Top things to do

Top Choice Buffet in São Luís

Restaurante Senac

Showpiece for the São Luis branch of Brazil's best-known cooking school, this place gets packed at lunchtimes for its superb all-you-can-eat buffet, which includes a big salad bar and eight or 10 hot meat and seafoo…
Museum in São Luís

Cafua das Mercês

In a building that was once a holding facility for slaves newly arrived from Africa, this museum has a small but interesting exhibition on slavery, the slave trade and Afro-Brazilian culture. It's in a sketchy part …
Brazilian in São Luís

Cabana do Sol

This huge two-story, picture-windowed 'cabin' is a memorable spot for maranhense cuisine. It’s pricey, but the enormous portions for two can serve four with gusto. The specialty is carne de sol (tastily grilled salt…
Brazilian in São Luís

Maracangalha

The creative seafood and meat dishes match the artsy atmosphere in both flair and presentation at this great top-end seafooder. The caldeirada maranhense – a seafood stew – is excellent. It's one of the city's best …
French in São Luís

L'Apero

This French-run hyperkiosk on São Marcos' sands is a great bet for good food, good music and good times, especially on Sundays, when everyone in São Luís knows it's the only gig in town! There's live music or DJs mo…
Museum in São Luís

Centro de Cultura Popular Domingos Vieira Filho

An impressive 19th-century mansion houses three fascinating floors of exhibits on São Luís’ festivals – Carnaval, Bumba Meu Boi and Divino Espírito Santo – and its Afro-Brazilian cults such as Umbanda and Tambor de …
Live Music in São Luís

Cafofinho da Tia Dica

Live bands playing a variety of rhythms – samba, chorinho, jazz, blues, bossa nova, MPB – compete for your eardrums at several bars and restaurants on and around Largo do Comércio, in the heart of the historic cente…
Brazilian in São Luís

Cabana do Sol

A memorable spot for maranhense cuisine. The enormous portions for two can serve four with gusto. The specialty is carne de sol (tastily grilled salted meat) – the picanha (steak) version is superb – but there's a w…
Market in São Luís

Casa das Tulhas

This 19th-century market building now trades in an interesting variety of typical Maranhão crafts and foods, from dried prawns and Brazil nuts to an artificially colored purple cassava liquor called tiquira and Mara…
Live Music in São Luís

Casa das Dunas

The biggest thing to happen in São Luís since sliced picanha: this massive, architecturally stunning entertainment complex opened in 2015. Overlooking Praia do Calhau, it's equal parts bar and live-music venue, and …