The Top Restaurants in Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro

Ilha Grande
Ilha Grande | © Nathan Chor / WikiCommons
Sarah Brown

The Big Island – as the name translates to in English – is one of Rio’s best weekend getaways, thanks to its untouched beaches and natural setting. Although popular among tourists, the island has avoided intrusive developments and maintains local, family-owned businesses rather than mainstream brands. To get a taste of the local life, check out these top restaurants in Ilha Grande.

1. Las Sorrentinas

Restaurant, Argentina, Brazilian, Dessert

Pasta is the speciality at the Argentinian-owned Las Sorrentinas, especially the sorrentinas, a type of ravioli packed with a range of fillings. The food comes in generous portions and at reasonable prices. The wooden décor with strings of fairy lights hung up all add a homely, range-style feel. Save room for the dessert – the homemade ice cream is worth it – and wash it down with a good, Argentinian wine.

2. Dom Mario

Restaurant, Brazilian, Seafood

This popular restaurant doesn’t hold back on portion sizes, serving up huge amounts for reasonable prices. The chef is locally known for his tender fish fillets and seafood dishes, yet the meat-sharing options are not to be sniffed at. The mix of a casual setting and potent caipirinhas set the scene for a fun, relaxed night. The caramelised bananas are a firm favourite on the dessert menu.

3. Lua e Mar

Restaurant, Brazilian, Seafood

Tables scattered in the sand offering scenic sea views accompanied by live music create a peaceful and calm setting to enjoy the large portions of quality food at Lua e Mar restaurant. With an emphasis on seafood, the restaurant’s menu is inspired by local availability. Menu highlights include the seafood spaghetti and the moqueca, a seafood stew native to Bahia.

5. Steak ‘n Beach

Restaurant, Brazilian

The beachfront location of Steak ‘n Beach provides a memorable setting to enjoy the venue’s hearty portions and classic Brazilian food, such as broccoli rice, juicy steaks, and flavoursome fish stews. Located in Ilha Grande’s main hub, this restaurant is livelier than the others, yet it still manages to maintain a tranquil edge thanks to the natural surroundings. Their tasty caipirinhas and good food are hits among visitors, yet it’s the friendly staff that really wins the hearts of the passing diners.

6. Pato Crepes

Restaurant, Brazilian

For something more on the go, Pato Crepes makes a great option for light lunches or a hearty snack. As the name suggests, the highlight on the menu is the crepes that are served fresh and quickly. The menu includes savoury options, such as chicken and pepperoni, yet the star of the show is the banana, nuts, and ice cream crepe served with wafer rolls. There are also several salad options on the menu and gourmet fruit salads.

7. Restaurante Pé na Areia

Restaurant, Brazilian, Seafood

The name of the restaurant translates to Foot in the Sand restaurant, coined from its beachfront location and sea views. In addition to the tranquillity of the scenic surroundings, the restaurant creates a cosy atmosphere with gentle live music and lanterns that dimly light up the terrace. The food is mostly Brazilian and seafood, both served in huge portions at fair prices.

8. Lonier Garoupas

Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Brazilian, Vegetarian

A beachfront location and regular live music create a lively scene at Lonier Garoupas. Tables drift down onto the sand, and the staff keep on their toes to ensure a friendly and speedy service. The food portions are big enough to serve two. The menu’s highlights include the local shrimp in cheese sauce served with rice and potatoes and the vegetarian moqueca. Wash it all down with one of the potent cocktails, or choose from the great selection of local and imported beers.

9. Jardin

Bistro, Cafe, Vegetarian, Brazilian

The colourful pictures on the wall and simple wooden seating inside this bistro café create a friendly, homely setting. The menu has plenty of vegetarian options, which provides some great choices for those looking for something without meat. Highlights on the menu include the banana chips, which come crunchy with a hint of sweet undertone, and the ‘waze’, a burger freshly made with shrimp.

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