Just as sophisticated as its accommodations are Trancoso ’s range of culinary choices. During the day, you might want to take advantage of the fare served at the beach barracas. One of the nicest is the Italian-owned Cabana de Andrea on Praia de Coqueiros. The Italian salads and pizzas are flavorful as are the more tropical selections, including shrimp cooked in coconut milk served in a coconut, and grilled shrimp and squid with mango chutney. Aside from beach chairs and hammocks galore, the service is attentive and the mellow soundtrack will put you in a sweet trance. Further down on Praia do Rio Verde, another favorite is Pé na Praia, where you can get delicious grilled fish and hefty caipirinhas.
Back in town, the restaurant scene doesn’t get hopping until sundown. However, as in Porto Seguro  and Arraial d’Ajuda , one of the best options, day or night, is the daily self-service per kilo buffet at Portinha (Quadrado, tel. 73/3668-1054, open daily for lunch and dinner, R$10–15). The deliciously fresh salads and hot dishes kept sizzling over a wood oven can be savored at wooden picnic tables right on a tree-shaded patch of the Quadrado.
Come sundown, if you don’t want to repeat the experience, try another Quadrado favorite: Silvana & Cia (Quadrado, tel. 73/3668-1122, 1–10 p.m. daily, R$40–50). Beneath a giant almond tree magically lit up with lanterns and candles, Trancoso-born Silvana prepares typical Bahian dishes such as grilled fish, shrimp bobós, and moquecas. It’s nicely priced by Trancoso  standards; locals often dine here.
Natives of both Italy and São Paulo  (where pizza is king) swear by the crunchy pies prepared in the large open kitchen of Maritaka (Rua do Telégrafo, tel. 73/3668-1702, 7 p.m.–close Thurs.–Tues., R$25–35). The ambiance is casual, but toppings include the more refined likes of asparagus and brie.
While romantic settings are a dime a dozen in Trancoso, you’d be hard-pressed to compete with that of El Gordo (Quadrado 7, tel. 73/3668-1193, www.elgordo.com.br , 1 p.m.–midnight daily, R$40–55). The light cast by Japanese lanterns echoes the lights twinkling along the coastline below this terrace restaurant. Happily, the reputed dishes are as appealing as the view. Cosmopolitan offerings range from exotic sushis and lobster curries to Portuguese salted cod (the owner is Portuguese) prepared in a variety of styles.