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.
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.
Churrascaria Bufalo, Para 490, Vieiralves, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, +55 92 3131 9000
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.
Choupana is yet another venue for visitors with a passion for the fish-based cuisine that characterizes the region around Manaus. Conveniently located in the city center, Choupama has won numerous awards over the years that are testament to the high quality of its gastronomic offer and the experience of eating there. The menu builds on fresh local and regional ingredients, inviting visitors to discover the Amazon’s typical culture, with specialties such as duck in traditional Brazilian tucupi sauce, fillet of tucunaré in tile, seafood risotto, or fish fillet in tile with shrimp sauce.
Choupana, Recife 790, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, +55 92 3248 3636
Casa do Pensador
Right in front of the Amazonas Theater, a notable cultural venue, Casa do Pensador has one of the best outdoor locations in Manaus. The perfect place to spend some quality time after a long stroll through this constantly changing Brazilian city, Casa do Pensador offers a simple, yet nevertheless, complete experience, perfect for visitors who prefer spending their evenings outside. With additional vegetarian options and natural fruit juices, for the health-conscious, Casa do Pensador is a great local option for those looking for good quality in low-key locations.
Casa do Pensador, Jose Clemente 632, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, +55 92 3087 9798
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.
Castelinho, Barroso 317, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, +55 92 3633 3111
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 tambaqui fish with fried pickle sauce and shrimps.
O Lenhador, Av Tourism 2371, Tarumã, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, +55 92 3239 0004
Casa da Pamonha
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.
Casa da Pamonha, Barroso 375, Centro, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, +55 92 3233 1028
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.