Even if you don’t check into the Pousada Pitinga , the hotel has a wonderful beachfront restaurant, the Cauim Restaurante, that offers a varied menu. Main dishes range from contemporized versions of classic Bahian dishes such as bobó de camarão to more inventive creations such as the Coroa Vermelha, a type of omelette that mixes rice, seafood, and fresh tomatoes. The service is excellent and the prices surprisingly affordable. Other barracas along Parracho and Mucugê beaches  also offer all sorts of fish, seafood, and other beach-worthy delicacies that can assuage hunger pains of all sizes throughout the day.
In Arraial  itself, most restaurant kitchens, like most of the action, don’t get going until the end of the day. However, when they do, the options are very eclectic. In fact, Bahian food is the exception among the sushi bars, Italian cantinas, Argentinean steak houses, and other international eateries—the vast majority of which are concentrated on the vibrant Estrada do Mucugê.
When you can’t take anymore fish or seafood, Boi nos Aires (Estrada do Mucugê 200, tel. 73/3575-2554, www.boinosaires.arraialdajuda.com , 5 p.m.–midnight daily, R$25–45) will have you back in carnivore heaven with its prime cuts of beef flown in from Buenos Aires (although it does grill fish as well).
Manguti (Estrada do Mucugê 99, tel. 73/3575-2270, www.manguti.com.br , 2 p.m.–midnight daily, R$35–50) is another local favorite that serves up meat, fish, pasta, and its famous gnocchi in a variety of sauces including manguti (made from an intriguing mixture of asparagus, mushrooms, peas, and fresh cream). The setting in a cozy little house that is slightly removed from Estrada do Mucugê’s buzz is quite romantic.
Speaking of romantic, you’ve never seen a food court quite as fetching as the Beco das Cores, an open-air galleria that groups together a series of bewitchingly lit boutiques, bars, and restaurants serving everything from crêpes and pizza to sushi.
An alluring ambiance is also one of the attractions of Rosa dos Ventos (Alameda dos Flamboyants 24, tel. 73/3575-1271, 4 p.m.–midnight Mon.–Sat., 1–10 p.m. Sun., R$50–60), located in a gracious house lit by candles and surrounded by tropical foliage. Another attraction is the surprising menu, which pairs tropical dishes such as fish baked in banana leaves and shrimp and pineapple-like abacaxi with wonderfully rich Viennese desserts.
For lighter and less expensive sustenance away from the bustle of Estrada do Mucugê, order one of the delicious homemade shrimp, bean, or vegetable caldos (thick soups) at Nativa (Praça São Brás, tel. 73/3575-3698, noon–midnight daily, R$10), an unassuming local bar in the main square, which provides a great vantage point for watching the locals hanging out and the hippies selling their wares at the nightly craft market.
Also off the beaten track, in a chalet-style house looking onto “Central Park,” Portinha (Rua do Campo, tel. 73/3575-1289, www.portinha.com.br , noon–10 p.m. daily, R$10–15) is the original comida por quilo restaurant that has revolutionized self-service dining along the Costa de Descobrimento. Like its siblings in Porto Seguro  and Trancoso , the buffets feature a tasty assortment of varied salads and main dishes kept hot over a wood oven.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be in for a treat once you step into the charming Praça Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes, the square that leads up to the Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Ajuda. Léo Chocolates uses pure cocoa from the nearby cocoa-producing region of Ilhéus  to make the scrumptious chocolates sold in this tiny store. The truffles are pretty divine, as are the chocolates filled with the slightly tangy Amazonian fruit cupuaçu. Tropical flavors are also for the licking a few doors down at the Uai Sorveteria, where the seating consists of strangely twisting polished slabs of wood, but the homemade ice cream is ambrosial.