For a town as small as Barreirinhas there are a surprising number of restaurants. Most of them have a fairly similar menu, involving grilled steak and seafood. The nicest restaurants are on the Avenida Beira Mar, the street that runs along the riverside. Next to and above the water -- a number of tables are on the floating pier -- is the Tropical Marina Restaurant, Av. Beira Mar s/n (tel. 098/3349-1143). The best dish here is prawn moqueca with coconut milk and palm oil. For R$25 you get a clay pot full of fragrant stew packed with shrimp that serves two people. The menu also includes steak dishes, pasta, and grilled fish. The Marina serves up an inexpensive and tasty kilo buffet, one of the few places where you can grab a quick hot lunch. Another nice waterfront restaurant is the Barlavento, Av. Beira Mar s/n (no phone), close to the Terraço Preguiças on the Avenida Beira Mar. The kitchen serves up grilled chicken and some steak dishes, as well as fish. Worth trying are the grilled fish with prawn sauce and the grilled fish in a passion-fruit sauce. Finally, for a more elegant night out try the restaurant at the Porto Preguiças Resort, Estrada do Carnaubal s/n (tel. 098/3349-1220). Start off with a drink or a cocktail from the best-stocked bar in Maranhão. If you are hungry, order the peixada seafood stew with sea bass; the generous portion will easily feed three people. To make it a special occasion, call ahead and order the lamb in coconut milk or the free-range chicken stew. These dishes require 4 hours notice as they are made from scratch but are worth the wait.

The new hip place in town is Bambaê, Estrada de São Domingos Km 4.5 (at Pousada Encantes do Nordeste, see above; tel. 098/3349-0691). This beautiful bar/restaurant on the shore of the Preguiças River is a perfect destination for a drink or a meal. The restaurant serves up snacks, sandwiches, and salads, as well as more sophisticated dishes such as the robalo fish with black olives. On Fridays and Saturdays there is live music. (Call ahead for opening hours in the low season.)

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.