Here I am again. One more trip to Brazil to spend some quality time with my family. Another post about veggie food I the city. If you have been here before, there was a post with the best veggie bites in Santos with tips on where to find tasty vegetarian meals. By the time you are reading this post, I may be on my way back home to the UK.
This time, my visit was quite short. Only one week spent here, but I managed to try some different vegetarian restaurants anyway. Starting with the first night in Sao Paulo.
I usually stay in a hotel near the Guarulhos’ airport at the first night in Brazil. It has been this way for nearly three years now because I think it’s more convenient to us.
The nice food provided at this hotel is one of the reasons to do it. The restaurant’s hotel serves homemade Brazilian food. It’s mainly meat-based but they are very flexible when asking for portions of beans, vegetables and salad. Besides, the breakfast at this hotel is outstanding.
I always have my pao de queijo (cheese bread – cheese bread – a small, baked, cheese-flavored roll made with cassava or corn flour) fixing there. The variety of fruit is also another plus.
I always find juice melons and papaya, which is a very typical fruit in Brazil. I don`t usually find papaya in the UK. So, I make the most of it when I am here.
At the first night in Santos, I also decided to ask for some takeaway. As you already notice, I use IFood. It’s a versatile app where I can find health food restaurant options quite straight away.
I was so curious about the Coxinha de Jaca (a pear-shaped, deep-fried croquette filled with Jackfruit). Coxinha is one of the most popular snacks of our cuisine, but it’s usually filled with chicken. The vegetarian version is filled with Jackfruit. So, I needed to give it a try!
I have found this one at Cantinho da Terra – a lovely vegan emporium where creative Brazilian food gained delicious vegan version. I also asked for a Pastel de Acelga with tomato (a thin pastry envelope with chard filling, deep fried in vegetable oil).
Both snacks were delicious. I will certainly ask for more of Cantinho da Terra’s food. They know how to cater for vegetarians and vegans. Besides, it’s an independent business that deserves all credits.
When it was Thursday, I have decided to visit a shopping centre with my parents. Shopping centres in Brazil have typical restaurants that you can eat (by kilo). We call it self-service.
When you eat what you want since you pay for quantity of food in your plate. I love this kind of places because you can eat small portions and they usually have plenty of vegetarian options.
My lunch was quite light this day with a mixing of vegetables, some cassava and pumpkin pure. The restaurant I have chosen was called Divino Fogao.
It’s a chain you can find in different parts of the country. And food there is typical Brazilian comfy “farm” one.
It was so gorgeous that I also asked for the dessert and had a passion fruit mousse. It wasn`t low caloric but there is nothing can be more Brazilian than a passion fruit pudding!
On Friday, I also had a lovely meal out with my friend Vivian at Govinda’s Gosto Superior, in Gonzaga. This is a typical and traditional vegetarian restaurant with menu inspired in Indian food.
Govinda’s is one of the most popular vegan restaurants in the city. I always wanted to try its food and they always offer fixed-menus for set prices. So, you can choose one of the two options available.
I have chosen then one called Pakora (MEDALHÃO DE BERINJELA RECHEADO COM QUEIJO BRANCO E MOLHO DE TOMATE).
Acompanha Arroz integral com granola salgada; Dahl (caldo) de grão de bico; Torta de legumes; Salada do dia.
It’s nothing but (Aubergine medallion stuffed with white cheese and tomato sauce), accompanies with rice with salted granola; Dahl (broth) of chickpeas; Vegetable pie; and the salad of the day.
Govinda’s food is authentic and delicious. It’s a shame the restaurant just accepts cash or direct debit. So, don`t try using your credit card there. It won’t work there. This is quite disappointing, to be honest. But the lesson was learnt.
On Sunday, I have chosen another takeaway. This time I really fancied a veggie burger of some kind. Then I reached Ifood again to ask for a super Vegan one by Veg & Veg Burguer and Hello!
Here’s one of the tasteful veggie meals I ever had in life. Simple gorgeous. My burger was made with super fresh and organic ingredients. I had chosen the soy meat burger with special chilli vegan mayo and vegan cheese. It was juicy!
Then, Monday – my last night in Santos – I have met my friend Vivian again (that has become officially my gastronomic partner in adventures when I am in Santos) for a casual coffee that ended up in a quick (ish) stop to get some drinks and burgers.
This time we visited one of the hippest places in the city – The Original Co. It has a good reputation for original met burgers. A bit hype, maybe. But my first impression was: it’s a place to bring friends/family in a casual night out. Or when you just want to grab some bites. You have tables outside, which is a great option when it is hot in the city.
The menu is original indeed. There are a variety of burgers and drinks that really impressed me. From international beers to ciders and cocktails.
We were lucky enough to visit the place in the “Hamburger Day”. I had no clue about it, but we ended up paying for just one burger, which was a good deal. Viva la burger!
We asked for the New Vegan Burger with a mix of potato and mushroom burger, lettuce and special brown bread. The burger is succulent and really well seasoned. It’s not a massive one, the portion is actually pretty manageable. In the right size, I would say.
We also tried some roasted potatoes that were served with rosemary, garlic and their special mayo. The drinks were all caipirinhas. We had 3 each. I know. It became a bit messy! But they all tasted so good and I am really impressed with the fact they were made with Leblon cachaça – which is a quality Brazilian rum.
Food was great. Drinks were tasty. Is it a bit pricey? Oh yes. But you pay for the experience and I guess they are doing a great job. The place was packed and there were massive queues by the time we left. I will go back for more.
Now I just need to start planning my next trip to Brazil and start everything again. Looking for veggie meals wherever I go can be challenging and rewarding. There are so many outstanding businesses offering quality healthy food out there. You just need to be a bit selective and creative!