The Olympic Games ended this last weekend with a bang, celebrating the athleticism and sportsmanship of its competitors. The world received a glimpse of Brazil's diverse culture and many would say it was a success despite the political turmoil. If you're feeling a certain void from the competition, fill that emptiness with delicious Brazilian cuisine that LA has to offer. Here, you'll find everything from comfort foods to street foods from all corners of LA, with an explanation of what to order at each place.Read More
Where to Find the Best Brazilian Food in Los Angeles
Find your favorite Brazilian dish, or discover a new one you've never tried
1. Empadāo at Wood Spoon
One of the most authentic and unpretentious Brazilian restaurants in town is Wood Spoon. Its warm and inviting atmosphere makes for a great meal filled with Brazilian favorites. With multiple standouts on the menu, the main attraction is the empadão, a Brazilian chicken potpie with hearts of palm, olives, and roasted corn.
2. Pāo de queijo at Wood Spoon
One of Brazil’s most popular snacks or appetizers is pão de queijo. It can be served before a meal, at a birthday party or as a side item in many establishments. Think puffed bread shaped into a ball with a chewy, cheesy center. Wood Spoon makes pão de queijo from scratch and is a great opener to any meal. Bonus: it’s usually gluten-free because it’s made with tapioca flour.
3. Coxinhas at Cantinho Brasileiro
Culver City, CA
Interestingly enough, Cantinho Brasileiro is located inside a Hispanic meat market in Palms called El Camaguey. Open until 3 p.m., Cantinho Brasileiro boasts delicious Brazilian dishes for lunch. An incredibly popular street food dish is the coxinha. It’s reminiscent of a fried croquette in the shape of a chicken leg. Inside a coxinha, you’ll find marinated shredded chicken in a doughy center. Cantinho Brasileiro raises the bar by adding catupiry inside, which is similar to a lighter cream cheese filling.
4. Stroganoff at Ta Bom Truck
The Brazilian food truck Ta Bom specializes in a variety of Brazilian dishes and the Brazilian Stroganoff is its bestseller. The variation between the old-school Russian dish and the Brazilian one is diced beef or chicken, onions, mushroom, tomato sauce and heavy cream on a bed of rice. To top it off, shoestring potato chips are added for an extra crunch. Follow Ta Bom’s Twitter to find out where it’s headed next.
5. Pastel at Mesa Brazilian Eatery
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Located in Westwood, Mesa Brazilian Grill is as minimalistic as it gets. And you may think twice before walking in but don’t be fooled; it has some of the best, affordable and speedy Brazilian meals in town. A favorite here is a street food called pastel. Imagine a wonton and an empanada having a baby and becoming a Brazilian snack. Inside you’ll find gooey cheese or order it with meat and cheese for a great appetizer before your meal.
6. Churrasco at Pampas Grill Farmers Market
For those wanting a casual meal, where you pay at the counter, Pampas Grill inside the Farmer’s Market at The Grove is a fantastic choice. Start at the buffet, then choose which cut of meat you’d prefer and afterwards you pay by weight. And voila, you have a delicious Brazilian meal without the steep price tag.
7. Feijoada at Cafe Brasil
For colorful ambiance and traditional Brazilian food, Café Brasil prepares feijoada extremely well. Feijoada is a staple in most Brazilian kitchens and consists of a black bean stew with pork and beef, cooked in low heat for hours. In Brazil, it’s customarily served on Saturday afternoon and meant to be enjoyed with family. Accompanied by white rice, farofa (toasted cassava flour similar to breadcrumbs) for added texture, collard greens, and an orange slice to help with digestion.
8. Moqueca at Mesa Brazilian Eatery
Los Angeles, CA 90024
If you’re craving a fish dish for dinner, step into Mesa for moqueca. Moqueca is a fish stew made with coconut milk, tomato, onions, garlic and palm oil. Different regions of Brazil have distinctive adaptations but it’s usually made in a clay pot and cooked slowly. It’s tangy, comforting, flavorful and a great Brazilian dish to step out of your comfort zone.
9. Pudim at Brazuca
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
For dessert, head over to Brazuca for pudim de leite. Pudim is Brazil’s version of flan but creamier, sweeter and richer. It’s a signature dessert that you’ll find in most households and Brazilian restaurants, and one that you should save room for after dinner.
10. Brigadeiro at Ta Bom Truck
Another traditional dessert is the brigadeiro. It’s a chocolate truffle made with condensed milk, chocolate powder and rolled in chocolate sprinkles. For a quick treat or snack, order a few at the Ta Bom truck to appease your sweet tooth. Brazilians grow up eating these delicacies at birthday parties and celebrations of all sorts. You’ll find it at many Brazilian restaurants and it is also extremely simple to make at home.
11. Caipirinhas at Fogo de Chão
Yes, Fogo De Chāo is a churrascaria where carnivores get to enjoy all-you-can-eat meat anytime. However, prior to engaging in the buffet and gorging on steak, order a caipirinha. It’s a Brazilian specialty drink made with muddled limes, raw sugar and cachaça (a Brazilian rum made from sugar cane). The cocktail is strong, fresh, and simple and Fogo De Chao makes some of the best in town.
12. Açai Bowls at Ubatuba
One of the most popular Brazilian specialties has taken Los Angeles by storm. Acai bowls are trending all over town with creative and healthy variations of the Brazilian fruit acai with granola and fresh fruit. With many delicious options around, Ubatuba in Koreatown stands out. The puruba bowl made with passion fruit, strawberries, pineapple and granola transports you to Copacabana Beach right in the middle of summer.