7 delicious Brazil street food dishes you have to try
There are plenty of reasons to visit this South American country, but Brazil street food is a delicious cherry on top.
Brazil is known for being vibrant – the people, the parties, the views – and its food scene is no different. There are endless incredible restaurants to sit down at, but for a truly authentic treat, get to know the best of Brazil street food.
If you see any of these delicious dishes being served up, make a beeline for the vendor and thank us later.
1. Pastel de queijo
You can’t go wrong with anything deep-fried and cheesy, which are the exact boxes ticked by the Pastel de queijo. This fried cheese pastry is like a thinner empanada and mozzarella stick rolled into one hand-held snack.
2. Pão de queijo
Speaking of cheese, hot bread also pairs with it perfectly and Brazilians have cut out the middle man by creating a snack that has cheese already in the middle of a small bread roll. It’s a little doughier than a regular bread roll, and the cheese a little thicker – but it’s a delicious little hot pocket. Eat it as is, or cut it in half and add butter.
3. Açai na Tigela
The humbly refreshing açai bowl made its way to the Western world several years ago, but nowhere does it like the original creators in Brazil. Açai stands are some of the most common ones that you’ll spot around the streets of Brazilian cities and will cost you just a few Brazilian Real (usually less than $2).
4. Mandioca frito
You’ll find cassava in everything here (like a creamier version of the potato that’s endemic to the Amazonian region), and you’ll find Mandioca frito – aka cassava chips – all over the country. They’re basically hot chips, but better.
5. Bolinhos de Bacalhau
This fried fish cake – fried codfish cake to be exact – is just one culinary glimpse into the passionate relationship Brazilians have with cod. They’ll eat it raw with onions and olives, as a starter, as their main and even as a codfish ice cream. In this case, they serve it in fried, doughy cake form.
If the name made you think of Lebanese kibbeh, you’re on the right track. These little beef croquettes are a spin on their Lebanese família (thanks to a wave of Middle Eastern immigration in the late 19th century), and are particularly popular around Rio de Janeiro.
7. Brazilian acarajé with vatapá
The acarajé itself is a crispy bean and onion cake (similar to a falafel), which is quite delicious on its own – but then you add the vatapá. This is a popular mix around Brazil (although it’s not so common in the capital) made of shrimp, crab, nuts and coconut milk. These crispy little balls are incredible but do be wary to find a stand or restaurant that changes its oil regularly.