As the name suggests, Coffee Lab takes coffee very seriously indeed. Take a seat at one of the tables inside the charming semi-detached house in Vila Madalena and you’ll be presented with a detailed menu, offering dozens of different Brazilian coffees with explanations about each one, including flavor profiles and provenance. Coffee lovers pick the bean of their choice, before selecting their preferred brewing method, from a simple filter drip to modern coffee-making techniques, many of which you are unlikely to have seen before.
Coffee Lab, Rua Fradique Coutinho 1340, Pinheiros, São Paulo, Brazil +55 (11) 3375-7400
Isso É Café
Situated inside the Mirante 9 de Julho, one of the coolest spots around the bustling Paulista Avenue, Isso É Café arrived in 2015 and quickly became one of the best places for a cup of coffee in São Paulo. Isso É Café produces their own coffee, as well as offering a number of different beans from other small farms. The baristas really know their stuff, so you can take a seat in the lovely open-air mirante, safe in the knowledge that an excellent cup of coffee is on the way.
Isso É Café, Rua Carlos Comenale, s/n, Bela Vista, São Paulo, Brazil +55 (11) 3554-5077
Since 1890, Octavio Café has been producing excellent coffee, being by far the best brand available in Brazilian supermarkets. In 2007, they opened their first physical café, on the upmarket Avenida Faria Lima in the Itaim Bibi neighborhood. The café itself is beautifully designed, with a stylish curved staircase leading to an upper mezzanine, but the coffee is the star of the show. Three of their own varieties are on offer, as well as half a dozen from other small producers across Brazil. Customers can choose between 12 different brewing methods, ensuring that your cuppa will arrive exactly the way you like it.
Located inside Japan House – São Paulo-s stunning brand new Japanese cultural center – the tiny Imi Cafe has wasted no time in establishing itself as having one of the best cups of coffee in São Paulo. While much simpler than many of the other cafés on this list, Imi Cafe does the basics and does them very well indeed. Their filter drip coffee alone is one of the tastiest in the city, and be sure to try some of their delicious Japanese desserts while you’re there.
Imi Cafe, Avenida Paulista, 52, Bela Vista, São Paulo, Brazil +55 (11) 99966-8855
In the same spot (and with the same decoration) for the last 40 years, Café Floresta is a must-visit for coffee lovers and all other visitors to São Paulo. Located inside the famous Copan building – the 35-story apartment block designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the 1950s – Café Floresta hasn’t really changed much since it opened its doors in the 1970s. There are no tables, only a single counter with a line of stools, and the coffee comes in the classic dark-brown ceramic cups which were all the rage back then. Speaking of the coffee, Café Floresta serves up what is probably the best espressos in São Paulo. Not to be missed.
The Little Coffee Shop
If you thought Café Floresta was small, you should check out The Little Coffee Shop in Pinheiros. With the clue being in the name, The Little Coffee Shop is absolutely tiny, little more than a hole in the wall with a handful of stools and an awning for customers to queue under. The menu is simple, serving excellent coffee for low prices in small paper cups, but they also like to mix things up, offering an Espresso Tonic (coffee, tonic water and ice) and their new invention, the Espresso Sub, which is an espresso served alongside a small fruit popsicle.
King of the Fork
Opened only a few years ago, King of the Fork certainly has a place among the best cafés in São Paulo. This charming spot in Pinheiros is a great place to relax with good food and catch up with friends, but thankfully it also serves up an excellent cup of coffee, earning it a spot on this list. It’s also a great place to bring your bike, as the entire café is inspired by the world of cycling, the name itself being a play on the “King of the Mountain” award given in professional cycling road races.
King of the Fork, Rua Artur de Azevedo, 1317, Pinheiros, São Paulo, Brazil +55 (11) 2533-9391
In the charming neighborhood of Campos Elíseos, the best coffee in the area can be found at Bio Barista, on Rua Helvetia. With good prices, a relaxed atmosphere and great coffee, it’s a great place to sit with a cup of joe and get some work done.
Bio Barista, Rua Helvetia, 640, Campos Elíseos, São Paulo, Brazil +55 (11) 3224-8829
The motto of Sofá Café, one of the best renowned coffee shops in São Paulo, is that “the best place for coffee is on the sofa”. The idea of the establishment, opened in 2011, is to serve quality coffee in a comfortable, homely environment. As well as paying great attention to the decoration and atmosphere of the café itself, Sofá Café are meticulous in the selection, roasting and preparation of the beans they serve.
Sofá Café, Rua Bianchi Bertoldi, 130, Pinheiros, São Paulo, Brazil +55 (11) 3034-5830
Fora da Lei Café
Every weekday, just off Paulista Avenue, the good folks at Fora da Lei Café park up their van and serve some of the most delicious coffee in the region. With a name translating as “Outlaw Café”, their menu options are all named after famous criminals. There’s the Al Capone (espresso), the Bonnie & Clyde (double espresso, geddit?), the Pablo Escobar (coffee with powdered milk) and several others. Behind the gimmick, however, the quality of their product is excellent. A great place to stop off for a quick, cheap and delicious coffee.