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9 Afro-Brazilian Restaurants You Need To Try While in Brazil
In many Afro-Brazilian restaurants in Brazil, you can experience a mixture of flavors and history. Most of those dishes were created during slavery era, and were highly influenced by West African roots. Rio de Janeiro and Salvador have a vibrant culture, and the best way to experience this is to taste authentic cuisine in the cities.
Brazil’s ethno-gastronomy is very rich, and it has become bigger over the past years, mainly in Rio and Salvador. Surely, the pandemic brought some setbacks. Some are still serveing customers exclusively by delivery. But step by step, Afro-Brazilian restaurants in those two most Afrocentric cities are reopening and establishing safety protocols to keep their businesses alive.
Feijoada (a stew of black or brown beans with beef and pork), acarajé (made of ground-black eyed peas with ingredients such as onions and pepper shaped into fritters and deep-fried in dendê oil), and shrimp bobó (dish of shrimp in a purée of manioc (or cassava) meal with coconut milk, herbs, ginger) among others, represent the popular Afro-Brazilian dishes that can be found in many Black Brazilian restaurants.
Travel Noire has compiled a list of 9 Afro-Brazilian restaurants you should try while in Rio or Salvador.
1. Quilombo Cultural Casa do Nando Bar and Restaurant - Rio de Janeiro
Since 2013, Casa do Nando Restaurant has been welcoming Afro-Brazilian cuisine lovers in Rio. Chef Nando, who is also the host, offers one of the best feijoadas in the city. In addition to beans, Nando prepares a good oxtail and potatoes. Another popular dish is the chicken with okra, a delicious combination of flavors which is very popular among Afro-Brazilians.
Quilombo Cultural Casa do Nando is a welcoming space with artistic, cultural and social action activities. Quilombo, a Kimbundu word that means “war camp”, is Afro-Brazilian settlements founded by enslaved Black people in Brazil.
Casa do Nando is located in Rio’s downtown area.
2. Afro Gourmet Restaurant Rio de Janeiro
Afro Gourmet Restaurant deeply embraces West Africa cuisine on its menu. Managed by chef Dandara Batista, the restaurant offers African flavors in dishes such as Hausa Rice, a mixture of jerked beef, shrimps, onions, chili pepper sauce coconut milk and dendê oil; Ndolé Rice, which contains beef, shrimps and bananas; and Amalá with oxtail, among others.
Afro Gourmet also offers Afro-Brazilian dishes such as Shrimp Bobó and Moqueca, also known as Brazilian Seafood Stew
Afro Gourmet’s cuisine combines affection and resistance, highly valued by chef Dandara to offer African food as a way to establish African roots connections.
Afro Gourmet is located in Rio’s North zone area.
3. Kaza 123- Rio de Janeiro
Managed by Lica Oliveira, Rodrigo França and Maria Júlia Ferreira, Kaza 123 has as its flagship dish Angu(Brazilian corn porridge) served as a reference of an African ancestral meal.
The Angu is served with many options. The most popular are Angu Bahiana and Angu with oxtail. Kaza 123’s menu also includes feijoada and Bobó de Camarão aka Shrimp bobó.
4. Dida's Bar - Rio de Janeiro
Dida Bar and Restaurant is perhaps the most popular Afro-Brazilain restaurant in Rio. Owned by Dilma Nascimento, she combines African gastronomy and art. Feijoada and Shrimp Bobo are Dida’s flagship dishes.
Before the pandemic, samba parties and jazz sessions were held at Dida’s, as well as workshops on Black culture.
5. Casa Omolokum- Rio de Janeiro
Casa Omolokum is located in Pedra do Sal, the iconic Afro-Brazilian district in Rio de Janeiro. Led by Chef Leila Leão, Casa Omolokum features Shrimp Bobó, Chicken xinxim (Brazilian dish of chicken and prawns braised in coconut milk with dried shrimp, garlic, ginger, dendê palm oil and peanuts), Caruru (a dish consisting of okra, dried shrimps, onions, and toasted nuts cooked in dendê palm oil), and Acarajé.
Along with the food, the place was also concepted as a cultural center for the Black Diaspora, offering workshops on African literature, Black entrepreneurship and ethno-gastronomy.
6. Baro do Davi - Rio de Janeiro
From the Favela to the world. Chef David Bispo has become a synonym of a successful Afro-Brazilian entrepreneur, born and raised in the favela.
Located in Chapéu Mangueira Favela, Baro do David offers feijoada, pastries, acarajé, and shrimp bobó among others.
Many Brazilian celebrities and people from all over the world have paid a visit to Davi’s Bar, making him a true icon in Rio’s Afro-Brazilian gastronomy.
7. Casa de Tereza - Salvador
Located in Salvador’s Bohemian neighborhood of Rio Vermelho, the restaurant is very popular and awarded in Brazil and abroad.
Managed by chef Tereza Paim, Casa de Tereza serves Shrimp Bobó, Caruru and Chicken Xinxin. But its most popular dish is the moqueca prepared with lobster or octopus, shrimp and fish and accompanied by coconut and rice.
8. Donana Restaurant
This restaurant is simple and cozy. The signature dish is the shrimp moqueca that comes with some Brazilian spices.
Despite its simplicity, long lines are formed to enter the restaurant on weekends. The tip is to start the meal eating shrimp skewers and drinking a beer.
9. Pietro Restaurant
This restaurant combines good Afro-Brazilian food and a great tour experience. There are several moquecas options and guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of Todos os Santo Bay while eating.
Crab moqueca is one of the most served dishes.