Samba Feijoadas Carnival Rio

Samba Feijoadas Defined: Samba-School Feijoadas



“Feijoada”, probably the most famous and distinctive Brazilian national dish, which can be roughly translated as “Beans Stew”, is significantly embedded within the Brazilian Carnival and Samba cultural environment and identity.  On this article, you will see photos, videos, and texts explaining how Samba Feijaodas are different from the typical Brazilian Feijoadas. 


Below we see the charming actress Èrika Januzi, who is one of the Divas for Imperio Serrano at a Samba-Feijoada.

Samba Fejoadas Brazil Carnival

Photo Credit:  Brazil Carnival OOah!

Feijoadas are very common within Brazil´s Carnival culture for many different reasons which most of the times, are intertwined.   One of the reasons, is that samba-schools, from all different levels ( leagues ) take the opportunity of the “Feijoadas” gathering to maintain the bond between the samba-school and its members / fans.   It is a perfect setting for entire families, normally emotionally or geographically related to that particular samba-school, to gather, mingle and enjoy the atmosphere of the particular samba-school´s novelties.

Samba Feijoada Imperio Serrano

Photo Credit: Alan De Souza - GRES Imperio Serrano Samba School

“Samba feijoadas” typically start at around 2 PM, and sometimes may last until 2 AM.  During this “samba marathon”, almost a 12 hour period, a series of shows, performances, dancing,  and certainly top drumming carry on through the night.   Normally, the samba-schools´ feijoadas take place at their own premises, and a flat fee is charged for entrance, plus the price of the dish.  Beverages are paid apart.  As an example, G.R.E.S. Imperio Serrano Samba-School, at Madureira neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the archetypical models of Feijoadas in Rio´s samba scene, congregating more than five thousand carnival and samba lovers during each event.  

Legendary “Tia´s Suritas´s Feijoada”, from Portela Samba School, is also one of the most traditional ones, among the samba-schools, and is also located at the Madureira neighborhood in Rio.

All of the major samba-schools alike, as example  Vila Isabel Samba School, G.R.E.S União da Ilha do Governador, Portela, Estácio de Sá, Imperatriz Leopoldinense, G.R.E.S Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, G.R.E.S São Clemente, G.R.E.S Salgueiro, and the world wide famous Mangueira, to mention a few in Rio, promote and organize Samba-feijoadas for at least 30 years... Some more than that!

Samba-schools, as organized entities, take profit of this cultural activity to collect revenues to help fund raising purposes, and thus, the carnival parade itself.   The Samba-schools´ feijoadas, generally start in the beginning of the carnival season, in September and sometimes goes as far as January, one month prior to the official parade.  Prices vary from US$ 10.00 to US$ 15.00,  when they take place at the samba-school premises. 


During the height of the carnival season in Rio, in some of the five star hotels, “pocket” versions of these feijoadas may cost up to US$ 150.00 per person, but then, the audience is certainly different.    The monies collected are managed by the board directors of the samba-schools, who decide in terms of priority, where the money will be allocated: sometimes in the improvement of their own “quadras” or sometimes for a particular section of the carnival parade itself.   These events normally happen once a month, like as an example, every 3rd Saturday, every last Sunday, and so forth.   

Another beauty of a “samba-school feijoada”, is the opportunity to see in a particular afternoon, a “mini-summary” of some of the most significant cultural expressions of a real Brazilian samba-school.   During the feijoada, apart from the delicious gourmet food,  you will probably see minimally, a samba or pagode live show, the lovely “ballet” dance of the official carnival flag-bearer and samba host from the samba-school, the enigmatic performance of the samba-dancers,  in Brazil called “passistas”;  the vibrant presentation of 100+ samba drummers, and if you are lucky, sometimes even the presence of the samba-school´s  Queen of the Drums Section and Carnival divas.    Wow!  That´s certainly a lot for an afternoon and probably ( a good ) reason way they usually carry  until midnight, or later!  

Below we see the Feijoada itself being served!  Yummy!!

Samba feiojada Brazil

Photo Credit: Alan De Souza - GRES Imperio Serrano Samba School

So next time traveling to Rio de Janeiro, try visiting some of the traditional Samba-Schools´ feijoadas.  Below we listed some of them who were rated as “10”, by a local newspaper.   We also provided a summary of the top feijoadas , their dates and  addresses, so gourmet (and samba) lovers from all over the world can enjoy this cultural activity!   

 G.R.E.S. Império Serrano:  “Feijoada Imperial”

Happens always on the 3rd Saturday of the month the traditional samba-school of Madureira, 9 times Champion of the Rio Carnival Parade, promotes what is considered one the best feijoadas in town.   The beans are delicious, families mix with beautiful samba dancers and percussionists set the tone for the cold beer, very easy to buy.  We also highlight the musical excellence during the feijoada afternoon.  At the stage, many traditional singers like “Arlindo Neto”, “Grupo Senzala”, “Samba Pra Gente” take their turns.   The repertoire ranges from various samba-themes to the most famous and old samba songs.   Generally at the end, the feijoada reaches its climax, with the Drum Section of Império Serrano, a.k.a. “Sinfônica”, pounding a variety of samba instruments and styles along with the monumental “passistas” (samba-dancers).  Last year, Império Serrano´s quadra (HQ) was renovated and had its acoustic project finalized.  The feijoada is prepared by “Tia Néia”. 

General Info:

Admission: US$ 8.00

 Price of dish: $ 6.00

Start Time:  13hs – 1 PM

Address: Império Serrano Quadra: Ministro Edgard Romero 114, Madureira neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro

Telephone:  (21) 2450 - 2711

Web site: Imperio Serrano Samba-school:

Below, the Taiane Perfeito, the new Diva for Imperio Serrano in 2013 at the samba-feijoada!

Taiane Perfeito Musa Imperio 2013

Photo Credit:  Brazil Carnival OOah!

G.R.E.S Portela

Happens always at the 1st Saturday of the month and is very well known for its “old school” musical repertoire, often with presentations from classic composers, singers, and the flag bearer and samba-host couple presentation.  The audience basically comes from the Oswaldo Cruz and Madureira vicinities.  The atmosphere is friendly and familiar, with Portela´s  “Old Ladies” with their grandsons and daughters.   With regards to the main dish, the feijoada itself, is tops.   The entire Portela “quadra”, was completely renovated this year, and we are now able to see the façade of beautiful 1900 houses, all painted in white and blue ( the colors of the samba-school.) .   There is a charming patio, adjacent to the “quadra”, where cold beer can be bought. 

General Info:

Admission:  US$ 3,00

Price of dish: $ 5,00

Start Time:  13hs  1 PM

Address: Rua Clara Nunes, 81, Madureira


G.R.E.S  Salgueiro

The feijoada at Salgueiro Samba-School always happens on the 2nd Sunday of the months of September, October, November, December and January.   It is very comfortable, since the “quadra” was completely renovated, with a new cold air-conditioning system.   The location is one of the high-points.   It is located at the traditional North Zone district of  Tijuca, which is the closest district considering Rio´s South Zone and Center.   Beans are very tasty and the beer is always freezing cold, just the way Brazilians love.   The crowd that attends the Salgueiro Feijoada is  younger than Imperio´s and Portela, averaging between 20-40´s, and the atmosphere is relaxed.   A good way to meet some locals if you are a foreigner! 

General Info:

Admission: US$ 15,00 (includes dish)

Start Time:  1 PM

Address:  Salgueiro,  Rua Silva Teles, 104 – Andaraí, tel 2238-0389

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