Have laptop? Can travel? We've uncovered ten of the best cafés in São Paulo for getting out of your home or hotel room, and jumping on a free Wi-Fi wave over a cup of coffee or three.
Rua Mateus Grou 159, Pinheiros (3063 0582/ donavitamina.com.br).
Don’t be put off by its unprepossessing location inside the gourmet supermarket Quitanda; Dona Vitamina is a bright, colourful café with good Wi-Fi, and an excellent choice of healthy snacks. Start your working day with a plate of velvelty scrambled eggs, a fruit smoothie, or a bowl of sweet açai – but brace yourself for the lunchtime crowds. If you're running low on laptop battery, there are a number of sockets to plug into.
Rua Augusta 2239, Consolação (3060 3636/ escolasaopaulo.org). Metrô 2, Consolação.
The large, communal table in the covered courtyard at Escola São Paulo – a college that runs short courses in the creative arts – is more of a work spot with coffee than a café per se, but if you like to work in a bustling atmosphere, then this is a good bet, just a few blocks down from Avenida Paulista. Snacks and drinks are on the simple side – think coffee and pão de queijo. There are also computers available to use in the college library, so you can get some work done if you happen to find yourself in the area without a laptop. And, naturally, there's no shortage of books should you be in need of a little inspiration or distraction.
Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima 2996, Itaim Bibi (3074 0110/ octaviocafe.com).
The sea of suits, talking business over frothy lattes and pastries, are testament to Octavio Café's status as São Paulo’s breakfast meeting spot of choice, conveniently located near the gleaming office towers on Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima. High ceilings, soft seats, the quality coffee and the substantial food menu are also part of the appeal. On the downside, if you're looking to spend a few hours here with a laptop, you'll need to register to use the free Wi-Fi – and you'll need a Brazilian CPF number to do so. There are also no power sockets to plug into.
Rua Mourato Coelho 25, Pinheiros (2359 7444/ mundomundano.com.br).
Gallery, café, cultural centre, bookstore and magazine headquarters all rolled into one, this small, bright space in Pinheiros may have big ambitions for itself as a cultural hotspot, but for the time being it seems to be a well-kept secret. Which means there's a good chance you'll find a space. Free Wi-Fi, tasty empanadas and a decent selection of coffees – the mocha is good – will fuel a few hours of focused work. And should you need a meeting room, there's one upstairs which can be hired at an hourly rate (which includes credit for food and drink up to the value paid).
Avenida Paulista 1499 (3171 3448/ starbucks.com.br).
This international chain has branches all over São Paulo, and remains a reliable choice for coffee and a comfy chair. Registering for the Wi-Fi is a minor annoyance, not least since you'll need a Brazilian CPF number to do so. But once you’re hooked up, you can expect a solid signal. Early birds can opt for one of the bargain breakfast combos, which include a coffee and either toast, a cream cheese bagel or pães de queijo (cheese breads). For space to spread out, head to the branch in Shopping Eldorado. You can’t beat the small Avenida Paulista branch, however, for sheer convenience.
Rua Oscar Freire 413, Jardim Paulista (3062 9294/ santograo.com.br). Other location Rua Jeronimo da Veiga 179, Itaim Bibi (3071 3169).
|Santo Grão on Rua Oscar Freire|
The gourmet Brazilian coffee, abundant power sockets, speedy Wi-Fi and some of the best people watching in town make this buzzy coffee house a good choice for an afternoon's remote working. And the staff won’t raise an accusing eyebrow when you’re still sipping your delightful Guava Nevada smoothie – a semi-frozen glassful of raspberry, guava, soya milk and yogurt – four hours later. The newer Itaim branch has more daylight, plus outside tables, as well as a quieter mezzanine space inside.
Avenida Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek 2041, Vila Olímpia (3079 0461/ suplicycafes.com.br).
|Café Littéraire by Suplicy Cafés|
A high-end local coffee chain, Suplicy has six branches across the city, where you can try (as well as buy) freshly roasted coffees from interesting Brazilian microlots. Head to the counter to order, and ask the friendly baristas for help if you’re baffled by the choice of brews. For unadulterated comfort, where even the name has been given a haughty upgrade, you can’t beat the newest branch – Café Littéraire by Suplicy Cafés – in the luxury shopping mall JK Iguatemi, with comfy leather sofas, built-in tables and push-button table service.
Rua Oscar Freire 727, Jardim Paulista (3063 5209/ oscarcafe.com.br).
Head upstairs and into one of the red leather booths with mirrorred table tops at this chic café on the ultra-chic Rua Oscar Freire. Hook up to the Wi-Fi and, should you need to, take advantage of one of the plentiful power sockets. Bonus! The coffee here is good and we challenge you to resist the sugar rush from the desserts on display. There's also a space downstairs with more of a cigar bar vibe, complete with leather armchairs and cow-hide rugs, should that be more your style.
Rua Bianchi Bertoldi 130, Pinheiros (3034 5830/ sofacafe.com.br). Metro 4, Faria Lima.
A brightly painted, unpretentious café on a quiet Pinheiros street, just one block from the bustling Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, Sofá Café has a handful of tables – and sofas, naturally – at which to park up with a laptop. For a quieter spot, head to the communal table upstairs, or out to the leafy, covered backyard – both ideal for meetings, provided there’s space. Avoid the lunchtime rush.
Avenida Jornalista Roberto Marinho 2076, Campo Belo (5093 1031/ vanillacaffe.com.br).
You'll probably be arriving by taxi or car at this café, on one of São Paulo's busiest roads. But its location is convenient, just a stone's throw from the domestic-flights Congonhas airport, and near the business district of Brooklin. Not only is the Wi-Fi free, but there are plenty of plug points, and even rooms for business meetings (R$35 per hour – reservations via telephone or to firstname.lastname@example.org).