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Sao Paulo Brazil

28 June 2014 27,730 views No Comment

Last year, Adam and I were lucky enough to travel to São Paulo, Brazil, as part of a work trip. In honor of the world cup, I’m finally posting about it!

I was meeting with colleagues in São Paulo and our friend Sara had lived there for five years and was weeks away from moving back to Austin; we were very lucky to have the opportunity to experience the city while she was still there.

When you visit Brazil, you will eat Pão de Queijo (gluten-free cheese balls made with tapioca flour). They are absolutely delicious and so common that there is a fast-food restaurant dedicated to these little balls of salty comfort.

Casa do Pao de Queijo

Sara was a great hostess and took us out on our first night to get a taste of São Paulo nightlife. We met her friends and coworkers at an international school, Janhavi and Mary, for drinks at the fabulous Hotel Unique.

Sara Janhavi Mary - The Graded Girls

Next, we went to dinner at Taberna 474 where we had a great dinner with lots of wonderful seafood.

Taberna 474 Camaroes Nabrasa

Camaroes Nabrasa

And an amazing dessert of sugar donuts with dulce de leche dip.

Bolinhos de Chuva with Doce de Leite at Taberna 474

Bolinhos de Chuva with Doce de Leite

After dinner, we went to a samba show in Vila Madalena at Ó Do Borogodó.

Samba at O Do Borogodo

The next day we went to a produce market in Moema – Sara’s neighborhood. We feasted our eyes on the beautiful produce and sampled freshly squeezed sugarcane juice.

Sugarcane Juice

Later, we went to São Paulo’s Mercado Municipal and had lunch at Bar Do Mané, one of the stalls recommended by Anthony Bourdain in his guide to São Paulo. We dined on cod croquetas, a pastel de shrimp, and a mortadella sandwich. It was way too much for the three of us to eat, but as usual, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.

Bar Do Mane at Mercado Municipal

Adam and Sara with drinks and a croqueta

Mortadella Sandwich at Bar do Mane

This monster is a mortadella sandwich

Mercado Municipal has tons of produce stands, and Adam took the opportunity to try cacao fruit (which was very expensive). We sucked on the pulp around the seeds, avoiding the seeds themselves, which were extremely astringent.


After lunch, Adam and I headed to Museu Alberto de Arte Urbana — another Anthony Bourdain recommendation. It’s an open-air, informal “museum” of graffiti art in a gritty part of town, under an overpass. Really impressive work and all in different styles.

Museu Alberto de Arte Urbana

We visited lots of delicious bakeries (padarias) while in São Paulo. Here’s an example of some of the goodies we enjoyed.

padaria goodies

So the reason I was in São Paulo was to meet the folks in a PR firm that was doing work to help my company increase awareness in the Brazilian market. One evening, Raphael, the director of the office, took Adam and I out to dinner at Mocotó.

This was actually one of the restaurants that Anthony Bourdain recommended as well. It’s outside of the center of the city by quite a bit, but is known as one of the best examples of Northeastern Brazilian food in the city.

caiprinha and beers

Caipirinha and Colorado Beers

As part of Adam’s interest in trying fruits we don’t usually find in the U.S., we also ordered a caiprinha made with cashew fruit — called a Caju Amigo. That little stem on the top? It’s a cashew! The cashew fruit itself is very astringent.

Mocoto Caju Amigo

We loved these Dadinhos de Tapioca – tapioca flour mixed in with cheese shaped into cubes, than fried and served with a sweet, sour, and spicy dipping sauce.

Mocoto Dadinhos de Tapioca

I don’t remember what soups these were, but I believe they were Mocotó (cow’s feet, butter beans and vegetables) and Mocofava (bone marrow soup with butter beans, sausage, bacon, and beef).

Mocoto Mocofava

And this was the rest of our delicious meal. Yes, there were just three of us.

Mocoto Meal

On our final night in São Paulo, we met more of Sara’s friends and co-workers at Bráz Pizzaria. The pizza is good, but the most memorable bites were from the Pão de Calabresa, the pepperoni-filled appetizer was absolutely delicious!

Braz Pepperoni Bread

We loved our white jacketed waiter who encouraged us to finish every last slice of pizza.

Pizza served at Braz

Next, we went to Bacio di Latte, which was Sara’s favorite gelato shop in Brazil. It was a sweet end to our time in the city.

Gelato at Bacio di Latte

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