As the capital of Brazil‘s Minas Gerais, a state defined by its rustic and slow-cooked food, Belo Horizonte is teeming with wonderful restaurants and intriguing markets that capture the region’s best cuisines. Minas Gerais food is all about soul-warming ingredients served in hearty portions, and there is no better place to try it than Belo Horizonte.
For an authentic experience of Minas Gerais food, it’s hard to imagine a better place than Xapuri. Set inside a farmhouse barn, the rustic building features breezy open sides, a charming thatched roof, and sturdy wooden tables. The menu options wonderfully represent why Mineiro food is so beloved, with mouthwatering choices such as caramelised banana, slow-cooked beef with a rich gravy, and a pumpkin filled with tender dried meat.
The light and breezy interior of Casa Amora is much like a fresh spring’s day, with soft grey walls providing a backdrop to yellow chairs and tables draped in white cloths. The lunch-only menu provides a simple option of three types of meat or fish served with salad and rice, or a diverse buffet menu that allows diners to sample a variety of healthy eating options such as baked sweet potatoes and thick toasted bread with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and avocado.
A famous landmark in Belo Horizonte, the Mercado Central is a maze of stalls, bars, and places to eat that sell wonderful local produce. Look out for the locally-produced doce de leite (sweet milk), soft homemade cheese, guava paste, and regional cachaça. One of the most popular bar and restaurants there is Casa Cheia, which offers traditional Minas Gerais food such as soup with chunks of smoked sausage and pork ribs, served with cheese and spinach. For an indulgent treat, try the pork scratchings with a chilled beer.
Choperia Krug Bier produces its own beer and has been doing so since 1994 when it became the first microbrewery in Belo Horizonte. In addition to its smooth beer, the food is what draws the crowds in with a menu that ranges from classic Minas Gerais food such as slow-cooked pork knuckle to more Western style options such as buffalo wings.