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Hocca Bar

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Hocca Bar codfish pastel

Hocca Bar codfish pastel

Stefan Wilkerson

About Hocca Bar:

Hocca Bar at Mercado Municipal, in São Paulo, is one of those local traditions you try hard to experience, no matter how long you need to wait in line to savor their prized offerings.

The codfish turnover (pastel de bacalhau) and the mortadella sandwich at Hocca Bar have won founder Horácio Gabriel the José de Anchieta medal, an honor which acknowledges the fact that he contributed two delicious symbols to São Paulo's cultural heritage.

That's why you may want to join the local crowds and risk not finding a place to sit as you sample these classics. I don't mind standing up for them, especially when I can still feast my eyes on Mercado Municipal stained glass panels by Conrado Sorgenicht.

Order like at a fast food place (not so fast here). Get in line; browse a long menu (in Portuguese, with photos) from a lady who will try to speed up your order slip so you don't hold the line at the register. Keep track of the number on your receipt on an electronic panel, grab your order and sit in the food plaza. Sit where? Maybe at a table a friend has saved.

The Snacks:

The codfish turnover is at the heart of Hocca Bar history. In 1952 Portuguese immigrants Horácio Gabriel and wife Maria de Deus Ferreira opened their bar at Mercado Municipal and started making a codfish pastry according to a family recipe.

Huge and packed with shredded codfish, the Hocca Bar pastel is not the cheapest in town (over $5, much more expensive than street market pastel, for example). But it's worth every bite (and codfish is not cheap in Brazil either).

The also famous mortadella sandwich is a half-pounder made with Ceratti mortadella, another historic brand.

Hocca has many other sandwiches - which they call lanches, or snacks. Picanha (tri-tip) is an example. They serve shrimp pastel, bolinho de bacalhau (codfish croquettes) and tons more options.

I would love to review some of them for you. But so far, I've never made it past the bulky and decadently scrumptious pastel de bacalhau.

Hocca Address & Contact Information:

Mercado Municipal
Rua da Cantareira 306
Downtown
São Paulo - SP
Mezanino - 5 (at the Food Plaza upstairs) There's another, smaller shop downstairs on alley G-7
Phone: 55-11-3227-6938
Website: www.hoccabar.com.br
E-mail: info@hoccabar.com.br

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