Shopping and Eating in Salvador, Brazil
Salvador is one of the largest cities in the country of Brazil.
Shopping in Salvador
The shoppers will have happy days in Brazil. With the exception of imported goods, prices are generally around a quarter of similar prices you are used to from home.
And the selection in Salvador is impeccable; from huge shopping malls with everything from well-known chains and brands, to street markets that sell everything from vegetables to books out of carts. Bargaining is not common in Salvador defined by AbbreviationFinder, but it is always allowed to ask for a cash discount or similar.
Among the typical Brazilian items that you can do a bargain in Salvador are jewels. Brazil is home to some of the most beautiful gems you can get, and throughout Pelourinho and in the markets there are plenty of outlets. However, be aware of imitations and stick to well-known dealers if you are not sure of the quality of what you are buying.
In the street markets you should take an extra look at the crafts. Here you can get such special and useful souvenirs such as hammocks, leather sandals, hand-colored sarongs or carved wooden bowls at very good prices. For example, try the Mercado São Joaquim on the coast north of downtown, which is open daily except Sundays.
Of course, it is tempting to consider buying a solid carnival costume, but think about a) how often are you going to use it? and b) they are very expensive and are manufactured by hand over weeks. Of typical carnival things you might consider a samba drum or a pandeiro, a large, decorated tambourine?
If you prefer to shop in large shopping centers with everything under one roof and air conditioning, you can choose between Shopping Barra, natural enough in Barra, and Shopping Iguatemi, located opposite the city’s rodoviário (bus station).
Eating in Salvador
One thing is sure; you don’t go hungry from a Brazilian restaurant. You will generally receive huge and satisfying portions at prices you as a Scandinavian just smile off. Salvador has a wide range of dining options, from the most exclusive French cuisine restaurants to the simplest barbecue trolleys by the beach.
The dishes you get served in Bahia are traditionally the most spicy in all of Brazil, and inspired by the region’s African influence with ginger, coriander, coconuts and palm oil. Be aware, however, that palm oil, called dendê, is not something for unstable tourist tummies, so you may want to avoid this for the first few days in Brazil.
The most typical Brazilian dish is feijoada, which may not be for everyone, but should nevertheless be tried. It consists mainly of black boiled beans, tough pork, onion, salt and oil, accompanied by rice and various flavors.
Are you really hungry for meat one day, visit a rodizio. Here you can eat as much as you want from all kinds of meat dishes, from pork, beef, lamb and chicken; ham, beef, fillets, ribs and so on. Of course, rice and salad are included.
A few tips about restaurants in Salvador that you should note: Not everyone takes credit cards, so check it in advance or bring enough cash. You can also get an appetizer on the table without ordering it. If you touch it, it can appear on the bill at an uncomfortably high price, so ask first or send it back. Incidentally, Brazilians eat dinner very late, the restaurants do not start to fill up until the 21st and even later on the weekends.
Restaurante O Picuí
Rua Joao Ponde, Barra. Phone 264-7638.
This restaurant has received wonderful reviews for its specialty Carne do Sol. A serving is usually more than enough for 3-4 hungry people.
Varal da Dada in Rua Teixeira Menezes
55, Alto das Pombas, Federação. Tel 332-1777 or 331-4382.
The proprietor Dada is known as one of Brazil’s best chefs, and she even prepares the food for her guests and likes to chat. The specialty is Bahia food, try Bobo de Camarao, which is large shrimp cooked in palm oil with yucca cream.
Ara – Jardim das Delicias
Rua João de Deus 12, Pelourinho. Phone 322-7068.
Situated in a quiet and idyllic conservatory amidst lively Pelourinho. This is the place where you go when you have plenty of time and want to relax and enjoy life with good local food.
Steer clear of tap water. You hardly get sick of it, but the taste is not good and bottled water is reasonable. The fruit juice is reasonably priced and wonderfully good, so provide plenty. Freshly squeezed juice from fruits that only grow in the Amazon is not commonplace in Europe.
Of alcoholic beverages, ice cold beers apply. Brahma, Antarctica, and Skol are the most common local brands, and all are good, light, beer beers. Wine does not have a foothold in Brazil, and the local brands are not all over the world. But the Argentine wines are both good and reasonably priced, despite the imports.
And of course you should try the national drink caipirinha, which mainly consists of the sugar liquor cachaca, lime, ice and sugar.