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Brazil Lifestyle and Culture

Brazilian culture has been forged through the country’s sometimes turbulent history and shaped by many different peoples. Centuries of colonial domination and slavery have made their mark on the country, contributing both European and African influences to Brazil’s traditions, cuisine, music and architecture.

Brazilian food and drink

Brazilian cuisine reflects the diversity of cultural influences on the country. It also varies significantly between different regions, based on local people’s traditions, on which foods grow most abundantly in different areas.

There’s no official Brazilian national dish. Popular throughout the country are feijoada (a black bean and pork/beef stew with smoked sausage, served with rice, shredded kale and orange segments) and vatapá (dried/fresh shrimp cooked with ground peanuts and coconut milk, served on rice).

Other widely enjoyed dishes are moqueca (a tomato-based fish stew with coconut milk), polenta, acarajé (deep-fried balls made from black-eyed peas and served with fillings) and caruru, which includes okra, dried shrimp and toasted nuts.

Typically desserts are very sweet; many are variations on the egg custards of Portugal and France.

Due to its coastal location, Brazil boasts plenty of fresh fish and seafood. Specialties in the north-east include spicy seafood stews, and freshwater fish is often served in soups or steamed in palm leaves in the Amazon region.

The most famous Brazilian cocktail is the caipirinha, which is made with crushed lime, sugar and cachaça (sugarcane liquor).

Brazilian restaurants

There are many great eateries in Brazil. São Paulo, in particular, is famous for top-notch dining. Here we’ve provided a smattering of some of the best of Brazil’s many fine restaurants:
• Casa da Feijoada in Ipanema is rumoured to serve the best feijoada (traditional meat and bean stew) in Rio de Janeiro.
• For the best Bahian cuisine in Rio, and some of the tastiest seafood, try Siri Mole & Cia.
• Varanda Grill in São Paulo is renowned for serving the finest meat in the area, sourced from local and international suppliers. The wine list here rivals any other in the city.
• D.O.M. in São Paulo is ranked as one of the top 10 best restaurants in the world by S. Pellegrino, and is considered the best in Brazil. Here traditional recipes are reinterpreted to create tasty, inspired dishes.
• In Salvador head to Casa de Tereza for dinner. Here Brazilian dishes such as acarajé (peeled black-eyed peas deep fried in palm oil) and moqueca (salt water fish stewed in coconut milk) are served in a beautiful colonial building.

Brazilian nightlife

The nightlife in Brazil, particularly in the hubs of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Salvador, is lively, loud and justifiably world famous. In general, clubs stay open late, often presenting their main entertainments only after midnight.

Both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo host top international DJs. These cities are also known for their samba clubs and live music venues. High-end resort Búzios, situated up the coast from Rio de Janeiro, is popular for its chic clubs such as Pacha and Privilege.