Best South American Restaurant (2002)

Café Brazil

As Latin-food lovers race to the new South American spots cropping up across town like plantains in a tropical heat wave, savvy south-of-the-border aficionados continue to savor the culinary carnaval that is Café Brazil. The only thing zestier than the colorful decor in this tiny, fascinating space is the food, from the fab fejoida (Brazil's national dish) to the particularly luscious flan. Entrees are substantial and always surrounded by rice, steamed vegetables and fresh fruit; if that's not enough food, moist banana bread and savory cheese buns come with the meal, and the spicy black-bean soup and killer calamari appetizers make nice add-ons. The close quarters make the dining room as intimate or as raucous as you'd like, but be sure to make reservations -- Denver loves this Latin a lot.


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