Many of Pirenópolis ’s restaurants and bars can be found along Rua do Rosário (also known as Rua do Lazer). Be aware that some only open on weekends. Restaurante Pireneus (Praça da Matriz 31, tel. 62/3331-1577, www.pireneusrestaurante.com.br , noon–5 p.m. daily, R$20) is a simple but inviting place that serves up an appetizing banquet featuring Goiana specialties such as empadão (a torte-like empada), galinha caipira (country-style chicken), and almôndegas (meat balls) as well as succulently barbecued beef, pork, and chorizo sausage. There are also salads and homemade doces galore.
Also known for its tasty regional fare is the Restaurante Pensão Padre Rosa (Rua Aurora 14, tel. 62/3331-3577, noon–6 p.m. Tues.–Sun., noon–midnight in Jan. and July, R$10–20), a local favorite occupying a rustic stone house that’s been in business since 1952. The copious lunch buffet includes specialties such as carne ao molho de café (beef in a coffee sauce), paçoca de pilão (sun-dried meat with manioc flour), and javali assado (roasted boar) as well as plenty of salads. Leave room for dessert—there are over 40 types of homemade doces.
For a bucolic setting, head to Restaurante Dona Cida (Rua do Carmo 22, tel. 62/3331-1567, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, R$20–30), where wooden tables are spread amidst a wide veranda and garden filled with the chatter of birds and monkeys. Dona Cida herself oversees the preparation of hearty traditional dishes such as galinha cabidela (chicken cooked in its own blood) and arroz com pequi (rice cooked with the aromatic pequi fruit). Live music is performed on weekends.
Vegetarians will appreciate the healthy fare prepared by Edna Lucena, the town’s pioneering hippie-mystic, who first opened Aravinda Bar e Restaurante (Rua do Rosário 25, tel. 62/3331-2409, noon onwards daily, R$10–20) in the early ’80s as a boutique that sold East Indian garb. On weekends, this beloved and very mellow hangout features live music.