where to eat in praia

The main language spoken is Portuguese; however, French and Creole are spoken too. Island life is very relaxing here and nobody seems to be in a rush, which is perfect for those looking for a relaxing vacation.

If you’re hoping to try local Cape Verde food, read on to find out where to eat in Praia.

Most people choose to fly into Praia, the main city located on Santiago Island. Find the cheapest flights on Skyscanner.

From here you can take ferries to the surrounding islands.

Cape Verde isn’t the most affordable destination to visit, but island nations never are. In terms of booking accommodation, we found the best prices and range of options on Booking.com.

You won’t find many budget hotel options in Praia, but here are the properties that offer the best value.

I’d recommend you stay in the city centre as this is where everything happens and it’s also where you’ll find fresh food markets and the best food options.

where to eat in praia kid on street

Cost of Taxi From Praia Airport to Hotel

All taxis from the airport to the city centre are set at a tariff of 1000 Escudo ($10), which is expensive for such a short ride. The distance isn’t very far at all and the ride only takes around 7 min or so.

Withdraw some currency from the ATM at the airport upon arrival so you have the cash for the taxi driver.

Alternatively, both EUR and USD are widely accepted here, so you may be able to pay with these currencies until you can exchange cash at the bank.

NOTE: When you do exchange cash at the bank, your passport is required and a printed copy of your departure flights too. A commission fee of 5 EUR is charged to you to exchange cash.

How to Get Around in Praia

Local buses are easy to take and bus stops are easily located on the side of the road. A ride costs 42 escudo (0.42c). Buses are quite new and comfortable. During peak times, expect buses to be very full. Pay the driver when you get on, and try to have small notes or change.

Minivans – You’ll find new, white minivans around town – locals take these around the island. You can see where they are going from the sign in the window, you can just hail them to stop for you. It helps if you speak/read  Portuguese or French.

Taxis – Cream-coloured taxis are everywhere and they’re affordable –for example; to take a taxi from Platô to Achada de Santo António, the cost is about CVE 250. Taxis will charge more after 8 pm.

It’s recommended to always take a taxi at night in Praia, even for just a short distance. Be especially cautious in the Achada de Santo António area, as crime rates are rising here.

Where to Stay in Praia

During our visit to Praia, we stayed at the Hotel Santa Maria. This hotel is in an incredible location, right in the centre of town, the area is called Plato.

It’s also a great area to try some excellent Cape Verde food.

best hotel in praia
The Hotel Santa Maria

We chose to stay here because of the excellent location and because of the rave reviews. A twin/double room costs approximately 50 euros per night; we reserved our room on Booking.com.

The rate includes cable TV, A/C, great wifi and a fabulous breakfast.

This includes scrambled eggs, chorizo, ham, cheese, fresh bread rolls, pastries, fruit salad and yoghurt. Several types of juice plus tea and coffee are available too.

best hotel in praia, cape verde
Our room in the Hotel Santa Maria

The room was exceptionally clean, had comfortable beds and linen and it was very quiet too. All of the staff at the hotel were very friendly and helpful.

If there is no availability at the above hotel (as it is very popular), the next best option would be Plateau Bedroom & Chambre , which is located only two minutes walk away.

Where to Eat in Praia 

By far, the best value meals available in Praia are the ‘Menu of the Day’. You don’t have to look too far for great Cape Verde food. In fact, we wrote a post about where to eat in Praia – 7 great places.

Look for small eateries with signs at the front of the restaurant listing what they have and for what price.

Most lunch menus will cost between 300-400 Escudo, about USD 3-4. Choices generally include the following:

where to eat in praia
Where to eat in Praia? The best Cape Verde food of the day is often listed on sandwich boards outside restaurants or cafes.

Roast chicken, grilled tuna, fried whole fish or beefsteak. You can expect rice, chips, beans and salad to be served with the meat. Portions are quite generous.

Local beer – Kriola or Block Beer. A small bottle of beer will cost 100-120 escudo in a small bar or restaurant.

If you’re just after a quick cheap snack, you can find fried pastries filled with fish or meat in little eateries around town.

Places to eat in the city centre – Plato:

The following places to eat are located near Plateau Bedroom & Chambre, so it’s very convenient to stay here.

Pastelleria- Blue Café.

This was our favourite place to eat, mostly because this was one of the only places we found that offer the ‘menu of the day’ prices in the evening.  We’d eat tuna or chicken dishes here for under $4 each, which included a beer too.  It’s literally one block from our hotel.

Just turn right once you exit the hotel, walk one block and you’ll see it on your right-hand side. It’s got blue plastic tables and chairs outside.

where to eat in praia
The plate of the Day – Fried chicken with rice, beans and salad. This is our number one recommendation for where to eat in Praia.

Nhamii Ice Dreams – Delicious ice cream. The perfect way to cool down on those hot days. Located just down the road from our hotel.

Pao Quente – Bakery 

This bakery is a few minutes’ walk from where we stayed. It had bread, pastries (both sweet and savoury) and sweets. Very good value and tasty.

Mercado de Sucupira

This is the open fresh market. You can find so much fresh fruit and vegetables here, honestly the best fresh food in Cape Verde. You can also come here to eat a daily menu. There are ladies here cooking up a storm of rice served with chicken, fish or whatever is available on the day. Affordable and filling food for sure.

If you want to try honest, home-cooked Cape Verde food, don’t miss this market. It’s our top recommendation of where to eat in Praia.

where to eat in praia
Where to eat in Praia for the freshest food available? Food in Cape Verde doesn’t get much better than at these markets in the centre of Praia

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More Great Places to Eat – Cape Verde food is delicious

Churrasqueira Dragoeiro – Great Barbequed Food

Rua da UCCLA;
Find great BBQ meat at this open grill place in Achada de Santo António. Order big plates of char-grilled tuna, pork or chicken skewers and sip cold beers. A main meal will cost you around CVE 600-1200.

Maracujá Cafe

Rua 19 de Maio, Chã d’Areia; (Closed Mondays)
A fusion of French and Creole cooking at this cute cafe across the road from Gamboa beach. Fresh ingredients are served here to produce crispy salads, spaghetti with seafood and delicious crepes. Expect to pay around CVE 550-900 for the main dish.

Kebra Cabana – located at Quebra-Canela beach

Beach bar with chilled tunes and a good vibe. Find great food here and don’t miss the live music on Friday nights – Order grilled seafood, burgers, sandwiches or delicious crepes. A good place to enjoy the sunset with a cool drink or cocktail. Main meals between CVE 450-120.

where to eat in praia lady carry bananas
The best of Cape Verde food is available everywhere. When searching around where to eat in Praia, look for the local street vendors.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about what to eat in Praia. Honestly, Cape Verde’s food was some of the tastiest we ate on our big adventure to visit every country in the world.

Check out our recap of our travels in West Africa in 2019.

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If you like island nations, perhaps our post about visiting Seychelles on a Budget is for you?

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