Brazillians are widely known for their barbecues and amazing tasty meat cuts (like our delicious picanha). Aside from caipirinhas, açai, and some other things(which are topic for another post), if you are coming to Brazil one thing you have probably heard about before and is dying to try are the Brazilian Steakhouses, as we call here Churrascarias . So if you are coming all the way here I guess you won’t want to miss the opportunity to try it out, right?
And so that you have the best experience while in Brazil, I won’t indicate just any Churrascaria to you, I will tell you the BEST ones in my honest opinion, because even if they can be more expensive than the average, I can assure you that there you pay for what you get, and nobody wants to pay cheaper for something and leave disappointed afterwards right?
If you don’t know what a Churrascaria is I will try to define it to you. So basically, Churrascarias are restaurants that from a “closed price” serve all you can eat barbecue! Therefore my friend, if you are meat lover, this place is heaven on earth for you (Literally!). If you are not such a meat lover though, don’t be reluctant, as some of the Churrascarias include even Japanese food and sea food to the mix (yes eclectic)!
And when I say “all you can it barbecue”, that means, the most different cuts and types of meat, chicken and pork, arriving at your table nonstop until you give up eating after a couple of rounds (or hours depending on your level of “hungriness”) and finally turn the little sign they leave at your table to the red side (meaning you are completely full!). Although don’t get desperate, if after a couple o minutes of conversation with your friends you change your mind and want to eat more don’t worry, just turn the sign to green again and they will start serving you once more. Need I say more to convince you to add a Churrascaria to your “go to list” ASAP? I hope not, so write down the addresses and tips of the best Churrascarias in town and make sure to try before you leave! The first one is Porcão Rio’s, which has several spots all over the town like in Barra da Tijuca, Ipanema and Flamengo. Although, we do recommend you (if you can), to visit the one in Aterro do Flamengo, as you can enjoy an amazing view of the Guanabara Bay with the Sugar Loaf in the background while enjoying your delicious meals (oh and quite often you can bump into international celebrities there as they usually stop by when in Rio, so keep your eyes open).
Porcão Rio’s offer an amazing selection of chicken and pork, but the highlight goes to the meat cuts which include: Cupim, Costela premium, Bife Ancho, Filé Mignon, Picanha, Alcatra, Fraldinha and many others. Plus they offer an excellent buffet selection with choices of salads, pasta, Japanese food, sea food, sides and tapas including typical brazillian ones like farofa, pastel, coxinha and many other options (which by the way, the buffet is all you can eat too!). Oh and after the meat stravaganza, if you still have some space in your stomach, their choices of dessert are also delicious! In addition, they have a great variety of drinks including capirinhas of all flavours which you can drink while appreciating the view of the Guanabara (if you went to the Flamengo branch!), sounds like a perfect afternoon plan to me!
Now moving on to another option equally as good, is the Fogo de Chão Restaurant, which unlike Porcão Rio’s is located only in the neiborhood of Botafogo. However, Fogo de Chao also has an amazing view overlooking the Guanabara Bay just like Porcão Rio’s (Flamengo branch). The meat selection is pretty much the same as the one in Porcão Rio’s, offering as many options of meat cuts, plus tasty chicken and porc selection. When it comes to the buffet the variety is also excelent, where you can find gourmet salads, fresh vegetables, imported cheeses, artisan breads, cured meat, sea food, and much more. And of course, in their buffet you will find also many Brazilian side dishes like pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, garlic mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas. The only difference between Porcão and Fogo de Chão is that when it comes to the buffet, Fogo de Chão does not offer Japanese food. Their desserts are also worth trying, but remember, desserts are not included in the “all you can eat” scheme of both restaurants. Overall the staff of Porcão Rio’s and Fogo de Chão are both friendly and welcoming, and the food quality is excellent in both restaurants so it’s up to you to decide which one to go. One thing you can be sure is that in both you will eat a lot and very well (you can thank me later!).
Porcão Rio’s Restaurant
$$: Around R$120,00 (depends on the branch you choose)
Aterro do Flamengo:
Avenida Infante Dom Enrique, Aterro do Flamengo.
Rua Barão da Torre n°218, Ipanema.
Barra da Tijuca:
Av. Armando Lombardi n° 591, Barra da Tijuca.
P.s At Porcão Rio’s children up to 5 years old don’t pay, from 6 to 10 years old they pay half of the price and from 11 years old they pay full price. Also people from 70 years old or more have a 10% discount on the full price.
Fogo de Chão Restaurant
$$: Around R$110,00.
Av. Repórter Nestor Moreira, Botafogo.