A Guide to Brazilian Breakfast Food

Serra a town in Minas Gerais where you can get canastra cheese part of the Brazilian breakfast

Brazilian breakfast is full, hearty, and generous. The country has fully embraced the merits of the most important meal of the day. It’s a meal laden with healthy treats, balanced out by unique baked goods.

Paired with the tropical sun, your vitamin levels will be at a healthy high marker after enjoying a Brazilian breakfast. Plus, there’s gluten-free options too!

This post lists what you will most likely find at breakfast in Brazil. You will also be able to choose wisely when you can’t fit everything you see on the breakfast buffet into your belly.

Brazilian Breakfast Fruits

The first course of Brazilian breakfast, and yes, there’s a first round, is the tropical fruits. Each season will bring in different options. However, you can count on the bananas, papaya, and watermelon year-round.

In Brazil, bananas have unique flavours. Unlike in other less tropical countries, where the imported banana is called a ‘banana’, in Brazil, you should be versed on all varieties.

The most common banana is the prata (silver), then maçã (apple), and if you are lucky, the tiny ouro (golden).

  • Guava will most likely make an appearance from December – March.
  • Mango fruits November – January.
  • Pineapple September – January.
  • Tangerine March – November.

Some Brazilian fruits I would also try if you can find them, are graviola or fruta de conde, starfruit, cacao, jabuticaba, and Brazilian grapes varieties.

Brazilian Breakfast Cheese Bread

Second up on the Brazilian breakfast food in cheese bread. This is cassava flour baked with cheese. This one is gluten-free! Called Pão de Queijo, these are best served freshly baked and warm. Pão de Queijo is taken very seriously in Brazil, and the key seems to be the type of cheese.  

If you are in Rio de Janeiro, I suggest going to a Nema bakery to sample their cheese bread with Brazilian Canastra cheese. An award-winning cheese from Minas Gerais. Nema sells ready-to-eat baked pão de queijo or frozen packets to cook at home.  

Tapioca Pancakes are a Brazilian Breakfast Tradition

In the Northeast, tapioca for breakfast in Brazil is common. This is a gluten-free pancake made with cassava flour balls. It’s the same ingredient you find in bubble tea.

A tapioca is usually filled with cheese and ham. In some hotels, you can order tapioca pancakes to be made for you. Pay attention to others asking for this and if there is a little tapioca menu on the tables.

I love tapioca with cheese and tomato. Try one with Minas cheese (queijo Minas) for a fresh cheese flavour.  

Bread Options at a Brazilian Breakfast

A Misto Quente is a Brazilian toasty. The name translates as hot mix. Very fitting, it is a hot mix of tastiness. Similar to the tapioca, there are an unlimited number of fillings to choose from.

Tostadas are little toasted slices of bread. Bread is a staple at Brazilian breakfasts, but tostadas, which are stale bread toasted in the oven, are also super common. I once tried pumpkin tostado, and it was delectable.  

Brazilian Breakfast Cheese

The Brazilians take a slice of advice from continental Europe regarding cheese at breakfast. Expect some plates of sliced cheese in every hotel.

The most common cheeses are:

  • sliced mozzarella,
  • queijo minas (a fresh milk raw cheese),
  • canastra cheese,
  • queijo prato,
  • ricotta cheese

Brazilian Breakfast Cake Options

One round of the Brazilian breakfast fare is the sweet round. It’s a good one to sample the chef’s creativity that day. I’d recommend the carrot cake since it’s the moistest.

What cakes you’ll most likely see:

  • Corn cake (torta de milho),
  • Tapioca cake (torta de tapioca),
  • Orange cake (torta de laranja),
  • Carrot cakes (torta de cenoura).

Brazilian Coffee

Breakfast in Brazil is, after all, called morning coffee: café da manhã. Filtered coffee is the most common brew. Did you know that Brazil grows 70% of the world’s coffee?

The types of coffee you can order in Brazil are as follows:

  • Carioca (espresso with added water, 50 ml)
  • Espresso (50ml coffee shot)
  • Café curto (25 ml small espresso)
  • Cafe filtrado (filtered coffee, 50 ml)
  • Café com leite (half coffee, half milk)

You may also be interested in reading our Guide to Decrypting the Brazilian Menu!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.