Fogo de Chão Vs. Chima: Which Brazilian Steakhouse Is Best?

Brazilian steakhouses, also known as churrascarias, have become increasingly popular in the United States over the past couple of decades. Two of the most well-known chains are Fogo de Chão and Chima Steakhouse.

But with similar menus and dining concepts, it can be tough to choose between the two.

This comprehensive guide will compare Fogo de Chão and Chima across a variety of factors to help you decide which Brazilian steakhouse is best for your next meal out.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureFogo de ChãoChima Steakhouse
OriginFounded in Southern Brazil in 1979Founded in Brazil, first U.S. location opened in 2004 in Florida
SpecialtiesPremium beef cuts, Southern Brazilian flavorsBroad selection of Brazilian meats including more seafood and lamb
Beef SelectionRobust offering of top beef cuts like filet, ribeye, and picanhaAlso serves premium Brazilian beef cuts
Other MeatsPork, chicken, lamb, sausagePork, chicken, lamb, sausage, grilled fish
Salad BarMarket-fresh ingredients, 40+ item selectionsPremium selections like lobster bisque, 30+ item options
AmbianceUpscale rustic churrascariaLavish, elegant churrascaria
Cost Per Person$50-$70 per person for dinner$50-$75+ per person for dinner
Locations55+ locations across U.S., Brazil, Mexico15+ locations in U.S., Brazil, Middle East

Overview of Fogo de Chão


Founded in Southern Brazil in 1979, Fogo de Chão brought the traditional Southern Brazilian steakhouse dining concept to the United States in 1997 with its first location in Dallas, Texas.

Often regarded as one of the finest steakhouse chains in America, Fogo de Chão has expanded to over 55 locations across the U.S., Brazil, and Mexico.

The dining experience at Fogo revolves around the churrasco service, where gaucho chefs roast meats on skewers over an open flame and carve them tableside.

The salad area offers a wide array of hot and cold salad options to complement the meats. Fogo is best known for its exceptional quality beef cuts and market-fresh salad bar.

Some of Fogo’s highlights include:

  • Specializes in fire-roasted meats and market-table salads
  • Features premium beef cuts like filet mignon, ribeye, sirloin, and more
  • Meat options include pork, chicken, lamb, and Brazilian sausage
  • salad area with 40+ items including fresh vegetables, cured meats, cheeses, etc.
  • Full bar offering South American wines and signature cocktails
  • Upscale interior design with dark woods and modern touches

Overview of Chima Steakhouse


Chima Steakhouse is part of the Chima brand founded in Brazil by Nello Barile. The first U.S. location opened in 2004 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Today, Chima operates over 15 locations in the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, and the Middle East.

Like Fogo, Chima follows the traditional Brazilian churrascaria dining format where gaucho chefs visit tables with skewered meats carved to order.

The salad area also offers hot foods and a wide selection of cold salads and veggies. Chima aims to provide an upscale yet relaxed steakhouse ambiance.

Some of Chima’s highlights include:

  • Also specializes in Brazilian-style wood-fire roasted meats
  • Features cuts like filet mignon, sirloin, ribeye, and Brazilian picanha
  • Meat choices include pork, chicken, lamb, sausage, and fish
  • Fresh salad area with hot dishes like lobster bisque
  • Full bar with Brazilian caipirinhas and award-winning wine list
  • Elegant but comfortable decor with warm woods and accents

Comparison Between Fogo de Chão And Chima

Comparing the Meat Selection

The meat selection is the star attraction at any Brazilian steakhouse. Both Fogo and Chima offer exceptional quality premium beef cuts along with pork, chicken, lamb, and sausage options. Here is how the two churrascarias compare:

Beef Cuts

Fogo and Chima serve all of the classic Brazilian steakhouse premium meats like filet mignon, ribeye, sirloin, rump cover, and picanha. For beef lovers, you really can’t go wrong with either option. Both restaurants use high-end beef suppliers and age their steaks to perfection. Fogo may have a slight edge for carrying wagyu beef selections.

Pork, Chicken, Lamb, Sausage

In addition to beef, Fogo and Chima both serve seasoned pork options like bacon-wrapped fillet, parmesan pork loin, and pork ribs along with chicken legs, breasts, and wings. You can also find lamb offerings like leg of lamb and lamb chops at both. Their Brazilian sausage selections are very similar too.

Overall Variety

Both restaurants promise over a dozen different meats on rotation each night. Fogo boasts over 15 cuts while Chima advertises 16 options. The variety is comparable – beef lovers are covered along with poultry, pork, lamb, and sausage. Those with seafood preferences may favor Chima, as they seem to carry grilled fish more often.

Comparing the Dining Experience

Part of what makes Brazilian steakhouses so enjoyable is the vibrant, lively dining experience. From the ambiance to the service, here is how Fogo and Chima compare:

Also Read: Differences Between Marco’s And Papa John’s Pizza.


Fogo locations feature dark woods, romantic lighting, and modern touches – aiming for upscale yet comfortable. Chima also makes use of elegant woods with intricate accents for a lavish appearance that still feels welcoming. Both successfully evoke the essence of a high-end South American churrascaria.

Gaucho Service

The gaucho chefs roaming the dining room to carve selections tableside are critical to the experience. Fogo and Chima both have very knowledgeable and friendly gaucho service. You can request cuts to your exact liking. Chima may have a slight edge here as they advertise an average of one gaucho chef per six guests, while Fogo has closer to one for every eight guests.

Salad Area

Both Fogo and Chima understand that the salad area is just as integral to the experience as the meats. They offer 40+ item fresh salad bars with hot dishes, cured meats, cheeses, and more. Fogo highlights their market-fresh ingredients, while Chima advertises some higher-end selections like lobster bisque. But they are comparable in quality and selection.

Overall Experience

From start to finish, both Fogo de Chão and Chima Steakhouse deliver exceptional Brazilian steakhouse experiences. They offer all the key elements – sizzling meats carved tableside, impressive salad bars, and welcoming ambiance. Fogo may rate just slightly higher for service, while Chima boasts a few more premium menu touches. But you truly can’t go wrong with either.

Comparing Costs

As upscale steak restaurants, neither Fogo nor Chima are the most budget-friendly dining options. Here is how the costs compare:

Pricing Method

Both restaurants operate on a similar pricing model. Lunch and dinner meals are a fixed price per person. This gives you unlimited access to the salad area and all of the meats during your seating. Prices do vary by location.

Meal Pricing

Typical per person costs for dinner at Fogo range from $50 to $70 depending on location. Lunch is around $30 to $40. Pricing is similar at Chima – dinner runs from $50 to $75+ per person while lunch costs $30 to $45+. There are sometimes special discounted pricing on weekdays. Overall pricing is comparable.


You can expect to pay extra for drinks and desserts at both restaurants. Side dishes like mashed potatoes or fried bananas cost around $7 to $15 each. And special meats like wagyu selections can run up to $25 more per serving. These costs are pretty equivalent at the two steakhouses.

Overall Value

Neither restaurant is cheap, but the unlimited feast of premium meats and salad makes up for it. For the exceptional quality and dining experience, both Fogo de Chão and Chima provide solid value at their price points. Cost should not be the deciding factor between the two.

Also Read: Comparison Between Toppers And Papa John’s Pizza.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Chima better than Fogo?

There is no definitive “better” between Chima and Fogo Brazilian steakhouses – they are both exceptional restaurants. Chima may have a slight edge in décor and premium salad menu options. But Fogo rates higher for service and its heritage as an established Brazilian steakhouse brand in the U.S.
They are comparable in quality meats, pricing, and overall dining experience. Choose based on individual location, concept preference, and menu offerings.

What’s the difference between Fogo de Chão and Texas de Brazil?

Fogo de Chão and Texas de Brazil are very similar Brazilian steakhouses in terms of format and menu. Key differences are that Fogo specializes in Southern Brazilian cuts and flavors while Texas de Brazil takes a more pan-Brazilian approach.
Texas de Brazil also offers seafood skewers while Fogo focuses on meat. Fogo has more U.S. locations while Texas de Brazil has a strong presence in Europe. Both offer excellent churrasco dining experiences.

Does Fogo de Chão have real Wagyu?

Yes, Fogo does serve genuine Japanese Wagyu beef. They offer two Wagyu skewer options – the premium Wagyu Ribeye and mid-level Wagyu Striploin. Fogo advertises that their Wagyu is certified Kobe style bred. The Wagyu is rotationally available and costs extra compared to their standard cuts of beef.

What is chima in brazil?

In Brazilian cuisine, chima refers to a popular regional dish from Southern Brazil consisting of chicken stew served with polenta or flour pellets. The stew contains chicken cooked in a creamy, spiced sauce. So while the name “Chima Steakhouse” references this traditional Brazilian dish, chima steakhouses like Fogo and Texas de Brazil serve rodizio-style fire roasted meats rather than the stew.
With premium beef cuts, flavorful chicken, pork, sausage and lamb options, decadent salad bars, and festive Brazilian hospitality, both Fogo de Chão and Chima Steakhouse offer incredible churrascaria dining experiences for special occasions or any time your craving calls for succulent roasted meats.
Evaluate your priorities, read reviews of locations near you, and enjoy an exciting taste of Brazil at two of the country’s most popular steakhouse exports.

Watch the video about Chima Steakhouse!

Final Verdict

When it comes to upscale Brazilian steakhouses in the U.S., both Fogo de Chão and Chima are excellent choices loved by carnivores and groups alike. They offer very similar menus and dining formats focused on succulent fire-roasted meats and market-fresh salad bars.

While there are subtle differences in ambiance and menu, there is no clear winner. Brazilian steakhouse fans will love both restaurants. Fogo de Chão rates slightly higher for its service and beef-focused concept. But Chima offers a greater variety of meats and premium salad options.

No matter which you choose for your next rodizio dining experience, you can expect incredible gaucho service, unlimited high-quality meats, and an exciting taste of Brazil. Evaluate your preferences on beef, seafood, lamb, and overall concept before selecting Fogo or Chima. Or try them both and decide your personal favorite!

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