Goiás Velho  is an ideal place to savor traditional Goiana cooking. Although most restaurants are simple (operating out of colonial homes), the home-cooked fare—usually prepared over wood-burning stoves—is rife with colors and textures. Portions are inevitably whopping. The town is especially famed for its empadãos; tortes made with a robust filling of pork, chicken, sausage, cheese, and guariroba, a local fruit that resembles a slightly bitter heart of palm.
Among other Cerrado fruits you’ll encounter, the most ubiquitous is the pungently perfumed pequi, which accompanies rice and chicken dishes, but also turns up in sweets. Warning: Don’t ever bite into a whole pequi—the inner nut is protected by a layer of tiny thorns that will leave you feeling as if you bit into a porcupine). The more exotic likes of murici, mangaba, cagaita, aracá, and buriti all make appearances in preserves, liqueurs, sorvetes, and the doces and crystallized fruits sold by women out of their homes (and displayed on windowsills).
One of the best places for local cuisine is Flor do Îpe (Rua Boa Vista 32-A, tel. 62/3372-1133, noon–3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.–midnight Tues.–Sat., noon–4 p.m. Sun., R$10–20), whose tables are scattered round a relaxing tree-shaded garden. Among the house specialties are galinhada, a country-style chicken stewed with saffron and rice, and peixe na telha, local fish baked on an orange roof tile. While lunch features a buffet, the à la carte dinner entrées are big enough for two.
Dalí Sabor & Arte (Rua 13 de Maio 26, tel. 62/3372-1640, 11:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m. Tues.–Sun., R$10–20) is a charming restaurant where you can try empadão, moqueca de peixe (a Goiana take on the Bahian fish stew), and lots of typical sweets including pastelinho, a cake made with caramel-like doce de leite and cinnamon.
A little more swank and contemporary is Goiás Ponto Com (Praça do Coreto 19, tel. 62/3371-1691, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Sun.–Tues., 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.–midnight Thurs.–Sat., R$15–25), where entrées include roasted pork with slices of tucum palm, bathed in citrus sauce, and filet of sole smothered in a garden herb pesto and accompanied by a sweet potato mousseline. At lunch, there are only three main-course options, but after sundown the menu expands and the atmosphere gets more romantic courtesy of candlelight.