The 10 Best Restaurants In Manaus, Brazil

Port of Manaus, Brazil
Port of Manaus, Brazil | ©Dan Lundberg
By Diana Condrea

The gateway to the Amazon, the city of Manaus, though secluded by its exotic location and reached mainly by air and water, is a major tourist attraction in Northern Brazil. Manaus builds its history on a mix of cultures, of native Brazilian tribes and European settlers. Its gastronomic tradition offers a great cultural voyage, and our handpicked guide to 10 must-try restaurants in Manaus showcases some of the best dining venues in the city.
Manaus Aerial View | © Neil Palmer/WikiCommons

1. Banzeiro

Restaurant, Brazilian

Banzeiro is one of the highlights of Manaus’ culinary scene. Very popular for its fish dishes, this restaurant aspires to give a ‘small sample of the wide variety of products, colors and flavors of our land.’ The restaurant’s love of the Amazon region shines through their commitment to using local produce, but not without a twist. With a subtle French note, the menu includes the chef’s signature dishes such as Uarini tucunaré (peacock bass) fillet with marinated sauce, broccoli rice and butter-cooked vegetables, or the tongue-tingling smoked pirarucu fish with coconut milk, banana, nuts and rice.

2. Churrascaria Bufalo

Restaurant, Brazilian

Churrascaria Steak
© LWYang/Flickr
As its name suggests, a churrascaria is the Brazilian version of a steakhouse, this restaurant is the perfect choice for those with an appetite for beef dishes, although vegetarians are also in for a treat. Churrascaria Bufalo has a history going back nearly three decades. The presence of its gaucho spirit still alive and kicking in the succulent, meaty dishes and the staff’s traditional uniforms. The menu includes the obvious baby beef and lamb chops, but also seafood and oriental dishes such as sushi and sashimi, complemented by a comprehensive wine list, more than 80 bottles from seven countries, and tempting desserts.

3. Sax Bar and Restaurant

Bar, Restaurant, Brazilian, Seafood, Fast Food

Restaurante Sax Bar, Amazonas
Image courtesy of Sax Bar and Restaurant
The first gastronomic venue in Manaus to focus on jazz as a fundamental part of its concept, Sax Bar and Restaurant is definitely a must-try location for visitors who enjoy live piano, jazz and bossa nova, with the added bonus of regional music, all performed by local singers. The intimate atmosphere is accompanied by a rich list of 25 delicious wines, and a tempting menu featuring the local highlight, grilled tambaqui with rice and farofa or codfish balls.

Canto da Peixada

Boasting a solid 40 years of activity, Canto da Peixada is a reference restaurant in Manaus as Pope John Paul II ate here during his Brazil visit in the 1980s. This event left such a long-lasting influence that the traditional dishes ordered by the pope more than two decades ago are still the most popular items on the menu. Canto da Peixada and is a definite must for those looking for a more local experience and traditional fish-based recipes.
Canto da Peixada, Emilio Moreira Corner Av.Ayrão, 1677, the Plaza District, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, +55 92 3234 3021

4. Castelinho

Restaurant, American

Castelinho or ‘the little castle’ in English is a charming restaurant located in a hundred-year old art nouveau-style mansion that has hosted numerous cultural events and elite gatherings over the years. Still preserving its original design and architectural features, this two-floor house, conveniently located close to the Amazonas Theater, attracts visitors with its wooden floors, high ceilings and unparalleled nostalgic atmosphere. Very popular among locals since its opening in 1999, Castelinho still offers a simple, yet substantial, menu featuring a variety of the fish and meat recipes that typify Amazonian cuisine.

5. O Lenhador

Restaurant, Brazilian

For those wishing to try exotic turtle dishes, O Lenhador might just be the place to go. A typical Amazonian restaurant, relying heavily on fish and seafood recipes for its buffet dishes, O Lenhador is one of the most popular restaurants in Manaus. With colorful decorations and a leafy, spacious garden outside, O Lenhador is also renowned for its high quality of dishes. The menu is full of tempting seafood options such as shrimp gratin with four cheeses and fried bananas, or the traditional tambaquifish with fried pickle sauce and shrimps.

6. Casa da Pamonha

Restaurant, Brazilian, Vegetarian

© Darya Pino/Flickr 
Finding a vegetarian-friendly restaurant in a city like Manaus, where fish and beef are mandatory ingredients for most dishes, can certainly be a difficult task. One of the few and, in fact, one of the best venues of this type, Casa da Pamonha is an excellent choice for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or for anyone who wants to try something different. As an added bonus, Casa da Pamonha hosts artistic events, such as live piano concerts and painting exhibitions. It is located right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city, close to the Opera House and Amazonas Theater.

Bruschetta | © Darya Pino/Flickr

7. Di Fiori

Restaurant, Brazilian

© Renato Ribeiro/Flickr
Opened in 2008, Di Fiori is a small Italian-style restaurant with a romantic ambiance and a great choice for enthusiasts of Italian cuisine. Located in the beautiful setting of Orange Park, this bistro specializes in pastas and pizzas, although steaks and salads are also an option as they feature prominently in both Brazilian and Italian cuisines. The menu opens with a variety of bruschetta and polenta choices, including polenta Bolognese or polenta with four cheeses. It continues with meat dishes and a decadent variety of special pizzas, such as Canadian tenderloin with cream cheese, cod, shrimp or Amazon-style. Desserts themselves can take the form of pizzas, topped with bananas, milk chocolate, black forest cake or pineapple with cream.

Manaus | © Renato Ribeiro/Flickr

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