Brazil's culinary staples blend flavors from Europe, Africa

Brazil's culinary staples blend flavors from Europe, Africa and American Indian.

For a taste of the classics, visit Aprazivel (Rue Aprazivel, 62, aprazivel.com.br) in Santa Teresa, perched on a hill with tables set in treehouses. Get the signature grilled palm heart, as well as the Moquequinha do Rio, a fish stew cooked in vegetable gravy and coconut milk.

You can't visit Brazil without sampling feijoada (pictured), a Portuguese slow-cooked stew, heavy with beans and typically made with pork and beef. One place to enjoy the soul food is Casa da Feijoada (Rue Prudente de Moraes, 10, cozinhatipica.com.br), just make sure you bring a friend -- its hefty dishes are usually shared.

Another staple, Rio Scenarium (Rue do Lavradio, 20, rioscenarium.art.br) serves grilled meats and has a dance floor where locals samba.

If you're skipping the classics, Kraft Cafe (Rue Anibal de Mendonca, 55, facebook.com/kraftcafebrasil) just opened in the fashionable Ipanema neighborhood, serving locally roasted Brazilian coffee along with raw and vegan desserts.

(Credit: iStock)

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