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