Fish is a staple of the SÃ£o TomÃ©an diet, often served with breadfruit and mashed, cooked bananas. The variety of fish is wide, including flying fish at certain times of year. Inland, many SÃ£o TomÃ©ans get their protein from buzios, large land snails. Sea snails are also quite common along the coast. In spite of the abject poverty, SÃ£o TomÃ©ans can always count on some sustenance from the wide array of tropical fruits. The hotels in the capital offer European-style fare at European prices.
CafÃ© e Companhia. The expat hangout in Sao Tome. This is THE place to let people know you have arrived in country. CafÃ© and Companhia is popularly known as âMJsâ, after the owner and former manager Maria JoÃ£o. MJ leases the business to a new German manager but makes appearances when she is in country. C & C is known for Thursday night jazz and the âAtomic Penisâ.
Sum Secreto. Standard grill fare, but they can handle large groups without a reservation. Service is generally very good, and the meat and fish are excellent. Nothing fancy, but the place is popular because it has that secret something.
Bigodes. Located near the airport, if you decide to wait for your flight here the airport will call to let you know when your flight is boarding. Good lunches and great view.
O Pirata. Located next to the Pestana Hotel, it is one of the few places open on Sunday morning, but one suspects they just party through Saturday night. Good place to nurse a cup of coffee and an omelet and just watch the ocean. A sunken ship is right off the restaurantâ¦hence the name âThe Pirateâ.
RoÃ§a SÃ£o JoÃ£o dos Angolares. Make reservations as far in advance as possible, but it is worth it. Gourmet meals served as a multiple course prix fixe are worth the extra workout you will need.