Coffee and Tex-Mex with a side of history: exploring Brazil, Ind.

by | Places, Featured Destinations

Historic Brazil, Ind., nestled in the heart of Clay County, offers a blend of small-town charm and delicious food. With an embracing warmth, the Indiana hamlet with a population of about 8,000 offers a range of dining options, from Mexican to wings to delicious coffee. There is something delicious to please every palate. 

According to the city’s website, Massachusetts native William Stewart settled the area in 1838 by building the first house. He named it after the South American country since Brazil had made newspaper headlines due to the region’s political upheaval – plus it was short and memorable. One of only a handful of U.S. towns named after the Portuguese-speaking country, Indiana’s Brazil became a crossroads for thousands of settlers headed west.  

For anyone heading through the area these days, Brazil provides many independent dining options, including the Brazil Coffee Grounds and Bits-N-Bites, both along National Avenue, the major arterial route that connects into Terre Haute. Both locations offer the opportunity to sip tasty lattes and cappuccinos and eat locally baked goods. Brazil Coffee Grounds prepares 49 different flavored and sugar-free brews, and Bits-N-Bites provides breakfast, lunch and java in a beguiling and comfortable atmosphere. 

Once your recycled cups brim with Brazil-brewed java, take a five-minute drive to State Road 59 and visit the impressive Chafariz Dos Contos Fountain. A diplomatic gift from the country of Brazil, the granite water feature, sculpted by Brazilian artist Tito Bernucci, replicates the original found in Ouro Preto. Weighing 62 tons and shipped across 5,000 miles in 105 pieces, the impressive bubbler stands 26 feet tall and about 40 feet long. Erected in 1950, it fell into disrepair, but in 2016, Indiana Landmarks and Clay County Parks funded a renovation to restart the gurgling. 

For those with a taste of Tex-Mex, dive into Mario Bros Mexican, a must-visit when passing through. The south-of-the-border eatery, known for authentic dishes, offers an extensive menu featuring everything from sizzling fajitas to savory enchiladas – and delicious margaritas. If you’re in the mood for classic food and locally crafted libations with a heady lineup of up-and-coming musicians, Timeout Bar might be the place to put on dancing shoes and work up an appetite. Known for mouthwatering wings with a secret sauce, customers can order a wing at a time for 89 cents each. 

Lastly, a stop at enchanting Honeysuckle Hill Bee-stro is a must. Open for lunch and dinner, the menu features locally sourced ingredients and changes weekly. If you have room for just one item, the dessert bites plate might be it. Featuring three half portions of homemade confections, you’ll be delighted for the rest of the day. 

Brazil presents an array of dining that cater to various tastes and preferences. That and the city’s rich history makes it a destination worth exploring, and its welcoming community will make anyone feel at home.

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