You’ll be all right in the centre during the day if you want something to eat, as there are countless places to grab a snack. However, most of what Fortaleza has to offer your palate is to be found on the beaches, especially around Rua dos Tabajaras on Praia de Iracema. The pier here, known as Ponte dos Ingleses, is very popular with couples and families in the early evenings and a lovely place to have a beer or simply watch the sunset. In two or three small streets around Rua dos Tabajaras you’ll find a score of brightly coloured bars and restaurants, and glamorous young people out enjoying themselves. Whilst there are bars dotted along the beachfront of both Meireles and to a lesser extent Iracema, the busiest concentration is around the Ponte dos Ingleses and Rua dos Tabajaras; close to here, the Centro Dragão do Mar is also a hotspot at weekends and fiestas.
Forró: dancing and clubs
Fortaleza is justly famous for its forró. Nowhere is it so popular, and there is no better way to see what cearenses do when they want to enjoy themselves than to spend a night in a dancetaria here. Pirata at Rua dos Tabajaras 325 (t 85/4011-6161 or 3219-8030), one of the most easily accessible nightclubs in Fortaleza, has live music from Tuesday through Saturday, including forró but with other sounds as well; it’s a great night out (cover charge around R$10). Opposite Pirata, there’s the Lupus Bier club, with live music at weekends, good food and a cover charge (also around R$10). One of the best venues for live dance shows is Docas Bar e Café Teatro, beside the Centro Dragão at Rua José Avelino 491 (t 85/3219-8209), which showcases costumed dance styles every Wednesday from 9pm, among them Afro (slave), Caboclinhos (jungle) and Maracatu (colonial). On Fridays the same venue usually presents local pop bands, while on weekends the music tends to be more mixed, though with heavy doses of samba.