For a small coastal town, Paraty has a surprisingly large number of restaurants that offer impeccable service, diverse menus with fresh ingredients, and a wonderful, historical atmosphere from the surrounding colonial architecture. Aside from the obvious number of Brazilian cuisine restaurants, there are also international options such as Turkish, Thai and Italian.
Restaurante Banana da Terra
Restaurant, Seafood, Cocktails, Brazilian, South American, $$$
Set in the historical center, Banana da Terra has built up a reputation as one of the best restaurants in town for its impeccable service, diverse wine and cocktail menu, and its wonderful food. Unique flavor combinations and Brazilian-sourced produce are the two notable features on the menu, with mouth-watering options such as Amazon duck, Brazilian beef and fresh seafood. The cod with banana terra (plantain) is one of the top-selling dishes.
With the gentle sound of waves breaking on the nearby shoreline and candles flickering on the tables, La Luna is Paraty’s top romantic spot, making a picturesque setting for a date night. The service is friendly yet distant, the staff drifting in to take your order before disappearing again. The food is excellent, as is the wine selection. Try the steak platter which comes served on a hot grill with grilled vegetables and fruit decorations. The seafood options are wonderful too.
This restaurant spills out onto the pavement of the historical center, offering a wonderful space to absorb the colonial atmosphere and participate in a spot of people-watching. Unsurprisingly for a coastal town, the seafood is one of the most popular items on the menu. The appetizers are also worth trying, such as the prawn pastel, the pork ribs coquette and the deep-fried bean balls. Save room for their warm, gooey chocolate brownie.
The exposed brickwork of this restaurant and the tempting menu make Refúgio Restaurante Lounge Cafe wonderfully charming and an easy way to spend a few hours at dinner with excellent food and delicious wine. The busiest time is during happy hour when drinks have attractive discounts. The most popular items on the menu are the entire seafood range, including big, chunky prawns, and the diverse cheese plate.
Cafe, Restaurant, Brazilian, Italian, Fast Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
Maintaining the colonial vibe of the historical center of Paraty, Margarida Café is a charming and cozy spot that is perfect for brunch, with options such as fresh breads, local cheese and several cuts of ham. For dinner, one of the stars of the menu is the shrimp moqueca, a traditional Brazilian dish with fresh prawns caught from the waters of Paraty.
Exposed brickwork, wide open windows and mild wooden furnishings give the restaurant a rustic setting – the perfect accompaniment to the wholesome, farmhouse-sized portions of food served. The food aims to satisfy with big, rich flavors and a wonderfully straightforward menu. The burgers are chunky and huge, but don’t forget to try the house feijoada (Brazilian bean stew) which is an excellent representative of this famous national dish.
A solid budget-traveller choice, the simple restaurant Sabor da Terra has two options of food service – pay a fixed price and enjoy all the food available as a buffet, or select what you want before getting the plate weighed by the kilo. It is a good pit-stop for a filling lunch before going off to sightsee. Food options include rice, various meats and a diverse salad bar.
Thai Brasil offers the perfect escape for those looking for relief from Brazilian food. The interior decoration gives the restaurant an authentic Thai feel that is further enhanced by the carefully-prepared food, providing a slice of Thailand on a plate. The live saxophone music warms the atmosphere and lets it drift into a mellow vibe. The green papaya salad is a wonderful starter, and the beef massaman curry is a good main choice.
It is not always easy to find a vegetarian-friendly restaurant in meat-loving Brazil, yet this cozy Turkish restaurant not only serves vegetarian food, but can also prepare fresh, healthy options that are gluten-free and vegan-friendly. The Flying Carpet falafel platter is a wonderful choice to sample various options. They also serve kebabs, yogurt drinks and fresh juices.
Bar, Restaurant, Italian, Brazilian, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$
For casual dining with friends, Viva La Pizza is a good spot. The pizzas are the real Italian deal with thin, crunchy crusts, a home-made tomato base and a good amount of fresh toppings. There are a number of choices available, with the margarita and pepperoni the two most popular choices off the menu.