You are here : Home > Style > São Paulo confidential

São Paulo confidential

The largest agglomeration in brazil, and possibly the world, is a city where the sky's the limit. People travel by helicopter here: its streets are air corridors and its terraces helipads, so it can be difficult for visitors to find their way around without a good flight plan. Six nespresso club members living in são paulo give you a few ideas to launch you in the right direction.

World Village

Seen from the sky, São Paulo appears to be a large village. On the ground, however, it is like an entire world – a welcoming land and a cultural melting pot. The kind of place where every crossroads offers a tantalising range of choices. Here, six Nespresso Club Members provide a different angle on the city, so you should find one that appeals. These São Paulo residents inhabit six different worlds and six social universes. There are really only two things that unite them: they live in the same city and they love great coffee.

You don’t need to go far to find somewhere to unwind in São Paulo.

Raja Hanna

Chemical Engineer and Businessman, A Member since 2007

His father, Nicola Hanna, started importing cosmetics by Anna Pegova, the famous 1940s Russian cosmetologist, from France over thirty years ago. Today, Raja Hanna, a chemical engineer by training, is responsible for product management and supervision in this family business, where his two sisters also work. “We provide creams and lotions with specific effects, such as skin regeneration,” explains Raja. Since he bought a Nespresso machine for his family, they have all become fans. Raja himself has adopted a particular ritual: “Twice a day, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. sharp, I make myself a RISTRETTO or ARPEGGIO and enjoy it out on the veranda.”

Raja and his wife are not really the going-out kind.

He’s a “Brazilian born in Lebanon”, who prefers to have the family round for a good bottle of red wine that he orders from ZAHIL VIN HOS, like his father always did before him. If he does go out with his wife, it’s usually to enjoy one of the many shows in São Paulo, which Raja says is “the Brazilian capital of musicals.” It is dominated by two powerhouses, the Abril and BRADESCO theatres, which enthral theatregoers with shows that never fail to please. After the show, they head to the BARBACOA churrasqueira (steak house) to unwind and indulge in the culinary pleasure of top-quality all-you-can-eat grilled meat, which the waiters continue to serve until you make it absolutely clear you cannot manage another bite! Raja gladly admits that he’s not the biggest party animal. He did once go to the SÃO CRISTOVÃO bar in the heart of the bustling Vila Madalena, but only by accident, or almost. Someone invited him one Saturday afternoon and even then he only ordered bean soup with grilled sausage.

Ana Paula Naffah Perez

Partner in an architectural practice, A Member since 2009

Ana Paula has no regrets about deciding to go into hospital architecture eighteen years ago. “I should have been a doctor,” she jokes. The only downside is that she doesn’t have enough time to pursue her own personal projects. She’s not giving up her drawing board any time soon, though. “Sometimes clients ask me for blue walls, which I don’t think is a good idea. It’s a depressing colour. We tend to use light green in our hospital projects.” She bought her first Nespresso machine in 2009, a pretty little yellow model. Then she bought another. “I fell in love with Nespresso’s coffees and their simplicity.” The hardest thing to organise at work is coffee breaks. “Now, everyone has their favourite capsule. And even better, the practice is based just a few yards from the Nespresso Boutique in Rua Padre João Manoel. What more could I possibly want?”  

Why is Ana Paula so attached to Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo’s answer to Central Park?

Even she can’t explain it. She has been going there since she was a small child. She is so enchanted by this garden designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer that she now lives right next to it. “I love Ibirapuera and the OCA is one of the most beautiful exhibition halls in the world,” she says, brimming with pride for the huge concrete yurt constructed in a clearing in the park. She also recommends a visit to the Japanese Liberdade quarter, where the picturesque atmosphere is much more interesting than the architecture. On her days off, she heads out of the city centre to the other side of the Tietê River to the brilliant MOCOTÓ restaurant, where foodies from São Paulo’s chic areas are happy to wait several hours for a table at this restaurant that showcases the simple cooking of North-East Brazil. Another establishment specialising in Brazilian food, MANI, is just as enchanting and ideal for those seeking a more refined gastronomical treat. Ana Paula goes to SPOT, for a lighter, brighter atmosphere and to the SKYE BAR for its breathtaking view from the roof of the UNIQUE HOTEL. Just watch out for that queasy feeling as you look down from the top of this huge gondola!

If you’re looking for a hushed atmosphere for a business lunch, the Fasano Hotel is the place to go.

In a city with over ten thousand restaurants, you don’t need an excuse to eat out.

If you long to eat decent-sized portions without expanding your waistline, head for BOLINHA, where feijoada, a traditional bean stew that has been a staple of this nation for as long as anyone can remember, has been transformed into a lighter version. If you’re looking for a hushed atmosphere for a business lunch, Servo heartily recommends the FASANO HOTEL restaurant, which has received awards for its Italian menu and Isay Weinfeld decor. Or, if you’d rather sample food from the huge Japanese community in São Paulo, don’t miss AIZOMÊ, whose tiny restaurant has become an international sanctuary for new Japanese cuisine thanks to its head chef Shin Koike. Perhaps you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy the sacrosanct Sunday lunch? Don’t think twice, head to LELLIS, where the veal fillet topped with grilled parmesan is enough to feed three hungry bellies! If you’re looking to stimulate your intellect rather than your taste buds, head over to the CHOQUE CULTURAL gallery, which exhibits work by street artists that is bursting with life. Food for the soul.

Servo de Oliveira

Entrepreneur, A Member since 2010

The more professional stability Servo gained, the more hair he lost. “So I decided to shave it all off once and for all,” he says. His bald head has even had him mistaken for André Agassi in a Los Angeles chemist’s! Ten years ago, he founded a metallurgy company in São Paulo with three friends, which is doing well. His other passions include motorbikes and good coffee – a penchant he shares with his eldest son. His daughters bought him his first Nespresso machine for Father’s Day. “They know I love coffee. It’s great just to be able to plug in the machine, listen to its gentle whir and sip an ARPEGGIO or another one of the strong Grands Crus! I never say no to one of those coffees!”

Ana Maria Siqueira

A Member since 2007

Most people in her shoes would sit back, relax and enjoy their children’s success. Her eldest son produces advertising films. One of her daughters runs a fashion shop, and the other is studying architecture. Two years ago, however, Ana Maria went back to University. She earned a degree in philosophy, considers the works of Hannah Arendt or Edmund Husserl as essential reading and is also taking an art-history course. She relishes life and also loves shopping. Between lessons, she sometimes drops into the Nespresso Boutique in Iguatemi, near the University. “I’ve always wanted to find a decaf coffee that tastes good, and their DECAFFEINATO INTENSO is fantastic. Now I also buy VOLLUTO capsules. It’s not too strong, or too weak, it’s just right…” Ana Maria has found just the right balance.

Two essential institutions: the Pinacoteca and the MASP.

Ana Maria is a city-lover. So much so that if she says she’s just been out in the countryside, she means she’s been for a stroll on the university campus located a few miles from the geographical centre of São Paulo.

Listening to her, you’d think that there’s no need to go anywhere else for a bit of fresh air. São Paulo has trees enough, “especially if you compare its parks to the measly green spaces in European cities.” She also feels it has a lot to offer in terms of culture. There are two must-visit institutions: the PINACOTECA with its excellent temporary exhibitions and the MASP – Museum of Modern Art – which, despite its name, contains over five hundred years’ worth of visual arts in the largest collection in South America. Featuring a style that reflects local traditions, the RODEIO restaurant was one of the first major restaurants in the city. Its quaint atmosphere is delightful, but younger visitors might find it a bit outdated. They will not fail to be impressed, though, by the highly sophisticated atmosphere of GERO. When she’s not “out in the countryside”, Ana Maria loves going for a wander “around town” in IGUATEMI’s covered arcades where her favourite Nespresso Boutique is located. If São Paulo vies with Tokyo and Singapore for the title of the world’s best shopping centre, it’s partly because of Iguatemi shopping centre, which was the first of its kind in Brazil.

Ilana et Ivo Mesel,

Systems Analyst and Economist, Members since 2009

When Ilana was a little girl, she would open the window, stick out her head and talk to the moon before going to bed. She dreamed of becoming an astronaut and walking on it one day. Then she wanted to become a physicist, like her father, but that didn’t work out. While in Recife, she found her vocation, and then met her husband when she returned to São Paulo. “We got chatting when we found out his grandmother had the same name as me in Hebrew.” Ilana develops e-commerce solutions for the Web. “I was lucky to find a job that I enjoy and makes me happy.” She discovered Nespresso at work and has been unable to do without her machine ever since. “It was love at first sight when my brother bought it for me.” She adds, “After dinner at a restaurant, if they ask me if I want a coffee, I say ‘No thanks, I’ll have a Nespresso when I get home!’”

Under the cloudless sky of the Higienópolis shopping arcade.

“In São Paulo, shopping centres have replaced the former bustle of town centres. I drop Ivo at the Cultura bookshop and go and do some window shopping with my daughter,” says Ilana, who would be happy to spend the day under the cloudless sky of a shopping arcade.

Her favourite is HIGIENÓPOLIS, where she goes regularly to stock up on Nespresso Grands Crus. Ivo describes himself as a Nespressomaniac. He spends so much time in the Boutique that a customer once took him for a sales assistant! Rather than revealing the truth, he had a bit of fun talking up a coffee machine that he knew like the back of his hand – “and guess what! I sold it!” Ilana could easily model for OSKLEN, as the elegant sportswear brand suits her so well. Ivo wants to show his wife that he is sticking to his diet, so when she’s listening he recommends the INSALATA vegetable menu, whose salads will make you almost forget that you are in the capital of meat. He talks passionately about the minimalist artwork in the Japanese restaurant KINOSHITA, whose famous chef Murakami is a good enough singer to entertain a restaurant full of customers with his tenor voice. When Ilana turns away, though, he whispers the name of a restaurant straight out of the bygone days of our carnivorous past, where even the most rapacious meat-eaters should find satisfaction: A FIGUEIRA RUBAIYAT.

José Manoel Frazão Mendes

Lawyer, A Member since 2010

It took José Manoel Frazão Mendes years to find a good coffee after leaving his native city São Luís do Maranhão. He studied in Rio de Janeiro, where there was nothing but filter coffee and once he started working as a lawyer, he had to content himself with bitter espressos. It is only when he moved to São Paulo after being promoted to a new role in his firm that he found the coffee he had so longed for. Friends had brought him back a Nespresso machine and a few capsules from abroad. “When the brand arrived in Brazil, I became a devoted Nespresso drinker. I have machines all over the place (at home, at the office, etc.), so that I can serve my friends and enjoy my INDRYA from India. Once you’ve tasted an excellent coffee, there’s no going back!”

Galeria Ouro Fino is an avant-garde and contemporary shopping arcade.

“This city is a melting pot,” says José Manoel. and he’s not wrong.

For the resident of a city that has over 17 million inhabitants, to say that it is cosmopolitan seems as unsurprising as a Londoner saying that his city is the capital of the United Kingdom. And yet, it is the perfect way to describe this megalopolis, beautifully demonstrated by the Neapolitan pizzas prepared against the Portuguese backdrop of VENITE. Another example is the food served at DUE CUOCHI, which offers a mixture of Italian and French recipes, such as its unrivalled camembert ravioli served with figs and butter sauce. Or there’s the popular bohemian Parisian atmosphere of the LE MARAIS bistro far from the banks of the Seine, whose sandwiches and onion soup bring the moneyed clientele of Jardins down to earth. Everything melts and blends together here. Maybe it’s because of São Paulo’s glaring heat? GALERIA OURO FINO, the avantgarde contemporary shopping arcade, provides a good synopsis of this city, which is as hard to pin down as liquid gold. The LIVRARIA DA VILA is another typical example: this bookshop and jewel of shelving technology features a façade made of removable shelves and three floors that use as many space-saving techniques as possible to offer customers a mini Alexandrian library.

We met mum-to-be Claudia Leite, national Nespresso Boutique manager in Brazil at the brand’s historic boutique, the first in latin america.

Claudia Leite, why Nespresso?

CLAUDIA LEITE : It’s no accident. I come from Minas Gerais and simply love coffee. It’s part of my life. I have been working for Nespresso for the last few years, but it feels as if I had been preparing to manage its Boutiques in Brazil since I was a child. I used to be a coffee-taster and I am really passionate about coffee.

Tell us a bit about your background…

C. L. : I come from a big coffee-growing town. My family has always been involved with coffee, but we were not particularly well off. I am familiar with the whole production process, from seedlings to ground coffee.

How many boutiques do you manage?

C. L. : There are ten in all. This one was the first Boutique in Latin America. It’s a beautifully designed and attractive Boutique-Bar, one of a kind. It has a bar and a breakfast area for hosting special events.

What kind of customers buy Nespresso in Brazil?

C. L. : Here, Nespresso is seen as a fairly young brand with specific values that customers identify with. Members form a personal attachment and emotional connection with the brand, and become ambassadors for our products.

Do many brazilian plantations supply Nespresso with coffee?

C. L. : Brazil, and especially the Minas Gerais region, is one of Nespresso’s main suppliers.

What's on the horizon?

C. L. : Our customers come from all over Brazil, so we’re going to launch new Boutiques. Our most recent one has just opened in São Paulo.


Here’s our list of favourite venues that serve Nespresso Grands Crus in São Paulo.


A restaurant that brings fusion food to the fore, as illustrated by its sweet-potato mash with truffles.

Rua Manoel Guedes, 474 – Itaim Bibi. Tel.: +55 (11) 3078-3445


Head chef Alex Atala, who was behind the restaurant “D.O.M.”, offers an amusing take on North-East Brazilian cuisine, with dishes like shrimp clown pie and television chicken.

Rua Barão de Capanema, 549 – Jardins. Tel.: +55 (11) 3088-0761

Rua Padre João Manoel, 1115 – Jardim Paulista. Tel.: +55 (11) 3068-4444


Gauchos, or Brazilian cowboys, used to grill their meat on an open fire. That’s the feel of this place, which has six restaurants in Brazil and sixteen in the USA.

Avenida Santo Amaro, 6824 – Santo Amaro. Tel.: +55 (11) 5524-0500


A restaurant that showcases pizza in traditional and more adventurous formats. You can also order champagne shrimps or stuffed meatloaf.

Rua Constantino de Souza, 582 – Campo Belo. Tel.: +55 (11) 5096-3000


A French-style bistro. Unmissable specialities include the goat’s cheese ratatouille, the home-made cassoulet and its mussels served with chips.

Rua Itacolomi, 636 – Higienópolis. Tel.: +55 (11) 3214-1295


A breathtaking view of the city with surprises concocted by head chef Samuel Oliva, such as pheasant tortellini or rabbit in balsamic vinegar.

Avenida Ipiranga, 344 – Tel.: +55 (11) 2189-2929


Owner, head chef and head waiter Marcos Bassi loves to serve his guests in person. And they love his meaty creations, such as bombom.

Rua Treze de Maio 650 – Bexiga. Tel.: +55 (11) 3288-7045


French-Italian cooking overseen by head chef Giancarlo Bolla. Don’t miss the scallops gratin with seafood.

Avenida Nove de Julho, 5925 – Itaim Bibi. Tel.: +55 (11) 3079-6277


A restaurant with an eclectic menu that includes pizzas, soups, spicy chicken dishes served with couscous and salmon with shiitake.

Rua Joaquim Antunes, 217 – Jardim Paulistano. Tel.: +55 (11) 3081-7204

Production: Sandrine Giacobetti

Text: Alex Solnik and Julien Bouré

Photography: Jean-Claude Amiel

Bravo Rio


Bravo Rio

Read Read


All style See See

© Nestlé Nespresso S.A. 2010 . Nespresso Policy . Terms & Conditions . About us . Credits . Nespresso Websites
Logo Opsone Logo FCINQ