London is bursting with bustling Brazilian restaurants that give expats a taste of home and the rest of London a chance to experience Brazil’s culture and delicious cuisine. Here are the best Brazilian restaurants in London. For good measure we’ve also thrown in some of the best ‘churrascarias’, which are places where meat is cooked churrasco style; the word translates roughly from the Portuguese for barbecue.
A little local Brazilian boteco bar in the heart of London, Barraco attracts an array of expats, Brits and tourists after a dose of true Brazilian atmosphere. Choose the seafood moqueca, a traditional fish stew made from coconut milk, peppers, palm oil, onions, garlic and spices. Another good choice is the churrasco misto (mixed grill) of pork, chicken and beef served with either rice and beans or chips and salad. Stop by on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday evening to enjoy the live music while chatting to the friendly staff and feasting on delicious dishes. Take away is also available.
Sample the finest slow-roasted meats cooked over a traditional Brazilian churrascaria at Rodizio Preto. Diners that opt for the full rodízio experience will be able to help themselves to gourmet salads, pasta and rice dishes, beans and authentic Brazilian side dishes to accompany the succulent meats that will be carved for them at their table. Each table has a two-sided disc that they place green side up when they wish for the waiters to bring them more meat, and red side up when they are taking a break. The 15 spit-roasted meats offered include rump steak, beef neck hump, pork ribs, chicken hearts, pork loin and spicy sausage. The full rodizio grill costs £19.95 ($26.40) for adults and just £4.95 ($6.55) for children under 12 years of age.
Pizzerias are as easy to come by in Brazil as they are in Italy, and London’s own Café Brazil thrives on its Italo-Brazilian pizzas. Start with a portion of coxinha (traditional Brazilian deep-fried croquettes made with potato dough and chicken). Then, follow up with a large, mouth-wateringly cheesy pizza. Wash the pizza down with a Brahma beer or get the party started with a couple of lethal caipirinha cocktails. It’s a great place to go to get a taste of Brazilian culture without getting on a plane but book a table online to avoid long queues waiting for a table.
Previously voted Brazilian restaurant of the year, Galpao is a small family-run restaurant that provides Londoners with the opportunity to enjoy a real Brazilian bar experience. Serving only authentic, home-style cooking, Galpao’s signature dishes include the churrasco Galpao mixed grill consisting of South American rump steak, pork loin, chicken breast, Brazilian sausage and a choice of two sides; and the grilled chicken hearts with sautéed onions to share. While waiting for their meal to be freshly prepared, diners can sit back and listen to Samba or Bossa Nova music while sipping on chopp beer or a bottle of Brahma or Itaipava. For those on a budget, Galpao also offers an incredibly tempting £5 ($6.60) lunch deal.
Renowned for being the first tapioca house in the UK, Tia Maria now provides much more than those tasty wraps. Start with fried cassava or calamari for starter then order either the pan-fried sea bass fillet or the salt-cured steak served with Halloumi cheese, boiled cassava and salad for main course. To finish, opt for the açaí bowl or coconut fudge truffle. Be sure to reserve a table in advance as Tia Maria’s popularity means the restaurant fills up quickly, especially on weekends. For a bargain meal, stop by on a Tuesday and receive 50 percent off main courses.
Fusing traditional Brazilian cuisine with the edgy Shoreditch atmosphere, Floripa has taken original home-style cooking and shaken it up with a contemporary, healthy twist. Diners at Floripa can still enjoy the much-loved authentic dishes such as feijoada but can do so in a less filling and less hearty way. There’s even a vegan option (using tofu) available. Other dishes on offer include chicken, calabrese sausage and apple skewers and the delicious mixed grill sharing platter. Keeping things seasonal and fresh, the menu at Floripa changes regularly. However, guests can always be certain that the food with be tasty and there will be heaps of cachaca-based accompanying cocktails to choose from.