Brazilians, as I have pointed out before, love to eat. They also love to eat out and it was funny to see pictures with common new year’s resolutions in Brazil because one of them read: eat more with the family at home and less in restaurants and lanchonetes. Brazilians also (specially?) like to eat at the beach. And here is how they do that.
You don’t see people bringing food to the beach – actually this is a joke: “How do you spot a tourist? He is bringing food to the beach.“ There is absolutely no need to bring food to the beach, because unless you are at a very, very remote beach (like after hiking a trail for 30 minutes, which I did once in Boiçucanga) you will find either a restaurant, some food stalls selling fried „pastel“ or vendors selling everything from ice-cream to hot corn or cheese on a stick (can also be shrimp), the last two will be barbecued before your eyes on a mobile grill. And there are the quiosques, small beach-front restaurants which serve beach-food and that usually means: fried stuff.
Quiosques can be neat and fancy (like I’ve seen in Rio) or basic and a little run down (like the stalls that were build here in Santos to keep the business going while the real quiosques are being rebuild). They usually offer very cold beer (important), fried stuff (as mentioned, though some of the beach food can be surprisingly good in a quiosque), some way of rain protection (after all, this coast is home to a tropical rain forest) and a nice view of the beach and the people in it. Here in Santos they also offer enough room to find a place, which I did not expect. It seems not to be very trendy to have your dinner at the quiosques here, though for me there is almost nothing better. I mean, having a cold beer (or a caipirinha, if you are fancy), eating fried shrimp (or grilled fish, if you are fancy) and watching the sunset or the people doing their sports on the beach at night (I don’t know if you would do anything different, if you are fancy) – this seems to me absolutely the right thing to do. And finishing the day with a walk on the beach (preferably feet in the water) is the icing on the cake and one of the reasons for living in Santos.