I like to recommend our personal favorites, places that locals know about but that are overlooked by most guide books.
If you are visiting the south of the Island, I would make three very different recommendations.
In Pantano do Sul, in the extreme south, there is a simple restaurant on the beach front called Bar do Vadinho that serves the best typical food in the region. The place is very simple, you don't even have a menu: you ask for lunch (almoco) and they will bring you fish (fillets, steaks and a delicious dish of shredded fish with spices), rice, beans, salad, chips and pirao ( a local side dish made of fish stock, herbs and cassava flour). Service is friendly but very slow, but be patient because it is worthy. This is the freshest fish you can find anywhere on the island and it is great value: for US$ 7 per person, you can eat as much as you want. They will keep asking if you want a refill... During Summer it opens everyday, all day, in the rest of the year opens only for lunch a the weekends.
If you are on your way to/from the beach around Armacao or Pantano do Sul at lunch time and fancy a healthy alternative to fish and chips, then you MUST stop by Nutri lanches. Located near Lagoa do Peri on the main road (SC 406), this canteen-like restaurant serves a buffet by kilo (a great Brazilian invention= you chose your food from a buffet, weight it and pay a fixed amount per kilo) of the highest quality for a very reasonable price ( average meal US$ 4-5 dollars). Besides the good salads and creative vegetarian dishes, they also serve fish, seafood and chicken dishes. Open all year around ( except Mondays), Nutri is a meeting point for the alternative crowd.
On the west coast, in the quaint old village of Ribeirao, you will find a very different option, ideal for a late lunch or a summer evening meal. Ostradamus is a Florianopolis institution and justifiably so: it serves, by far, the best oysters in town! The setting is also magic: from their pier you can watch the sun going down behind the beautiful Tabuleiro Mountains. If you don't fancy oysters try their seafood risotto or the king prawn dishes.
Tips from the Brazil Ecojourneys team:
- In Ostradamus, the main course portions are huge, so ask for half a portion, which is plenty for 2 people.
- You can combine a visit to these restaurants with some of our day treks for a great day out.
- Florianoplis is the biggest producer of oysters in Brazil- a visit to an oyster farm followed by a tasting session is one of the many activities you can join in the island to experience local life.