Brazil is known worldwide for its friendliness, for its party spirit — something that translates into its food. Around the table, Brazilians celebrate social relationships, and everything is an excuse to meet friends and family in a bar or around a restaurant table. And there's nothing more social in Brazilian food than snacks — food we can hold with fingers and eat in one bite. In times when the international gastronomy scene seems to follow this "sharing behavior," Brazilian food has been ahead of the trend. And Rio de Janeiro, actually, could easily be called the "snack capital" of Brazil.
The city holds a traditional bar culture, holding close at heart botecos (as we call bars with good food), where we can drink a tap beer and enjoy lots of tira-gostos (a local way to refer to snacks). The best food in Rio is not necessarily found in fancy restaurants, but hidden in bars on every corner, on shelves of bakeries, and at beach vendors' carts.
Here, a hot list of cost-effective snacks one can't miss while visiting the city: from coxinha to empadas, from bolinhos to caldinho de feijão, there are wallet-friendly options to fit all tastes — and are perhaps the best way to eat like a Carioca (how locals are known).
Rafael Tonon is a Brazilian journalist and food writer based in São Paulo.
Editor: Hillary Dixler