Brazilian Food Terms You Must Know

brazilian food terms words

Interested in Brazilian cuisine and want to know some Brazilian food terms? Well, first you should know a little about the country itself. Brazil (better known as Brasil by the natives) is the largest country in South America. Portugal colonized Brazil in 1500, which is why Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. If you plan on visiting the country, know that English isn’t widely spoken outside of Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo.

Brazilian cuisine

Due to the sheer size of of its country, Brazilian cuisine is very diverse. Every region has their own version of various dishes. However, fresh local fish, meat, vegetable and fruits are common ingredients. Cassava (a.k.a. yuca) is a root vegetable that is especially popular in Brazilian dishes.

While breakfast is often light and comprises of fruits and various breads, lunch and dinner are traditionally larger meals. Churrascarias are very popular for lunch or dinner. They are Brazilian steakhouses that serve food rodízio style meaning the waiters serve different meats on large metal skewers at your table. Dinner is often enjoyed with family.

Brazilian food terms (Portuguese)

Expand your international dining vocabulary with these basic food-related words translated from English to Portuguese.

meat – carne

  • pork – carne de porco
  • beef – carne

poultry – aves

  • turkey – peru
  • duck – pato
  • chicken – galinha

seafood – frutos do mar

  • fish – peixe
  • shrimp – camarão
  • oyster – ostra
  • shellfish – marisco

meatless/no meat – sem carne

  • vegetables – legumes
  • fruits – frutas
  • eggs – ovos
  • tofu – tofu
  • nuts – nozes
  • vegetarian – vegetariano/vegetariana
  • vegan – vegano/vegana

drinks – bebidas

  • water – água
  • alcohol – álcool
  • beer – cerveja
  • wine – vinho

other eating/dining-related terms

  • yes – sim
  • no – não
  • good – bom/boa
  • yummy – gostoso/gostosa
  • eat – comer
  • cook – cozinhar
  • I’m hungry – eu estou com fome
  • I’m full – estou cheio
  • more – mais
  • less – menos
  • only –
  • please – por favor
  • thank you – obrigado/obrigada
  • baked – cozido
  • fried – frito
  • grilled – grelhado
  • roasted – assado
  • steamed –  cozido no vapor
  • hot – quente
  • warm – quente
  • cold – frio
  • bitter – amargo
  • salty – salgado
  • spicy – picante
  • sweet –  doce
  • allergic – alérgico
  • bathroom – banheiro

Brazilian food to try

  • coxinha – fried croquettes filled with shredded chicken
  • pão de queijo – soft, chewy cheese bread balls
  • picanha – grilled skewered beef (rump cap)
  • feijoada – black bean and mixed meat stew (Brazil’s national dish)
  • moqueca – prawn stew
  • caiparinha – Brazilian cocktail made of cachaça (fermented sugar cane juice)
  • sucos – Brazilian fruit juices

Interested in learning about other cuisines around the world? Discover food terms from other countries here.

Hello! I'm Kristina

Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.