The weekend is prime time to shop in Sao Paolo. With so many guidebook and magazine recommendations, I didn't know which one to choose, so we just went with the largest market for Saturday because hustle and bustle was exactly what I wanted to get lost in. It was incredibly crowded especially near Largo Sao Bento and the Municipal Market.
|Part of the street was closed off solely for the Saturday market.|
The street was swarming with shoppers, vendors and families on their day out. The market was a lot like a swap meet with vendors selling everything you can think of from clothes to candy and cell phone chargers, "Nike" shoes (who knows, maybe they're real) and iced water bottles in carts, coolers, backpacks and even on cardboard boxes turned upside down as makeshift tables.
|Just starting to make our way into the market|
|I couldn't help but notice that many of the shop owners spoke Chinese;|
it's still such a trip to hear someone change from speaking Chinese to Portuguese in seconds.
|Jabuticaba, the Brazilian Grape, sold in a street cart.|
|Inside the Municipal Market.|
|The deli section|
I knew they were conning me (especially because they asked me where I was from and I was stupidly honest), but my American manners had me feeling obligated to spend something because they spent time and gave me fruit (even though I knew it would not have cost anything close to what they were trying to charge me), while other smarter shoppers simply walked away without buying anything.
Why couldn't I have just gorged on their fruit and walked away like the others?! I settled with overpaying for a mango, which I knew I could easily get for 3 Reais a Kilogram at the regular supermarket. Darn my conscience. I was annoyed with myself for perpetuating the stupid rich American stereotype that day... I can't help it! American culture makes you feel guilty for lots of things!
|View from the 2nd floor|
|Coco Gelados to rehydrate|
|Ready to eat!|
Afterward, we headed over to Restaurante Ita, a well kept secret among Paulistas for a late lunch. I was on the lookout for Feijoada, a traditional Brazilian comfort food normally served only on Saturdays at lunch time. Feijoada is a stew made of pork, black beans, and rice. Steph read that Restaurante Ita served some of the best Feijoada around so we walked and finally found the obscure, no frills Brazilian diner.
|Such kind service from this humble diner! Things definitely change after a million demanding tourists overrun a place.|
|Steak Paulista - basically a pan fried steak and egg, served with beans and rice.|
|Feijoada: stewed pork, sauteed kale, rice, and black beans.|
|Pudim de leite|
The best part about eating at local places, in addition to the authenticity, local service, and traditional food is - - the price! Our meal (both of my lunch plates and Steph's and drinks and dessert) came out to about $12 USD. Thank you, Restaurante Ita!
|Che Bonita, Sao Paolo!|