Bar do Mineiro
Rua Pascoal Carlos Magno 99
Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
We visited Minas Gerais, the culinary heartland of Brazil, at the beginning of March for the first time. Brazilians love the homey and simple style of Mineira food, and it is popular throughout the country. One of the top places to get Mineira cuisine in Rio de Janeiro is a Bar do Mineiro, founded in 1992 by the Paixão family from Carangola in Minas Gerais. Bar do Minerio is located in the eclectic, bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, and is a simple affair, full of character.
Somehow Bar do Mineiro is more than the sum of its parts. The décor is unpolished, the food is simple, but it could not be more inviting! The menu is pretty expansive – especially the appetizers – which in true Brazilian fashions involves a huge variety of fried tidbits. We especially liked to bolinhos de aipim (fried manioc fritters) stuffed with carne seca or cheese (R$ 24) and the pastéis de feijão (black bean fried pastries – R$ 28). Another popular option is linguicinha mineira (R$ 36), fried linguiça sausage and onions served with sliced baguette.
If you want something more substantial, there are many chicken, fish or beef options including tutu à mineira (R$ 44) – a classic Mineira dish of meat and beans, along with entree options of steak and fries (R$ 48), or fried fish and rice (R$ 45). Bar do Mineiro is also known for its Minero-style feijoada on weekends (R$ 36 for one) – the iconic Brazilian stew of smoked meat, sausage, beans and greens (everyone makes it a little differently).
Bar do Mineiro also served as the site of our friend M’s first taste of cachaça – in a caipirinha, of course! Along with caiprinhas and caipiroskas (caipirinhas with vodka instead) many of the patrons were enjoying a nice chopp (Brazilian draft beer). Bar do Mineiro is a great place for a laid-back meal or just to meet with friends over drinks. If you can’t make it to Minas, this is definitely the next-best thing.