Bella Paulista Casa de Pães
R. Haddock Lobo 354
São Paulo – SP 01414-000
No matter what kind of food you a craving, from cake to Italian, to health food to hearty traditional Brazilian fare, chances are 24-hour Bella Paulista in the Jardins neighborhood of São Paulo has it. The full name of the restaurant is Bella Paulista Casa de Pães, (House of Bread), but that really doesn’t tell the whole story. Bella Paulista is kind of a riff on a kilo restaurant – where you pay by how much your food weighs – but a little more high tech. You are given a plastic card, and everything you order – whether through a waiter or at a counter – is added to the card. At the end of the meal, you bring your card to the cashier near the exit when you are done and they then add up the final total. Pretty spiffy.
There is also R$ 29.95 for the all-you-can eat (as opposed to kilo) lunch buffet – which seemed to mainly consist of cold cuts, yogurt, breads and fruit, so we skipped, though it would be excellent for the healthy eaters around (not us, I guess). There was also more of sit down lunch counter for typical Brazilian fare of hot sandwiches and comidinhas. On the menu there were pages and pages of options, including diverse juice drinks, omelettes, pasta, waffles, Gourmet sandwiches such as mozzarella and arugula (all about $R 25+), Traditional sandwiches like turkey, cheese or tuna (around R$ 15). Of course, there is also a huge assortment of bread, like the massive pao de queijo we enjoyed above. We enjoyed sandwiches and fresh squeezed juices for a pretty good deal in this posh area of Sampa.
However, our favorite part of Bella Paulista was the dessert counter. Actually just calling it a counter is a misnomer – it actually formed a big circle, with an attendant inside the middle of the counter, waiting to weight your purchase. You could buy whole round cakes in a myriad of flavors, simpler strawberry or chocolate loaf cakes, as well as cookies, cakes and pies by the slice (you paid for these by weight). We went for the passion fruit cheesecake (below), which we found through experience is one of the most popular and consistently delicious Brazilian desserts. M was also happy to encounter a wide variety of filled doughnuts, not too common of a sight in Brazil. Bella Paulista was certainly one of the more impressive kilo restaurants we encountered in Brazil, and there certainly was something for everyone!