Can you drink tap water in Brazil? While you will find information saying that, in general, you can drink tap water in Brazil, we do not usually do so.
Brazil is a very large country with different local cultures and habits, and I cannot speak for all the over 200 million people living there, but I can tell you that I have never had tap water in Brazil and I have never been given tap water to drink anywhere.
How to order water at restaurants in Brazil
Because drinking tap water is not common in Brazil, restaurants do not serve you free tap water like they do in the United States and in other countries. Therefore, you need to order – and pay for – bottled water if you want to have water during your meal.
To order bottled water, we usually say água mineral. If you hang out with Brazilians in an English speaking country, you may see them ordering “mineral water”. They are translating it literally from Portuguese.
You can also just say: Uma água, por favor. = A water, please. The server knows it is bottled water by default.
Visit my Portuguese lesson on how to order soft drinks in Brazil.
How to say sparking water in Portuguese
The literal translation of sparkling water may cause some confusion. In Brazil, we say água com gás. Literally, it translates to “water with gas”.
When you order water, the server will often follow up by asking: Com gás? Now you know that he is asking if you’d like sparkling water. If you do not want it, you can just say: Sem gás, por favor. Sem gás (without gas) means still water.
On the other hand, if you were to translate “bottled water” literally, you would be ordering “água engarrafada”, which would sound funny to your server and Brazilian friends 🙂
On a final note, I personally suggest that you do NOT drink tap water in Brazil. Better safe than sorry.