Apr 10

Comida di Buteco 2014 is nearly here!


If you like to eat, drink and have fun, Rio really is a great place to live. Sure it might not have the range of cuisines and night life of a cosmopolitan city like New York, nor the levels of culinary sophistication of a city like Paris, but what it lacks in those departments, it makes up in sheer gusto.

It’s only been a month since the excesses of carnaval died down, and already the spectre of the World Cup is looming (62 days and counting!). But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – this Friday (11 April) sees the start of everyone’s favourite bar food competition – Comida di Buteco 2014!


“The Boteco. The true social network”.


If you’re not familiar with CdB, check take a look at this post I wrote a couple of years ago – this month-long orgy of eating, drinking and voting should be filling everyone in Rio with anticipatory excitement. 2014 will be its 15th year and the stats from last year are impressive: close to 400 bars in 16 cities took part in the competition, serving up 400,000 dishes to 3.8 million hungry revellers.



The CdB website makes a compelling case for the comida de raiz (traditional food) and the bars that serve it:

A true boteco is one of those places where the owner and his/her family work all day. It’s that place that has the owner’s name above the door, where the waiter knows his clients by name, where the bar food is made with care according to a family recipe. Because of this, we don’t select bars that belong to chains, large groups or investors. 


One of my favourite Comida di Buteco dishes from Bar da Gema, one of my favourite bars in Rio. This is Vaca Atolada – chunks of beef stewed until they are almost falling apart, tangy bite-size pieces of linguiça (sausage), soft gooey pieces of aipim (yuca/cassava/mandioca), all wallowing in an amazing pesto de agrião (watercress pesto).


In some years the CdB competition has a theme/ingredient that all participants must follow/include in their nominated dish, but this year they have decided to give the chefs a free rein. Again, from the CdB site:

This way each chef can do what he/she does best, showing 100% of their potential. We think this will give maximum benefit to the customers who will be able to taste, enjoy and vote to elect the best boteco in their city.

So if you’re in Rio over the next month, I suggest you start limbering up, loosen your belt a little and make it your mission to visit as many of the participating establishments as possible. The foodie fun starts on Friday!


Related posts:


Skip to comment form

  1. Corinne Davis Rodrigues

    Or if you are in Belo Horizonte, you can take part in the Comida di Buteco that started it all! As we say here in BH, “BH não tem mar, tem bar!” (BH doesn’t have the sea, it has the bar).

    1. tomlemes

      Ah, I would love to go on a food pilgrimage to Minas! I still haven’t visited Belo Horizonte, but it is on my long list of places to visit in Minas (so far I’ve only been to Ibitipoca).

      I’m assuming you’re based in BH Corinne – have you visited any CdB bars yet? I’m up to 3 here in Rio and so far, so good. I don’t think I’ve tasted “the one” yet, but lots more bars to try! :D

      1. Corinne


        Yes I am in BH. I tend to hit the CdB bars post festival, but if I can get a babysitter I hope to hit a few in my neighborhood during the festival this time. If you ever make it to BH, let me know!

  2. The Gritty Poet

    How about Tapir meat in a buteco dish? Ok, I admit it: this is just an excuse to post this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJm6nDnR2SE

    1. tomlemes

      Heh heh, that guy’s voice does make me chuckle. Is that really the way you guys say “tapir”? Or is he doing that for comedic effect?

  3. The Gritty Poet

    I think he is trying to mimic those narrators of wildlife, or science documentaries in general, that choose to emphasize the pronunciation of a key word while also adding a subtler yet still deep and somewhat somber tone to everything they chronicle. The result isn´t always great since, unfortunately, not everyone can be Morgan Freeman.
    BTW being that you are a foodie here is a obscure Brazilian dish that might be of your interest:
    When will we be seeing one of your creations featured in CDB? Perhaps a “Picadinho de Bife Wellington” immersed and cooked in one cup of Cachaça de Agua-lú (Waterloo).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>