The Gaucho Way: Fogo de Chão Puts the Brazilian Sizzle in Your Steak

Fogo de Chao

Sticker shock: “$51.50?! Each?” “Hey, just be glad they aren’t 10,000 Maniacs fans.” (Guitarfool5931 via Flickr)

Like the average renter, I remember hearing a bit about these Brazilian steakhouses.

But unlike the urbane Washington, D.C., renter, I had no idea what the term meant. And if I did, I promptly forgot, like we forget most things.

Well, now I know. And today we’ll focus on Fogo de Chão, one of the highest-rated restaurants I’ve seen.

As of this writing, Fogo de Chão is averaging an incredible 4.5 stars in 601 reviews on That’s like 90 percent in school, an A. (I didn’t get too many of those until it was too late to matter.) And before you start thinking subterfuge, Fogo couldn’t have paid that many people off.

[ Related: Dupont Circle’s Ruth’s Chris a Prime Location for Steak Lovers ]

At, 87 percent of voters like Fogo de Chão. It currently has a no. 10 ranking, but to be honest, I don’t know what this means exactly (here is where they don’t explain their ratings system).

View Larger Map Fogo de Chão
1101 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004

Still, these are sky-high marks. They can’t all be lying.

So let’s get into what constitutes a Brazilian steakhouse. It has to do with “the Gaucho way of roasting meats over pits of open fire for delicious barbecues, which is always present at every festive occasion, especially family gatherings.”

Well, whether you bring your family along or not, something tells me you’ll like this style of barbeque, which is said to be “a rich blend of traditions from European immigrants and Brazilian natives.” Their site gives a colorful history of both the restaurant and this style of cooking.

The D.C. location is situated just across the street from the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue, technically putting it just a hair outside Federal Triangle. So you know the Federal Triangle Metro stop on the Blue/Orange Line is right there.

Getting back to the food … Here, Fogo de Chão describes their dining experience.

Basically, you have a salad bar where you can sample more than 30 items, “including fresh cut vegetables, imported cheeses, cured meats and Brazilian side dishes.” The main attraction is, of course, meat and lots of it: 15 cuts. These are brought to your table, sliced and served by the gaucho chefs themselves.

[ Related: Adams Morgan: Exotic Eateries Let You Travel the World One Morsel at a Time ]

If you are a true glutton, you can eat dessert as well.

This place don’t come cheap. Lunch is $34.50. Dinner is $51.50 (we know which era of Van Halen these Brazilians prefer).

At either meal, you can choose the salad bar-only option for $24.50. Drinks and desserts aren’t included in the price.

Protip: Try to come in groups of five, as an 18-percent gratuity is added to all parties of six or more. But really, this shouldn’t be necessary because we know all renters are excellent tippers.

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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