Home Culture Capoeira Restaurant: The Couple Behind This Brazilian + Portuguese Spot in Jersey City

Capoeira Restaurant: The Couple Behind This Brazilian + Portuguese Spot in Jersey City

by Stephanie Brown
Attain Medspa
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Restaurant openings are always exciting but it can be tough to keep up with all of the new spots in town. Capoeira, a new Brazilian + Portuguese Restaurant in Jersey City, opened in October 2023 at 24 Mercer Street and should be on every foodie’s radar. This cozy, family restaurant is run by Chef Willian + his husband Juca, and the menu features authentic dishes like pão de queijo (gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread) + feijoada, a traditional Brazilian stew. The Hoboken Girl was invited to try the new BYOB restaurant and we had a fantastic experience. Keep reading to learn more about this new eatery in Jersey City + the restaurant’s special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu.

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Capoeira is Now Open

Chef Willian + Juca opened Capoeira as a family restaurant to bring the best of Brazilian and Portuguese cuisine to Jersey City. Capoeira is named for the Afro-Brazilian martial art and dance, which Juca said is a celebration of life and respect for others.

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“Having the restaurant in Jersey City is a privilege because it was where we were welcomed by the entire community. That strengthens the concept of family food,” Juca told The Hoboken Girl.

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Capoeira is BYOB and is conveniently a short, 2-minute walk from CoolVines on Grove. The restaurant has plenty of indoor seating + a few sidewalk tables.

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Everyone who works at Capoeira is incredibly friendly and welcoming. As soon as we sat down and pulled out our bottle of wine (a Portuguese wine from CoolVines, of course) the server came over with glasses and a bottle opener. Throughout the rest of the meal, we were given suggestions on the best dishes + made to feel like we were at a friend’s place.

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Read More: 10 Unique Brunches in Hoboken + Jersey City for Your Next Brunch Adventure

Menu Highlights

Capoeira opened on October 24th, 2023, and serves brunch, lunch, + dinner. Each menu is filled with authentic, Brazilian + Portuguese dishes.

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Brunch

Brunch is available on Saturdays + Sundays from 9AM-3PM. The menu features coffee drinks, a breakfast cheese board, an acai bowl, and chicken + cheese empanadas. There’s a sweet pão de queijo waffle with pumpkin jam, passion fruit sauce, and fruit and a savory pão de queijo waffle with a choice of eggs, Portuguese chorizo, cherry tomatoes, + a side salad.

Lunch

Guests can enjoy the lunch menu Tuesday-Friday from 11AM-3PM. The menu has sopa de cebola (onion soup), bolinho de bacalhau (cod fish fritters), chicken + cheese empanadas, two salads, and chouriço assado (flamed Portugues chorizo).

Dinner

We visited for dinner and enjoyed a delicious spread of appetizers, entrees, + desserts. Dinner is served from 5PM-10PM on Tuesday-Sunday.

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Dinner appetizer highlights are the charcuterie board, which comes with the chef’s choice of traditional cured meat and cheese, pão de queijo, Alheira croquettes (Portuguese chicken/pork sausage with seeded mustard), and the chouriço assado (flamed Portugues chorizo).

 

 

Salad options are the Capoeira salad (black-eyed peas, pickled red onions, cherry tomatoes, peppers, + homemade vinaigrette), the Amazon salad (arugula, cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes, raisins, turnip, quinoa, + homemade vinaigrette), + the Horta salad (romaine lettuce, carrots, black olives, pickled red onion, + anchovies).

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The main course menu has bacalhau espiritual (a Portuguese casserole with salt cod, carrots, onion, bechamel sauce, + white rice), salmao grelhado ao molho de maracujá (grilled salmon, passion fruit sauce, + palm hearts risotto), and camarão na moringa (pumpkin + shrimp cream served in a pumpkin). Beef, chicken, + vegan strogonoff are also available.

Other options are the picanha (prime Brazilian rump cap, rice, beans, bacon farofa, + chimichurri), a NY strip steak, and feijoada (black beans, stew-pork, rice, bacon farofa, sauteed collard greens, + orange).

“My favorite dish is feijoada, a typical Brazilian dish. And feijoada is the restaurant’s most popular dish,” Juca said.

Some of the available sides are fried yuca, French fries, white rice, black beans, and sauteed collard greens.

Dessert

The restaurant has three dessert options so guests can end the meal on a sweet note. There’s brigadeiro (Brazilian chocolate truffles), passion fruit mousse, + pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tart with homemade gelato).

See More: Where to Find Latin Food in Essex County

Special Menus

Capoeira had a special prix fixe menu for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and the restaurant also has a new Valentine’s prix fixe menu.

The four-course Valentine’s Prix Fixe menu is available on February 14th for $65 per person.

Some of the options are a roast quail with red wine sauce and creamy polenta, vegan strogonoff (coconut milk, heart of palm, pumpkin seed, rice, and potatoes stick), and the classic Northeast Brazilian dish Baião de dois (black-eye peas, Brazilian cheese, rice, chorizo, bell pepper, and parsley).

Reservations can be made on OpenTable for anyone looking for a last-minute Valentine’s date idea. Capoeira is located at 24 Mercer Street in Jersey City. It is open Tuesday-Friday from 11AM-10PM and Saturday-Sunday from 9AM-10PM.

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