Discover O Lúdico, a new restaurant in SP with instagrammable food that already has a waiting list


In the first room, sculptures of colorful teddy bears hang from the ceiling and a tree is laden with candy apples. Moving on, the doll of a large lion appears in a bathtub full of transparent balls. Next to it, figures of a denture and a giraffe with butterfly wings hang on the walls.

The impression that one gets when entering O Lúdico, a novelty in Vila Mariana, in the south zone of São Paulo, is that we are entering the world full of oddities of “Alice in Wonderland”. No wonder there is a room at the address dedicated to the famous character, with decorations such as a large Cheshire Cat, clocks and a table with cups of tea.

More than housing a restaurant and a bar, the open house on November 28 was all planned to generate content for Instagram. There are 15 environments divided into two floors and decorated with different themes, inspired by the world of fantasy, which serve as scenarios for taking photos for social networks.

Attendants dressed in overalls welcome customers and tell a story. The plot is that the door is an entrance to the Kombi do Lúdico, the character of a traveler who gives the face of the place, with access to different portals.

The environments are divided by names such as the World of Monsters, the Circus and the Sweets, for example. Each one with its own decoration. A small door hides a room with the theme of the bottom of the sea, with sculptures of divers and bathers in inner tubes. Not even the bathrooms escape – one of them is decorated like the inside of a refrigerator.

Creating and assembling this whole ludic universe took about a year and a half: most of the decoration objects are handcrafted. The ideas came from the head of Cadu Alves, owner and chef of the address. “Today, when you visit an instagrammable space, everything is ‘Harry Potter’ or something medieval. I wanted to change that, develop a character and a cool story that sells,” he says.

Graduated in publicity and advertising and in gastronomy, Alves is also behind O Burguer, a snack bar in Moema that went viral by selling cheese-stuffed hamburgers like fondue, in addition to other fancy foods, in a past that today seems remote.

“I understood that this was a niche. People like experience, interacting with food, and wanted different, Instagrammable drinks. So we went down a path that hadn’t worked yet”, he says.

O Lúdico’s menu also includes these inventions. The menu ranges from traditional hamburgers, hot dogs and pizzas to more elaborate dishes, which include ingredients such as octopus, pork knuckle, pepper ice cream and bastermá, a type of meat used in Armenian cuisine.

“People have this idea that if it’s instagrammable it’s not good. Here, we’re going to bring good food, to break this prejudice”, says the chef.

Nothing there is served on ordinary crockery. The portion of rib fritters comes on a small slide: the snack slides down and falls into a catupiry pool. The portion of sweet pepper stuffed with curd and bastermá comes on a plate in the shape of a blue caterpillar that releases smoke from the mouth. Both options cost R$45.50.

Desserts also abuse creativity and sweets and come in snail, mushroom and even sponge with soap shapes.

On the drinks side, the Tik Tik Boom is served in a glass that resembles a time bomb, complete with smoke and the ticking sound of a clock. The drink is prepared with orange, lemon and cranberry juices, as well as cherry syrup. It comes out to BRL 32.

Alves bet on high-quality cocktails to form the bar at the address, which lists classic drinks, signature drinks and mocktails, as recipes without alcohol are called. A large balcony decorated with colored lights occupies part of the first floor of the corner house.

Despite already receiving the public, the restaurant still operates in soft opening. The official opening is on the 18th of this month. Until then, customers are offered a 25% discount. Even so, the house has already attracted the attention of passers-by and even accumulates a queue.

With that in mind, Alves set up a waiting area as big as the venue’s environments. It is located in an outdoor and covered area with tables and stools, from where you can order snacks and drinks while you wait. After the inauguration, there will be a reservation system.

In addition to the new crazy food and drink restaurant, O Burguer is due to undergo a renovation to become a molecular cuisine themed snack bar. Two other projects that invest in that experience are in Alves’ plans. “The idea is to be like the Disney parks, but a gastronomy entertainment complex.”

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