Practical information : Eating out Brazil
Depending on the type of restaurant, the opening hours will vary. Some establishments will essentially operate between 11am and 3pm and serve "buffets" and food by the kilo. Others operate at lunch and dinner (usually from 11am to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm). Most of the time, those who offer buffet and kilo food at noon only offer a la carte dishes in the evening. Brazilians often eat out with their families on Friday nights or at weekends. The waiting time is then a bit long. For some establishments, it is strongly advised to make reservations.
Budget & Tips
The price range of the restaurants is very variable. You can eat a few salgados for a handful of reais, a PF(prato feito or ready meal) for about 15 reais or break your piggy bank at Carla Pernambouco or Alex Atala, where the bill will happily exceed 100 euros per person. Overall, you can eat well for about 100 reais. A kilo of medium range food will cost 35 reais a kilo, like at the Rancho in Mariana (Minas Gerais) or 75 reais at the restaurant The line near the arc of Teles in Rio.
What costs extra
The price is usually inclusive of all taxes. A tip is added because the salary of the waiters is not very high. Between 5 and 10 %, one can estimate that the tip is correct. You can be even more generous if you feel that the service is worth it. When there are musicians performing, many restaurants charge for a musical cover. This is often marked at the entrance or on the menu. The price can be quite high.
The local way
Some dishes are presented as being for one, two or even three people. It is wise to check the real size of the dishes on the plates of the guests around because indeed, some plates for one person are largely sufficient for two, or for three... Churrascarias are typical restaurants where you are served meat as much as you want. You have to put the little disc on the table in green position to be served by the waiters.
In many Brazilian restaurants, in the Nordeste or the Sudeste, you will systematically find the traditional feijão (red beans), farofa (manioc flour) and rice as accompaniment of the dishes. Often derived from African, Indian and Cabocla culinary traditions, these staple foods provided the calories needed for the hard days of work in the fields
To be avoided
In some bars, raw vegetables and seafood should be avoided. Mineral water is the rule in all places. The most wary or fragile will avoid ice cubes.
Some pousadas do not allow children in order to guarantee the tranquillity of the guests. This is not the case for restaurants. It is up to the parents to decide if children will disturb the guests.
Smoking is prohibited in bars and restaurants, as well as in all enclosed areas intended for public use.
Near the beaches and tourist spots, like in Copacabana, the unavoidable touts try to lure the shoppers by offering them a menu and selling them some advantages...