The Top Restaurants for Your Surfer Paradise Vacation in Ubatuba, Brazil

Ubatuba is a surfing destination with over 100 beaches
Ubatuba is a surfing destination with over 100 beaches | © AGB Photo Library / Alamy Stock Photo
Veronica Ferrari

After a full day of beach time, water sports and surfing, Ubatuba’s restaurant scene doesn’t disappoint the crowds of tourists who come to this town from nearby São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other states. Spread out across the city center and the many beaches of the region, the town’s restaurants and cafés offer both traditional and original dishes, all cooked with local ingredients. Read our list of Ubatuba’s top seven restaurants.

1. O Limoeiro

Restaurant, Brazilian

Restaurants - O Limoeiro4 - Sunday buffet of paella and feijoada
Courtesy of O Limoeiro

Combining culture, cooking and sustainability, O Limoeiro is a place to experience the best of Ubatuba’s flavors, tastes and traditions. With a menu rich in local specialties, we may even go as far as to say that this is Ubatuba’s best restaurant. Chef Marcelo Machado’s signature dish, tartar caiçara, is a tropical tartare of banana, peach palm fruit and shrimp cooked in herbal butter. O Limoeiro has a dedicated drinks menu offering local craft cachaça and Limoale, a special fruit beer produced nearby in collaboration with Chef Marcelo. Every Sunday, the restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat buffet of paella and the typical Brazilian stew of beans and meat, feijoada.

2. Croissant do Francês

Restaurant, Brazilian

Cordon Bleu-trained chef Patric Berjeaut runs his bakery and brasserie, Croissant do Francês, near the fish market, bringing innovation and creativity to Ubatuba’s dining scene. There’s no menu at this restaurant; instead, the chef prepares all dishes by combining the clients’ wishes with his expertise, along with the available organic products for the day and the season. Starting from breakfast in the morning up until late-night snacks, the Croissant do Francês attracts clients with its fragrant aromas. The unmissable chocolate croissant is always available to sign off the visit.

3. Café Pagu

Restaurant, Brazilian, Thai

American chef Christine Bonnell fell in love with Ubatuba and settled in to open Café Pagu. Working with local farmers and fishermen to source produce and fresh seafood, her recipes offer a colorful fusion between Thai and regional cuisine. Furthermore, many of the dishes are a paradise for vegan and vegetarians in the city. The vegetable Thai curry and the caiçara plate – the fish of the day with spices, vegetables, rice and salad – are just two of the most popular signature dishes. Café Pagu hosts a variety of special events, including music nights and arts and crafts markets every week; be sure to check their Facebook page before visiting to know what’s on for the day.

4. Pistache Gelateria

Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream

Nothing beats the taste of ice cream while gazing at the sea and strolling on the sand. Located in the city center, Pistache Gelateria’s main ice cream parlor overlooks the Cruzeiro lighthouse with its panoramic platform and Ubatuba Bay. Mixing traditional Italian techniques with tropical fruits sourced by local producers, the parlor creates original flavors of velvety ice cream. One specialty is the ice lollies, including flavors of passionfruit, lime and, of course, pistachio. Two more shops are located around Ubatuba, including one in the dazzling shopping area of Guarani Street.

5. Manuê Sucos

Cafe, Dessert, Brazilian

Roberta Manoela, a well-known chef in the region of Paraty and Ubatuba, recommends Manuê Sucos among her favorite spots to eat in the city. This establishment offers a complete menu from small bites to more elaborate dishes, served in a young and lively environment. Manoela’s favorite is the specialty trio: açai juice, from the traditional Amazon fruit, Brazilian burritos called dobrados, and ice cream with strawberries and Nutella.

6. Madallena Café

Cafe, Brazilian

© Veronica Ferrari / Culture Trip

Hidden in a small square on Guarani Street and just steps away from the Quintal da Villa, Madallena Café offers a quiet retreat after a shopping spree or a visit to Ubatuba Aquarium. There are options for breakfast and small lunches, but the coffee choices are the real protagonists and won’t disappoint. The list includes special Nutella coffees and iced ones for hotter days. Just looking at the cakes on the counter will have you hankering for a piece.

7. Mangarito

Restaurant, Brazilian

Another favorite of chef Roberta Manoela, Mangarito pays special attention to picking its products from farmers who live in the nearby region, focusing on organic and agro-ecological produce. The menu offers simple but tasty and fresh plates and popular desserts, such as the carrot and nuts cake topped with hot chocolate. The restaurant hosts a market to promote artisans and small producers from the area every Monday, as well as live music a few days a week.

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