I love to travel, but something I rarely admit is that I'm not very adventurous when it comes to food on the road. I love to try local specialties but don't eat much meat or heavy, fried food. As a result, it took me a while to get into street food in Brazil, but I have found that it's a great option for someone like me who wants something small and often meat-free.
São Paulo is known as a gastronomic city because of the diverse food and beautiful restaurants, but something all locals know is that its street food is great, too. Trucks selling coconut water and booths selling pastel (fried pockets stuffed with your choice of fillings) are all over the city. Outdoor markets always have street food vendors selling roasted cashews, pastel, cochinha (usually filled with chicken), acarajé (fritters of black-eyed peas and shrimp fried in coconut oil, a dish from northeastern Brazil), empadinhas filled with olives and heart of palm, and esfihas (stuffed bread).
On Saturdays, across the street from the Museum of Art on Avenida Paulista, is a wonderful handicrafts market. After checking out the handmade items for sale, stop at the food vendors and pick up a snack like esfiha with escarole and cheese (shown above) and cashew juice (suco de caju).