We have just spent the last 5 nights in the state of Maranhao, mainly to visit Lencois Maranhenses with a stopover in Sao Luis before and after.
Coincidentally, our hotel was next to the Alliance Francaise in Sao Luis so we went in to say hi and ask the teachers there for meal reccomendations. They pointed us towards Cabana do Sol for traditional regional cuisine so we took a cab and got there just as meal service began. The restaurant is huge and while quiet on a Tuesday evening, we can imagine it's popularity on weekends. Lots if seafood and some meat dishes, all immense, and our 1 serving of fish in shrimp sauce could have fed 3 easily. Quite salty but tasty, the coconut and shrimp sauce reminding me somewhat of Singaporean laksa broth but thicker. The servers brought beef pasteis to start, and they were excellent dabbed with some pepper jelly. Kinda on the pricey side at 60-90 reais per main.
After returning from barreirinhas, we had dinner at La Pizzeria in centro historico. Nice, chilled setting in a cavernous room and plenty of diners at 9 pm. The pizza was surprisingly good with a well cooked, thin and non-soggy crust. The mushrooms were canned but that's fine given the decent tomato sauce and generous slices of ham. Very reasonable too at 15-25 reais per medium pie.
As expected, the dining scene in Barreirinhas was quite dismal and expensive given the captive audience. Most restaurants served the same dishes and pizza and at Cabure, the posadas served very fresh but simply prepared fish and shrimp and charged too much for it ( especially with flies swarming all over the place). The only things of note was the local ice-cream flavors. We ate ours at the kilo restaurant Ta Delicia, which sold scoop your own ice-cream by weight. Good selection of flavors, my favorite bacuri. We also liked the hamburgers at Dunas lanches right outside the marina restaurant for cheap, tasty, greasy burgers washed down with beer or juice.