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When in Sao Paulo | Culture, people, things to do and memorable brands
When in Sao Paolo
Cultural Currents

A cosmopolitan melting pot, São Paulo’s inhabitants are drawn from over 200 different heritages, all of which intermingle beautifully. Dense with soaring skyscrapers and closed spaces, the city is famous as Brazil’s 'concrete jungle'. The traffic is also legendary; the average traffic jam on Friday evenings is 180 km long and up to 295 km on really bad days.

As with many large cities, especially in Brazil, safety is a concern and people tend to live in secure apartments or condominiums with high, locked gates. You would therefore expect them to mostly stay indoors but the São Paulo locals, with their love of community, are to be found out on the streets. To enable Paulistanos to come together, two famous streets – Avenida Paulista and the Minhocão, the latter a 3.5 km elevated highway constructed to try and alleviate traffic congestion – are completely closed to cars on Sundays.

 
 
 
 

A cosmopolitan melting pot, São Paulo’s inhabitants are drawn from over 200 different heritages, all of which intermingle beautifully. Dense with soaring skyscrapers and closed spaces, the city is famous as Brazil’s 'concrete jungle'. The traffic is also legendary; the average traffic jam on Friday evenings is 180 km long and up to 295 km on really bad days.

As with many large cities, especially in Brazil, safety is a concern and people tend to live in secure apartments or condominiums with high, locked gates. You would therefore expect them to mostly stay indoors but the São Paulo locals, with their love of community, are to be found out on the streets. To enable Paulistanos to come together, two famous streets – Avenida Paulista and the Minhocão, the latter a 3.5 km elevated highway constructed to try and alleviate traffic congestion – are completely closed to cars on Sundays.

an interesting thing to do

The padoca features large in São Paulo culture, combining the locals’ love for food and community. These large bakeries with huge seating areas also serve as a market, convenience store, restaurant, café and bar. Usually open 24-hours a day, padocas form the social hubs of a neighborhood and are excellent places to grab Sunday’s breakfast. One of São Paulo’s best-known padocas is Bella Paulista where a typical local breakfast includes pão na chapa (a baguette covered in butter and toasted on the griddle), scrambled eggs, fresh orange juice and café com leite (a simple white coffee).


The padoca features large in São Paulo culture, combining the locals’ love for food and community. These large bakeries with huge seating areas also serve as a market, convenience store, restaurant, café and bar. Usually open 24-hours a day, padocas form the social hubs of a neighbourhood and are excellent places to grab Sunday’s breakfast. One of São Paulo’s best-known padocas is Bella Paulista where a typical local breakfast includes pão na chapa (a baguette covered in butter and toasted on the griddle), scrambled eggs, fresh orange juice and café com leite (a simple white coffee).

One local brand

A craft beer brand exclusive to São Paulo has made itself accessible to locals. First, it hasn’t priced itself out of the market and second, it uses local history and knowledge to connect into the city’s culture. Tres Fidalgas takes its inspiration from a local legend about a nobleman who colonised the region, naming three neighbourhoods after his daughters, Beatriz, Madalena and Ida – the ‘three noblewomen’. The brand’s visual expression has been built around the daughters and feels rooted in local culture. The beers are called by the daughters’ names and each has its own characteristics, reflecting both the legend and the neighbourhoods today – Madalena, for example, is adventurous, creative and bohemian. What is particularly clever about the marketing is that this ‘local’ craft beer is actually made by AmBev, one of Brazil’s largest brewing companies.

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With thanks to Soraya Amorim for her unique, cultural insights.