Aside from a fantastic selection of Cachaça, alcohol is generally a wallet-drainer in Brazil. If you desire a decent bottle of fizz, the fear of potential cost alone might put you off. However Pão de Açúcar has a surprisingly satisfying array of all things bubbly, with a cost range to please. You can still find the usual expenno Veuve and family, but there are also many types of sparkling Prosecco, crisp Cava, and fruity Brut to pop open with friends.
Paulistanos seem split into two camps – those that shop at Carrefour / Dia, or those that shop at Pao de Acucar / Santa Luzia. Truth be told, both have distinct advantages and the thrifty buyer would do well to split their shopping trips depending on need. However Carrefour consistently has the best value fruit and veg – not only that but also these whopping Mamaos (Papayas). And I have BIG hands…
Masters of the “torta”, Brazilians are always concocting new flavours to the savoury classic, and Torteria (Rua Alagoas 28, Sao Paulo) is no exception. Amongst the delicious classics of Torta de Frango and Caramelised Onions, try their sweet Chocolate Brownie (pictured). A volcanic chocolate eruption, it was the perfect climax to a tarty lunch.
Along with a delicious food and drinks cardapio, Ludus Luderia offers a unique supplementary menu with an enormous selection of board games! All your favourites (Monopoly, Operation, Ticket to Ride etc) as well as many lesser-known jewels. Also included are games for younger visitors – Dancing Eggs being a particular recommendation (age isn’t important of course, a group of over-30s loved this one!). The games are well preserved by respectful guests, and there isn’t any time limit… D&D veterans and first-time geeks alike can while away a long afternoon here, Rua Treze de Maio 972, Sao Paulo.
It’s generally not a problem to stumble across a decent antique shop (or stall, or corner!) in Sao Paulo. The city is riddled with many gorgeous selections, most of which are from the 20th Century, and can be nabbed at surprisingly low prices. However there is a particularly good selection along the northern part of Rua Treze de Maio (Bela Vista). You could also pass by the Bixiga market on the way for some other antique treats. Just dont try and explain “kitsch” to the locals…
Sorocabanos consistently argue that coxinhas from Paderia Real, Sorocaba, are the best in Brazil. With so many different methods and subtle flavour differences depending on state, it’s a tricky argument to support. However they are definitely the best in Sorocaba, fluffy, sumptuous, and especially delectable hot from the oven. Follow them up with a few bolinhos de queijo!
If you haven’t yet tried Ceviche, you should definitely give it a whirl at Suri Ceviche, Rua Matheus Grou 488 – Pinheiros. Ceviche is basically Latin American Style Sushi – the raw fish is typically “cooked” in citrus juices, and garnished with all sorts of flavours including chili, sweet potato, coriander, avocado etc. Keep an eye on their website for special events – for example one Sunday evening they were offering sample dishes at half price.