Tiradentes is quite sophisticated when it comes to restaurants. Most specialize in traditional Mineiro cuisine. Every year, at the end of August, the city hosts a culinary festival and provides a wonderful opportunity for local chefs to show off their skills. During the off season check ahead for opening hours, particularly Sunday through Tuesday.
Many interesting restaurants can be found just by strolling along Tiradentes's streets. The top restaurants in town all specialize in local cuisine. Estalagem do Sabor, Rua Min. Gabriel Passos 280 (tel. 032/3355-1144), is well known for its hearty regional fare. In addition to basic chicken and meat stews, try the Mané sem Jaleco, a dish that combines rice with beans, sliced kale, bacon, eggs, and pork tenderloin; lean cuisine it ain't. Viradas do Largo, Rua do Moinho 11 (tel. 032/3355-1111), is another local favorite that has made a name for itself with outstanding Mineiro dishes. Many of the dishes are made with herbs and vegetables from the restaurant's own garden. Keep in mind that portions are generous, more so than in other restaurants; often a dish will feed two or three people. Appetizers include handmade pork or chicken sausages. For Mineiro cuisine with a modern twist, check out the restaurant Tragaluz, Rua Direita 52 (tel. 032/3355-1424). Here you will also find some of the meat stews but with shiitake instead of cabbage and served with a side of mashed inhame (a Brazilian root vegetable) instead of rice. Desserts are creative; for example, the staple goiabada (guava paste) is served fried with a sprinkling of cashew nuts and cream cheese. Not open for lunch. For that special night out there is no restaurant more romantic than Santissima Gula, Rua Padre Gaspar 343 (tel. 032/3355-1162). The cozy candlelit dining room only has a few tables and guests choose from a number of tasting menus with at least four or five courses. The cuisine is refreshingly modern and usually includes several seafood and meat options.
Minas is almost as famous for its food as it is for the outstanding cachaça (hard liquor made from sugar-cane juice) it produces. Confidências Mineira, Rua Ministro Gabriel Passos 26 (tel. 032/3355-2770), offers an extensive cachaça menu; many of the brands have florid and poetic names. For example, try Minha Deusa (My Goddess), a fruit-flavored variety of cachaça. One of the best cachaças around is Havana. Aged in balsamic barrels and made in small quantities, it is considered the champagne of cachaças. And, yes, it is possible to enjoy cuisines other than Mineiro cooking in Tiradentes. Overlooking the Ponte do Solar, Sapore d'Italia, Rua Francisco de Paula 13 (tel. 032/3355-1846), cooks up some excellent Italian dishes. The menu offers a good selection of pasta dishes such as cannelloni with ham. The wine list includes mostly Portuguese, French, and Italian reds, all reasonably priced.
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.