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Top 7 Most Popular Foods In Rio de Janeiro


by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Pia V.

Last updated : May 16, 20247 min read

Food & Drink

With influences hailing from Africa, Europe, and everywhere in between - Rio de Janeiro is a true melting pot of cultures and cuisines. Rio de Janeiro is truly a foodie's dream come true, with succulent barbecue dishes and addictive street snacks guaranteed to entice even the most jaded of gourmands.


Seeing how big the city is, it might feel overwhelming trying to find the best foods - let alone choosing the best restaurants and street vendors! That's why we recommend hiring one of our Rio de Janeiro private tour guides to take you on a mouthwatering private tour of the city’s culinary scene. To help you plan your excursion, here are the 7 most popular foods you simply must try when in Rio de Janeiro!



Feijoada bean stew in a brown bowl


Feijoada is one of the most popular Brazilian foods in existence. So much so that it is often called the country’s national dish. This is a hearty bean stew that usually also includes either pork or beef. The name comes from the Portuguese word ‘feijão’ which literally means ‘bean’. While some Brazilian dishes are tied to a specific region of this vast country, feijoada is popular throughout the nation, though the type of bean that is used to make it varies from area to area. In Rio de Janeiro, the dish is usually made with black beans. Feijoada is typically served with rice and can be found in restaurants throughout the city. Ask your Rio de Janeiro tour guide for their personal recommendation for finding the best feijoada in Rio!



Churrascaria barbecue meat with flames behind it


Brazil as a nation is famous for its high-quality meats. The best place to sample these famous exports in Rio is by visiting a churrascaria - a local steakhouse which serves meats cooked the churrasco way. This essentially means barbecue in Portuguese. In a churrascaria, food is typically served in rodizio style, which means waiters will serve barbecued meats straight from the grill to your plate. There is usually a wide variety of different meats to choose from, ranging from prime sirloin to sausages and chicken cuts. In churrascarias, the meat is cooked over charcoal, typically until it is medium rare or medium.


Pão de queijo

a bowl of Pão de queijo cheese bread balls


Pão de queijo is a traditional Brazilian snack that's hard to resist. The name of this popular treat literally means "cheese bread", and that is exactly what you get: a small, delicious roll stuffed with cheese. While there are different variations of this popular snack, all of them use cassava starch and cheese as the main ingredients. The use of cassava starch gives pão de queijo its uniquely elastic texture and also makes these incredible treats naturally gluten-free. Pão de queijo originates from the State of Minas Gerais (which is located just west of the State of Rio de Janeiro), but they are widely available in bakeries throughout the country. After all, who doesn't love cheese and bread?



one Coxinha potato roll with a ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard packet next to it.


Coxinha is a very popular street food that you're bound to come across when exploring the busy streets of this South American metropolis. Coxinha is essentially a type of croquette, a popular snack food that's prevalent in a variety of cuisines all over the world. A Brazilian coxinha typically features shredded chicken and catupiry (a type of Brazilian soft cheese) rolled in potato dough. This roll is then battered and fried until golden for mouthwatering results. The name coxinha literally translates as ‘little thigh’ or ‘drumstick’, and originally the shape of each snack was meant to resemble a chicken thigh. In its more modern form, a coxinha is typically shaped in a form that more closely resembles a teardrop.



A bowl of Brazilian acai


In recent years, acai has become a popular ingredient that's used in smoothies all over the world. The acai berry (which grows in super tall acai palm trees) originates from the Amazon Rainforest, and has been a staple of regional cuisine long before it became an international phenomenon during the 1990s. Touted as a superfood, the berry is very high in antioxidants and is thought to have countless health benefits, including lowering blood sugar and bolstering the immune system. In Brazil, acai has long been used in a fresh sorbet that's commonly sold by street vendors. Acai sorbet is also a popular beachside snack, as it is perfect for fueling up after a day spent in the sun.



A Brazilian tapioca crepe with a small cup of espresso coffee


While many culinary styles make use of tapioca, be that in puddings or in trendy teas, few places do it quite like Brazil. While exploring the streets and markets of Rio de Janeiro, you are bound to come across street vendors selling tapioca crêpes, a very popular local snack. The crêpes are made using tapioca flour and water, and has a very mild taste, allowing the toppings to make all the difference. You can usually choose from a wide variety of extras, including cheese, coconut, guava, Nutella, or even strawberries. As the crêpes are made using tapioca flour, they are also gluten-free.



Brigadeiro chocolate snacks from Brazil on a white plate.


If you have a sweet tooth, you will love brigadeiro! This is a traditional Brazilian dessert that's actually thought to have originated in the city of Rio de Janeiro. These delicious treats are made using condensed milk, butter, and cocoa butter. The chocolate sprinkles that are used to decorate the confections are also a key ingredient, and nowadays brigadeiros are available with a variety of flavors and toppings. Having been around for more than 70 years, brigadeiro continues to be a very popular dessert in Brazil, and can commonly be found fresh in bakeries as well as made at home.


Hopefully this delicious list of popular foods has tickled your appetite! We understand that it can feel overwhelming trying to navigate this huge city, so if you have any questions, remember that our team of Rio de Janeiro private guides are just a message away. They will be happy to help you plan and execute your ideal Brazil private tour, including any special foods you might want to try out.

Rio de Janeiro Tour Guide - Marcelo C.

Marcelo C.


Hi! My name is Marcelo I´am a Tour Guide in Rio de Janeiro,Brazil. Working for more than 35 years with tourism and hospitality industry, as a travel agent, tour operator and many years as a Hotel Concierge, I am prepared to offer you a personalized itinerary and provide the best experience in Rio. So, See You in Rio?                                                                                                                                  

Sao Paulo Tour Guide - Mohamed amine E.

Mohamed amine E.


Hi! I'm Mohamed-Amine Please call me Amine. I was born in Morocco but have worked and living in Brazil for nearly 20 years. I'm very familiar with the many sightseeing spots and attractions of the Country thanks to my long-term life experience in this city. Brazil is a fascinating and picturesque country visited by more then 10 millions tourists every year. I have guided many foreign tourists as an English & French-speaking tour guide for the past lasts years. So after serval years I decide to open my own travel Agency to make people discovering this wonderful country through tailor made guided tours. I like to make people happy. Moreover, I am interested in Brazilian history, culture, and geography, and I also like intercultural exchanges! I can show you the best of Brazil not only popular historical sites and relics but also hidden spots which only locals know. I always enjoy guiding every tourist with my best hospitality. When you have a chance to visit Brazil, please contact me anytime and join one of my tours!                                                                                                                                 

Rio de Janeiro Tour Guide - Kelly T.

Kelly T.


I have a background MA in Arts Management at the University of Oregon in the USA and I am a professional tour guide since 2014 in Brasil. I am passionate about nature, culture and the arts. I am an ever adventurous person, always looking forward to connect with diverse cultures and valuing their traditions. I seek and invite you to try out the unexpected, to feel the flavors and vibes, to experience live music, the scents of coffees and cachaças’ spirit, fresh food, and the lush scenery of Rio. Come experience our cultural ancestry through nature and material and immaterial traces. I live each moment with enthusiasm and I share it with people who want to live the same, worshiping life with passion and connecting with others. Storyteller, arts educator and tour guide, three main activities that Kelly Tavares, born and raised in Rio, has been practicing for years. Photography, art and traveling three hobbies she has cultivated since graduation at the School of Fine Arts of Brazil. I am a Community Cultural Producer, multicultural facilitator and language teacher, three professional activities which have been part of my life since graduation from the University of Oregon, USA. I work with love for the causes I believe and I will share unforgettable moments in Rio, through authentic experiences, mixing present and past, personal and cultural history, and a bit of everything you can imagine. I have been running presentation and livestreamed virtual tours for two years already, having developed and used different transmedia methods, such as audio guides, virtual livestreamed and multimedia presentations to showcase and present Rio de Janeiro.                                                                                                                                  

Rio de Janeiro Tour Guide - Guilherme G.

Guilherme G.


Hello ! I'm Guilherme, from Rio de Janeiro! I am a Tour Guide and I am also a musician. I love my city, nature, beaches, history and the surprises that Rio has to offer! My tour always has music, information and friendliness!! I'm waiting for you here!                                                                                                                                 

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