In a country that produces copious amounts of both coffee and sugar, you'd be right to expect a healthy selection of places where you can indulge both a sweet tooth and a caffeine addiction. Browse all the cafés and bakeries that Time Out has tried and tested, or read on for our round-up of newer places that we've not had a chance to visit yet. If you've beaten us to it, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Paleteria Los Hermanos Finding decent guacamole, let alone authentic corn tortillas to scoop it up with, is a hard enough task in São Paulo, where cheap Tex-Mex is as close as you’ll get to Mexican cuisine, with a few exceptions.
Offering a sweeter taste of Mexico, the new Paleteria Los Hermanos does Mexican paletas – ice pops – in flavours that stray well beyond Mexico’s borders, in the form of of pineapple and mint, açaí and banana, mojito, or strawberry and condensed milk. Rua Doutor César 742, Santana (paleterialoshermanos.com.br).
Bolo e Bule Mini cakes, classic cakes, gluten-free cakes, cakes baked in loaf tins, round fluted cakes, quirky cakes (think rum, lime and mint); in short, cake heaven is what the newly opened Bolo e Bule (‘cake and teapot’) café and cakeshop is. And, as the name suggests, you can team your dream slice with a cup of tea in the cutesy Jardins space, with its 1960s-meets-industrial-vibe, all brightly coloured crockery and furniture against bare concrete and brick walls. Alameda Lorena 1198, Jardim Paulista (3807 0157/ boloebule.com.br).
Sálvia With a menu of nostalgic comfort foods created by the Marcelino Pan y Vino chef, Daniela França Pinto, and a style that blends rustic vintage with a daring dash of colour, the cheerful café-restaurant Sálvia – Cozinha de Afeto is a welcome new choice for lunch or afternoon tea in Moema. Choose between sandwiches, salads, pies and the three-course set lunch (R$37). Or keep it sweet with a slice of homemade cake. Avenida Jacutinga 96, Moema (2628 8958/restaurantesalvia.com.br).
Deliqatê The cultural baggage of the British-Brazilian-Japanese couple behind the three-month old café-restaurant Deliqatê is evident in its eclectic offering, with many of the gourmet ingredients made on site. Cocoa from Bahia is used to make the chocolatey condensed-milk brigadeiros (R$3.50). Homemade Greek yoghurt goes into the cheesecake (R$12) while home-cured bacon and salmon are the stars of sandwiches and scrambled eggs (R$14-$18). Despite the homely charm, don’t expect any chintz or net curtains; an industrial style pervades, with white-washed brick walls, spotlights and iron shelving. Alameda Jaú 1191, Jardim Paulista (3063 4988).
Brera – Il Panino Italiano The humble sandwich has yet to have its golden moment in São Paulo. But that might just be changing. A few blocks from the gourmet Z Deli Sanduíches, this recently opened eatery boasts Italian credentials, from its owners, who hail from Milan, to the ingredients – think parma ham, bresaola and taleggio cheese – that are packed into its panini and paminis (in diminutive sizes). It’s more restaurant than upmarket take-out, so sit in and team your panino with a glass of wine, coffee and a dessert. Alameda Ministro Rocha Azevedo 1068, Jardim Paulista (3804 7755).
Frida & Mina Organic milk is in the custard base for the ice cream, churned out daily, at Frida & Mina Sorvete Artesanal, a new venture with an artisanal approach. Whether you opt for classic flavours like coffee – made using beans grown in the São Paulo countryside – and mint choc chip, with flakes of Bahian chocolate, or go modish with salted caramel or strawberry with balsamic vinegar (R$7-$13), the approach here is as fresh and local as it comes. Rua Artur de Azevedo 1147, Pinheiros (2579 1444/ fridaemina.com.br).
La Churreria Churros, Spain’s hot, crunchy batons of deep-fried dough, are the mainstay of the brand new La Churreria. Order them the Spanish way – thin and crispy (R$7) with a chocolate dip (R$2.50), or Brazilian-style – a sugary hit filled with doce de leite caramel (R$7 each). Couple it with a coffee (R$4.50), or a hot chocolate with rum (R$9). Avenida São Gabriel 549, Itaim Bibi (2619 2054/lachurreria.com.br).
Mamusca A delightful hangout for little ones, and a breather for battle-worn parents, the playspace-cum-café Mamusca, is a brand new sociable venture, fusing retro-hipster aesthetics with angular São Paulo concrete. The long, thin space hosts a suite of rooms for kids to play in, with magical wendy houses, fancy dress boxes, sandpits and even an atelier at the back for cookery and art classes. At the front, a funky café serves baby food made in-house and kid-sized snacks alongside grown-up fare. Rua Joaquim Antunes 778, Pinheiros (2362 9303/mamusca.com.br).
Delicari Brazil is still for the most part on a mass-produced, sugar-added, industrialised white-knuckle food ride. A select few upmarket brands, however, are slowing things back down, using natural ingredients and artisanal techniques. Take Delicari – an upmarket deli selling thick, Greek-style yogurts and ice creams, flavoured with goodies such as organic AMMA chocolate from Bahia, and vanilla pods from Tonga. This dedication to first-rate raw materials may, in part, account for the price tag. Flavours are chalked up on blackboards, and locals can arrange delivery by bike. Rua Lourenço de Almeida 819, Vila Nova Conceição (3044 2624/ delicari.com.br).
Cuor di Crema Whether for a handy after-dinner pit-stop just a stone’s throw from Itaim’s myriad restaurants, or a sweet afternoon booster with espresso, Cuor di Crema is the latest Italian gelateria to hit São Paulo. Load up a pot with one of the twenty-odd flavours of creamy gelato – we love the smooth, creamy pistachio and nutty nocciola. Rua Manuel Guedes 349, Itaim Bibi (3071 3147/ cuordicrema.com). Read our review of Cuor di Crema.