I am a sucker for twinkle lights and totally wish I celebrated Christmas solely so I could cover my house as a kid (instead made my parents drive around all the neighborhoods to look at the lights) so when I heard there was a tiny street in Sao Paulo covered in twinkle lights I knew I had to see it for myself. This tiny twinkle light street lined with restaurants is Rua Avanhandava, home to Famiglia Mancini one of the best Italian restaurants in Sao Paulo.
The decorations inside might shock you at first, thousands of images, trinkets, streamers, and ornaments of all kinds are covering the walls and ceilings lining the house from floor to roof. There is a beautiful fountain in the middle of the main room and side fountains on the walls in the other rooms. It’s very warm and everyone is very friendly.
When you walk in, you will immediately see the massive antipasti buffet (below) which includes fresh breads, a variety of cheeses, all types of olives, meats (sausages, parma etc), sautéed vegetables and more. It is self serve so try not to over do it, trust me the dishes are enormous!
The menu is huge; there are 4 pages of homemade pasta dishes plus all your traditional favorite Italian dishes. I’ll be honest, no one told us this was a family style restaurant ie dishes are for 2 people to share…so I ordered the pasta Bolognese (which was incredible) and my husband ordered the chicken parmesan with gnocchi, we thought it was strange the waiter tried to walk away after I ordered… now we know why! He definitely thought we were huge fat asses for ordering so much food! The portions are so large that every table has an additional small table attached for your food! The food is amazing; everything we ordered was fantastic. Since the portions were so large (FYI that ‘side of gnocchi that comes with the chicken is basically it’s own large dish) we took home enough leftovers for dinner and lunch for the following 2 days!
Since the wait is normally 30mins to an hour (they don’t take reservations), grab a drink and hang out side enjoying the beauty of the area while you wait. With twinkle lights dancing above you it’s very romantic; Famiglia Mancini is a great place for a date or a group dinner.
Famiglia Mancini Rua Avanhandava, Bela Vista,São Paulo