Bahian cuisine is truly regional, with ingredients and flavors not seen elsewhere in Brazil. The coastal version of Bahian cooking is rich in seafood and the distinct African flavors of dendê oil, dried shrimp, and coconut milk. These ingredients are combined into fragrant stews loaded with prawns, oysters, crab, or fish and finished with a handful of fresh cilantro and tangy lime juice. You can't say you have been to Bahia without trying a moqueca de siri-mole (stew with soft-shell crab), a vatapá, the famous bobó de camarão, and the popular acarajé.
A Meal Built for Two -- Remember that, except in fine-dining establishments, the portions are very generous; one main course is usually enough for two people. When in doubt, ask the waiter, "Dá para dois?" (Does it serve two?)
Pelô, as the locals call Pelourinho, is not the place for fine dining, but does offer decent Bahian food and plenty of atmosphere. Located in historic colonial houses, restaurants in Pelô provide the perfect backdrop for Salvador's exotic flavors. Tuesday and weekends are the most bustling evenings, but any night is good. For a map of restaurants in this area, see the map "Salvador's Centro Histórico,".
Located at the foot of a cliff directly below Pelourinho, the business and marina district of Comércio is fine for wandering in the daytime during office hours, but come evening the workers head home and the streets become quiet and empty. We recommend taking a taxi instead of walking.
This beach neighborhood is a popular evening destination as people gather around the lighthouse to watch the sunset. For the best views, you can't beat the patio of Barravento.
Over the last few years, Rio Vermelho has grown into a bustling, lively restaurant destination. There are several excellent options, most centered around the main square, Praça Brigadeiro Farias Rocha. Stroll around and see what strikes your fancy. We have included reviews of a few worthwhile restaurants that might otherwise get overlooked.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.