João Pessoa follows the tradition of the northeastern coastal cities and offers both vigorous backcountry cuisine as well as fresh and delicious fish and crustaceans.

In the typical food restaurants, the jerked meat reigns and is served with cassava, cowpea and clarified butter, Baião de Dois, made ​​with rice, beans, jerked beef and bits of cheese curds, roasted goat meat or stew and Paçoca de Pilão, or jerked beef shredded and pounded with cassava flour and seasonings. All that plus the sweet delights: tapioca with or without coconut, curd cheese baked with sugar cane syrup and jaggery.

Fish come in the form of roasts or stews. Shrimps and lobsters are served almost plainly or in creative recipes with well flavored sauces..

International specialty restaurants also abound in João Pessoa, especially the French, Portuguese and Italian cuisine.