How To Eat Out in Brazil

If you follow American dining customs in Brazil, you’ll spend a lot of time waiting around. Here are some tips so you don’t get lost in translation.

photo: Christina Mitchell

photo: Christina Mitchell

Seat Yourself

I went to casual and more upscale restaurants and never saw a host.  Just look around to find a table and grab a menu if you see one.

Learn Some Portuguese

Only the touristy restaurants have English menus so you’ll need to learn some Portuguese words (peixe = fish, frango = chicken, arroz = rice, fejão = beans), or at least get a good phrase book.

Point at the Dish You Want to Order

Well, you should try to say it first, but don’t worry if the server doesn’t understand you.  In my experience, Bahians were very particular about pronunciation.  If I didn’t say it perfectly, they just didn’t get it.  And, in case you were wondering, Spanish will only get you so far.

Eat With a Friend

Most dishes serve two people – it’s a reflection of the social culture. If you go alone, just be prepared to save the rest of the meal for the next day.

Ask for the Check

It’s seen as rude to bring the bill before you ask for it. If you’re paying with a credit card, they’ll bring the machine to you and complete the transaction at the table. The tip is usually already included in the bill, so be sure to double check.

Christina Mitchell

Christina Mitchell

Christina is the founder of East Bay Dish and a social media marketing consultant. If you want to attract more customers with social media, click on my picture 🙂
Christina Mitchell

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