Brazilian Barbecue (credit: Thinkstock)

Carnaval San Francisco is just days away and what better what to get the started by enjoying some authentic Brazilian food! As one of America’s great culinary destinations, it’s not surprising to know that San Francisco has a nice selection of phenomenal Brazilian restaurants specializing everything from salgados and Coxinha to moqueca and gaucho-style grilled meats. The following are five of the very best Brazilian restaurants in San Francisco.

Brazilian Style Meat (credit: Randy Yagi)

Cafe De Casa
2701 Leavenworth St.
San Francisco, CA  94133
(415) 345-1055

Despite being open only a few months, Café de Casa already has generated plenty of positive feedback from customers. Located a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of Jefferson Street the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, this quaint is already well known for its friendly service and traditional, homemade Brazilian cuisine. Café de Case might be best known for its sizable offering of fried and baked salgados including its gluten free cheese rolls and Coxinha, quite possibly the most popular pastry in Brazil. But several more goodies can be purchased here from Brazilian crepes and salads to acai bowls, fresh squeezed juice and of course Brazilian coffee. A second (and the original) location can be found in South San Francisco, just north of San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Brazilian Style Meat (credit: Randy Yagi)

Espetus Churrascaria
1686 Market St.
San Francisco, CA  94102
(415) 552-8792

Named one of America’s Best Brazilian Steakhouses by The Daily Meal, Espetus Churrascaria is a must for food lovers. Located in the Hayes Valley neighborhood near the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, this amazing restaurant is also consistently named one of the best steakhouses in the Bay Area, Brazilian or otherwise. Open for lunch and dinner, guests are offered 12-14 different signature cuts of grilled meat and carved directly at the dinner table by passadores (meat waiter) so that guests can enjoy what’s called the full churrasco experience.

Fogo De Chao, San Francisco (credit: Randy Yagi)

Fogo De Chao
201 Third St. Ste. 100
San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 427-0004

Another Brazilian restaurant that recently opened its doors in the city is Fogo de Chão, which was founded in Sao Paulo and literally translates as “fire on the ground”. Much like Espetus Churrascaria, the famed restaurant also offers an exceptional rodizo service provided by passadores and guests can savor several different types of delicious meats for the full churrasco experience. In addition to the meat selections, the moderately priced dinner also includes a Market Table, featuring a variety of fruits and vegetables, in addition to other side items like cheese, smoked salmon and charcuterie.

Minas Brazilian Restaurant & Cachacaria
41 Franklin St.
San Francisco, CA  94102
(415) 626-8727

Minas is a delightful local Brazilian restaurant that’s particularly noteworthy for outstanding cuisine and its impressive collection of cachaca cocktails, made from sugarcane juice. Remarkably close to Espetus Churrascaria in Hayes Valley, the restaurant offers a wide assortment of authentic Brazilian dishes, such as Coxinhas (fried croquettes with chicken and fresh herbs), Moqueca de Peixe (a fish stew) and Filet com Fritas (filet of beef and onions with fries). Described as San Francisco’s first Brazilian restaurant and cachacaria, Minas is open for lunch and dinner as well as Sunday brunch, which more great food and drink is served but also features live music. Guests who want to enjoy a cocktail or two might want to try some of the moderately priced specialties, like the Ultimate Mojito, Samba Explosion or the famous Caipirinha the national cocktail of Brazil.

300 De Haro St. Ste. 338
San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 558-9461

Founded by the owner and chef of a very popular and obviously successful restaurant based in São Paulo, Tavares is well known for serving locally sourced meats, ingredients and fresh produce, a concept made world famous in the Bay Area. The San Francisco location in the Potrero Hill neighborhood is the restaurant’s first entry into the U.S. and serves a large number of excellent Brazilian farm-to-table cuisine along with familiar dishes like Caesar salad, fruit salads, crab cakes, French toast and poached eggs, and grass fed burgers. Among the suggested Brazilian dishes to consider ordering are Chicken Milanese with mashed potatoes, Picadinho Tavares (filet mignon with red wine sauce) Fish on Banana Leaf and the fresh pasta with prawns and saffron sauce. Since opening its doors in San Francisco last February, the Brazilian-influenced restaurant has received several positives reviews from both guests and major media sources. Owner Ivo Arahao and chef Federico Suringar and said to alternate their time at both the stateside location and the original restaurant in São Paulo’s bustling Cequeira César neighborhood, where many of Brazil’s finest restaurants can be found.

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he received a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on