Thursday, 31 July 2008

Salvador da Bahia Restaurants

Point do Guarana da Amazonia: A Taste of the Amazon

You find this little place on the main street of Barra that leads to Pelourinho. It only has a couple of tables and people from the beach or passersby usually come for the bowl of tasty dish from the Amazon region.

As far as I know, this is the only place in Salvador where you can taste the culinary delights from the northern state of Para, which I found the most delicious (and unusual) in the whole country. They get the ingredients for the dishes from Ilha de Marajo. Since I was just coming from this beautiful island, I was happy to talk to the friendly owner about her native land.

It's the most famous acai spot of Salvador. You can get it in a bowl of different size. They also have guarana and juice, ice cream made from variety of fruits of the Amazon, like acai, cupuacu (certainly my favourite!), bacuri and muruci. If you are lucky, you can also get cupuacu cake and this is very yummy too! From the main dishes they offer tacaca (the absolute winner!!) and manicoba.

I don't need to mention that I took every opportunity to visit this place:)
• Theme: Local
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: less expensive than average
• Address: Avenida Sete de Setembro
• Directions: Barra, across the street from Porto da Barra beach

SENAC: "All you can eat "restaurant near J Amado Museum

SEnac is a school of cuisine, weiters and barman and this is a school restauranti in the center of Pelourinho, in a a colonial building. U can find comida bahiana, like plates from other part of Brasil.
There are two types of buffet:
Comida Típica - 40 plates and 12 desserts, from mon to sat 11h30 to 15h30,and 18h30 to 23h.

Comida a Peso - u pay the weight of the food u have in the plate from mon to friday, from11h30 to 15 pm


Cep: 40.025-140 Email
Telefone (71) 3324-4550 Fax (71) 3324-4551
• Theme: Buffet
• Price: US$11-20 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Address: Praça José de Alencar, 13
• Phone: (71) 3324-4550
• Directions: Pelourino district - In the square of Jorge Amado museum, if you are in front of the museum the restaurant it's on the left square side near a beautifull curch, it's inside a Foundation, at the first floor.
• Other Contact: restaurantepelourinho@ba.senac.b

Sorriso da Dadá: Dadá's Smile, must be inspired by the moqueca! :-)

Cool, colorful and funky atmosphere, Sorriso da Dada exists in an old house in the heart of Pelourinho...
There are individual little rooms that create a cozy/warm atmosphere... Tim and I decided that we were sat in the "Gringo" room- back in the very back... Cool room though, with a big mural of Dada herself with that famous smile!
The service was good enough... The menu featured traditional Bahian offerings.
Let's see, Tim had chicken in a banana cream sauce... was quite nice and tasty!
And yes, I had moqueca... see my general tip for the recipe!
The portions were pretty huge, we couldn't finish them.
We drank caipirinhas of course... they were strong as heck here.
• Theme: Local
• Price: US$21-30 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: more expensive than average
• Address: Rua Frei Vicente, 5
• Phone: (71) 3321-9642

Sorveteria da Ribeira: The Best Ice Cream in the City

It has been considered the best ice cream in the city for more than 70 years. People come even from Itapoa to another point of the city to taste a great variety of flavours, from nuts and chocolate to all imaginable fruits from the Amazon region. They have a reputation for the ice cream being made from natural fruit.
A beautiful view of the sea of Ribeira and the low price bring the visitors back. About 800 people come daily on weekends.
It's open daily from 10am to 10:30pm.
They offer 52 sorts of ice creams and a lot of them launched themselves. Some of their specialities are the flavours of mangaba, jaca, carambola and tapioca.

My favourites were tapioca and cupuacu. Ah, yummy!!!
• Theme: Ice Cream
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: less expensive than average
• Address: Largo da Ribeira, 87, Ribeira
• Phone: 71 3316 5451
• Directions: the end of Ribeira bus line

Maria Mata Mouro: Lovely atmosphere, delicious food, great service

Named after literature written by the Brazilian Hilda Histh, about a character, Maria Mata Mouro felt pleasure in what she ate. (I think I've got this right, correct me if I'm wrong!) This place is a darling little gem in the heart of Pelourinho... the atmosphere is charming and quaint, the back garden seating area is lush and romantic, the service is attentive but not overbearing... we had a lovely dinner here!

The menu is heavily influenced by Italian cuisine but not entirely... Ask for the table by the trickling fountain in the back. We had prosecco here... several bottles! The couvert was deeeelicious.... great breads, flat breads & dips. We had the matarmouro salad & Carpaccio to start- both were presented well and tasted great. I had Penne ao Pesto for dinner (the ONLY night I didn't have a moqueca of some sort!!!) and Tim had the Burgundy Filet with risotto. We were impressed with both
Why is it we NEVER have room for dessert when the offerings sound soo incredibly good!??!?!
• Theme: Eclectic/International
• Price: US$21-30 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: more expensive than average
• Address: Rua Inacio Acioly #8
• Phone: 321-4244
• Directions: Pelourinho
• Website:

Dishes of the street

This is a list of bahia dishes that you can eat from vendor on the strret or on the beaches.
Quejo fundido: rectangular chunks of cheese served on a stick after been tosted over coal, slyghtly salty and with oregano.(1 or 2 Reais)
Acarajè and Abarà: acarajè is deep fried bread of mashed bkackeyed beans flour, in dendè oil (strong palm oil) filled with sundried shrimps, pimenta (hot pepper souce), vatapà (special paste with shrimp, peanuts, coconut milk) cururù and sald. Abarà is similar to acarajè, but boiled in palm leafs. This product are cooked and selled from ‘Baianas de Acarajè’, women dressed with tipical crinolin white dress ( white is the color of Iansa, orisha of the wind in condomblè).(1-3 reais)
Churrasco: it’s like a kebab, chunk of meat, served with farofa ( made with tapioca flour) ( 1-2 reais)

Boi Preto: Churrasco: a world of meat

One time in your trip have to try a churrasco: the meat are cooked on the grill on a big ‘churrasco’ (spit), the waiter arrive at the table with the churrasco and explain the type of meat, so you can choose to take a piece or not, afert arrive another weiter can eat all you want since you put a red button on your plate.
The best Churrasco in Salvador is Boi Preto.
• Theme: Steakhouse
• Price: US$21-30 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Directions: on Orla Maritima road north side

Yemanja: Tasty & traditional acarajé, moqueca & caipirinhas

Famous for its traditional and delicious Bahian cuisine... Charming decor (A lovely mural of the sea decorates the back wall; the side wall features broken china pieces set in stone for unique effect), servers in typical Bahian dress of white dresses and headresses and a lively and bustling atmosphere, located along the beach.

Be sure to peruse the dessert cart overflowing with delectable Bahian desserts of coconut and such.
We began with Acarajé... fried cakes of beands, onions, dende oil and shrimp with a typical pureed yuca-type sauce.
Tim and I shared scrumptuous moqueca de pitu, a sweet-tasting freshwater prawn in the traditional coconut, garlic, onion, parsley, pepper and tomato stew.

Then, for dessert Ninon convinced me to try this dessert of sweet curtled milk, not as bad as it sounds! :-)
• Theme: Local
• Price: US$21-30 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: more expensive than average
• Address: Av. Otavio Mangabeira 4655
• Directions: Boca do Rio, The Beaches
• Website:

Il Forno: Great pizza selection

This pizza joint in Barra near the lighthouse is located in a nice old house that has been transformed into a pizzeria. The menu had at least 40 different kinds of pizza and the service was prompt and attentive. I ate downstairs, but there is also an upstairs with a patio. The kitchen is open so you can watch them putting your pizza into one of the ovens and smell the cheese melting while you wait starving.

I ordered a Broccoli and Garlic pie and drank an Antarctica chopp. The pizza was better than I expected and the mere fact that they have so many great choices on the menu, makes this place worth a try.
• Theme: Pizza
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Address: Rua Almirante Marques de Leao 77
• Phone: 071 264 7287
• Directions: Near the lighthouse in Barra

Sorriso da Dada: A gap-toothed wonder

Don't let the exterior appearance deter you from eating at Dada. Once inside, you'll find a cozy room with paintings of the proprietor herself, Dada. She is a warm looking Afro-Brazilian woman usually depicted in traditional clothing and with a bright smile accented by a charming gap between her two front teeth. Too bad I didn't meet her while I was at her restaurant. Based on the photos of famous celebrities (Hillary Clinton, for example) on the walls with her, she looks like a very friendly lady.

I started with a caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil that's made with sugar, lime, ice and a sugarcane liquor called cachaca. Then, I ate a couple appetizers which filled me up just fine. The casquinha de siri (crabmeat) was really good. I also had vatapa. Yum.
• Theme: Local
• Price: US$11-20 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: more expensive than average
• Address: Rua Frei Vicente, 5
• Phone: 071 321 9642
• Directions: Pelourinho
• Website:

Lambreta Grill: Fresh Seafood Simply Prepared

Spectacularly well-hidden, this gem boasts freshly caught & grilled seafood on lambretas (think fajita grills). There arent many frills in the decor, but the caiprinhas here will make your remember that you are INDEED in Brasil. Very popular with the locals, this place is often crowded and lively. Ask to sit upstairs if downstairs if flooded with families for a quieter experience.
Shrimp with garlic & oil, little mollusks (cant remember the local name) with the pureed sauces draped over them. Order two plates of these delicacies per couple (i.e.,2 platters for 4 people). Mistakenly we didn't, and were politely yearning for more even after the meal was done.
**this is one place in Brasil (Bahia particularly) where you can find broccoli in winter** The vegetables in this restaurant are absolute perfection!
• Theme: Local
• Price: US$11-20 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: less expensive than average
• Address: Rua Alexandre Gusmão, 70
• Phone: 335-0107
• Directions: Rio Vermelho

Sucos: Excellent Selection of Tropical Fruit Blends

Brazil is one of those countries where tropical fruit is in abundance. Local markets are usually the place where you find the greatest selection of fruit from the area which may vary as to the region. Mango, papaya, pineapple, bananas, coconut, passion fruit, guava, cashew, melon and watermelon you can get nearly everywhere. Still the most exotic fruit comes from the Amazon region. Ah, I just never had enough of acai, cupuacu, bacuri, murici and graviola.
To get your daily dose of vitamins you can instead go to the near juice bar. You can find them in all bigger Brazilian cities.
It was a Saturday towards noon and I was strolling the streets of Barra with Lidija. After the long Friday night we were just in need of some vitamins. She liked Sucos and used to go there quite often. So she suggested we could have a breakfast there.

What a difficult decision among so many different fruit and mixtures, the choice was really endless. After a long consideration we took one cupuacu and one selected tropical fruit blend, both of them with the addition of guarana and crunchy cereals. They were absolutely delicious!!! and besides, an excellent energy supply :))

The good thing about Sucos is that they even offer home delivery 24 hours a day.
• Theme: Local
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Address: Rua Marques de Ceravelas
• Phone: +55 71 3331 0693
• Directions: Barra

Sorriso da Dada: Dessert to die for

You didn't think I'd skip dessert, did you? I can't remember what this was called, but it was an amazing, rich chocolate cake of some kind. The cake was moist, almost wet, so it's possible that it was made without flour. The sauce on it was a warm, creamy, sugary coconut wonder. Wow. It was great!

CASA DA GAMBOA: Bahian Elegance

One of the most elegant restaurants in Pelourinho, Casa da Gamboá serves up a Bahian "nouvelle cuisine." The classic Bahian dishes such as bobó de camarão are still on the menu, but the kitchen has gone beyond to create some fabulous modern fare. The camarão ao molho de manga is a tropical explosion of flavor; big juicy prawns are flamed in cognac and served with large pieces of mango in a creamy mango sauce. The elegant peixe tropical, or catch of the day, is grilled in a clove, cinnamon, and fruit sauce. Open from 12:00hrs to 23:00hrs
• Theme: Local
• Price: US$11-20 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Address: Rua João de Deus 31, Pelourinho
• Phone: +55 71 3321 3393
Village Novo: Dish of today-Prato de dia!

From 13.h to 17.h , many both tourists and local people have discovered that the Village now has turned into a restaurant. You can choose, either to eat in the restaurant, or to take away. Prices are around 6 R$ for a large portion.
The new thing here is that they serve an everyday different dish. Always local food. Grand portions of well prepared Bahiana cuisine, from cosido, feijoada, to muqueca!
Mondays though, only the standard breakfast, pancakes, sandwiches, and lasagna(big and good!)

• Theme: Local
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: least expensive
• Address: Avenida 7 de Setembro 3659
• Directions: Porto Da Barra
• Website:

Acido Naturais: Vitaminas and sandwich paradise

This is the paradise of Vitaminas ( local fruit milksake made with an incredible variety of fruits) or u can try a good Acai' ( iced amazonas fuit with Guarana' and flakes, pure energy!) or Cupuacu or Claorofilas.
If u are hangy u can made your sandwich and u pay the right wheigt ( comida a kilo).
there is also a corner where u can buy surf apparels, shirts, hats,...

• Theme: Health Food
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: about average
• Phone: Pituba 71-452300
• Directions: There are 2 restaurant: Imbui' - On rua das Araras, paralle to Av. Jorge Amado 71-3622434 Pituba - Parallel road of Av. Paulo VI, turn near Super pao, and turn lef on the corner of Gm Supermercado 71-452300
• Other Contact: Imbui' 71-3622434

Baraca Da Benta: Tira Gostos at the Beach

On the Porto Da Barra Beach, you will find her baraca underneath a forest of umbrellas.
In there Benta is cooking her delicious fishes on her little burner every day. She buys the fish from the fishermen when they come in, and serves them immediately for her hungry costumers, who will be waiting while drinking a beer in the baraca.
The place is a very popular spot for local Salvadorians, who always gather there because of the friendly and fast service.
To keep her costumers comfortable she and the girls helping her, will see that you dont melt, by occationally cooling the sand and everybodys feet with seawater.

Corvinha, Peixe Vermelho and Sardinhas, fried Na hora, served with Salada, Farofa, and Molho De Pimenta á la Benta! With that some nice cold beers!
Condensed pleasure!!
• Theme: Seafood
• Price: less than US$10 » Currency Converter
• Comparison: least expensive
• Address: Porto Da Barra
• Directions: Beach Baraca

Bar dos Internacionais: Bar dos Internacionais

Not a tourist restaurant. Excellent prices, massive quantity of food, no one trying to sell you stuff and chill out atmosphere.
Lambreta. Lambreta is a special kind of oiter, boilled with lemon, salt and other spices. Wonderful! This place is known for having the best lambreta in town! You can also have 'chumbinho' - the famous and expensive 'vongoli' that are cheap and ordinary in Bahia.
• Theme: Other
• Directions: Travessa Engenho Aleone, 01 - Mouraria Tel: (71) 322-2167 Tue - Fri from 17h on Saturday from 10h to 18h Not far from Forum Rui Barbosa
• Other Contact: Tables on the middle of the stre

Restaurante O Picuí: Restaurante O Picuí
There are some sorts of typical food in Brazil. One of them is Comida Nordestina (Northeastern food). What does this mean? The Northeast is the poorest driest hottest most full of illiteracy and misery, underfeed in the country. And because of all those things, it is also a victim of prejudice by people from the other regions of Brazil. Thing is there is a GREAT culture there to be known, GREAT cuisine (despite all difficulties - or should I say BECAUSE of them?), the best beaches in the country, cheapest tourism and much more.
Salvador is the capitol of Bahia, wich also makes part of the northeastern region. Read a bit about those tensions before you come to Brazil.
Back to food,
Carne do Sol (Meat of the Sun) is one of the most delicious thing you'll ever eat. It's a delicious salty soft meat, with baked aipim (a delicious local root) covered with enbottled butter, fried aipim, vinagratte salad, farofa (manioc flour fried with butter and onion).. huuummm! And you can get enormous portions in this restaurant, four people will eat from it and all of you won't be needing another meal for at least a day.

Carne do Sol

• Theme: Other
• Address: Rua Joao Ponde, Barra
• Other Contact: Very pleasant place. Seems like

Varal da Dada: Varal da Dada

The owner of this restaurant, the lovely Dada, is known and reknown as one of the best cook in the country. Her specialty? Bahian food. She wrote a very famous book called 'Tempero da Dada' (Dada's spices) with portuguese and english versions of some of her receipts. *** ATTENTION *** There is a restaurant in Pelourinho called 'Tempero da Dada'. It used to belong to her, but when she got divorced her ex-husband got it for himself. So the only Dada thing there is the name. In Varal da Dada - not in a touristy place, no people trying to sell you souvenirs, a pleasant and calm and fresh veranda - she is the one cooking and she comes to your table and talks to you if you invite her. She is very sweet and prices are more than fair.

Bobo de Camarao (Shrimps boiled in dende oil and yucca cream.... hmmmm...)

• Theme: Other
• Directions: RESTAURANTE VARAL DA DADÁ Rua Teixeira Menezes, 55, Alto das Pombas, Federação Tel: 332-1777 e 331-4382
• Other Contact: Tue - Sun 12h to 18h Mastercard


Visit Brazil said...

Excellent restaurants and culinary options in Salvador, and if you wish, during the day, you can go to one of the dozens of beach bars in the city, is a great option to chill and rest by the sea.

Have a look at these pictures:

Ana said...

most of the restaurant tips are stolen from virtualtourist, even all my tips. I found other's virtualtourist members tips here too. it's easy to just copy and paste but not the right thing to do.

2deJulho said...

Leaving aside the poor spelling, a fairly shallow grasp of culinary traditions and all the subjective stuff, like Boi Preto being the best churrasceria, which IMO it's not, either on price or quality, it does look like it's been taken from a third hand source. The again it tends to nominate all the most obvious choices, which tend to crop up in guidebooks, so perhaps that's no great surprise.

It's also pretty dated. Sadly, the best tip of all, Varal da Dada has been closed for well over a year.