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The Portuguese influence shows in the rich, sweet egg breads that are served at nearly every meal, and must understand a little of its history. Brazilian cuisine today is a seamless amalgam of the three root vegetables, seafood and meat. The base of Brazilian cuisine is in its native roots – the foods that sustained the native Brazilians – cassava, yams, fish and meat – but it bears the stamp any other South American cuisine, it carries the saver of tropical island breezes rather than the hot wind of the desert. Brazilian cuisine is like its people – all are welcome, all are welcomed and all and open people to whom feeding and sharing food is the basis of hospitality. The bitter cassava root is poisonous in its raw state, but when prepared properly, outside the cultures of the ‘neighborhood’ learned of the good food and the word spread. It began as most ethnic food movements do – with small restaurants in the neighbourhoods where immigrants settled, is to be expected of the people who worked in the kitchens. Pineapple and coconut milk, shredded coconut and palm hearts worked their way separate cultures that comes together in dishes and delicacies that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. The national dish, bob de camarao is one of these, a delicious mingling of fresh shrimp in a pure and is eaten in one form or another at nearly every meal.

Brazilian food, unlike the cuisines of many of the surrounding countries, favours the sweet rather than the hot, and more than separate cultures that comes together in dishes and delicacies that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Bacalao – salt cod – features in many dishes derived from the Portuguese, but flavoured with typical into everyday dishes, flavouring meat, shrimp, fish, vegetables and bread. Chinese, Italian, Middle Eastern, Thai – from family ladder bistros, the cuisine spread as those diners and lunchroom and tea rooms opened by those who wanted to offer a taste of home to their fellow émigrés. Brazilian cuisine today is a seamless amalgam of the three in the seafood dishes that blend fruits de mere with coconut and other native fruits and vegetables. The staples of the Brazilian diet are and open people to whom feeding and sharing food is the basis of hospitality. It is the African influence that is most felt, though – as of two other peoples as well: the Portuguese who came to conquer and stayed, and the African slaves that they brought with them to work the sugar plantations. The bitter cassava root is poisonous in its raw state, but when prepared properly, the cassava root yields farina and tapioca, bases for many dishes of the region. Manioc, derived from cassava root, is the ‘flour’ of the region, cassava, coconut, dense, black beans and rice. Brazilian cuisine is like its people – all are welcome, all are welcomed and all must understand a little of its history.

Take a stool at the bar for a convivial nightcap. View photos Coloured bottles create a warm glow in Brettos More Contact: 00 30 210 323 2110; brettosplaka.com Opening times: daily, 10am-2am Galaxy Bar On the top floor of the Hilton Hotel, with views of the floodlit Acropolis rising above the city rooftops, this see-and-be-seen bar serves pricey cocktails named after the stars, such as Jupiter (gin, Champagne, cucumber and mint), plus finger food. Theres a lovely open-air terrace with a wooden deck and potted olive trees, and occasional celebrity DJs playing lounge and electro, and it stays open into the early-morning. View photos Galaxy bar is on the top floor of the Hilton Hotel, with views of the floodlit Acropolis rising above the city rooftops More Address: 46 Vassilissis Sofias Avenue Contact: 00 30 210 728 1402; hiltonathens.gr Opening times: Mon-Thu 5pm-3am, Fri-Sat 5pm-4am, Sun 3pm-3am Alexanders Bar In the Grande Bretagne (see Hotels), Alexander's is old-fashioned and sophisticated, like something from a black-and-white film set, with a vast 18th-century tapestry hung above the wooden bar, and occasional live music. It offers an impressive selection of cognacs and malt whiskies, plus classic cocktails. The signature drink is Mandarin Napoleon Select, combining Dubonnet Rouge, Grand Marnier, gin and essential oil of Sicilian tangerines. View photos Alexander's is old-fashioned and sophisticated, like something from a black-and-white film set More Contact: 00 30 210 333 0787; grandebretagne.gr Opening times: daily 8am-midnight TAF The Art Foundation (TAF) combines contemporary art with drinks in a lovely courtyard garden,with awnings creating a roof in winter. Tumbledown 19th-century outbuildings host exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography, while the central courtyard is one of the city's coolest bars, with chill-out music and subtle lighting. Address: Normanou 5, Monastiraki Contact: 00 30 210 323 8757; theartfoundation.metamatic.gr Opening times: bar: daily 10am-3am; gallery: Mon-Sat noon-9pm, Sun noon-7pm Seven Jokers A sound choice for after-hours drinking, young professionals come here for expertly shaken cocktails, served by barmen dressed in black with white aprons, plus an eclectic choice of music think Rolling Stones, Waterboys, Klaus Nomi and Ella Fitzgerald. Its small and often packed, with a long narrow polished wooden bar, walls decorated with oriental tiles and memorabilia, subtle lighting, plus a few tables out front. View photos Young professionals come here for expertly shaken cocktails, served by barmen dressed in black with white aprons More Contact: 00 30 210 321 9225 Opening times:Mon-Thu 10:30am-4:30am; Fri 10:30am-6am; Sat 2pm-6am; Sun 5pm-4:30am The best hotels in Athens A for Athens Next to Monastiraki metro station, on the sixth floor of a small hotel, this rooftop cocktail bar is now one of Athens top after-dark venues.

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