Finding vegetarian options in Fernando de Noronha is rather like catching a glimpse of the elusive whale sharks that sometimes frequent the island; it’s tough but not impossible, especially if you know where to look. While an exclusively vegetarian restaurant has yet to materialize, among the abundance of seafood dishes at the island’s best restaurant are several delicious meat-free options. For a great dining experience, here are some of Fernando de Noronha’s best vegetarian restaurants.
For a dinner with a view, there are few finer spots than Mergulhão. The outdoor terrace overlooks Fernando de Noronha’s picturesque bay of turquoise water during the day and a sunset in various shades of orange and pink at dusk. The food on the menu fits neatly into the fine-dining category yet comes in larger portions than most haute cuisine diners will be accustomed to. Among the seafood and meat dishes are several vegetarian options that come packed with flavor and are beautifully presented.
O Pico breaks the traditional boundaries of a standard restaurant by providing other entertainment too, such as live music, open-air cinema nights, and even its own fashion brand in a collaboration with Ipanema to produce trendy, beach-chic flip-flops. However, the food truly deserves a moment in the spotlight with delicious (and vegetarian) dishes such as the refreshing gazpacho and the mouthwatering banana toffee dessert, among seafood options too.
Restaurant, Restaurant with Rooms, Brazilian, Contemporary, $$$
Corveta Noronha is both a pousada (a Brazilian bed and breakfast) and a restaurant that is, thankfully, open to hotel guests and non-guests alike. Its wooden outdoor terrace sets the scene for a blissful dining experience with exotic plants and the calm sea in the backdrop. The quality of the food there will set the bar high for all your other eating-out experiences on Fernando de Noronha thanks to the menu’s diverse options, which include some delicious vegetarian dishes, that look pleasant and taste divine.
Chef Auricélio Romao is the creator of Restaurante Varanda’s delicious menu which showcases the best of contemporary Brazilian cuisine. If you are a vegetarian that still allows for seafood, you are in for a treat with mouthwatering options such as seafood paella, slow-cooked cod with coconut rice, and lobster with passion fruit. For vegetarians that are both meat-free and seafood-free, there are some delicious pasta and risotto options to choose from, not to mention the entire list of desserts.
Seafood is the star of the menu at Restaurante Cacimba, yet there are several vegetarian options too. Chef Auricélio Romão, who once created a menu for Brazilian airline Azul’s executive passengers, is the creator of the restaurant’s menu, with dishes that use fresh, locally sourced products. The salads are hearty meals in themselves with bundles of vegetables and are rich in flavor while the vegan moqueca is made from vegetables cooked in coconut milk and served with rice.
While most of the restaurants specialize in seafood with a few vegetarian options on the menu, Bio Comida Saudável is the exact opposite; it’s one of the only restaurants on the whole of Fernando de Noronha that specializes in vegetarian and vegan dishes with the odd seafood meal in between. Using organic and regional ingredients wherever possible, all of the dishes are full of goodness and flavor. Some of the stars of the menu including the vegan moqueca made with plantain and the freshly-made fruit juices.
Fresh seafood takes the center stage at Bar do Meio yet among all the juicy prawns and fresh fish are several vegetarian delights in the form of hearty sandwiches and flavorsome salads, as well as the vegan moqueca (vegetables cooked in coconut milk) made for two people. Head out to the wooden terrace for a true paradise vibe coming from the simple thatched roof, the sea views, and a picture-perfect sunset.