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Steak, rice, and yuca fries plated on a white dish
Filet mignon from Casa
Casa [Official]

Where to Go for Top-Notch Brazilian Food in NYC

From steak-slinging rodizios to pão de quejio-filled bakeries, here are 15 NYC restaurants worth trying

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Filet mignon from Casa
| Casa [Official]

Ever since a national period of austerity in the 1960s, Brazilians have streamed into New York City. The well-off congregated around 46th Street, which became known as Little Brazil, while the working class types settled in Astoria and in Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood. Artists and musicians flooded the East Village, where coffee shops like Abraço still represent their presence.

Most of the Brazilian restaurants found in NYC today cater to the homey comfort foods that immigrants are prone to miss the most — feijoada (the national bean stew), smokey churrasco, creamy beef stroganoff — though that’s soon about to change. Many, if not all, have a selection of appetizers centered on salgadinhos, nostalgic savory snacks like the chicken and cheese croquettes traditionally found in bakeries or children’s birthday parties in Brazil.

From steakhouses fit for celebrations to creative bakeries dishing out Americanized renditions of pão de quejio (cheesy tapioca bread), here are 15 Brazilian restaurants to try in NYC.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hamburgao - Newark NJ

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288 Lafayette St
Newark, NJ 07105
(973) 465-1776
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The Brazilian hamburger is a treat. Hamburgão — a bilevel spot in Ironbound off the beaten track with waiter service and a logo featuring a growling mongrel dog with a hamburger hoisted aloft on a plate — specializes in them. Toppings can be corn, potato sticks, fried eggs, and ham, and grilled chicken or beefsteak may be substituted for a hamburger patty. But the menu delivers further delights, including meal-size salads, healthy sandwiches, fresh squeezed juices, and snacks that include salt cod empanadas, pão de queijo (shown), and kibbeh (shown) — submarine-shaped fritters stuffed with ground beef that originated in the Middle East.

Middle Eastern tapered dark brown kibbie and Brazilian cheese ball in a plastic basket... Robert Sietsema/Eater

2. Brazilian Pizza

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97 Wilson Ave
Newark, NJ 07105
(973) 817-9400
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Located in the non-touristy part of Ironbound, where Brazilian businesses of all sorts predominate, Brazilian Pizza is a very old-school pizzeria with stacked ovens. These now turn out Brazilian pies with toppings quite different from Italian ones, though with the excellent crust, mozzarella, and tomato sauce retained. Forty-seven pizzas are available in three sizes, and toppings run to hearts of palm, pineapple, shrimp, fresh corn, banana, and bacon; one with Brazilian cheese and guava jam (shown below). Note these are not like typical Brazilian pizzas, but a unique Italian-American and Brazilian hybrid.

A round pizza features two kinds of cheese and squiggles of guava jam on top of the melted cheese Robert Sietsema/Eater

3. Cafe Pao de Queijo

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131 Wilson Ave
Newark, NJ 07105
(862) 234-2276

Smack dab in the middle of a Brazilian shopping center that includes clothing stores and a churrascaria (grilled meat restaurant), Café Pao de Queijo makes a great rendition of the eponymous cheese balls. But it also provides hot sandwiches, burgers, elaborately dressed hot dogs — including one with cheese and banana — omelets, and brochettes in a very casual setting, with neighbors popping in and out all day. And don’t miss the sweets, which include the cherished brigadeiro, a chocolate truffle covered with chocolate sprinkles.

An informal cafe with several black tables and chairs on one side and a counter with a few customers crowded along it, and a flag of Brazil on the wall above... Robert Sietsema/Eater

4. Casa

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72 Bedford St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 366-9410
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Casa, which translates to home, is a restaurant that does its name justice. It’s a rustic corner space with tons of windows looking out over Bedford Street, and a tiny bar with a few stools in the front for waiting. It serves traditional Brazilian home cooking, but with a high level of execution — including a top-notch Brazilian-style stroganoff, where tender strips of beef and mushrooms come bathed in a thick tomato-based cream, plated neatly with a side of white rice and crunchy stick potatoes. Other classics include picanha (sirloin cap) served with broccoli rice, miniature fried empanadas, and bobó de camarão, shrimp in a thick yuca purée laced with coconut milk, tomatoes, and onions.

A plate topped with three equal parts of beef stroganoff, white rice topped with cilantro, and potato sticks Carla Vianna/Eater

5. Berimbau do Brasil

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43 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 242-2606
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Berimbau is an African-Brazilian musical instrument consisting of a gourd, stick, vibrating string, and bow, used in the martial art of capoeira. It’s also the name of a cozy Greenwich Village restaurant that’s deep and narrow, lined with bare bricks, banquettes, and large format paintings in vibrant colors. The menu is a traditional one, and the national dish of feijoada is particularly good — black beans and pig parts in a cauldron, and on a separate plate, rice, orange pieces, kale, and farofa (toasted cassava flour), the latter two African in origin while the beans are distinctly Portuguese.

A cauldron of black beans on the right, a plate of rice, shredded kale, toasted manioc meal, and orange segments on the left... Robert Sietsema/Eater

6. Brigadeiro Bakery

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156 Sullivan St
New York, NY 10012
(917) 740-5772
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Brigadeiros are the dessert of choice at Brazilian birthday parties and weddings alike. At their purest form, the bite-sized chocolate truffles are made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and coated with chocolate sprinkles. Here at Brigadeiro Bakery, they come in both classic — chocolate and coconut — and more creative flavor combinations, such as banana and cinnamon, passionfruit, and Oreo. There’s coffee too, and each cup comes with a free truffle. Eat a few at the bakery, take them home for later, or have them wrapped up in a decorative box for a sweet gift.

A green plate topped with Brazilian truffles from Washington Square bakery Brigadeiro Gary He/Eater

7. Rice 'n' Beans

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744 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019
(212) 265-4444
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Rice ‘n’ Beans is the spot to hit for happy hour, when on-point caipirinhas are just $5, as well as sangria, mimosas, margaritas, and beers. A discounted food menu showcases Brazil’s favorite salgadinhos, savory snacks like codfish, cheese, and chicken croquettes for $8. Though the menu has some hits and misses, people continuously flock to the tiny Hell’s Kitchen restaurant for its homey, quirky personality and reasonable prices. A second location also exists in Woodside, Queens.

A basket of yellow cheese balls Rice ‘n’ Beans [Official]

8. Churrascaria Plataforma

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316 W 49th St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 245-0505
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Churrascaria Plataforma is an ideal example of a rodízio steakhouse, where servers dance around the dining room with long spits of meat, slicing away at them table-side. Diners pay a fixed price for a varied selection of unlimited steak, sausages, and other grilled meats, plus sides that run from rice and beans to fried polenta and French fries. A salad bar is included in the price, stocked with greens, veggies, and creamy Brazilian-style potato salad. Dessert and drinks are paid separately; ordering a caipirinha is recommended. It’s a robust meal fit for celebrations.

9. Via Brasil Restaurant

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34 W 46th St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 997-1158
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West 46th Street near Times Square was once known as Little Brazil, and it still hosts an annual celebration, but the number of Brazilian restaurants has dwindled over the years. One of the staunch survivors is Via Brasil, founded in 1978 and a wonderfully starchy blast from the past, with white tablecloths and formal service. In addition to excellent feijoada, the menu offers vatapá (seafood porridge), grilled meats served Brazilian style, bobó de camarão and chicken stroganoff, a Russian transplant much loved in Brazil.

An orange shrimp stew called bobo de camarao in an oblong bowl Robert Sietsema/Eater

10. TAP NYC

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267 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10023
(929) 362-0169
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Walking into TAP feels like stepping into a laidback beachside restaurant in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a tiny counter-service spot specializing in savory and sweet tapioca crepes, hence the name. The ideal order here involves a pulled chicken crepe with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese along with a side of pão de queijo — TAP serves some of the best Brazilian cheese bread in town. The açaí bowls are also legit.

An overhead shot of a spread of food including a tapioca crepe and acai bowl Carla Vianna/Eater

11. Padoca Bakery + Cakes

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359 E 68th St
New York, NY 10065
(212) 300-4543
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Padoca takes a more liberal approach to Brazilian cafe fare, with pão de queijos transformed into sandwiches like one stuffed with ham and cheese and another with tomato. The original “PDQs,” as they’re called here, are oversized and extra cheesy — two is more than enough for a full breakfast. Make sure to ask for them warm if a fresh batch isn’t available, and don’t skip out on the tiny baked pockets of chicken, mushroom, or hearts of palm known as empadinhas.

A cafe counter showing round Brazilian cheese bread stuffed with tomato and cheese, and other sandwiches Carla Vianna/Eater

12. Beija Flor

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38-02 29th St
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 606-2468
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In a Long Island City neighborhood sprouting new hotels and condos, Beija Flor (“hummingbird”) showcases Brazilian food and drink in a cocktail lounge setting. The menu is a little shorter than most Brazilian restaurants, concentrating on grilled meats, but also offers other typical fare such as garlicky linguiça sausage served with crumbly farofa, and muqueca, an African-Brazilian seafood stew. Don’t miss the cocktails that provide a choice of cachaça (a sugar cane liquor), and a premium caipirinha, the national cocktail of cachaça, lime, and sugar, decorated with a piece of sugar cane.

A caipirinha cocktail with lime wedges inside and a stick of sugar cane poised on the lip of the glass Robert Sietsema/Eater

13. New York Pao De Queijo

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31-90 30th St
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 204-1979
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This delightful snack shop just off of Broadway in Astoria dispenses cheese balls and oblong fritters called coxinhas from the glass warming case by the front door. But the real raison d’etre for this casual little place are the burgers, Brazilian style. Indeed, Brazilians are serious about their hamburgers, but they have creative ideas about how to dress them. Common additions include fried eggs, ham, corn kernels, mayonnaise, and potato sticks — you know, those fried spud toothpicks normally shaken from a can, and nearly forgotten in the United States as a snack.

A hamburger seen in cross section also features lots of other ingredients including corn, sausage, cheese, among other things Robert Sietsema/Eater

14. Rio Grande Brazilian Barbecue

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37 02 Broadway
Long Island City, NY 11103
(347) 832-0112
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A half dozen Brazilian kilos have popped up in Astoria and Jackson Heights over the last few years. These places provide bargain meals that include salad and hot food ladled from a steam table, and barbecue from a rotisserie that offers five or six meats at one time, of which top sirloin, skirt steak, sausage, and chicken are often the most desirable selections. Food is sold at various prices by the kilo — or, in this country, the pound. Rio Grande occupies some new real estate in Astoria, with pristine greens and composed salads, and dough-based snacks like coxinhas (chicken fritters) and pasteis (fried empanadas).

A plate from a Brazilian buffet with grilled steak, sausage, mashed potatoes, shredded kale, and a stuffed and grilled tomato Robert Sietsema/Eater

15. Copacabana

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80-26 Roosevelt Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 255-6093
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Copacabana is another version of a kilo restaurant, a staple of lunchtime fare in Brazil, and here, classics like potato salad, shrimp stew, fried fish filets, and black beans make up the steam table. Leave room on the plate for the spit-roasted meats that vary from day to day, usually including picanha, as well as pork sausage and chicken. It’s one of critic Robert Sietsema’s recommended restaurants in Jackson Heights.

A well lit hot food buffet including black beans, two kinds of rice, sausages and other dishes with a guy on the left spooning things onto an unseen plate. Robert Sietsema/Eater

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1. Hamburgao - Newark NJ

288 Lafayette St, Newark, NJ 07105
Middle Eastern tapered dark brown kibbie and Brazilian cheese ball in a plastic basket... Robert Sietsema/Eater

The Brazilian hamburger is a treat. Hamburgão — a bilevel spot in Ironbound off the beaten track with waiter service and a logo featuring a growling mongrel dog with a hamburger hoisted aloft on a plate — specializes in them. Toppings can be corn, potato sticks, fried eggs, and ham, and grilled chicken or beefsteak may be substituted for a hamburger patty. But the menu delivers further delights, including meal-size salads, healthy sandwiches, fresh squeezed juices, and snacks that include salt cod empanadas, pão de queijo (shown), and kibbeh (shown) — submarine-shaped fritters stuffed with ground beef that originated in the Middle East.

288 Lafayette St
Newark, NJ 07105

2. Brazilian Pizza

97 Wilson Ave, Newark, NJ 07105
A round pizza features two kinds of cheese and squiggles of guava jam on top of the melted cheese Robert Sietsema/Eater

Located in the non-touristy part of Ironbound, where Brazilian businesses of all sorts predominate, Brazilian Pizza is a very old-school pizzeria with stacked ovens. These now turn out Brazilian pies with toppings quite different from Italian ones, though with the excellent crust, mozzarella, and tomato sauce retained. Forty-seven pizzas are available in three sizes, and toppings run to hearts of palm, pineapple, shrimp, fresh corn, banana, and bacon; one with Brazilian cheese and guava jam (shown below). Note these are not like typical Brazilian pizzas, but a unique Italian-American and Brazilian hybrid.

97 Wilson Ave
Newark, NJ 07105

3. Cafe Pao de Queijo

131 Wilson Ave, Newark, NJ 07105
An informal cafe with several black tables and chairs on one side and a counter with a few customers crowded along it, and a flag of Brazil on the wall above... Robert Sietsema/Eater

Smack dab in the middle of a Brazilian shopping center that includes clothing stores and a churrascaria (grilled meat restaurant), Café Pao de Queijo makes a great rendition of the eponymous cheese balls. But it also provides hot sandwiches, burgers, elaborately dressed hot dogs — including one with cheese and banana — omelets, and brochettes in a very casual setting, with neighbors popping in and out all day. And don’t miss the sweets, which include the cherished brigadeiro, a chocolate truffle covered with chocolate sprinkles.

131 Wilson Ave
Newark, NJ 07105

4. Casa

72 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
A plate topped with three equal parts of beef stroganoff, white rice topped with cilantro, and potato sticks Carla Vianna/Eater

Casa, which translates to home, is a restaurant that does its name justice. It’s a rustic corner space with tons of windows looking out over Bedford Street, and a tiny bar with a few stools in the front for waiting. It serves traditional Brazilian home cooking, but with a high level of execution — including a top-notch Brazilian-style stroganoff, where tender strips of beef and mushrooms come bathed in a thick tomato-based cream, plated neatly with a side of white rice and crunchy stick potatoes. Other classics include picanha (sirloin cap) served with broccoli rice, miniature fried empanadas, and bobó de camarão, shrimp in a thick yuca purée laced with coconut milk, tomatoes, and onions.

72 Bedford St
New York, NY 10014

5. Berimbau do Brasil

43 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
A cauldron of black beans on the right, a plate of rice, shredded kale, toasted manioc meal, and orange segments on the left... Robert Sietsema/Eater

Berimbau is an African-Brazilian musical instrument consisting of a gourd, stick, vibrating string, and bow, used in the martial art of capoeira. It’s also the name of a cozy Greenwich Village restaurant that’s deep and narrow, lined with bare bricks, banquettes, and large format paintings in vibrant colors. The menu is a traditional one, and the national dish of feijoada is particularly good — black beans and pig parts in a cauldron, and on a separate plate, rice, orange pieces, kale, and farofa (toasted cassava flour), the latter two African in origin while the beans are distinctly Portuguese.

43 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014

6. Brigadeiro Bakery

156 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012
A green plate topped with Brazilian truffles from Washington Square bakery Brigadeiro Gary He/Eater

Brigadeiros are the dessert of choice at Brazilian birthday parties and weddings alike. At their purest form, the bite-sized chocolate truffles are made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and coated with chocolate sprinkles. Here at Brigadeiro Bakery, they come in both classic — chocolate and coconut — and more creative flavor combinations, such as banana and cinnamon, passionfruit, and Oreo. There’s coffee too, and each cup comes with a free truffle. Eat a few at the bakery, take them home for later, or have them wrapped up in a decorative box for a sweet gift.

156 Sullivan St
New York, NY 10012

7. Rice 'n' Beans

744 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
A basket of yellow cheese balls Rice ‘n’ Beans [Official]

Rice ‘n’ Beans is the spot to hit for happy hour, when on-point caipirinhas are just $5, as well as sangria, mimosas, margaritas, and beers. A discounted food menu showcases Brazil’s favorite salgadinhos, savory snacks like codfish, cheese, and chicken croquettes for $8. Though the menu has some hits and misses, people continuously flock to the tiny Hell’s Kitchen restaurant for its homey, quirky personality and reasonable prices. A second location also exists in Woodside, Queens.

744 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019

8. Churrascaria Plataforma

316 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

Churrascaria Plataforma is an ideal example of a rodízio steakhouse, where servers dance around the dining room with long spits of meat, slicing away at them table-side. Diners pay a fixed price for a varied selection of unlimited steak, sausages, and other grilled meats, plus sides that run from rice and beans to fried polenta and French fries. A salad bar is included in the price, stocked with greens, veggies, and creamy Brazilian-style potato salad. Dessert and drinks are paid separately; ordering a caipirinha is recommended. It’s a robust meal fit for celebrations.

316 W 49th St
New York, NY 10019

9. Via Brasil Restaurant

34 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
An orange shrimp stew called bobo de camarao in an oblong bowl Robert Sietsema/Eater

West 46th Street near Times Square was once known as Little Brazil, and it still hosts an annual celebration, but the number of Brazilian restaurants has dwindled over the years. One of the staunch survivors is Via Brasil, founded in 1978 and a wonderfully starchy blast from the past, with white tablecloths and formal service. In addition to excellent feijoada, the menu offers vatapá (seafood porridge), grilled meats served Brazilian style, bobó de camarão and chicken stroganoff, a Russian transplant much loved in Brazil.

34 W 46th St
New York, NY 10036

10. TAP NYC

267 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023
An overhead shot of a spread of food including a tapioca crepe and acai bowl Carla Vianna/Eater

Walking into TAP feels like stepping into a laidback beachside restaurant in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a tiny counter-service spot specializing in savory and sweet tapioca crepes, hence the name. The ideal order here involves a pulled chicken crepe with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese along with a side of pão de queijo — TAP serves some of the best Brazilian cheese bread in town. The açaí bowls are also legit.

267 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10023

11. Padoca Bakery + Cakes

359 E 68th St, New York, NY 10065
A cafe counter showing round Brazilian cheese bread stuffed with tomato and cheese, and other sandwiches Carla Vianna/Eater

Padoca takes a more liberal approach to Brazilian cafe fare, with pão de queijos transformed into sandwiches like one stuffed with ham and cheese and another with tomato. The original “PDQs,” as they’re called here, are oversized and extra cheesy — two is more than enough for a full breakfast. Make sure to ask for them warm if a fresh batch isn’t available, and don’t skip out on the tiny baked pockets of chicken, mushroom, or hearts of palm known as empadinhas.

359 E 68th St
New York, NY 10065

12. Beija Flor

38-02 29th St, Long Island City, NY 11101
A caipirinha cocktail with lime wedges inside and a stick of sugar cane poised on the lip of the glass Robert Sietsema/Eater

In a Long Island City neighborhood sprouting new hotels and condos, Beija Flor (“hummingbird”) showcases Brazilian food and drink in a cocktail lounge setting. The menu is a little shorter than most Brazilian restaurants, concentrating on grilled meats, but also offers other typical fare such as garlicky linguiça sausage served with crumbly farofa, and muqueca, an African-Brazilian seafood stew. Don’t miss the cocktails that provide a choice of cachaça (a sugar cane liquor), and a premium caipirinha, the national cocktail of cachaça, lime, and sugar, decorated with a piece of sugar cane.

38-02 29th St
Long Island City, NY 11101

13. New York Pao De Queijo

31-90 30th St, Astoria, NY 11106
A hamburger seen in cross section also features lots of other ingredients including corn, sausage, cheese, among other things Robert Sietsema/Eater

This delightful snack shop just off of Broadway in Astoria dispenses cheese balls and oblong fritters called coxinhas from the glass warming case by the front door. But the real raison d’etre for this casual little place are the burgers, Brazilian style. Indeed, Brazilians are serious about their hamburgers, but they have creative ideas about how to dress them. Common additions include fried eggs, ham, corn kernels, mayonnaise, and potato sticks — you know, those fried spud toothpicks normally shaken from a can, and nearly forgotten in the United States as a snack.

31-90 30th St
Astoria, NY 11106

14. Rio Grande Brazilian Barbecue

37 02 Broadway, Long Island City, NY 11103
A plate from a Brazilian buffet with grilled steak, sausage, mashed potatoes, shredded kale, and a stuffed and grilled tomato Robert Sietsema/Eater

A half dozen Brazilian kilos have popped up in Astoria and Jackson Heights over the last few years. These places provide bargain meals that include salad and hot food ladled from a steam table, and barbecue from a rotisserie that offers five or six meats at one time, of which top sirloin, skirt steak, sausage, and chicken are often the most desirable selections. Food is sold at various prices by the kilo — or, in this country, the pound. Rio Grande occupies some new real estate in Astoria, with pristine greens and composed salads, and dough-based snacks like coxinhas (chicken fritters) and pasteis (fried empanadas).

37 02 Broadway
Long Island City, NY 11103

15. Copacabana

80-26 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
A well lit hot food buffet including black beans, two kinds of rice, sausages and other dishes with a guy on the left spooning things onto an unseen plate. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Copacabana is another version of a kilo restaurant, a staple of lunchtime fare in Brazil, and here, classics like potato salad, shrimp stew, fried fish filets, and black beans make up the steam table. Leave room on the plate for the spit-roasted meats that vary from day to day, usually including picanha, as well as pork sausage and chicken. It’s one of critic Robert Sietsema’s recommended restaurants in Jackson Heights.

80-26 Roosevelt Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

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