What’s on the menu at Girl From Ipanema, a new Brazilian café and diner at Dufferin and Eglinton

What’s on the menu at Girl From Ipanema, a new Brazilian café and diner at Dufferin and Eglinton

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Name: Girl From Ipanema Diner
Contact: 2400 Dufferin St., girlfromipanemadiner.com, @girlfromipanemadiner
Neighbourhood: Fairbank (York)
Owner: Thais Silva Ferreira
Chef: Joseph Junior
Accessibility: Not fully accessible

The food

Before the pandemic, Thais Ferreira was looking forward to starting grad school. But, after Covid-19 postponed her commencement again and again, she upended her life plan and embraced a new path. “There are a lot of Portuguese restaurants in Toronto, but there’s not that much representation for traditional Brazilian food,” she says. “I wanted to bring a taste of Brazil to the neighbourhood.”

Brazil’s most popular bread, pão de sal—a crusty loaf with a fluffy interior—is the backbone of a bevy of delightful sandwiches, like roast pork, ham and cheese, and sausage. An impressive selection of Brazilian street food, like savoury croquettes and pastels (crispy, deep-fried pastry available with all kinds of fillings), make for delightful grab-and-go goods. Sweets are another key offering and include gorgeous house-made cakes and brigadeiros, Brazil’s classic condensed milk treat.

An assortment of sweet breads. Left to right: roasted coconut pastry cream sweet ($2.50), cheese and guava (a.k.a. Romeo and Juliet) ($2.50), and condensed milk and coconut. The little guys are financiers ($5 for nine); on the bottom, there’s a cheese puff ($2.50) and a ham and cheese roll ($5)


Some sweet and savoury delights—croquettes, mini pies and quiches, and sausage rolls—with every element made on site


Counter-clockwise from the bottom right: a brownie ($5), doughnut-like “dreams” filled with pastry cream or dulce de leche ($4), an assortment of brigadeiros ($4.30 each), shortbread cookies with house-made guava jam ($5) and condensed milk pudding with oozy caramel sauce ($5.90)


Here we have a red fruit cake with a chocolate brigadeiro and jam filling, topped with buttercream frosting. $7.50 per slice


An indulgent slice of dulce de leche roulade—that is, caramelized condensed milk rolled in a thin white cake. $7


A mini red velvet bundt cake with mascarpone cream and house-made red fruit jam. $15


On the left, soft and fluffy pão de sal with perfect crusty exteriors ($0.80). Above, a trio of sandwiches: roast pork with caramelized onion and house-made mayo; ground beef with bacon, corn and mayo; and Brazilian turkey sausage with crispy onion and cream cheese ($8.90). And, on the right, individual shrimp pies with shrimp cream, tomato sauce, parsley, corn and black pepper ($9)


A better look at that roast pork sandwich. $8.90
The drinks

There’s something on this menu for anyone—whether they’re on a health kick or after a rich, chocolatey cup of pure indulgence. There are fresh-squeezed juices in flavours like pineapple and orange but also soursop and sugarcane, whipped cream–topped frappés that incorporate peanut candy or Nutella, and dreamy hot cocoa made with imported Brazilian powder. The signature drink—a Brazilian-style cappuccino with chocolate, steamed milk and caramelized coffee foam—comes with a layer of dulce de leche.

Off the gourmet hot beverages menu, this is Brazilian espresso. Hiding underneath the foam and espresso shot is a surprise layer of dulce de leche. (Every gourmet hot beverage comes with a free financier.) $3.25


This is Rio Cappuccino, the signature bevy: Brazilian-style cappuccino made with chocolate, milk powder and caramelized coffee foam. It’s creamy, it’s frothy and it packs a serious coffee punch. $6.30


This is the açai frappé, a fruity concoction made with milk, ice, açai berries, strawberry syrup and whipped cream. $6.25


Another variation on the frappé theme, this one incorporates a hefty dose of peanut butter and coffee along with a crunchy peanut rim. $7


Fresh-squeezed orange juice—served, unless you request otherwise, with pulp. $8


Lightly sweet iced sugarcane juice with a slice of lime. $9


Next to the roast pork sandwich, we have an Italian soda with a vivid layer of red passion fruit syrup. $4.80
The space

The first thing you’ll see when you walk in is a colourful mural by Brazilian street artist Bruno Smoky that depicts elements of Brazilian culture: Rio de Janeiro’s supersized Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain and the highly recognizable sidewalk pattern in Ipanema, the diner’s namesake beach. The space, lined with big windows and cozy booths, is decked out with wood, greenery, and touches of green and gold.