There are many places to enjoy Pará cuisine, from an award-winning restaurant to a floating one, including a kiosk and a bar
Por Leticia Rocha
The Instituto Brasil a Gosto was in Belém and shares an itinerary for those who want to know more about the rich gastronomy of the capital of Pará. The city was elected a “Creative City of Gastronomy” by Unesco in 2015. The title puts Belém among other 180 locations (from 72 countries) that deserve prominence in areas such as gastronomy, tourism and cinema. See our tips – not to be missed – below:
Estação das Docas
If you are short of time, this is the place to go! After the revitalization completed in the year 2000, this old port was transformed into a leisure complex with gastronomy, shopping and local culture options. You can begin by visiting the restaurant Lá em Casa, which is a symbol of Pará cuisine and was founded by the famous personality Paulo Martins (1946-2010) and his mother Anna Maria in the beginning of the 1970’s. It is considered one of the places responsible to put Brazilian gastronomy in evidence. It is the right place to try duck in tucupi and maniçoba, local classics, and also new creations such as pupunha with roquefort and jambu rice – a recipe that shows how visionary Paulo was and how he worked in the name of Brazilian food. Other two places for you to visit there are: Amazon Beer and Cairú, respectively an artisanal brewery and an ice-cream parlor that skilfully uses local ingredients
Avenida Boulevard Castilhos França, s/n; www.estacaodasdocas.com.br
The complex reveals to the traveler a sample of what the Amazon is. It gathers a fish market, a meat market and even sells live animals. It is also the largest street market in Latin America. There is also the ‘boieiras’ area, dedicated to meals, and the handicraft corner. See full report about this place here.
Avenida Boulevard Castilhos França, s/n, Comércios; www.belem.pa.gov.br/belemtur/site.
Remanso do Bosque e Remanso do Peixe
The two award-winning restaurants, commanded by the brothers Felipe and Thiago Castanho, have crossed the borders of Pará and are already famous throughout the country. Their DNA is a combination of local ingredients with global recipes and techniques. Examples: jambu guioza, maniçoba sausage, açaí bun (version of Asian bread using the region’s famous fruit).
Remanso do Peixe: Conjunto Celso Malcher, 64, tel. (91) 3228-2477
Remanso do Bosque: Av. Rômulo Maiorana, 2350, tel. (91) 3347-2829; www.restauranteremanso.com.br
Tapioquinha da Amazônia
Located in Ver-o-Peso (a public square that also works as a belvedere), this kiosk is one of the most popular among locals when they want “café na rua” (coffee in the street). The local protocol tells you to eat a “thin tapioquinha with butter”, which is even better if it is stuffed with the typical buffalo cheese from Marajó (which does not come in small balls, but in pieces, and has a buttery flavor). But don’t limit your choice to that suggestion, the tapioca menu is extensive. There are a total of 40 options, including sweet and savory options. It is also worth tasting the fresh juices of typical fruits such as taperebá, soursop and açaí.
Avenida Boulevard Castilhos França, s/n, tel. (91) 3212-3090.
A trip to Belém is a good reason to do a very particular tour: visiting a floating restaurant. And this is one of the most famous. The menu is simple: go for the shrimp and fried fish, accompanied by native fruit caipirinha. Enjoy the experience of being in front of the immensity of the Amazonian waters and landscapes. Visit the backyard, on the bank where it is moored: there is a gigantic and centenary specimen of samaúma, one of the oldest trees in the country. Saldosa is anchored on Ilha do Combu, 1.5 km away from the capital Belém, on the left bank of the Guamá River. To get there you need to take a boat from Praça Princesa Isabel, in the Condor neighborhood. The trip lasts 10 minutes and costs R$ 5 on average; but there are agencies that organize private tours and can be hired directly in the square.
Ilha do Combu; www.saldosamaloca.com.br
The bar is a traditional spot for snacking and is the right address to taste the house’s cachaça de jambu, considered one of the best in the country. The distillate spirit is served in doses and escorted by a nice broth of the day. The store sells 250 and 700 ml bottles, in traditional versions, for cooking and flavored ones (with açaí, chestnut, cupuaçu and bacuri).
Rua Senador Manoel Barata, 917 (e mais um endereço); www.cachacameugaroto.com.br
Xícara da Silva
This place proves that local ingredients do not have to stay only in typical cuisine restaurants. This is a pizzeria. One of the most requested options is jambu with regional shrimp (freshwater) and cheese from Marajó. Worth every slice!
Av. Visconde de Souza Franco, 978A – Reduto, tel. (91) 3241-0167
Point do Açaí
An essential visit to understand the importance of açaí in the daily life of Pará. Here you must forget the açaí with granola and bananas that became popular all over the country. In Pará, the fruit is traditionally used in savory dishes. This is exactly how it is presented at the Point: as a dense cream made only with beaten fruit, served alongside with manioc flour as a side dish for shrimp, beef jerky, pot meat, picanha and chicken. Face the initial strangeness and discover a new flavor. You will not regret it.
Av Boulevard Castilhos frança nº 744 , tel. (91) 3212-2168; www.pointdoacai.net
Tacacá Raízes da Mandioca
Around 4pm, 5pm, the locals eat tacacá – a typical broth from the Amazon region made with shrimp, jambu, tucupi, pepper and manioc gum. There are countless stalls that serve the delicacy throughout the city, but this is one of the most famous. Ivanete Pantoja, the owner, is also president of the Association of Tacacazeiras de Belém.
Avenida Nazaré, altura do número 1157.
Here is another proof that what is typical does not have to be restricted to the traditional or touristic places. Locals are habitués of the restaurant of chefs Ilca Carmo and Paulo Anijar. The couple produces a mix of creative cuisine and the ‘comfort food’ style, with suggestions such as crab steaks, filhote fish in lemon sauce, annatto pesto and farofa and jambu mojito.
Avenida Senador Lemos, 565, (91) 3347-9899; www.santachicoria.com.br