Wilbert Das, who retired on December 31 from his longtime position as Diesel's creative director, owns one of the hippest little hotels in Trancoso, Brazil's glammest beach destination: the Uxua Casa Hotel (pictured above).
He spends good part of the year in Trancoso and he wrote a great list of restaurant recommendations for the guests of his hotel, which I am now sharing here:
Trancoso dining by Uxua's Wilbert Das
As tiny as Trancoso appears to be, it offer a tremendous variety of food, running the gamut from salt-of-the-earth Bahian home cooking to the freshest sushi.
Of course, local chefs are always available for preparing catered meals in each UXUA casa.
LAILA ADIPE ASSEF BISTRO
This inviting dining room (which resembles a living room) features Laila’s tasty home cooking – and a passel of guest chefs over the course of the year.
A Trancoso hot spot offers informal pizzas, risottos and anything else that is easy to eat, plus a well-regarded wine list.
Take Bahia, add a dash of contemporary sophistication, and you get this intimate dinner spot, set in a garden beside the historic Quadrado.
SABOR DA BAHIA
One of the first restaurants you’ll find when you enter the Quadrado, Sabor Da Bahia serves a mouthwatering Brazilian ‘Picanha’ with toasted vegetables, pineapple and french fries. Owned by a native family, the restaurant also serves traditional Bahian food and it opens for breakfast, serving home-made yoghurt at its open air tables.
This mix of trendy with traditional is among the oldest in town and has a creative menu signed by well-known chef Sandra Marques.
Believe it or not, Japanese raw fish has long been popular in this remote fishing village – and here it’s served a mere 1-minute walk from the Quadrado.
Fusion Asian cuisine, here? Why, of course, at this popular spot in the heart of Trancoso’s nightlife and only a two-minute walk from the Quadrado.
Traditional Bahian cuisine rules at this open-air restaurant facing the church. Remember to leave room for the desserts, which are renowned throughout the village.
RESTAURANTE DA SILVANA
Set on the people-watching-conducive Quadrado, this restaurant features homestyle cooking a la Silvana, privy to the “original secrets” of Bahian cuisine.
This culinary stunner is set on a cliff facing the ocean and is perfect for proposals, romance and anything else in need of a dose of drama. Includes a sushi bar and is sister restaurant of two well-regarded spots in the Bario Alto of Lisbon.
SABOR DO MUNDO
A mélange of European and Asian cuisine, thanks to the Dutch chef who has set up shop here in a bid to explore life in rural Brazil.
This Italian trattoria-slash-antiques shop has ocean views and a convenient location on the right side of the Quadrado.
2 minutes walk from the Quadrado, this bar and restaurant is owned by an Italian Rasta who has been living in Bahia for nearly twenty years. Serving great pizzas and general Italian food, there is also a snooker table on the top floor. And on Tuesday and Saturday, live music make it the meeting point of the town.
LA NO DOM
Every beach village in the world has a famous sandwich place. In Trancoso it is LA NO DOM. Dom is the name of the guy who prepares tasteful pita-bread sandwiches with his famous eggplant sauce for over 15 years.
Life is not food alone. The beaches are dotted with places at which to enjoy the perfect sundowner.
UXUA PRAIA BAR (below)
UXUA’s own beach bar boasts a picturesque setting between the Trancoso River and Atlantic Ocean, is the only bar on Praia da Barra, and wears its green heart on its sleeve (it’s made partly from rebuilt fishing boats found on the property).
CABANA DO ANDREA
The brainchild of Andrea, an Italian native who came to Brazil in 1999, this bar is a true hybrid. Set on Coqueiros beach and marked by a Sardinian flag on the top, it also serves up deliciously authentic pizzas and fresh local fish.
PE NA PRAIA
Located on Rio Verde beach, this bar is frequented by the young and beautiful and is only 1.7 km from the Quadrado.
Where would a beach town, even a remote one, be without a local nighttime hotspot? This club fits that description, with its dance music, special summer parties and visits from world-famous DJs.
Here, an amazing slideshow of photos by Fernando Lombardi of the Uxua Casa Hotel.
And more Trancoso on this blog:
- Uxua, the newest luxury boutique hotel in Trancoso
- Uxua's Casa Seu João: see photos
- 2010 Pirelli calendar is photographed by Terry Richardson at the Uxua
- Jacaré do Brasil: my favourite Trancoso pousada
- A complete listing of hotels and pousadas that I recommend
- Terravista: one of the world's most beautiful golf courses
- Trancoso: all the best restaurants
- Trancoso and Espelho: top 5 things to do
- A slideshow of my favourite Trancoso photos
- Tauana hotel, in Corumbau, South of Trancoso