Don’t Go To Rio Just To Eat McDonalds

Don’t Eat Cheeseburgers & French Fries

You see that picture above?

Those are coxinhas my friend. Tasty, breaded treats stuffed with chicken. Top it off with ketchup and I’m in heaven. They are my favorite Brazilian snack to pick up on the go if I don’t have time to sit down and eat a real meal.

On my first trip to Rio, I made the mistake of sticking to fast food places I was used too. I stayed in an apartment on Rua Miguel Lemos in Copacabana; if you are familiar with the area you know there is a McDonald’s, KFC and other American fast food restaurants nearby.

Luckily, I had a Brazilian connect who took me out one night and introduced me to popular, Brazilian food. If it wasn’t for her, I would have spent my whole trip eating cheeseburgers and french fries.

That would have been a disaster.

Learn A New Culture Through It’s Food

You’re in Brazil! Eat like a Brazilian.

One of the best ways to understand a new culture and country is through its food. I’m a big fan of the Travel channel series No Reservations starring Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain travels the world, tasting the best foods of each country he lands in.

Every episode begins with him not understanding anything about the foreign culture. But by the end of the show, he leaves with an appreciation for the country and its people. Everyone needs to eat. When you are in a different country, its best to satisfy your hunger with the foreign cuisine. You may not like every Brazilian dish you taste, but with more knowledge of why Brazilians eat certain foods, you’ll understand their culture more.

How To Order Food In Brazil

It’s a piece of cake to order food. The two basic verbs you need to know to order anything in Brazil are QUERER and GOSTAR DE. Check out examples using both verbs.

QUERER – To Want

Location – A small, local boteco

Me: Oi bom dia, eu quero duas coxinha por favor. (Hi, good morning, I want two coxinhas please.)


Location – A semi-fancy restaurant

Me: Boa noite garçom. Eu gostaria de pedir uma feijoada por favor. (Good evening waiter. I would like to order feijoada please.)

Useful Restaurant Vocabulary

  • a conta – the check, bill
  • o cardápio – menu
  • entrada – appetizer
  • estar pronto(a) – to be ready
  • fumante/nao-fumante – smoking/non-smoking
  • gorjeta – tip
  • janela – window
  • volte sempre – come back soon

Menu/Utensil Vocabulary

  • frutos do mar – seafood
  • carnes – meat
  • aves – poultry
  • sobremesa – desserts
  • bebidas – drinks
  • sanduíche – sandwich
  • o copo – glass
  • a combuca – bowl
  • a faca – knife
  • o garfo – fork
  • a colher – spoon
  • a garrafa – bottle
  • o guardanapo – napkin
  • o palito – toothpick
  • o prato – plate

Useful Phrases

  • Como está a comida? – How is the food?
  • Está salgada – It is salty
  • Está apimentada – It is spicy
  • Está gordurosa – It is fattening
  • Está doce – It is sweet
  • Está sem sal – It is unsalted


This is what a typical meal looks like in Brazil: