Café de manha=breakfast in Portuguese
Sao Paulo may be a large and intimidating city, but that comes with an incredible perk– the dining options are endless! There are so many places to eat out here, it’s often an overwhelming task to know where to start. To help future travelers, or current residents, I will feature articles from time to time about my favorite food establishments that I’ve visited.
A few weeks ago, before returning to the USA for Christmas, I was having a craving for a big breakfast–American style. Breakfast/Desayuno/Café de manha, is not a major meal in Brazil like in the USA, but if you are willing to accept the lack of pancakes, bacon, and eggs, there are many options, and of course the coffee is always amazing. I did some research, and found a great place offering brunch that is located in Vila Madalena, called Lá da Venda.
When I first walked in, it seemed like a vintage store with knick-knacks and other interesting hand made items for sale. The store in the front is quite small, but as you wander to the back, there is a restaurant with a beautiful open courtyard decorated with plants on the wall growing out of old cans. The vibe is quaint, almost hippyish, and it is a very relaxing locale for a Saturday or Sunday morning brunch.
While the food was nothing extravagant, it tasted good, and was made from all natural ingredients. The coffee was ever flowing, and the restaurant also offered fresh squeezed juice such as pineapple mint, orange, watermelon, passion fruit, pitanga, and many more. Some of the featured food items were chocolate cakes, corn bread, fresh Brazilian fruit including papaya, mango, passion fruit, etc., but most importantly, they offer “The Best Pao de Queijo” (Cheese bread) in Sao Paulo. It’s true that many restaurants in the world proudly display signs advertising “The Best Coffee in the World,” Elf style, however, this restaurant in Sao Paulo was actually voted to have the best pao de queijo in the city. Pao de queijo deserves its own post, but in short, it is cheese bread, and very typical in Brazil. I LOVE IT. The pao de queijo from Lá da Venda was extremely tasty, and is much heavier than the pao de queijo I frequently eat at my local padarias and supermarkets.
Overall, I had a great brunch experience at Lá da Venda and will definitely return. I recommend that anyone staying in the Vila Madalena neighborhood pay them a visit!