Praia da Pipa
‘s restaurant scene has benefited from two things: the town’s proximity to the ocean means a constant supply of fresh fish and seafood, plus its irresistible pull has meant that people from all over the world have settled here and brought their country’s cuisine to this rural corner of Brazil. With so many restaurant choices on offer, we’ve selected ten of the best.
Restaurant, Bistro, Contemporary, Tapas, European, Asian, Brazilian, $$$
Arrive early to secure your table at Tapas
. The small bistro, with its front open onto a side-street and a few tables perched outside, has been delighting diners for over a decade and still remains one of the best loved restaurants in Pipa. It’s run by a couple from São Paulo who serve up tapas-sized cuisine from all over world. The sesame-crusted tuna steak is a returning favorite to the changing menu of around 30 dishes.
Restaurant, Seafood, Brazilian, South American, European, $$$
Unpretentious but utterly delicious, Rola Peixe
is, you might have guessed, a fish restaurant. The menu (presented on a white board) is very simple: various fish of day, usually selected tuna, prawns and octopus, as well as kids’ dishes and something for the vegetarians. Fernando, the attentive Spanish owner, and classic music work around you to make it an exceptional experience.
Restaurant, Pizzaria, Italian, $$$
If proper pizza to you means a lovingly kneaded, stone-baked, thin crust, topped with prosciutto, creamy mozzarella, fresh basil and rocket, then Pizzaria Dall’Italiano is as authentic as pizzerias get in a small Brazilian beach town. The pasta is also freshly made and the menu features other meat and fish options too, as well as a decent selection of wine.
Restaurant, Contemporary, Fusion, Asian, European, $$$
Occupying an open-sided decked terrace above the main street, Golde’s
isn’t obvious from below. Upstairs, however, the blowing white and blue curtains and fancy table decor are designed to transport diners to another world. The food is African-Asian-European fusion, with schnitzel, Massaman curry and tagine all featuring alongside pasta and lasagne. It is a prime special occasion spot.
Restaurant, Contemporary, Brazilian, Seafood, $$$
gets the prize for the most sensational surroundings of any of the restaurant in Pipa. It is part of the Toca da Coruja hotel and sits in a tropical garden, surrounded by fingers of plants and lit by warm lights hidden in the trees. Staying true to Brazil, much of the menu uses local fruits and fish and meat cooked with delicacy and style and presented with a light contemporary touch.
O Tal do Escondidinho
Restaurant, Brazilian, South American, Soul Food, $$$
O Tal do Escondidinho
is a nordestina
restaurant cooking up specialities of the region and wider Brazil. Their grilled cheese tapioca cubes with chilli jam are a must to start, coupled with a classic lime caipirinha and followed by the house dish – a gratin with your choice of pulled chicken or meat, crab, vegetables or other filling cooked under a lid of potato, cassava or pumpkin puree. Truly hearty, home-cooked grub.
Restaurant, European, Brazilian, South American, Contemporary, $$$
is a short way up a cobbled side road. Semi-lit, with a low ceiling and an open front, it is warm, cosy and rustic inside. The menu is scribbled in colored chalk on boards above the bar but its informality does not belie the quality of the food. Hunks of meat, or duck breast or piles of prawns are adorned with lashings of mash and sides of vegetables, cooked simply but well. The desserts are not to be passed over either.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
has all the trappings of an Italian trattoria just one block back from Pipa’s main street. The pasta and gnocchi are homemade to the highest standard accompanied by proper Italian ingredients and served with the option of imported wines. Be sure to polish off your dinner with a mega slice of cheesecake or tiramisu and a glass of grappa.
Restaurant, Deli, Argentina, Italian, European, Brazilian, $$$
The Argentinean chef at the helm of Macoco
is known in town for the artisanal products he makes and sells. There is a counter of cakes, jams and sauces for sale in the restaurant, which may be sampled if you are dining there. A homemade empanada (with one of the six different fillings), accompanied with a glass of Argentinean red or local craft beer, is an excellent start to the meal. Vegetarians and vegans, meat- and fish-eaters and pasta-lovers will all find something delicious to enjoy here.
Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream, $$$
‘s ice cream is 100 percent natural – no artificial flavors, colors, aromas, trans fats or any of that, just natural creamy yumminess. Many of the flavors are distinctly Brazilian, like tapioca, goiaba, caju (cashew fruit), açerola and açaí, and since there is nothing better after a day in the sun or bouncing around in the waves than a cold, fruity cone, this is the place to come.