The Absolute 11 Best Brazilian Steakhouses In The U.S.

Americans tend to assume that our homegrown steakhouses can't be beaten, but folks over in Brazil are sure to have a beef with that assessment. Brazilian steakhouses, also known as churrascarias, are renowned for their commitment to quality, not to mention excess. Are they superior to Peter Luger, Ruth's Chris Steak House, or The Palm? We might not be willing to go that far, but some of the best Brazilian steakhouses certainly give those institutions a run for their money.  

Generally, churrascarias follow the all-you-can-eat model with servers parading oversized skewers of rotisserie grilled meats around a massive dining room. You can expect multiple preparations of beef, lamb, chicken, and pork, but the star attraction is, more often than not, picanha, the signature steak cut of Brazil. Taken from the sirloin cap, the impressive slab of beef sports a thick layer of fat which ensures the meat is juicy and flavorful as it cooks in the fire.

Beyond the magnificent meatopia, meals also tend to include a sizeable salad bar stocked with plenty of vegetables, sides, and other assorted traditional Brazilian dishes. All these options are bound to be overwhelming to first-timers, so make sure to do your homework as far as what you should and should not pile on your plate before embarking on this culinary adventure. 

Thankfully, you don't have to travel to South America to get your fill of churrasco. Below you'll find some of the best Brazilian steakhouses that can be found in the United States.

Texas de Brazil

Texas de Brazil is a Brazilian steakhouse heavyweight with over 50 locations spread across the United States and several more around the globe. As its name suggests, the chain aspires to bridge traditional churrasco with the "spirit and hospitality" of the Lone Star state (via Texas de Brazil). All-you-can-eat (desserts and drinks cost extra) is the way to go here and the charcoal-grilled meat selection covers multiple land dwellers with a few high-end cuts such as filet mignon and lamb chops. You can even choose amongst three picanha picks: standard, garlic-rubbed, and even a lamb version.

The salad bar also impresses with several hot and cold options. According to Tusla World, the salad bar items that are particularly worthy of your attention include the potato salad, tabouli, and a variety of cheese dishes that include grilled provolone and mozzarella balls.

If you didn't bring a huge appetite, you can always order a la carte at the bar. And if you'd rather enjoy your food outside of the restaurant, Texas de Brazil has also done an excellent job transitioning to takeout during Covid (per The Orange County Register) with solo and family-style plates, as well as a la carte meats available by the pound.  

Fogo de Chão

You'll be in good hands at this popular Brazilian-based churrascaria with dozens of locations coast-to-coast and some international locations as far as the Middle East. Since arriving in the U.S. in 1997, Fogo de Chão has firmly established itself as a well-oiled meat grilling and slicing machine.  "The chain has the meat-and-service thing down pat," The Washington Post reports, noting that a card before you on the table sends a clear signal to waiters. The red side means that you need a bit of a break, while the green side is a green light to keep the meats coming. 

If you happen to prefer surf to turf, Fogo de Chão recently expanded its seafood menu which includes upscale fare such as Chilean sea bass and a chilled seafood tower which is highlighted by a frankly staggering selection of lobster tails, lobster claws, jumbo shrimp, a crab cluster, crab claws, and green lipped mussels. And if you want something green to offset the seafood and land-based meats, you also don't want to neglect the salad bar, known here as the Market Table, which offers a wide range of charcuterie, antipasti, and seasonal specialties such as smoked salmon, candied bacon, and feijoada, a traditional Brazilian black bean stew.

Churrascaria Plataforma

A New York City legend, Churrascaria Plataforma has been bringing the fire to the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City since 1996. The Infatuation recommends the all-you-can-eat option, assuming you've got a pretty serious hunger going on, with particular praise reserved for the restaurant's lamb. And, if meat isn't all you're looking for, the humongous restaurant also boasts salad and feijoada bars.

Considering its location and top-quality meats, the price tag is noticeably higher than the other spots on this list (generally speaking, your bill will come out to $69 for the full spread) but it's worth the price of admission to grab a seat in the massive dining room and indulge a little. And if you're willing to forego some of the flashier meats such as ribeye, filet mignon, and lamb chops, then you can certainly stop by during lunch. That's when the whole shebang is reduced to $42 and you can still get your fill on picanha, pork loin, and that killer leg of lamb, not to mention the gourmet salad bar and extensive side selection.

Alma Gaúcha

Massachusetts is home to a sizeable Brazilian population (via Brown University), so it's no surprise you can find stellar churrasco in Boston. Alma Gaúcha (which translates to "the soul of the gaucho") happens to be among the best churrascarias in the city. A recent addition to the trendy Seaport District, it traffics exclusively in USDA Prime meats which are aged up to 45 days, and you can definitely taste the quality. Choose from picanha (of course), ribeye, filet mignon, and New Zealand lamb leg marinated with lemon and fresh mint. If you're avoiding red meat, Alma Gaúcha has you covered, too. You can choose from pork ribs, traditional parmesan pork, and slow-cooked chicken marinated overnight in beer and cognac. There's also a seafood option, with some open fire-grilled salmon that's served with a tangy passionfruit sauce.  

"All of the meats are delicious," noted Kelly T. on Yelp. "I would go here every weekend if my metabolism could handle it." There are plenty of raves for the salad bar and side dishes, too, with a honey-drizzled grilled cheese among the popular picks. You can even order a cup of chunky clam chowder. Hey, this is still Boston, after all.

Oenophiles are sure to appreciate the extensive wine list at Alma Gaúcha, which is over 150 bottles deep and, naturally enough, highlights several South American varietals.

Rodizio Grill

Before all the rest, there was Rodizio Grill, which became the first Brazilian steakhouse to land in the U.S. when it opened in Littleton, Colorado 25 years ago (via The Denver Post). Now, with over 20 locations across 12 states, the chain is still going strong, dazzling diners with its rotisserie grilled meats (and signature grilled pineapple) that are carved tableside. 

The menu includes the standards such as chicken wrapped in bacon and picanha, plus a few interesting additions including a center-cut steak topped with parmesan cheese, and, for the more adventurous eater, coração de frango temperado (that's grilled chicken hearts, if your Portuguese is a bit rusty), a popular Brazilian appetizer. One Open Table reviewer opined on the Voorhees, New Jersey location, "Wonderful place to go for a night out with friends or a date night with a loved one. I do recommend not eating much before you go as the food just keeps coming."

While Rodizio Grill may lag a bit in the quality department compared to some of its peers, the "full rodizio" (which includes unlimited Brazilian sides, gourmet salads, and all the rotisserie grilled meats you can manage to stuff down your gullet) is priced at less than $35. Given the prices of some of the other spots on this list, that's a relative bargain. And if you're a regular or plan to be one, sign up for Club Rodizio to receive restaurant promotions and offers including a special gift for your birthday.

Chama Gaúcha

If you're going to open a steakhouse in traditional bastions of beef like Chicago, Houston, and San Antonio, then you better bring the goods. Chama Gaúcha definitely delivers on that front, serving up a dozen meat options including multiple cuts of steak. But according to San Antonio Express-News, the beef ribs are where it's really at here. Beyond the cow, chicken, pork, and lamb (both leg and rack) round out the meat feast. The salad bar, with over 30 items, also impresses diners who need yet more sustenance. So does the wine selection, which is stored in a temperature-controlled cellar and includes several award-winning labels.

Though it may seem like an impossible task after all of that grub, try to budget some stomach real estate for dessert. The slate includes Latin favorites such as tres leches and flan, as well as the classic Brazilian papaya cream, a tropical ice cream and fruit combo topped with Crème de Cassis blackberry liqueur. But the real showstopper on the sweet side here is the Fireball Cheesecake, which is set aflame tableside and caramelized thanks to a liberal dousing of the Spanish favorite, Liquor 43.  

The San Antonio Current recommends heading here for special occasions when you've got plenty of room, and plenty of others agree that this is destination dining. The San Antonio location of Chama Gaúcha took the 24th spot on Yelp's 2019 list of the Top 100 Places to Treat Yourself.  

Pampas Grill

The wait is definitely worth it for the churrasco served at this popular stall located at the iconic Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles. You'll find tourists and locals alike lining up to get their fill of assorted Brazilian specialties from Pampas Grill. Your first order of business will be loading up at the serve-yourself salad bar, which features an array of veggies and sides. It also features a few hearty mains including beef stew, chicken stroganoff, and the classic feijoada — which, word to the wise, is only available during the weekend.

The next stop is the grill station, where your server will cut off slices of the meat of your choice. Be sure to make the tender garlic beef a priority, but the picanha, chicken wrapped with bacon, and leg of lamb are also winners. Finally, you'll reach the cash register and perform a weigh-in for your plate to determine the final cost of your meal. If you're opting for the full spread, take note that everything, from steak to hard-boiled eggs, is priced the same by the pound. In other words, for the best bang for your buck, be sure to make the meats your priority over the salad bar items.

According to Eater LA, the quick service spot is an especially good pick for budget-conscious diners. And if you happen to prefer a full restaurant experience, Pampas Grill also operates a brick-and-mortar location in Culver City, California.

Steak Brasil Churrascaria

Miami has its fair share of Latin American dining destinations and Steak Brasil Churrascaria is definitely up there with the best of them, especially if you've got a hankering for some delicious meats. Eater Miami notes that this is a popular downtown spot with exceptionally good prices, especially compared to some other Miami restaurants. It's also got a highly extensive menu of meats, cheese, and sides. 

The dining room may not be as large as some of its competitors, sure, and we must admit that the selection is relatively limited with a mere nine meat options. But let's face it: that is still plenty to choose from with your pick of tasty prime sirloin, picanha, pork loin, leg of lamb, beef ribs, chicken hearts and drumsticks, sausage, and tender flap meat. If for some reason that's not enough food to satiate your cravings, the salad bar is plenty ample. What's more, all of the non-barbecued hot dishes are freshly cooked and brought directly to your table.

Steak Brasil is ideal for group gatherings, too, so be sure to consider it for your next party or special occasion.

Chima Steakhouse

Chima Steakhouse is yet another Brazilian-based chain that has made its way stateside, but hey, we say the more the merrier. The first U.S. location opened in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2004, and there are now three additional outlets located in Philadelphia, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Tysons Corner, Virginia. According to the restaurant, Chima is a reference to "chimarrao", a traditional drink found in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, that represents the sort of camaraderie and community-mindedness the restaurant hopes to foster.

Speaking of tradition, the picanha served here is top-quality Angus Prime. And, for added firepower, you can order it with housemade chimichurri sauce and grilled jalapenos. Steak lovers will appreciate the wide assortment of cuts, too, which include baby top sirloin, ribeye, New York steak, and filet mignon. All of those are available plain or, for those wanting a bit of a luxurious edge, can come wrapped in bacon. You can even indulge in paper-thin slices of beef carpaccio at the salad bar.

All four Chima Steakhouse locations also received the 2021 Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, which also notes that California varietals are the house specialty.

Galpão Gaucho

Carrying on the time-honored Las Vegas tradition of all-you-can-eat feasting, Galpão Gaucho is several cuts above your run-of-the-mill Las Vegas Strip buffet. The expanding mini-chain also has three locations in Northern California (Napa, Walnut Creek, and Cupertino), plus additional outlets in Charleston, South Carolina, and San Antonio, Texas.

You surely know the Brazilian steakhouse drill by now: a parade of meats (in Galpão Gaucho's case, that would be 16 cuts plus a grilled salmon option), a salad bar that's nearly 40 items deep, and even a few sides that are served at your table. To wash it all down there are potent potables aplenty. Las Vegas Magazine is especially fond of the restaurant's cocktails, as well as its selection of high-end whiskey.

Overall, the dining experience is sure to satisfy any cowgirl or cowboy. "Worth every penny spent," a Tripadvisor reviewer wrote in a five-star rave of the Cupertino location. "Great for any occasion whether you are there to dine casually or celebrate."

SP Brazilian Steakhouse

We hope you have room for one more churrascaria, because SP Brazilian Steakhouse might just be the best spot on this list.  If you happen to be anywhere in the vicinity of Lakeway, Texas (a suburb of Austin), a stop here is simply a must. To put it bluntly, the reviews don't lie. Consider the fact that SP Brazilian Steakhouse comes with nearly perfect marks on Google, a perfect five-star rating on Tripadvisor, and another five out of five rating from Yelp, which ranked the restaurant at number 17 on its list of America's Top 100 Places to Eat in 2020. How can you argue with those numbers?

Yelp reviewer Ashley L. sums up the hype: "The meat options came quickly and they were cooked perfectly and were by far my favorite of any Brazilian steakhouse. You can tell this is not just another chain but the real deal. If you have ever wanted to feel like a judge on Top Chef with people bringing you the finest of all of the dishes to taste until you are completely stuffed, this is the restaurant for you!"

Prioritize the prime cut meats, but be sure to leave some room for homemade pao de queixo, the famed pillowy Brazilian cheese bread. And do your very best to leave just a bit more room for an order of creamy flan and crème brûlée, both of which are also prepared in-house.