Around the World in Houston: Discover Brazil

Photo courtesy of Brazilian Food & Music Festival

With a labyrinth of cultures represented in every nook and cranny of town, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in America. To celebrate this world-class melting pot, we’ll be exploring a new region of the globe through a Houston lens each week, from annual festivals and museums to restaurants and cultural experiences. Join the journey with our Around the World in Houston series.

With festivals celebrating food, music, and Brazilian Independence, plus churrasquerias, culture and art foundations and language meetups, there are a treasure trove of ways to experience the vibrant traditions of Brazil without leaving Houston.

Annual Festivals & Cultural Events

  • Brazilian Food & Music FestivalHeld at the Wildcatter Saloon on Sunday, April 8, the 2018 Brazilian Food & Music Festival invites all to celebrate Brazilian culture.
  • Brazilian Independence Day CelebrationThe Brazilian Foundation hosts an annual Brazilian Independence Day Celebration, honoring Brazil’s rich culture, history, and heritage through live music, art, food, and dance. The event is typically held in September, around Brazilian Independence Day (September 7).
  • Houston Brazilian CarnavalThis annual Brazilian festival marks the beginning of Lent, with the celebration rocking live drummers, DJs, beads, feathers, samba dancing and more. The 2018 festival was held in February.
  • Houston Latin FestCelebrate Latin heritage through music and dance, art, food, and drink at this multi-cultural festival. The 2018 event is set for Sunday, October 15 in Downtown.
  • Houston Latino Film FestivalEnjoy cinema without borders at this non-profit film festival, which screens films from all over Latin America, as well as Spain, Portugal, and the U.S.

Museums & Cultural Organizations

  • Brazilian Arts Foundation HoustonThis nonprofit has been dedicated to community building and cultural education since its formation in 2001. In 2006, a cultural center was established in the historic Houston Heights. Activities everything from language lessons to capoeira (martial arts) programs and samba workshops, plus a Houston Brazilian Dance & Music Conference.
  • Brazilian Foundation Launched by a group of Brazilian friends in 2015, this local nonprofit focuses on art, cultural education, and information. Yearly activities include art exhibits, workshops, fundraising events, community media, scholarship, volunteer opportunities, and professional qualification courses. Look out for upcoming events on Facebook.
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Peruse the Latin American art collection at this Museum District gem. In addition to works from across Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, the museum boasts the Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art, a world-renowned collection of over 100 extraordinary examples of works that flourished in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro between 1950 and 1965.

Brazilian Food & Drink

  • Acai BrasilOwned and operated by a Brazilian couple, this local business strives to bring proper acai bowls from Brazil to Houston. You’ll also find authentic specialties like coxinha (savory croquettes), pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), bolo de cenoura (Brazilian carrot cake), pao de mel (Honey Cake), and banana cake.
  • Angus Grill Brazilian SteakhouseGet unlimited servings of cheese bread and rodizio meats (think pork loin, chicken legs, garlic beef, and churrasco flank steak) alongside Brazilian sides and salads.
  • Anvil Bar & RefugeHead to this trendy Montrose cocktailery to sip cachaça—the most popular spirit in Brazil—by the half and full pour.
  • Avenida BrazilWith locations in Clear Lake, Southwest Houston, and The Woodlands, Avenida offers the traditional Brazilian churrasqueria experience, plus specials like an authentic Brazilian feijoada for Sunday brunch.
  • Brigadeiro-BrasilWith owner Verena Arus coming to Houston from São Paulo, Brazil, the sweets at this bake shop are fully authentic. Get traditional brigadeiro, Brazilian truffles in flavors ranging from the classic milk chocolate with chocolate sprinkles to pistachio, dulce de leche, and passion fruit.
  • Chama Gaucha Brazilian SteakhouseThis Galleria-area Brazilian steakhouse rocks 12 cuts of meat (including the house specialty, picanha) and a garden fresh salad bar.
  • Emporio Brazilian GrillEnjoy classics from Brazilian feijoada, farofa and shrimp muqueca to churrasco misto, and Brazilian chicken strogonoff, plus a Saturday traditional feijoada buffet.
  • Fogão Brazilian ChurrasqueriaThis Montrose steakhouse is family owned and operated, offering fast casual, Brazilian Churrasqueria-style dining. Get pão de queijo, empadinha (Brazilian pot pie), and coxinha de frango (chicken croquettes) alongside a la carte meats or the endless Brazilian Market Bar.
  • Gauchos Do SulLocated in Vintage Park, Gauchos Do Sul offers the traditional Brazilian steakhouse experience in an elegant setting, complete with Rodìzio-style service, a gourmet salad area, cocktail lounge, wine room, and weekly piano bar.
  • Houston Wine Merchant Stop by Houston Wine Merchant to pick up a bottle of Avua – Cachaça Amburana, a small batch, single-sourced cachaca handcrafted by one of Brazil’s few female distillers.
  • Texas de BrazilHit this Town & Country churrasqueria to fill (and refill) up on everything from to fresh Brazilian cheese bread and flan to hand-carved garlic picanha and moqueca fish stew.

Language Classes, Education Centers, Groups & Meet-Ups

Other Notables

  • BBVA Compass Stadium – Football fans can get their fix at this EaDo soccer stadium, home to both the Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash.
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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .