Gather over tap beers, strong cocktails and hearty snacks.
Brazil is known for their endless sunshine, incredible beaches and vibrant life. The city is bursting with energy and excitement, best known for its unique boteco culture: cosy spots where people come together to enjoy beers on tap, cocktails and hearty snacks. At Kitanda Bev & Bites, the team hope to keep the tradition rolling, bringing a slice of neighbourhood Brazil to the heart of Darlinghurst.
As soon as you step into Kitanda Bev & Bites, it’s like a love letter to the lively bars of downtown Rio de Janeiro. You’ll instantly be transported by its lively atmosphere, with tall ceilings, funky upcycled furniture, and pastel walls plastered with a playful mix of vintage photographs and memorabilia. Soak up the electric energy and take advantage of the cool breeze with a seat outside, or opt for a seat in the covered and heated atrium out back.
The menu is almost entirely gluten-free, with Brazilian chef Michelle Bessa cooking up a menu that celebrates Brazil’s rich culinary history. There’s an open kitchen so you get a front-row seat to the glimpse of the magic. Start off with bolinho de queijo (puffy cheeseballs using cassava, a native root that takes the lead in the restaurant’s smaller dishes) as well as tapioca and halloumi fritters, served with a tangy BBQ guava salsa that hits just the right spots. For something more traditional, order the chicken heart skewers and plantain chips on the side. Heartier plates include moqueca, a creamy seafood stew with a tomato base, and Brazil’s national dish, feijoada — a pork, sausage and bean stew available all day on Saturdays until sold out.
Get ready to taste Brazil’s national cocktail, Caipirinha, taking the spotlight on Kitanda Bev & Bites’ cocktail menu. Other delicious tropical cocktails include classic passionfruit and pineapple flavours to wild experimental creations spiked with sake. The team also take their spirits seriously, with 25 different types of cachaça behind the bar for you to enjoy. House lager is served just like in the botecos, from pony-like 200ml glasses to ensure your beer stays as cold as possible (we’ll cheers to that).
It’s a fun, relaxed vibe that owners São Paulo natives Tatiana Simplicio (ex-Fei Jai, Chula) and Kauani Sampaio (ex-Glass, The Cat’s Meow) want for their eatery. “In Brazil, you head to a bar with a couple of friends, and suddenly two tables of friends out for a quick drink turns into a giant group that spends all night together,” says Simplicio. “We want to create that relaxed sense of fun and flexibility here.”
Kitanda Bev & Bites is open Wednesday – Friday from 5pm – 10pm, Saturday from 1om – 11pm and Sunday from 1pm – 8pm. For more information, visit their website here.