One of the oldest restaurants in the city, Restaurante Gambrinus has been serving the locals of Porto Alegre since 1889. Its prime position on the harbour front makes it the go-to restaurant to savour delicious fish and seafood dishes. Fillet of sole, conger eel, salmon fillet with capers and plenty of shrimp-based dishes all have a firm place on the tempting menu. A Portuguese-themed restaurant, the décor is charming with a distinct air of sophistication, complete with overarching doorways and cascading chandeliers to give it that extra splash of glamour. For a night of light and superbly finished dishes, reserve a table at Restaurante Gambrinus.
Restaurante Gambrinus, Public Market 85, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil,+55 51 3226 6914
Atelier de Massas
A restaurant-cum-art-gallery, Atelier de Massas promises a decadent array of flavoursome pasta sauces to complement the multitude of freshly made pasta varieties. The sunny yellow walls of the eatery are adorned with numerous artworks, allowing diners to enjoy contemporary visual art in between courses. To showcase the paintings and to ensure that the food remains a focal point, the décor is otherwise kept very simple, with soft, neutral furnishings and a relaxed, café-like ambience. Enjoy the four cheese fettuccine, the chef’s ravioli or the roquefort agnolini whilst listening to gentle jazz music and imbibing the cultural atmosphere.
Atelier de Massas, Rua Riachuelo 1482, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, +55 51 3225 1125
Koh Pee Pee
For something slightly spicier than traditional Brazilian fare, head to the authentic Thai restaurant Koh Pee Pee. A favourite amongst local foodies, the dishes are ranked according to the strength of spice, ensuring that diners will never order something too hot (or to mild) for their tastes. Decorated in the regal Thai manner, Koh Pee Pee is a luxurious dining establishment and the perfect place to indulge in a special meal. The dishes are bursting with flavour and expertly prepared – those with a preference for hotter dishes should try the green curry with shrimps, whilst those looking for something milder should order the chicken and cashew nuts with fragrant jasmine rice.
Koh Pee Pee, Rua Schiller 83, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, +55 51 3333 5150
Split across two levels, the Boteco Natalicio is a delightfully quirky bar full of Brazilian flair. The menu is packed full of much-loved Brazilian dishes such as crunchy shrimp sandwiches with catupirycheese and honey-smoked pork ribs. Of course, there’s plenty ofchopp (draught beer) flowing too, in keeping with Boteco’s reputation as a top Brazilian bar. Boteco Natalicio comes alive at night, so why not stay on after dinner to experience the upbeat, fun-loving night-time vibe.
As one of the most popular bistros in the city, Chicafundo has honed the skill of appearing almost effortlessly perfect. From the mismatched furnishings and wall decorations to the ever-changing and perpetually creative menu, there’s nothing not to love about this homely yet sophisticated eatery. The chef, Elisa Prenna, always manages to find the time to step away from the kitchen and engage with all the guests, ensuring that they are receiving the very highest quality experience and enjoying her dishes. Rather than preparing an a la carte menu, the varied selection of dishes changes weekly, presenting customers with entirely different flavours and new dishes. Previous dishes have included oriental steak with jasmine rice,guioza salad and sweet chilli and pork spaghetti.
Chicafundo, Rua Coronel Bordini 232, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, +55 51 3028 6091
No trip to Brazil is complete without spending an evening at a gaucho-themed churrascaria. At Galpao Crioulo, gauchos sing and dance in full costume amongst the tables whilst diners tuck into what are locally reputed to be the most incredible steaks in the region. There’s no such thing as a measly six ounce steak here – it’s all about generous hunks of the finest quality meat.
A meat-lovers dream, Galpao Crioulo marinates its meats to create wonderful explosions of flavour with every bite. Book a table here and get ready to experience a true Brazilian institution.
Although catering mainly for meat enthusiasts, Na Brasa is everything an eager appetite could ask for. To do things in style, ask for the tasting menu, which will provide a constant stream of freshly cooked succulent meats brought to you and carved at the table. Sausages, rib-eye, chorizo, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, ribs, lamb, veal, chicken and fish can all be enjoyed in abundance. A selection of side dishes and salads are available to be enjoyed alongside the hearty fare and the huge array of different red wines on offer will sate any wine aficionado and perfectly complement the repast.
Na Brasa, Rua Ramiro Barcelos 389, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, +55 51 3225 2205
Takedo provides an unbeatable buffet-spread of sushi, sashimi and seafood dishes for guests to enjoy. Alongside this locally renowned all-you-can-eat buffet option, diners are also welcome to order from the popular a la carte menu. Two particularly highly recommended dishes are the hot Takedo sushi starter followed by the blackened tuna with a sesame seed coating. The quality is so high that the premium prices are easily justified. On warm evenings, choose to sit on the covered deck area to luxuriate in the elegant surroundings and enjoy a slice of Japan in the heart of Brazil.
Takedo, Rua Carvalho Monteiro 397, Bela Vista, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, +55 51 3388 5097
Tudo Pelo Social
By far one of the most authentic eateries in Porto Alegre, Tudo Pelo Social is the place to go to truly dine like a local. There are no fancy facades, elaborate furnishings or fine dining menus, yet Tudo Pelo maintains a large and loyal customer base. Almost styled akin to an artsy, laid-back canteen, diners sit side by side on long benches whilst tucking into delicious, generous portions of grilled meats and perfectly prepared rice dishes, sipping on chopp beer. A firm favourite amongst locals, this style of eatery is common throughout Brazil and makes for a great lunch or dinner spot for those eager to get the full Brazilian culinary experience.
Using traditional Brazilian ingredients to make authentic Catalan-inspired dishes, Xavier260 is very much a unique restaurant in Porto Alegre. The menu completely changes every few weeks for the daily dinner service (Tuesday–Saturday) which begins at 8pm. The beautifully presented dishes look like individual works of art, designed to delight each of the senses in turn. Previous exquisite dishes on the menu included Moroccan seafood couscous packed full of octopus and mussels, served with a shrimp and prawn aioli; a delicious whole sea bream accompanied by hot ginger and grilled squash and a dessert of banana and figs infused with rum and coconut.
Xavier260, Rua Auxiliadora 260, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, +55 51 3273 0551