photo via Wikimedia Commons
photo via Wikimedia Commons

10 essential food and drinks to try in Rio

Experiencing local food is an important part of getting to know a new country.

At Rio 2016, the tourists will have the opportunity to taste Brazilian cuisine, which is a reflexion of the largest South American country’s diversity.

RELATED: 15 interesting facts about Brazil

Although each part of the country has its own typical food, some of them are widely popular all over the country. Take note of 10 must-try delicious food and drinks that fans can easily find in Rio and enjoy it!


Little balls made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter and covered with chocolate sprinkles. A national icon in Brazil, brigadeiro is a delicacy present in most birthday parties in the country. Due to its easy cooking process and low production cost, brigadeiro is a very democratic dessert, known in other countries as the “Brazilian truffle.” It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t like the treat.

Açaí na tigela

A refreshing dish made with frozen, mashed açaí palm fruit, mostly native to brazilian Amazon and northern South America. Açaí na tigela, or açaí in the bowl, in English, is commonly topped with granola and banana. It is easy to find the delicious, energetic dish at juice stores or beach kiosks.

Pão de queijo

Perfect combination for a coffee, pão de queijo is a small, baked cheese roll, typical of Minas Gerais state, which has won over the entire country. Although its origin is uncertain, it is speculated that this cheese bread’s recipe was developed in the 18th century, but became popular in Brazil in the 1950’s.


Brazilian barbecue (churrasco). Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Brazilian barbecue (churrasco). Photo via Wikimedia Commons

In Brazil, churrasco refers to the variety of meats: pork, sausage and chicken cooked on a barbecue grill called churrasqueira. Originated in the south of the country, churrasco is similar to asado, a popular dish in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile. Picanha (rump) is the most prized cut of meat in a churrasco.


A delicious leisurely midday meal, feijoada is a dish made with black beans and a variety of pork products, such as bacon, sausage, pork trimmings and ribs. It is mainly consumed with rice, kale and oranges. Although its origin is not confirmed, according to legend it was crafted by early Brazilian slaves for their own meals and took off from there. 


In this May 10, 2016 photo, bartender Rafaella Demelo adds a lime wedge for the final touch as a caipirinha is ready to be served at Bulla, a bar in Coral Gables, Fla.

Brazil’s national cocktail, caipirinha is a drink made with cachaça (a local sugarcane hard liquor), sugar, lime and ice. Although the Brazilian law only allows the use of the name caipirinha for the version with lime, there are some variations of the cocktail made with passion fruit, strawberry or kiwi fruit, for example.

Queijo Minas


Queijo Minas (Minas cheese). Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Queijo Minas, or Minas cheese, has its birthplace – Minas Gerais state – in its name. Although its fresh version may not be so easy to find in other states, its variation branded queijo padrão – standard cheese – is found in supermarkets all around the country. For a delicious and simple dessert, try Romeu e Julieta (Romeo and Juliet), which consists of goiabada (guava paste) with a thick slice of Minas cheese.


Fruits and vegetables are sold in a market in Manaus, Brazil, one of the host cities for the 2014 soccer World Cup in Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Fruits and vegetables are sold in a market in Manaus, Brazil (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Brazil is one of the largest fruit producers in the world. Don’t miss the chance of trying some of those fruits! Some of the tasty brazilian fruits are maracujá (passion fruit), goiaba (guava), caju (cashew fruit), carambola, jabuticaba… Tip: try a mixed fruit juice at one of corner juice bars in Rio!


Guaraná fruit, widely used in soft drinks and juices in Brazil / Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Guaraná fruit, widely used in soft drinks and juices in Brazil / Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Another traditional Brazilian fruit, original from Amazon, is guaraná. The fruit’s extract is widely used for many brands of soft drinks and also in fresh juices, combined with other fruits. Due to its high caffeine concentration, guaraná is also used by energy drink companies.


One of the most popular street food in Brazil is coxinha, basically a deep-fried chicken croquette which consists of shredded chicken surrounded by dough. Eaten in a large variety of sizes, coxinha may occasionally feature catupiry, similar to cream cheese. If you don’t have time to a complete meal, coxinha is a good option to eat on the go. Find it at snack bars and bakeries in Brazil!