversity is mirrored in their cuisine. The mixture of native ingredients and influences brought over by immigrants makes for very unique flavours, blending South American spices with European dairy and baked goods. Cooking styles and preferred dishes vary depending on region, and as the largest country in South America, Brazil has many culinary delights to offer.

Brazil takes inspiration from all over the world and has adapted flavours and cooking techniques to create dishes jam-packed with flavour. Popular dessert recipes incorporate citrusy flavours introduced by Europe while favourite dishes like the feijoada pay homage to cooking styles of African origin. During the colonial period and the slave trade, cooks had to be resourceful and use meat discarded from the table of their masters. This meant that feijoada was made with off-cuts such as the tail, snout and ears, and this traditional recipe of Brazil’s national dish is still often used today.

Walking around Rio De Janeiro today, you’ll find Brazil’s cultural inheritance is still well and truly alive in their vibrant street food. Here are our top ten Brazilian dishes that we recommend you try if you are lucky enough to get the chance.

1. Feijoada

Widely considered Brazil’s national dish, Feijoada is a hearty stew of black beans with beef and pork. Recipes vary throughout the country, but this rich dish is bursting with flavour and enjoyed all year round.

2. Coxinhas 

These crispy drops of heaven are filled with shredded chicken, covered in dough, battered and deep fried. Variations include adding cheese, or vegetable alternatives.

A photo posted by @cozinhadaritinha on

3. Brigadeiro

This Brazilian delicacy is their answer to the chocolate truffle. An indulgent blend of condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder, covered in chocolate sprinkles.

4. Acarajé

Traditionally a northern Brazilian dish, Acarajé is a ball of deep fried black eyed peas that are peeled for a smooth texture. Served cut in half and filled with vatapá and caruru (spicy pastes), shrimp, tomatoes and coriander.

A photo posted by Gigi Miranda (@gigimiranda2) on

5. Pastel

Think Empanadas, but fried. Pastels are crispy pasty-style pockets that are made with a variety of flavoursome filling including meat, cheese and shrimp. You can even find sweet filled pastels for dessert if you fancy more.

6. Moqueca

This mouth-watering dish consists of salt water fish stewed in coconut milk with garlic, tomatoes, onions and coriander and was originally slow cooked in a terracotta dish. A staple of the Brazilian diet for over 300 years.

7. Açai

This little fruit is Brazil’s secret weapon for staying youthful. This purple berry is used in breakfast bowls in a smoothie type consistency with fruits and granola, in sorbets and in drinks.

8. Bolinho de Bacalhau

These delicious fritters are deep fried, and made from a mixture of potato, salt cod, eggs, parsley and onion. A great on-the-go snack with the perfect ratio of crunchiness to stodge.

9. Mandioca Frita

Fluffy fries made from cassava, a starchy root vegetable similar to a yam. Great with a meal or as a delicious snack with a tasty dip.

10. Pão de Queijo 

A popular snack or breakfast food in Brazil, these baked cheese rolls are the perfect thing to satisfy those cheese cravings.

Photo credit: Rogerio Zgiet via VisualHunt / CC BY

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