Gauchos serve the meats on your table and all you have to do is grab it.

I’ve been to plenty of Brazilian Steakhouses and of all the food has to be delicious with a variety wide range of selections for salads, meats, drinks and desserts. ”Rodizios” have the most options than any other Brazilian Restaurant.

What is a Rodízio and how has it been widely disseminated in the world

In the steak rotisserie system, waiters serve all the customers the dishes available in the house, usually on the spit itself (hence the name), on which the customers choose the part of their liking.
There is always a salad buffet and side dishes. In the best houses there is also an antipasti service.

Meats of all kinds are grilled and brought to you on your table.
Meats of all kinds are grilled and brought to you on your table.

A la carte

It is the conventional system, in which the customer chooses the meat, usually a single type. The accompaniments also come to the table.
Although the system has spread widely in Brazil, due to the abundance of meat in the country, steakhouses have won the world, where it is possible to see traditional houses installed in large centers. Many are owned by Brazilians and some of them are subsidiaries of large networks.

How to eat at a brazilian barbecue “rodízio” style

Usually the restaurants will have for each attendee a two sided round carton with the restaurants logo and the saying “Bring it” in green color or “Stop It i’m full” in red color. That indicates to the servers if you still want meat to be served to you or not. It you leave it on green, they will keep bringing you meat.

When they bring the meat to you, some tweezers will also be available at your table. You can use that to grab the meat that they cut you and place it on your plate. Just like the picture below.

Gauchos serve the meats on your table and all you have to do is grab it.
Gauchos serve the meats on your table and all you have to do is grab it.

Origins of the Rodízio de carne (meat rotation) in Brazil

Brazil is a country with an abundance of meats, even becoming its trademark in the world. When they talk about barbecue, they always mention our country as having the most delicious meats. One thing that always pleased the palate and the demands of the customers was the rodízio of meats – something like alternation of meats. Asking for agility and variety, the caster gave people exactly what they were looking for.

Its story began in Jacupiranga / SP. In the 60’s, the gaucho (someone from the south of Brazil) Albino Ongaratto had a steakhouse not very busy on the BR-116 (a Brazilian main road), where his business went smoothly and the barbecue was sold mainly to travelers who passed the road. In 1963, a religious feast of St. Paul gathered thousands of faithful to his steak house.

The movement was so great that the meats began to be changed, for they were not accustomed to that frantic pace of orders. It was there that Albino had an idea: he sent to all the tables the meats that were coming out of the barbecue, solving the confusion and pleasing the customers with the novelty.

After the event, a new system was created at the steakhouses, now paying only the fixed amount to be able to enjoy all the meats of the restaurant. It was a smart and simple solution that changed the course of barbecue in Brazil.
Another version of this story is also widespread: It is said that, just like the original barbecue, the “rodízio” was also born by chance. Around the 60’s, at the Jacupiranga churrascaria, located in the city of Registro, in the interior of São Paulo, worked a very clumsy waiter, who always missed the orders of the tables, causing the greatest inconvenience in the establishment. In one of those days of chaos, the waiter was already starting to make the customers angry, taking orders for the meats exchanged at the tables. Where they asked for breast, he would take rib, where they asked for ribs, he took picanha, and so on. Mr. Albino Ongaratto, owner of the churrascaria, trying to solve the situation, asked that they serve then all the dishes in all the tables, thus avoiding the confusion.

The model turned out to be successful and customers approved of Mr. Albino’s unusual creation as they loved to eat a small piece of meat. Seeing there a business opportunity, Jacupiranga began to serve to the customers pieces of each meat and to charge a unique price for the lunch. There was born the traditional and beloved carvery, a system that is successful not only in Brazil, but worldwide.

The buffet area is where you can get vegetables and other items such as 'sushi!'
The buffet area is where you can get vegetables and other items such as ‘sushi!’

Not all brazilian steakhouses have the “rodízio” option and some budget ones (equally as good) will let you select your meat from a server at the grill. Usually these budget ones charge around 10 U$D and allow you to grab as much food as you can, one. Or they will also have the weigh style, on which you bring your table to be weighed after your served yourself with regular food and meats.

Brazilian steakhouses – Churrascarias in the United States

Brazilian steakhouses, better defined as “churrascarias” are essentially a barbecue restaurant. A carnivore’s nirvana of fixed price all-you-can-eat meat selections, served tableside. This method of serving, called “rodizio”, originated in southern Brazil’s Pampa region in the 1800s but has begun to infiltrate the United States much more recently.

Some churrascarias are more upscale than others, and many are part of chains, but they are all family-friendly and known for their tradition of customer service. To find out about restaurants around the US that offer rodizio service, read on — and if it’s your first time at a churrascaria, the best advice is to show up hungry!

Find below the best Brazilian barbecue restaurants near you:

Brazilian barbecue in San Antonio, TX
Fogo de Chão in San Antonio.

Galpão Gaúcho

Texas de Brasil in San Antonio, TX

Brazilian barbecue in Dallas, TX
Fogo de Chão in Dallas.

Texas de Brasil in Dallas.

Via Brasil Steakhouse in Dallas.

Rafain steakhouse in Dallas.

Rodizio Grill in Dallas.

Brazilian barbecue in Austin, TX

Estancia Churrascaria steakhouse in Austin.

Fogo de Chão in Austin.

Brazilian barbecue in Houston, TX
Texas de Brasil

Churrasca Brazilian Steakhouse in Houston

Angus Brazilian Steakhouse in Houston


Brazilian barbecue in Los Angeles, CA
Gauchos Villages in Glendale

MGrill in Los Angeles

Samba Brazilian Steakhouse in Los Angeles area

By Brazil Brazilian Barbecue in Torrance

Brazilian barbecue in San Diego, CA
Rei do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse in San Diego

Sabor de Vida brazilian grill in San Diego

Brazilian steakhouses in Florida

Fort Lauderdale

Braza Viva in Fort Lauderdale

Chima Steakhouse in Fort Lauderdale

Hits: 1998