As one of Brazil’s biggest urban centers and the business capital of the north coast, the relatively affluent city of Recife is chock full of fantastic places to dine. From casual fast food takeaways to plush fine dining experiences, let’s take a look at the best places to eat in the city.
Restaurant, Seafood, Brazilian, $$$
Shrimp doesn’t get much better than at this popular Recife haunt, be it stewed, fried or battered in beer. For something seriously divine, try their bobó de camarão (shrimp in manioc sauce). Of course, the other seafood dishes are superb as well.
Dishing out sophisticated local fare since 1882, Restaurante Leite is one of the oldest and most renowned restaurants in Brazil. Sure, it may have lost much of its historic charm during renovations over the years, but it’s still an unrivaled option for a traditional Brazillian feast in Recife.
Chica Pitanga is a bold exception to the popular pay-per-kilo model found right throughout Brazil. By that we mean the buffet here is incredibly tasty, fresh, creative, and changes every single day. Word of warning though, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll go back for seconds.
Move over McDonald’s because gourmet is the name of the hamburger game in modern-day Brazil, with this chic upscale eatery leading the charge in Recife. Expect to find some seriously mouthwatering meaty creations served alongside first-rate onion rings and fries.
Bercy Village, Rua Professor Rui Batista | Courtesy of Bercy Crepes e Saladas
Both the sweet and savory doughy delights are outstanding at this upscale creperie in Boa Viagem, a spot particularly popular with locals for the excellent quality to price ratio it entails. The Perpignan with filet mignon and gorgonzola is a must.
Another excellent buffet in the city, Bistrô & Boteco serves up mountains of delectable Brazilian beef and seafood accompanied by ample fresh vegetable sides. The suckling pig ribs are particularly good, best enjoyed on the weekends when the place converts into a decadent all-you-can-eat.
Restaurante Parraxaxá, Avenida Fernando Simões Barbosa | Eduardo Otubo/Flickr
For a great northeastern Brazillian style buffet, head to the themed Parraxaxá restaurant where tables are set up alongside technicolored houses and each waiter wears a comical outfit. Fun-loving ambiance aside, it’s an excellent place to sample the regional cuisine.
South American explorers who didn’t get to try the food of Peru should make a beeline for Chiwake, an upscale Peruvian eatery that is up there with the best in Lima. Seafood is the specialty here and, perhaps unsurprisingly, ceviche is their number one dish. Just be prepared to spend big.
Outback Steakhouse, Rua Padre Carapuceiro | Peter Hellberg/Flickr
An Australian themed, American owned franchise in Brazil, the Recife branch of the Outback Steakhouse is a hit with locals who come in droves for their weekly fix of juicy red meat. Smashing down a solid serving of ice cold beer on a hot afternoon helps make the place feel a tad more authentic.
No Culture Trip restaurant list would be complete without a pizzeria, and Ilha Da Kosta I gets our vote in Recife. Not only are their thin crust wood-fired pies baked to perfection, but the pasta is also succulent and everything is reasonably priced to boot.