Padaria Paulistana

 Frothy coffee at the Mercadão

Rule number one for those in search of São Paulo’s finest cappuccino: don't say the word ‘cappuccino’. It can mislead the server and frustrate the customer, resulting in a wishy-washy coffee; or worse, you’ll dip your spoon in to find it hits a thick pile of cinnamon-flavoured chocolate goo. Take ift from us: café com leite espumado are the magic words for an optimal foamy coffee.

Deep inside the Mercado Municipal – the ‘Mercadão’ – is the Padaria Paulistana, where a chaotic agglomeration of hanging salami and oversized mortadella create thebakery/café/delicatessen’s unusual decor. The young, dynamic waiters make a pleasant contrast with the old-fashioned style of more traditional padarias (bakeries), rocking a colourful mixture of dyed hair, tattooed arms and cheeky smiles as they swing between the high stools and tables. Dida the barman breaks down the workload: ‘It’s 666, the number of the Beast’ – 6am until 6pm, 6 days a week, that is. ‘Only young people have the strength to do it,’ he says.

In the light filtering into the fine old market hall through Conrado Sorgenicht’s magical stained-glass window, which depicts 1920s rural life, Dida carefully paints his coffee creations, sketching autumn leaves, sentimental hearts and caramel-flavoured geometric designs onto the froth. The market throngs with people, from housewives doing their shopping to Asian tourists snapping away, and hordes of schoolchildren; but Dida hardly lifts his gaze from the steaming espresso machine, utterly at ease with his art.


By Chiara Rimoldi

Padaria Paulistana details

Mercado Municipal, Portão 6, 2nd row on the right
Address Rua da Cantareira 306

Sé, São Paulo

Telephone (11) 3313 1326

Padaria Paulistana website

Major cards accepted


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