While the notion of brunch is a fairly new one in São Paulo, often restricted to fancy hotels attracting international guests, the tradition of a late breakfast with a huge variety of different foods is not at all foreign to Brazil. Jardins, São Paulo’s most upmarket neighborhood, has a mix of both. There are classic brunches, with eggs, salmon, croque monsieur and champagne, while there are also classic São Paulo breakfast buffets at some of the city’s best bakeries. Here is a selection of the best São Paulo has to offer.
Seen, the restaurant on the top floor of the swanky Tivoli Mofarrej hotel on Alameda Santos, which was inaugurated in April to great success, has recently begun opening on Sunday afternoons for brunch. As it turns out, with its large glass windows and incredible views of the city, Seen’s elegant dining room is ideal for a classy weekend brunch.
For R$150 ($45), diners can have all they can eat from Seen’s extensive brunch bar as well as its made-to-order à la carte options. The price also includes a delicious Bloody Mary welcome drink, as well as free soft drinks and coffee. The selection is quite staggering: besides staples such as freshly baked bread, croissants, bagels and brioche, alongside cheese, charcuterie, preserves and quiches, there are a number of left-field options, such as a sushi and oysters, salads and hot dishes. From the menu, the eggs Benedict is worth a go, with its luscious hollandaise sauce.
Arguably São Paulo’s most famous padoca (large bakeries with seating areas, where locals come for breakfast, lunch or dinner, to buy groceries, to have a drink…), the 24-hour Bella Paulista has something for everyone. With a menu as thick as the Old Testament, you can satisfy all of your breakfast and brunch cravings here, but you can also go off menu and have Bella Paulista’s famous (and huge) breakfast buffet. Due to its popularity, you might have to wait a little to be seated, but it’s worth the wait.
Regarded by many as the very best in São Paulo, the brunch at the five-star Emiliano Hotel is an ideal place for a fancy weekend meal. Located on Rua Oscar Freire, the “most expensive street in Latin America,” the Emiliano Hotel is one of the classiest locations in the city and the food certainly lives up to its reputation. Operating on a fixed-price basis, diners pay a fairly steep R$195 ($60) and have the right to everything on the menu, as well as all non-alcoholic drinks and sparkling wine.
The brunch classics (eggs Benedict, eggs Florentine, croque monsieur) are superb, while the more creative side dishes are also worth a mention, such as the burrata and eggplant quenelle, and the spicy tuna tartare.
Ici, the French-style brasserie which has been a São Paulo favorite for many years, has now started to offer a Sunday brunch. In a lovely atmosphere, Ici serves a quality selection of à la carte options, with a particular highlight being the eggs Florentine, gravlax and the oyster platter.
A New York City institution, tourists may be interested to know that the legendary Third Avenue bar and restaurant P.J. Clarke’s has one of its six locations in São Paulo, the only one outside of the Northeastern United States. Opened in 2008, it has been a favorite of the locals ever since, serving one of the city’s best brunches. Trying to be faithful to the original New York menu, P.J. Clarke’s offers a breakfast and brunch buffet every Saturday and Sunday, costing R$75 ($23), much less than its competitors around the city.
This charming little café-come-bakery one block away from Paulista Avenue is a nice choice for a weekend breakfast or brunch. Serving all of the simple São Paulo breakfast classics as well as some fancier options (don’t miss the homemade pão de queijo com queijo branco, a delicious cheese bread filled with fresh white cheese). There is also a good breakfast buffet, as well as a charming deck area for sunny days.
On Alameda Tietê, a good breakfast option is the French-style bakery Le Vin, which is in fact divided into three spaces: Le Vin Pâtisserie, Le Vin Bistro and Le Vin Boulangerie. The Pâtisserie is the best choice for breakfast, offering a traditional French breakfast with bread, juice, fruit, and tarts, while the à la carte options are also impressive, including the delicious fried egg with mushrooms and foie gras.
Among São Paulo’s most popular bakeries is Galeria das Pães, on Rua Estados Unidos in Jardins. As well as being an excellent bakery, the mezzanine area also has a number of tables for a delicious sit-in breakfast or brunch. With a good variety of breads, cheese, patês, eggs and other breakfast items, it’s a great place to visit any day of the week.
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