Powered by donkeys and tractors, with not a car in sight, Boipeba
is truly a low-fi place. The Brazilian island, off the coast of Bahia,
is surround by mangroves and wild, untouched beaches lapped by the Atlantic. Restaurants here are concentrated in its small old town, and along with a few simple lunch shacks along the coast, serve mostly the island’s produce and the catch of the day.
Restaurant, Brazilian, Seafood, $$$
Guido’s has a well-earned reputation as *the* place for lobster on Boipeba. Though you can get it cheaper elsewhere, the combination of the location – it’s the only restaurant on the idyllic Praia da Cueira – and the bubbling, bountiful moqueca de lagosta,
a local type of stew, bring many a day-tripper. You can avoid them by opting for a late lunch (be prepared to wait), and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see Guido himself brandishing some lobsters.
Restaurant, Brazilian, European, Seafood, $$$
Not only do Charles and Mark run one of the best pousadas
on the island, they have a top-notch restaurant to boot. At Santa Clara
you eat surrounded by tickling fronds of jungle plants in the dinning area of their hotel. The menu features a choice between three of the daily dishes for starter, main and dessert, and the food is prepared with the best of Boipeba’s produce as well as freshly picked goods from the pair’s organic garden. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and booking is recommended.
Restaurant, Brazilian, European, $$$
On the main (narrow) street into town is Bar Azul
. It has a few tables inside but the prime spots are at its wooden tables on the pavement. Run by a friendly and attentive couple, it specialises in home-cooked classics like a good burger, generous salads and pasta dishes. The jugs of sangria and the frozen cocktails are welcome and refreshing novelties among a sea of caipirinhas.
Restaurant, Brazilian, $$$
Shaded by a thatched roof on the grassy banks of Moraré beach, Restaurant Paraíso is in fact something like paradise. As the food is cooked to order the service can be slow, but (top tip) you can take advantage of this by putting your order in and heading across the sands for a pre-lunch dip. Prawns, lobster, catch of the day and crab are all as fresh as you’d imagine, and most dishes are plentiful, even those intended for two people.
Casa Namoa Creperia
Casa Namoa is a pousada with its own creperia. The place has been beautifully designed using worn, weathered wood and exposed brick, providing a bolthole from Bahia’s relentless sun and a quiet garden to sit in. From breakfast until dinner, thin and rustic crêpes come out of the kitchen, topped with mozzarella and tomato and basil, or baked apple with chocolate sauce, or many of the other combinations the Belgian-Brazilian owners have dreamt up.
Pizzaria, Italian, $$$
If you’re looking for a break from Brazil’s delicious-but-rich fare, then the charming Pizzetta
will provide a slice of Italy. Irregularly shaped, thin-crust pizzas are the main attraction, but the artisanal ice cream, freshly baked cakes and pastries, along with a proper cup of coffee, put up some stiff competition. The owners are laid back and welcoming, happily accommodating children too.
Toca do Lobo
Restaurant, Brazilian, $$$
Toca do Lobo is just the ticket for big groups and lazy lunches. It is one of the biggest restaurants on the beach just beyond the old town, specialises in keeping customers well-fed and full of beer while they dig their toes into the sand and kick back. The menu is mostly Brazilian food, of which the siri (crab) with farofa and lime is delicious, and the moqueca, with lobster if you like, are the best bets.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
The homely feel and famous gnocchi make Varanda Cantina
a must for many who come to Boipeba. It dishes up unpretentious but generous Italian fare to the steady flow of daily customers who fill up the checked-clothed tables outside the restaurant. There’s a good choice of wine too, and the welcome is as Italian as it gets.