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Best 5 Restaurants in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

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1 month ago

Fernando de Noronha is Brazil’s most exclusive destination. I generally have low food expectations for resort towns, but unlike other small beach towns in Northeast Brazil, Noronha is fortunate to have a genuine dining scene. After only a few hours on this island paradise it became clear: the fancy crowd of visitors from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have expectations.

To make the most of this world-class dining scene, you’ll want to make sure your Fernando de Noronha itinerary also includes trying the best of Noronha cuisine.

Fernando de Noronha is often busy over long weekends and Brazilian vacations. If you are planning on eating at the best restaurants in Fernando de Noronha, I recommend making advance reservations to avoid disappointment.

With that, here are my choices for the best 5 restaurants on Fernando de Noronha island.

Before You Go: Costs

I should warn you: Fernando de Noronha is not cheap. Prices on the island are generally about 20% more than mainland Brazil – yes, often more expensive than Rio de Janeiro. This is especially so when it comes to food and restaurants.

There are supermarkets on the island and many of the budget pousadas will have kitchen facilities. A few home-cooked meal services are also advertised across the island with free delivery service.

But even beyond food, there are taxes, permits and other expenses to take into consideration when visiting Fernando de Noronha. If you are planning a visit, make sure to read through our comprehensive guide to everything you need to know before visiting Fernando de Noronha.

5. Mare Comida

If you have visited Florianopolis (or Tulum or Bali for that matter), Mare Comida will immediately feel familiar to you. With an open-air relaxed atmosphere, Mare Comida prides itself on fresh produce, detox juices and being the cool kid in town.

The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, offering a more casual evening option if you don’t feel like something fancy. Both the spicy salmon and ahi tuna salad are great dishes, with the perfect amount of fried onion for that extra crunch.

Mare Comida’s açai bowls are certainly their standout dish. If I went back, I would skip the fish and go straight for an açai lunch bowl.

4. Museu do Tubarão (The Shark Museum)

I can’t believe I am recommending a museum restaurant, but here we are. The Shark Museum is a cute short stop when you’re doing your Ilha Tour. But in reality, it’s the restaurant here that is the real attraction, and it’s not at all what you might expect from a restaurant that is also a museum.

While I am not one to eat shark, I can recommend the fish of the day, usually served with a zesty lemon sauce and fresh rosemary potatoes. The Shark Museum’s baião is also one of the best I tasted in Northern Brazil – accompanied by grilled plantain and pineapple. And I’m not normally a fruit-in-my-savory-dish kind of guy!

Vegetarians will be pleased to know the restaurant is very accommodating, with a number of vegetarian and vegan dishes (including some Brazilian specialities).

3. Do Vale

Housed in one of the best places to stay in Fernando de Noronha (the Pousada do Vale), from the moment you enter the wood-panned Do Vale, it’s clear that this will be a magnificent night out. The menu here focuses on Brazilian artisanal and international cuisine, with all ingredients proudly sourced from their own island agroforest (I had to look that word up too).

I have a blanket rule at Brazilian restaurants: if dadinhos de tapioca are on the menu, I order them. And the dadinhos de tapioca at Do Vale were among the best I’ve eaten in Brazil. It’s worth mentioning the other star appetizers at Do Vale which offers an innovative take on classical Brazilian dishes.

Most notably, the bolinho de feijoda, which takes the classical feijoada stew and transforms it into a fried feijoda experience, served with a refreshing lime mayonnaise.

Do Vale offers a strong showing of classic Northeastern dishes with an excellent baião served with a slight pesto undertone and a delicious, albeit very sweet, moqueca stew with tomato and hearts of palm.  

2. Bar do Meio

If you are following our 4-day itinerary for Fernando de Noronha, you’ll likely be won over by Bar do Meio on your first day here.

Just a short hop from Praia do Meio, Bar do Meio is magnificently set overlooking the glorious beaches of Fernando de Noronha. I recommend coming here for a lazy lunch, or early, pre-sunset dinner or drinks – you don’t want to miss out on these views.

If you are following my rules (see number 3), you’ll want to order the dadinhos de tapioca here – if only for the excellent homemade sweet chilli and guava dipping sauce. It would almost be a crime not to order some fresh fish when sitting at Bar do Meio, and the tuna tartare with a mango and nut confit offers the perfect fresh lunch as you bathe in the afternoon Noronha sun.

With a prime location and live music, Bar do Meio is one of the more expensive restaurants on the island with high prices and a cover charge.

1. And the best restaurant in Fernando de Noronha is…

O Pico.

With a Michelin-trained chef, the understated O Pico feels like a steal on luxurious Fernando de Noronha.

From the vegetarian tapas platter to the churros and coconut flavor brigadeiros on the dessert menu, the high-quality food here really set O Pico apart from the other restaurants on Noronha.

The standout dish for us is unquestionably the Peixe Classico do Pico. This artistic dish includes a grilled white fish (freshly caught on Noronha) on a bed of white beans and homemade gnocchi, with a zesty tomato and citrus sauce.

Around O Pico you will notice unique Pernambuco-style locally designed wood print artworks. If you want to take one home, take a look at the shop downstairs which houses affordable Noronha prints by artist J. Borges.

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