After hearing so much about the huge Municipal Market in downtown Sao Paulo, I was excited to visit a slightly smaller version in Lapa, one of Sao Paulo's central districts. I wanted to see not just the array of food but also Brazilians going about their daily routines. The market didn't disappoint.
Like their European counterparts, Brazil's indoor markets serve as a one-stop shop where people can eat, drink coffee, and buy fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and even gifts. During my two visits to this market, I watched as salted cod and huge Kalamata olives were chosen for a Sunday feast. I tasted cheeses and bought fresh fruits. I waited while my in-laws picked out party decorations. I watched vendors busily working and yelling to each other. I also watched vendors stop and interact with my children, and I chatted with old women about my kids--Brazilians love kids and enjoy conversation.
For a slice of Brazilian life and a close-up view of Brazilian food, this locals-only market is worth a stop.