They say there is a padaria (bakery) on almost every street corner of São Paulo, but the establishments are usually small with few options, and just somewhere one can get a quick coffee before starting their day. In the past few years, however, breakfast has become more important as a time when people can relax and socialize. Brunches and elaborate breakfasts are now popular and not only during the weekends. Here are 10 of the best breakfast and brunch spots in the city.
Paris 6 Classique
Bistro, Cafe, European, Wine, Beer, Fast Food, $$$
The menu is filled with mouth-watering plates, all named after famous artists. The Paris 6 is almost an institution in São Paulo, with three houses all near one another serving high-quality food like that you’d find in the better French cafés across the Atlantic. Although there is a breakfast menu at the others, the one you should be heading for if you want breakfast is the Paris 6 Classique. At the bistro you have a buffet-style breakfast, including breads, cold cuts, juices, fruits, cakes and of course croissants. À la carte you can ask for tapioca crêpes, omelets, double crêpes with brie and apricot and croque monsieur and croque madame.
One of the city’s most famous rooftops is the Skye Restaurant & Bar, located on the top floor of the Unique Hotel with one of the most incredible views of the capital – a must-visit in São Paulo for those looking for a relaxed atmosphere and great food. The buffet-style brunch includes fruits, cereals, yogurts, gluten-free cakes, pies and unique assorted breads – like the guava bread. There are also mini sandwiches, cheeses, cold cuts, scrambled eggs, bacon, natural juices, coffee, milk and coconut water to enjoy while you are overlooking the city. Some of the most requested plates are pancakes with maple and red fruit syrup, french toast, sweet and salty tapiocas and eggs Benedict.
Brunch at Fundação Maria Luisa Oscar Americano | courtesy Fundação Maria Luisa Oscar Americano
If you are the type of person who does not like crowded places but appreciates nature, a brunch option that is less known but certainly worth the visit is the Maria Luisa and Oscar Americano Foundation. Located in a house built in the 1950s in the Morumbi neighborhood, the inner part of the building houses a museum with paintings and pieces of furniture related to Brazil’s imperial period when it was still linked to Portugal.
Meals can be taken in the internal hall or outside with a lovely view of the green area surrounding the property, which includes coffee plants. The colonial-style breakfast includes mini coxinhas, pies and quiches as well as baskets of homemade breads and mini hot snacks, accompanied by honey, jam and butter. Visitors have a choice of natural juices, coffee or tea. To finish off, the waitress will bring you a variety of sweets, including fruitcakes, pies and mini cheesecakes.
Sharing a co-op space in the lower Pinheiros neighborhood with a barber, the HM Food Café serves good coffee, cakes and fast food every day. But it’s on Saturdays, during their brunch, that the place really comes alive. For a few hours visitors can taste several unique concoctions to top the excellent artisan breads made by their partner, Hanny Guimarães.
The toppings include such mixtures as scrambled eggs, sour cream, avocado and radish, or scrambled eggs, sour cream and Parma ham. If you want something more filling try the shakshuka (poached egg plate) with rustic tomato sauce and sweet peppers served with a bread basket to soak up all the flavorful sauce. If you prefer sweeter entrées, try banana pancakes with pecans and molasses.
This upscale English-style bar and restaurant in the Itaim Bibi neighborhood serves a delicious English breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. The house offers the traditional English breakfast including sausage, two fried eggs, mushrooms, bacon and bread, as well as a continental breakfast, which includes homemade breads, butter, honey, fruit, scrambled eggs and homemade yogurt. Camden’s menu also includes French toast and pancakes.
If you’re in the Pinheiros neighborhood and feel a little adventurous, take a wander into the Pinheiros Municipal Market and try the new Andean breakfast at Comedoria Gonzales. The tiny stall has Bolivian specialties like the huminta – a light, creamy corn cake filled with cheese – or the cuñape, Bolivia’s take on the Brazilian pão de queijo. If you are really hungry, try the cooked cassava dish, served with a fried egg and vinaigrette. The coffee is freshly brewed and the ambience of the place is unique.
One of the largest bakeries and pastry shops in São Paulo, the Galeria dos Pães located in Jardim América, also serves a full buffet breakfast daily. On the ground floor customers may choose from exquisitely decorated pastries and cakes, brioches and croissants to take home. On the second floor there is a dining area where customers may eat à la carte or take advantage of the brunch buffet. There are several types of breads, yogurts, fruits, cereals and croissants, as well as never less than a half dozen different types of cake available for tasting. Among the attractions of the bakery are the carrot and avocado breads. The highlight of the bakery however, goes to the caipirinha cake – a pound cake filled with lemon cream and cachaça, with a white ganache topping and chocolate biscuit.
One of the most popular locations to enjoy a weekend brunch is at Padoca do Mani, just off Avenida Rebouças. But if you really want to enjoy your morning, arrive early, because the establishment only has a few tables on its outside veranda, and by 11 am the queue time is around 30 to 40 minutes. But the wait is very much worth it. After getting a table, you may want to go inside and choose from dozens of types of breads and cakes, or just ask for the famous Café Padoca, which consists of fruit salad with yogurt and granola, espresso or drip-brewed coffee, orange juice, scrambled eggs, and a basket of breads accompanied by butter, cream cheese and jelly.
The Boston Bakery, located in the glitzy neighborhood of Vila Nova Conceição, is just another of the city’s superb bakeries that have sprung up in São Paulo in the last few years. With a vocation not only for baking bread but also serving snacks, its main attraction is the 24-hour operation from Tuesday to Sunday. In the early weekend hours you can usually spot those who just came out of a nightclub looking for something to eat. Its breakfast buffet – which starts at 5AM on Saturday and Sunday and 6AM Tuesday through Friday – includes American favorites such as pancakes with blueberries, scrambled eggs, waffles and crisp bacon. The pastries are also a sight to see, if you decide to go à la carte.
The cozy atmosphere of the Bles D’Or may lead customers to mistake it for a French restaurant or a romantic café. The menu for the weekend brunch includes a diverse assortment of homemade breads, jams and jellies, cakes and pastries, all with a touch of France. The hot entrées include scrambled eggs and pancakes. There is also freshly squeezed orange juice and a selection of fruits for the taking. If you prefer a more hearty brunch, try the quiche Lorraine or the thick slice of wholewheat bread covered with cream of spinach, poached egg, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.