Top 5 Street Eats in Rio de Janeiro

If you’re a foodies with a flair, Rio is just for you!

Yes, food sold on the streets in Rio, or any where for that matter, can be sketchy for sure. My tip always, if it looks off or just not quite there, you’re probably right. Trust your gut and steer clear of the funny looking ones. Crowds and lines is a safe bet so make sure to get in one.

Here are our top 5 must eat street foods in Rio in no particular order.

Pastel de Queijo | Rio de Janeiro

Pastel de Queijo

cheese pastel

Stuffed with either beef, pork or shrimp. Some even exotic and slightly questionable fillings. I basically avoided the bizaar food and stuck with the basics. Just plain cheese, please.

This particular stall we stumbled upon at a farmer’s market nearby serve freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. I’ve had sugar cane juice in Vietnam where it’s a popular street drink, and believe me when I tell you, this is the best sugar cane juice we’ve ever had. It’s the perfect drink, the cheapest snack on the go. It’s the most memorable, unplanned meal in Rio.

Pipoca | Rio de Janeiro

Pipoca

popcorn

This is the best late night snack in Rio! Especially while taking a stroll through the park around the lake watching the floating Christmas tree change colors.

There are two choices — salted or caramel. The secret third and best option though is getting the combo — half salted, half caramel. But wait.. Even better, make sure you top the popcorn with sweetened condensed milk. Yup! Now, you can’t tell me that doesn’t sound devine though. Because it is. Movie theaters should start serving their popcorn like this then maybe it’ll be worth $10 a pop (corn).

Tapioca | Rio de Janeiro

Tapiocas

crepes

Warning: This is not the tapioca you’re probably thinking of. Not at all! It’s crepes!

We saw a long line and decided to get in it. With one vendor, one stove and a line of 20 or more, the odds are always stacked against us.

We stood in line for nearly 30 minutes. And with each passing minute, the vendor would run out of fillings. First the bananas, then the caramel. Another minute — Nutella gone. By the time we got to the front of the line, all that was left were coconut shavings and sugar. Just our luck. We did not get a chance to actually try this, but the line should speak for itself.

Just a side note, there are plenty of Tapioca stands throughout the park and city. However, none were as popular as this guy so we didn’t even want to bother with the rest.  

Acai | Rio de Janeiro

Acai

smoothie

“Acai.. Acai.. Acaiii!” echos the beach vendors as they meander up and down the beaches. But this isn’t where I would recommend you try this. Who knows how long they’ve been carrying cups of melted Acai around. It’s food poisoning waiting to happen is what it is.

I suggest you seek out a juice bar who will make it fresh for you. There are hundreds lined up and down the beaches. Can’t miss it. We came across ours at, of all places, a late night Chinese take out. One of the few places open on Christmas. Go figure. Chinese. In Rio. Open on Christmas. Lol! I feel right at home.

Churros | Rio de Janeiro

Churros

caramel filled

It’s New Year’s Eve and only 2 days left in Rio. G is extremely sad he has yet to get his hands on a churro. We were out shopping for Havainas when I noticed a small churro push cart and rather quietly and nonchalantly said, “Oh look.. churros.”

And not even a second later I hear this, “CHURROS!!” And G running.

Sad to admit, it’s the happiest I’ve seen him all trip long. You can see the look of pure joy in G below.

I know what you might be thinking, but these aren’t your ordinary Mexican churros from the Flea Market. They’re filled with deliciousness two ways — dulce de leche or chocolate. Between the 6 of us, we cleared out the entire cart.

Next to Chiang Mai and Hanoi, Rio tops my list as one of the best destinations for street food.

What’s your favorite street eats destination?

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  • Kelly Sok

    Everything, especially the churro, looks so amazing!

  • Kelly Sok

    Everything, especially the churro, looks so amazing!

  • http://www.artofbackpacking.com Michael

    mm churros. Want!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      mm caramel filled churros. DOUBLE WANT!! Any churros in Ecuador?

      • http://www.artofbackpacking.com Michael

        Nah. Or at least I haven’t seen any. Starts becoming more popular in Peru though.

  • http://artofadventuring.com Michael

    mm churros. Want!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      mm caramel filled churros. DOUBLE WANT!! Any churros in Ecuador?

      • http://artofadventuring.com Michael

        Nah. Or at least I haven’t seen any. Starts becoming more popular in Peru though.

  • http://www.twoOregonians.com twoOregonians

    Oh my word… Cannot wait! My best friend raved about the fresh acai berry foods when she lived in Brazil in 2004. It’s been funny to see it become such a trend in the US in recent years. I’m looking forward to trying it in its local setting : ) Thanks for the tips, guys!

  • http://www.twoOregonians.com twoOregonians

    Oh my word… Cannot wait! My best friend raved about the fresh acai berry foods when she lived in Brazil in 2004. It’s been funny to see it become such a trend in the US in recent years. I’m looking forward to trying it in its local setting : ) Thanks for the tips, guys!

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  • http://twitter.com/DocWends Journeys and Travels

    i would love the caramel-filled churos haha

  • Journeys & Travels

    i would love the caramel-filled churos haha

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  • Tourist 2 Townie

    I have been living on Acai and churros since I moved to Rio de Janeiro two months ago. You definitely listed a few of my favorites, and you can’t forget about pao de queijo, kibes or all the other types of salgados and sucos Brazil has to offer! Nice post.

  • Tourist 2 Townie

    I have been living on Acai and churros since I moved to Rio de Janeiro two months ago. You definitely listed a few of my favorites, and you can’t forget about pao de queijo, kibes or all the other types of salgados and sucos Brazil has to offer! Nice post.

  • Tourist 2 Townie

    I have been living on Acai and churros since I moved to Rio de Janeiro two months ago. You definitely listed a few of my favorites, and you can’t forget about pao de queijo, kibes or all the other types of salgados and sucos Brazil has to offer! Nice post.

    • gqtrippin

      Saw a pics of you in the favelas — are you still in Rio? Ah man, we’re missing and craving pao de queijo and pastels so much. I don’t think we took advantage of the sucos, shame. Guess we’ll have to go back soon. 🙂 Hope you’re having a blast there!

  • Tourist 2 Townie

    I have been living on Acai and churros since I moved to Rio de Janeiro two months ago. You definitely listed a few of my favorites, and you can’t forget about pao de queijo, kibes or all the other types of salgados and sucos Brazil has to offer! Nice post.

  • http://www.escapehunter.com/ Escape Hunter

    Rio seems like a great place for eating around

    • gqtrippin

      It really is — have you been? Definitely a great place for street eats!

  • http://www.escapehunter.com/ Escape Hunter

    Rio seems like a great place for eating around

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