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life of a globetrotting family of 5 in the US foreign service
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Lily Thai opens 6 days a week for lunch and dinner, closed on Mondays, at this time of the year. They have great specials, and it is very affordable.
Chef and Owner Lily Thamibutra worked at her sister’s restaurant, Seaside Thai (now closed for good), for 5 years before venturing out to create Lily Thai. It’s located on First Street, right next to the original Nicola’s, where Dos Locos used to be many (many) years ago. They have (finally!) acquired their liquor license, so no more BYOB. Pony up for a nice cold beer or some wine. In spite of how long it took to get the nod for booze, Lily’s has already earned a reputation for authentic Thai food served up in pleasing, if not austere surroundings.
The signature dishes are the Pad Thai (with chicken or shrimp) and the Tom Yum soup (chicken or shrimp with lemon grass and cilantro). .
Hey there! This past weekend we didn’t wanna cook… Kids had a ton of energy, kept running inside the house, so we decided we had to get the whole family out of the apartment… “let’s enjoy the great weather, while appreciating the local food..“. Our surprise: a lot of eateries, restaurants, even the fast-food places did NOT OPEN UNTIL 5PM! We’re shocked (and a bit frustrated, as well!) “Should we go back and try to cook something?”, we discussed, before asking our toddlers from a savior play date with the neighbors (we’re very thankful for that, BTW!)
As a result, we begin our search, trying to find a place that was kid-friendly, open-setting, good & healthy food and… not too expensive… But, the most important thing, was getting the kiddos out of the house… 😮
Here is the result: Always wonderful to share:
You may be on a budget, but eating well is still possible in Recife. This listing of places to eat covers only restaurants. There are many traditional style restaurants, but Brazil also offers self-service restaurants where you pay by weight. Such restaurants are very popular, especially at lunchtime, but be sure to arrive early to get a good choice. Lunch here starts at 12.00 and popular places will have little left after 1.30pm. The price per kilo varies according to the range and quality of the offering, and by the location of the restaurant. Most shopping centers have food courts with a mix of fast food and self-service restaurants. On the whole we would suggest that the food is over-priced and lacks quality compared to other options outside the shopping centers. Stand-alone restaurants in shopping centers are better quality, but also tend to be over priced compared to similar establishments in other street locations.
Chinese food in Recife is cheap, as it is in many countries. You do get what you pay for and, for the most part, are not recommended. However, Japanese food is very popular and generally of good quality. Many better self-service buffets also include sushi in their offering.
Cafes, bakery’s (padarias), delicatessens and bars often have good food options, from nibbles and snacks to more substantial meals. You can find more details under the heading bars and cafes
Of course, beach and street food are to be found everywhere in all the destinations covered by this site, so to do justice to the subject all listings and tips are under a separate heading Beach and Street Food
La Plage (Crepes) Good crepes in a very well docorated restaurant. Rua Professor Rui Batista, 120, Boa Viagem. (81) 3465 1654. Tues-Sat 6pm-11.30pm; Sun 5pm-11pm; Mon closed. (R$16+). MAP
Anjo Solto (Crepes) A very popular and well established venue popular with the fashionable crowd. Also gay friendly. Usually lively from 10pm until very late. Galeria Joana DÁrc, Pina.(81) 3325 0862. Daily 6pm until the last client. (R$18+). MAP www.anjosolto.com.br
Pin Up (Burgers), This place offers fantastic burgers for little more than a McDonald´s in the setting of a very American style diner. Avenida Herculano Bandeira, 204, Pina. (81) 3466 0001. 5.30pm-1.30am tue-sat; 5pm-24.00 sun; closed mon. MAP www.pinupburgueria.com.br
Laça Burguer (Burgers & Sandwiches) Better than McDonald’s for a similar price, but not as good as Pin Up. Avenida Visconde de Jequintinhonha 138-A, Boa Viagem. (81) 3461 2179. Mon-Thurs 11.30am-2am; Fri-Sat 11.30am-5am; Sun 12.00-2am. MAP
Entre Amigos o Bode (Regional) A large bar/restaurant serving traditional regional food and meat. This place is very popular with locals. Rua Marquês de Valença 30 Boa Viagem. (81) 3312.1000. Mon-Fri 11.30am-2am; Sat & Sun 11.30am-4am . Approx. R$25 per person. MAPwww.entreamigosobode.com.br
Parraxaxá (Regional). The name is of indigenous origin and is pronouncedpahashasha. This very popular self-service (pay by the kilo) restaurant serves regional cuisine in a rustic theme restaurant. A very wide selection of savory and sweet dishes. The plates are massive so make sure your eyes are not bigger than your stomach, or it will cost you! Rua Baltazar Pereira 32, Boa Viagem. (81) 3463 7874. Mon-Fri 11am-10pm; Sat & Sun6-11pm. Approx R$20 per person. MAP www.parraxaxa.com.br
Ponteio Grill (Regional) One of the most famous Brazilian eating experiences is the churrascaria (pronounced showhaskaria), a grill where you help your self to the salad bar (including a limited sushi menu) then take what meat you want as it is brought to your table on large spits. Its good to go when you are very hungry, as this is a fixed price restaurant for all you want to eat. The price is less earlier in the week and higher on weekends. There are other similar restaurants that cost more, and some a little less. We recommend this as being the best value for money. Avenida Boa Viagem 4824, Boa Viagem. (81) 3326 2386. Mon-Thurs 12pm-4pm and 7-12am midnight; Fri-Sun 12pm-12am midnight. Approx R$30 per person. MAP
Feijoada do Vovô Hortêncio (Regional) Feijoada is considered a national dish of Brazil and is served only at lunchtimes, usually on weekends. Folklore suggests feijoada was a “luxury” dish of African slaves on Brazilian colonial farms, as it was prepared with relatively cheap ingredients (beans, rice, collard greens, farofa) and leftovers from salted pork and meat production. Some versions, even in good bars and restaurants, can be disgustingly fatty. The feijoada at this restaurant is excellent, and we recommend it to more adventurous eaters. Definitely it is not for vegetarians. Rua Setúbal 1603, Boa Viagem. (81) 3074 4788. Fri-Sun Lunchtimes only . Approx. R$20 per person. MAP
Chica Pitanga, (Regional/International) A very popular self-service/pay-per-kilo restaurant with a large buffet offering. Get here early, especially at weekends, to avoid waiting for a table. Rua Petrolina 19, Boa Viagem. (81) 3465 2224. Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm & 6pm-10pm; Sat & Sun 11.30am-10pm. Approx R$20per person. MAP
O Poeta, (Regional/International) A good quality self-service/per kilo restaurant that is very popular with local office workers. Get here early if you want a good selection. Avenida Rio Branco 243, Recife Antigo. (81) 3224-3310. Mon-Fri only 11.30-3.30pm. Approx R$20per person MAP
Panquecas e Saladas, (Regional/International) A good quality self-service/pay-per-kilo restaurant in an old house. A more limited choice than others listed here, but still good and fresh. Take a table upstairs for a cheap and cheerful meal in a nice setting. Good juices too. As with all self-service places, get here early. Rua da Guia 93,Recife Antigo. (81) 3224 2259. Mon-Fri only 11.30-3pm. Approx R$10 per person.MAP
O Buraquinho (Regional) A simple restaurant in one of the most interesting and picturesque historic squares of Recife. It serves regional dishes for very good prices. Pátio de São Pedro 28, Recife Downtown. (81) 3224 6431. Mon-Sat 11.30am-12.00am midnight. Sun closed . R$20, MAP
Royal (Regional) Established in 1944, this restaurant serves traditional regional dishes and focuses on offering value for money. It is only open for breakfast and lunch weekdays to serve its office worker clients. Rua Mariz e Barros 181, Recife Antigo (81) 3224 5854. Mon-Fri only 8am-3pm. R$20, MAP
Tio Pepe (Brazilian) This restaurant was founded in 1964 by José Garrido Cid, an immigrant from Galicia, Spain. Before he died, Pepe passed the baton to one of his Brazilian daughters, Mirtes, who has modernized the business. Generous portions of fish, meat and poultry are freshly cooked, most on a traditional coal grill. Rua Almirante Tamandaré 170, Boa Viagem. (81) 3341 7153. Tues-Sat 11.30am-11.30pm; Sun 11.30am-4.30pm. Approx R$30. MAP
La Comedie (French) This little French bistro is one of the hidden gems of Recife. It is tucked away behind the French language school Aliança Francesa, and located in a small building with a covered patio area. It offers a selection of high quality French snacks and dishes. The mini quiches are great, so are the soups. Not to forget: the Brazilian spin on the French classic for dessert, the petit gâteau, is amazing, not chocolate but uva (grape) or goiaba (a sweet guava jam). Rua Amaro Bezerra 466, Derby. (81) 3222 0245. Mon-Wed 12pm-10pm; Thurs-Sat 12pm-11pm; Close Sun. R$20.MAP
La Cuisine Bistrô (French) We have included this restaurant in the Economy option, but prices here can go from reasonable to expensive, depending on your choice from an extensive menu. Soups, salads, sandwiches and other light options are possible if you are on a budget. They are very good quality and this is a nice restaurant. When I am looking to go budget here I take The French onion soup and the petit gateau, both classic and 95% of the time very well done, a great buless expensive options.Avenida Boa Viagem 560, Pina. (81) 3327 4073. Mon-Thurs 12pm-11pm; Fri 12pm-1am; Sat 1pm-1am; Sun 1pm-11pm.R$25 MAP Review Exclusive Offer
During our visit to the Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, we were invited to enjoy the magnificent islander cuisine, through an unique gastronomic event. This event happens every Wednesday and Saturday evenings at one of the best bread and breakfast of Fernando de Noronha called “Pousada Zé Maria”. Father and son run the business, and the night event we attended was hosted and presented by Zé Maria’s son, Tuca Noronha. Our appreciation to the host, as well as to the pleasant evening among friendly companions…
That said, the ecologically correct paradise of Fernando de Noronha offers opportunities for its visitors to be adventurous, without impacting the environment – and this concept is extended to its cuisine. Besides participating at Zé Maria’s Gastronomical Event, we also enjoyed typical food from the island at the Shark Museum Restaurant and Restaurante da Edilma (where I had shark for the first time!), and the perfect evening view at Pousada Maravilha‘s restaurant. The union of great food, good conversations and pleasant ambience, is the perfect combination for wonderful travel memories…
Gastronomic Event at Zé Maria’s:
Sea Food Specialty at Maravilha Restaurant:
A special dish at the Shark Museum, in honor of its creator, Eng. Leonardo Veras: “Camarão ao Léo”: