What is the top 10 of the best restaurants of Brazil? Let us start with a quote from Lonely Planet Brazil: “In Brazil, eating is, like so many other things, another pretext for pleasure taking. There is no such thing as Brazilian haute cuisine per se, but the food tastes good almost anywhere you go.”
We agree. Travelers in Brazil will find plenty of nice street food, fast food corners, coffee bars offering fried and filled pastries, pay-by-weight buffet restaurants, pizzerias and grill restaurants, but demanding food lovers that are looking for sophisticated restaurants might find themselves a little disappointed. Despite the abundance of natural products, gastronomy in Brazil is behind the culinary level of neighboring countries like Peru, Chile and Argentina.
Yes, São Paulo does offer sophisticated looking restaurants with beautiful architecture and well dressed servants and guests, sometimes run by a cook that has been on tv, and these are the ideal places to impress the people that you invite for dinner. But most impressive about the menu are the high prizes, as the plates are full of good food, but rarely haute cuisine according European cooking philosophy. You can however enjoy regional food when crossing Brazil, which can be different from anything you ever had, and that is what we recommend to demanding food lovers to go after.
Restaurants rating system in Brazil
“Incredibly enough, it’s hard to find reliable restaurant recommendations for Salvador on the web. There are listings galore, but… who to trust?” says Alexandra of braziltraveltips.blogspot.com.
Many countries have national organizations that rate restaurants and some even organize national gastronomic events. The largest culinary festival in Brazil is Brasil Sabor, a joint project by Abrasel (the Brazilian Association of Bars and Restaurants), the Ministry of Tourism and SEBRAE (Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Businesses). The participating restaurants offer a special dish which represents the local cuisine to promote the diversity of regional culinary traditions. But Abrasel does not give ratings. For as far as we know the only rating system available is done by the Quatro Rodas Guide.
So, we have followed some recommendations of that made-in-Brazil guide, and ironically ended up in places with food being prepared so badly we never imagined possible in Brazil. Goodbye to our conviction that Brazil restaurants always serve good food. This restaurant guide is not reliable, to say the least.
In the US and most European countries you find websites with ratings by visitors, alike Tripadvisor, and some combine it with jury ratings. This will be adopted in Brazil soon. For now, our favorite guides are Frommers and Fodor.
Although neither Rio nor São Paulo has a distinctive cuisine of its own, like all cosmopolitan metropolises they have various dining scenes. If you’ve got cash to splash, put on your nicest evening dress and try the often recommended restaurants DOM and Rubaiyat.
Some often recommended restaurants in Sao Paulo: Mani; Antiquarius; DOM; Fasano
Travelling along the Bahia coast you will notice that most menus are tourist menus and start with the popular Moqueca dish and offer few interesting alternatives. For more varied plates you will be served well in Salvador. Some of the most often recommended restaurants in Salvador: Jardim das Delícias; Lafayette; Marc le Dantec; Yemanja; Dona Chika Ka; Pereira; Lambreta Grill; Casa de Gamboa; Sorriso da Dada; Maria Mata Mouro; Trapiche Adelaide; Galpão; Paraiso Tropical; Uauá.
Read more about Bahia food: passportmagazine.com
Some often recommended restaurants in Arraial d’ajuda: Morocha, Don Fabrizio
Some often recommended restaurants in Trancoso: Cacao, Capim Santo.
Read more about restaurants in Trancoso: braziltraveltips.blogspot.com
Amazonian cuisine is strongly influenced by the region’s native Tupi, people, who live largely on manioc, freshwater fish, yams and beans, and exotic fruit. Caldeirada is a popular fish stew not unlike bouillabaisse, and pato no tucupi is a regional favorite made with duck, garlic, jambu herb and the juice of both lemons and manioc roots.
Some of the most often recommended restaurants in Belem and Manáus:
Belém: La Madre; Lá em Casa; Beto Grill; Manjar das Garças; Remanso do peixe; Pomme D’Or; Dom Giuseppe.
Manáus: Moronguetá; Banzeiro; El Toro Loco; Village; Bernardino.