The Amazon Restaurants
Dining in the Amazon is often an adventure in itself, with an abundance of ingredients that are rarely found outside the region. This is particularly true of giant Amazonian river fish, such as pirarucú, tambaqui, and tanadré, traditionally served with white rice and farofa de tucumã (palm fruit fried flour), or baio de dois (a bean salad from the Northeast). Where possible, sample freshly caught fish from the river, rather than the farmed variety; you’ll notice a big difference in flavor. Other highlights include caldinho de tucupi, jambu, e camarão, a regional delicacy made from manioc extract and mixed with a white glutonous gum and served with the spinach-like jambu leaf (which can turn the mouth numb). Exotic fruits, such as cupuaçu and tucumã, are ubiquitous in desserts and juices, as are excellent quality castanha de pará (cashew nuts), cultivated in the state of Pará.
Reservations and dressy attire are rarely needed in the Amazon (indeed, reservations are rarely taken). Tipping isn't customary except in finer restaurants. Call ahead on Monday night, when many establishments are closed.