Get a taste of São Paulo at this Old Town Brazilian coffee shop and cafe

Saturday, January 23, 2021
Get a taste of São Paulo at this Old Town Brazilian coffee shop and cafe
A Brazilian coffee shop and café just south of the History Museum shares some of the flavors from the owner's native São Paulo.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Brazilian coffee might be familiar to some, but the food is not as widely known. Barely a handful of restaurants feature Brazilian cuisine, but a new bakery in Old Town - run by a Brazilian family - is introducing coffee lovers to a few of their most popular snacks.

The baked goods are refreshed throughout the day at PiniPico, a Brazilian coffee shop and café just South of the History Museum, where the owners want to share some of the flavors from their native Sao Paulo.

"We try to bring here things from Brazil that are typical," said Lou Dias, the owner.

That has to include pao de queijo, a gluten-free, bite-sized snack made from cassava flour and cheese. They also have flavors like jalapeño.

Most of the items are baked by a Brazilian woman in the suburbs, and Dias and his team then finish them with an egg wash, and bake them to-order.

There are also empadas, which resemble a palm-sized pot pie, filled with things like chicken or hearts of palm.

"Empadas, empanadas, coxinha de frango. The coxinha is like a croqueta, with chicken inside," said Dias.

As for sweets, it's pretty simple: "the classic, famous brigadeiro," said Dias, referring to the truffle-and-fudge-like treat.

Brazilians love coffee, and the baristas here will go through each step if you choose a latte - grinding, leveling, pressing, pulling and then steaming milk for the dramatic pour. They also have good drip coffee as well, where cream and sugar are frowned upon, especially for purists.

"The quality of our coffee is very, very good," Dias said. "We have Brazilian coffee, as well as some coffees from different countries in Latin America such as Costa Rica, Colombia. Brazilian is the best, no question about it."

Even though it's freezing outside this time of year, take a little Brazilian vacation in the form of coxinha, pao de queijo and empada? As they say in Sao Paulo: "vamos comer."

The café also sells whole bean and ground coffee to go as well.


1538 N. Clark St.