For the best beach snacks of Rio de Janeiro’s South Zone beaches (Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon), you’ve come to the right blog post. The beaches are awash with food and drink vendors touting their product, and at just four or five Brazilian reales a piece, they’ll keep you going from morning to sundown. So, pick a spot, rent yourself a deckchair and parasol and settle in for the day, safe in the knowledge that there will be no shortage of snacks coming your way.
Acai: This rainforest berry, frozen and blended and often served with honey, granola, and fruits, is a Brazilian, body-conscious staple. It is packed with all sorts of vitamins and minerals and is deliciously refreshing on a hot day. Vendors run-in with trays and sell it fast before it melts!
Coconut Milk: Fresh juice straight from the coconut; it doesn’t get much more tropical than that. Be sure to ask them to cut it open for you when you’re done so you can scoop out the soft white coconut flesh afterwards.
Globo Biscuits: Freshly cooked every day, these light and crispy, donut-shaped snacks are a Rio institution. They come in sweet or savory flavors and are quite addictive.
Toasted cheese (Qeijo quenche): With their ingenious portable bbqs, once these guys stoke up the embers and the smell of slowly toasting cheese with olive oil and oregano starts to come your way you’ll probably be helpless to refuse.
Mate & Limon: The Mate and Limon vendors might just have the heaviest load of the lot. Usually dressed in Leon Mate orange outfits with two large silver barrels slung over each shoulder, they serve up large cups of ice-cold mate and lemon. You get to choose one or the other or a blend of the two.
Empanadas: These delicious, buttery little pastries come in various flavours, including shrimp (camarao), chicken (frango) and meat (carne).
Kibis: This Arabic snack is a blend of spiced meat covered in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. Another Rio favourite – vendors walk the sands dressed all in white, complete with headgear.
Tapioca pancakes: You’ll have to stroll up to the beach-front walkway for this one, but it’s worth the effort. Vendors offer a range of flavours, and you can choose from cheese, meat, vegetables, banana and cinnamon or cheese with guava paste.
Corn on the cob: Another beach-front walkway treat, hot and buttery corn on the cob, perfect at dusk with a beer to wash it down.