Quality Hotel Afonso Pena
Av. Afonso Pena, 3761
Belo Horizonte, 30130-008
Phone: (55) 31 21118900
Fax: (55) 31 21118901
Berga 8 successfully blends the simplicity of bar food and live music with the charm of a restaurant, creating a space that works well for business meetings, a family dinner or just catching up with friends. With TV screens spread around the bar, it is a very good place to watch the soccer match if you can't make it to the stadium. Menu highlights are typical bar snacks from Minas Gerais, like arrumadinho (brisket, boiled cassava and pork scratchings) and casquinha de siri (crab served on its shell). You can get 2 for 1 caipirinhas (a Brazilian cocktail, similar to a mojito) every Thursday, and feijoada (the most traditional Brazilian dish) at lunchtime on Saturdays.
Minas Gerais is quite famous for its coffee. The brand 3 Corações has existed since 1922 and is a Brazilian favorite. The brand is named after the city of Três Corações, 287 kilometers away from Belo Horizonte. The city is known for its coffee industry and also for being the birthplace of soccer giant Pelé. Although Três Corações is a bit far away, you can still try their coffee at Café 3 Corações in Belo Horizonte. Located in the stylish Savassi area, the coffeehouse offers over thirty options of the drink in its hot and cold varieties. The food menu is also full of temptations, with special features like steak with jabuticaba (a Brazilian type of berry) sauce.
Yan Shan Zay is run by a Taiwanese family who settled in Belo Horizonte in 2010. It is only open for lunchtime and has a self-service buffet system. The buffet has a wide range of options including veggie versions of traditional Asian and Brazilian dishes, such as veggie sushi, spring rolls and feijoada. You will also find traditional rice noodles, yakissoba and seaweed dishes, all sorts of salads and deep-fried shimeji mushrooms. You get a glass of green juice included with your meal and you can also drink as much tea as you like. The restaurant is very cozy and pets are welcome.
Los Hermanitos was the first Argentine restaurant to open in Belo Horizonte in 2011. It has a main dining area, one room for private functions and some tables set outside in the balcony surrounded by a beautiful garden. The decoration is lively, with paintings and photographs depicting Argentinian life, culture and soccer. The menu is straightforward, with a handful of choices of starters and sides with an emphasis on meat-based dishes. The celery and blue cheese empanadas are worth trying as a starter. Most of the mains serve two people, and come with a side of potatoes or rice and a spicy dressing. It is perfect for families, groups of friends or for a romantic candlelit dinner.
Al Sultan is the enterprise of two Lebanese siblings whose family moved to Brazil in the early 20th century. Most of the dishes they serve are based on recipes prepared by their grandmother back in Lebanon. Al Sultan operates a self-service buffet at lunchtime and a la carte menu in the evening. You will find traditional Middle Eastern favorites such as raw and fried kibbeh, tabbouleh, fattoush and stuffed grape leaves. Choose to sip some arak with your meal and finish off with some delicious baklava. Al Sultan often hosts food festivals and belly-dancing shows, and hookahs are available upon request.
Speciali Pizza Bar has the best pizza in Belo Horizonte according to some. Open since 2001, the restaurant is exclusively decorated in a contemporary fashion. The menu includes pastas, meats and risotti, but the real stars are the pizzas. There are over 30 toppings to choose from, ranging from traditional ones like a simple mozzarella to more creative ones like asparagus and brie, or their famous dark garlic pizza. The drinks menu is equally impressive, with various labels of beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks. Every Thursday night, Speciali hosts their "Food Experience" project. Focused on a younger audience, the chef serves a finger food buffet while guest DJs and expert bartenders create a party atmosphere in the dining room.
Circus Rock Bar is inspired by The Rolling Stones' 1968 movie, "The Rolling Stones' Rock'n'Roll Circus." The decoration and music of the club pay tribute to the greatest rock'n'roll bands from the 1960s until now. There are always two live bands performing every night as well as circus acts on certain nights of the week. There is a pool table on the ground floor and a sushi bar and lounge on the first floor. It is worth keeping an eye on their Facebook and Twitter profiles for special deals and themed nights every week.
Fonte de Minas is a rather unique restaurant in Belo Horizonte. It is located within Vila Werneck, a small 1940s villa hidden in the city center. Access is through a set of red gates, and you need to be buzzed in to enter the cobbled streets. The restaurant is one of the 12 heritage houses in the villa. In addition to its unusual surroundings, it is the only restaurant in town that specializes in macrobiotic food. The recipes include dishes made with tofu, roots, leaves, seaweed and wholegrain cereal. It is highly popular with vegans, vegetarians and gluten or lactose-intolerant customers. Drinks are mostly herbal infusion-based and desserts are sugar-free.
Cachaça has been the most traditional of Brazilian drinks for the past 400 years. A spirit distilled from sugarcane whose production is concentrated in the state of Minas Gerais, it can be consumed on its own or as a mixer in cocktails. Clube Mineiro da Cachaça is probably the best place in Belo Horizonte to appreciate this drink in its various forms. The bar is run by passionate cachaça connoisseurs who are more than happy to recommend one (or more) of their 1,200 labels, all produced in Minas Gerais, to try. The menu includes tapas-style food and a few main courses. Do try Brazilian favorites carne-de-sol (similar to beef jerky), surubi (fish) and feijão preto com jabá (black beans stew).
Santa Pizza is located in the bohemian area of Santa Tereza, in a 1940s house with its original roof and flooring. The restaurant is charmingly decorated with local artwork, all of which are for sale. The drinks menu offers a good selection of wines and craft beers. The pizzas are all named after saints, result of an in-joke between the owners, who once thought it would be a miracle to find a good pizza in Belo Horizonte. House favorites are the St Sebastian (brie, walnuts, apricots and cured ham) and the St. Tereza Davila (shrimp, pickled onions, pumpkin and cream cheese) among the savory toppings. The most traditional sweet choice is the St. Isabel," a combination of chocolate, strawberries and vanilla ice cream.
Individual portions of roasted meat served on small wooden skewers is a very common Brazilian tradition, easily found around the streets of the main cities and particularly in the vicinity of soccer stadiums. These skewers are known in Portuguese as churrasquinhos or espetinhos. Churrasquinhos do Luizinho is one of Belo Horizonte's favorite spots for consuming this delicacy. A tin-roofed shed in the Prado neighborhood, it has become widely popular with the locals who fill up the place every night of the week. There are 17 options to choose from, with usual orders including beef, chicken and pork. On Fridays you can also get shrimp and quail. The cheese and pineapple skewer is a good option to round it off.
AltaVila is a famous landmark in the Belo Horizonte skyline, with its 110m tower standing 456m above the city. The building is home to Hoshi, a wonderful sushi restaurant, Bela Vista Conference Center and the BH Hard Rock Café. The tower provides stunning views over and beyond the city and surrounding hills. Private and public events are often held in the tower, including Brazilian Funk and Forro Parties open to the general public. Go up to the Sky Lounge on the top floor for the best views and to enjoy some nice coffee during the day, or a glass of whisky in the evening.