Summer sun and the local penchant for all things sweet will leave you spoiled for choice when it comes to cooling treats. So when the temperature's rising, keep it cool with our round-up on where to get the best local popsicle brands and where to find authentic Italian ice cream.
Bacio de Latte
Rua Oscar Freire 136, Jardim Paulista (3662 2573/ baciodilatte.com.br); Other locations citywide
Join the queues waiting to try a scoop (or three) of the dozen or so flavours of divine ice cream at this chic spot on Rua Oscar Freire, with further branches popping up all over town. The gelato machines, ice cream cabinets and even the spatulas were all imported from Italy, but the ice cream is made right here.
Cold Stone Creamery
Rua Gaivota 1350, Moema (5093 4487/cscreamery.com.br)
Fresh to the city's ice cream scene since opening in October 2013, the international franchise Cold Stone Creamery’s reputation precedes it: Employees scoop out your ice cream, slam it on the counter and squish in mounds of toppings. The whole heap gets mixed into one gigantic mess, which is then neatly placed in a cup.
Cuor di Crema
Rua Manuel Guedes 394, Itaim Bibi (3071 3147/courdicrema.com)
The vertical churner can be spotted through the window by the entrance to this Italian-style gelateria, slowly blending the gourmet ingredients. Inside, choosing between the twenty or so flavours can be an an equally lengthy process. If in doubt, the pistachio is an excellent choice.
Alameda Lorena 1969, Jardim Paulista (gelatodiletto.com)
Refreshing ice lollies are another paulistano favourite come summertime, and Diletto, with its heavenly ice creams on a stick, are reliably good. You can find the rich, creamy popsicles in many city cafés and restaurants, and now in cones and pots at the brand’s first dedicated ice cream parlour – we go for the pistachio or rich chocolate ‘Italiano’ flavour every time.
Rua Normândia 22, Moema (3562 1654/ freddobrasil.com)
Anyone who has experienced Argentinian-style ice cream may know and love Freddo, Argentina’s most famous gelato brand. It opened in Buenos Aires in 1969, and made its first appearance here in São Paulo in May 2011, in Moema, with eight further stores now open across town at our last count. The choice of flavours is impressive, but we suggest you go trad with the aptly named 'tentação’ (temptation) – creamy, doce de leite ice cream topped with a liquid caramel sauce. Resist if you can.
Frida & Mina
Rua Artur de Azevedo 1147, Pinheiros (2579 1444/ fridaemina.com.br)
Organic milk is in the custard base for the ice cream, churned out daily, at this artisanal venture, which opened at the end of 2013. The approach here is as fresh and local as it comes, with the coffee flavour made using beans from the São Paulo countryside, and the mint chocolate chip flavour made using Bahian chocolate.
Frutos do Brasil
Rua Áurea 351, Vila Mariana (5084 8014/ frutosdobrasil.com.br); Rua Aimberê 493, Perdizes (2373 7691)
The sixty or so flavours of ice creams and sorbets here are an education in local fruits, many of which most Brazilians won’t have even heard of, like araticum and brejaúba. It's not all off-the-wall fruit tasting though – everyday favourites like coconut and brigadeiro (a chocolate and condensed milk sweet) can also be tried. Take away an ice lolly – aka popsicle – or pay by weight and sit in at one of their two São Paulo stores.
Rua Antonio de Macedo Soares 1138, Campo Belo (2532 2022/ nostrogelato.com.br)
For sheer novelty value, Nostro Gelato wins by far. Here you can build your own flavour combo. First, choose from one of the naked ice lollies lined up in formation, then choose the chocolate topping (dark, milk or white) and then a nutty topping. We flexed our creative muscles with a lemon sorbet lolly topped with cashew nut. The tangerine lolly with a crunchy dark chocolate coating is another winner.
Stuzzi Gelato Caffé
Rua Paulistânia 450, Vila Madalena (3816 0279/ stuzzi.com.br)
Futher north in Vila Madalena (and, as of this year, also in Campo Belo and Shopping Anália Franco), the gelato at Stuzzi Gelato Caffé, served straight from churner to chiller to pot, has an impressive range of flavours, some with seasonal fruits. Don’t be shy about trying a few flavours before you commit.
Vipiteno Gelato & Caffé
Rua Manuel Guedes 85, Itaim Bibi (3476 1881/ vipiteno.com.br)
One of the city’s first authentic Italian gelaterias was Itaim’s Vipiteno Gelato & Caffé. Pistachio and nocciola are the star flavours here, though Brazilian fruits such as pitanga add a local touch.