São Luís

The local cuisine in São Luís is just one of the things that make the city so wonderful. All visitors to the Maranhão State capital fall in love with local flavors and spices.

The State of Maranhão is located in the western part of the Brazilian Northeast Region and shares borders with the states of Piauí, Tocantins, and Pará. São Luís has plenty of beautiful beaches and is the ideal destination for tourists who love incomparable natural beauty, cultural tours, and, of course, rich local cuisine. 

One of the most engaging ways to learn about local traditions in a destination is through its local cuisine, and the delicious dishes in São Luís are the perfect opportunity to experience what the city has to offer. Traditional northeastern spices make the food in Maranhão something to watch out for. 

Roasted fish, one of São Luis’s traditional dishes

When you get to São Luis, make sure you try the famous arroz de cuxá, a rice dish made with local ingredients such as rosella leaves which is typically served as a side dish to accompany seafood main courses. The rosella leaves have a very acidic taste, which makes the preparation of this traditional dish that much more challenging. 

As São Luis is a coastal city, fish and other seafood play an important role in local dishes, which include the popular peixada maranhense (local fish stew), sururu ao leite de coco (Brazil’s charru mussel, a mollusk similar to clams and oysters, stewed in coconut milk), and several other dishes containing shrimp or crab meat. Those visitors who cannot live without red meat, however, can try some sun-dried meat, also one of the main local options. 

But if we are going to mention items that really symbolize the local cuisine in the city of São Luís, we must start with a typical local berry called juçara. It is a very similar fruit to açaí, which is commonly added to local recipes and different kinds of food, such as bread, sweets, and pastel (a local thin-crust fried pie). As far as sweets go, visitors cannot leave without trying a doce-de-espécie, a local coconut sweet shaped like a turtle that is a symbol of the state’s cultural legacy.

The typical local food served in bars and restaurants around the city will undoubtedly astonish tourists. Now that you know a little more about the local cuisine, how about a visit to São Luís? 

By Plane
+55 (98) 3217-6138
São Luís Airport operates domestic flights from most Brazilian capitals, which include connecting flights from abroad.

By Bus
+55 (98) 3015 4015
The São Luís Bus Station operates intercity and interstate bus routes.

By Bus
There are several bus routes that cover the whole city. For more information on the routes, click here

On Foot
Walking is a great way to visit the historic city center and its wonderful attractions.

Personal Vehicles and Rentals
A great way to get around the city or to visit nearby destinations in the state of Maranhão is to rent a car. 

Taxis and Ridesharing Companies
Taxis and ridesharing companies are a comfortable way to get around the city.

Useful Numbers

Tourist Police:
+55 98 3214 8682
Tourist Assistance – Praia Grande:
+55 98 3231 4696
Tourist Assistance – Bus Station:
+55 98 3249 4500
Tourist Assistance – Airport:
+55 98 3244 4500

Military Police: 190
Paramedics: 192
Fire Department: 193

Power Voltage


Local Weather

The best period to visit São Luís is between the months of June and August. The city has hot weather all year round, so light clothes and sunblock are recommended.