Brazilian breakfast is full, hearty and generous. The country has fully embraced the merits of 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 Brazilian breakfast. Plus, there’s gluten-free options too!
This post lists what you’re most likely to 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 simply called a ‘banana’, in Brazil you should be versed on all varieties.
The most common banana in the prata (silver), then maçã (apple) and if you are lucky the tiny ouro (golden).
- Guava will most likely make an appearance in 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. 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.
Tostados are little toasted slices of bread. Bread is a staple at the Brazilian breakfast, but the tostadas, which are stale bread toasted in the oven, are also very common. I once tried pumpkin tostado and it was delectable.
Brazilian Breakfast Cheese
The Brazilians take a slice of advice from continental Europe when it comes to 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 creativity of the chef 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).
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?
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!