What I Ate Wednesday | Brunch & Happy Hour in Santos, Brazil

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I can’t deny the excitement of coming to Santos every year is also related to the fact there is always a new restaurant, café or bar to brag about here. Brazil, as you may know, is already considered a “gourmet destination” and a paradise for a foodie pilgrimage.

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For my luck, this famous city in the coastline of Sao Paulo is also a good spot to drink and eat well. I always thought that nothing can’t beat the sea breeze and still warm temperatures of a Brazilian springtime by the beach, anyways.

We genuinely like being outside and it is also validated when talking about eating out.

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This time, I was looking for perfect places to go for a happy hour with friends. My partner in crime and friend, Vivian, took me to the buzzing Azevedo Sodré street at “Vila Rica”. Located between canals 2 and 3, this is the are of the city where you can find food emporiums, fashion boutiques, gorgeous cafes and a wicked bars and restaurants.

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Manuia Café

Before enjoying one drink or two, why not finding a perfect spot for a brunch? Manuia Café seemed to be a good match. You know, behind a good coffee shop, there is always someone with a creative concept and idea to stands out.

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Manuia is already well- known for its famous chocolate brownie – that I didn’t try yet.

 

To me, it’s a coffee shop full of charm, where you can chill playing a board game, or invite your friends for a Feijoada or eating the cake of the day. Cakes that are actually delicious indeed. I have been there twice now, and I can’t wait to have another excuse to pop around it.

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First impressions: the cosiest space with the friendliest staff ever. I felt at home. Not a surprise that we spent so much time there, both times I have been there.

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If you’re a sweet tooth, ask for the triple chocolate cake or the Indian carrot cake with a gorgeous cup of salted caramel coffee. I guarantee no regrets. It’s total heaven on earth!

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If you’re looking for a quite place to work, ask for your coffee in the the Hario V60 coffee brew method while enjoying the people watching.

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Manuia serves originality. I have the pleasure to have a tour at the space that also offers workshops and other cultural events. It’s not only becoming a gem of Azevedo Sodré, but also a reference of coffee shops in Santos.

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Arapuka Gastrobar

After cakes and coffee, it was time for the drinks – of course. We just needed to walk a few metres to find Arapuka Bar. Apparently, it’s a place for a gin and tonic. Oh yes, gin is also a big thing in Brazil now and served in happy hours – which is more popular than ever.

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Arapuka does a great job when combines usually Brazilian flavours with Dry gin. We were curious and adventurous and asked for the Pitaya Rosa – with pitaya cream, lemon, gin and tonic and a Triple T – with tangerine, Seagers gin and tonic.

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Then we have tried the Arapuka – with watermelon, watermelon syrup,  gin and tonic.  Our last choice was the Classic one with lime, rosemary, juniper, gin and tonic. All gins were Seagers – which I never tried before but it’s a London Dry that is not strongest gin ever, but it’s quite affordable and popular in Brazil. They also serves Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater and Gordons.

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You can ask for your favourite G&T for a quite affordable prices from Tuesday to Sunday – from 5pm to 8 pm. It seemed to good to be true.

I like its modern decor, which neon signs and contemporary art spread all over the place. It’s young and vibrant. It’s seems to be a successful spot for girls’ meeting out.

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Food is also something. I have confessed that I was curious about the mushroom croquettes – made with shimeji and Parmesan cheese . It’s more like a fried bite and it was a bit salty for our taste.

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However, the Sticks of Tapioca with curd cheese served with a strawberry and chilli jam was sensational. Loved it to bits. It’s definitely an easy place to find vegetarian bites. But both portions does the trick.

I like the vibe, food and drinks. But after 8pm it becomes more like a pit stop for people preparing to go out.

Bodegaia- Pompéia

If you already read my blogs on What I Ate in Santos, you know I am a big fan of this place. It’s located next to my parent’s house and  my friends and I adopted this restaurant and bar as one of our favourite points to drink and eat.

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As a non-meat eater, I confess Bodegaia is not my favourite place to eat anymore. Food is gorgeous, I have no doubt. But there is not much options for vegan or vegetarians there.

But this is the perfect “boteco” to enjoy a typical caipirinha. That famous Brazilian drink that you heard so much about here before. Caipirinhas are a must try at Bodegaia. They also nail a happy hour drinks.

And if you are in doubt of what to ask first, I would recommend go straight for the Jaboticaba’s one made with coconut water (vodka or cachaça – the Brazilian rum). It’s unforgettable. And a great way of ending your night out.

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Simone Ribeiro
I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications.

Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications. Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

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