If it wasn’t for Beach Park I doubt we’d have even bothered going to Fortaleza, one of the 2014 Brazil World Cup host cities in North East Brazil. It was possibly my least favourite of all the places that we stayed in Brazil. But if you do have to stop in Fortaleza I’d say that the beach suburb of Meireles is probably your best best. Meireles also has the added bonus that home to a real hidden gem, 50 Sabores, the best ice cream in Brazil.
We struggled to find a decent pousada as accommodation in Fortaleza is expensive and the place we were hoping to stay at, Hotel La Maison, was full. A word of warning. Do not, under any circumstances, be tempted to stay at the ‘pousada’ Villa Casa Nostra next door. It was recommended to us by the owner of a lovely little pousada in Jericoacoara so we were shocked to find it was one of the worst places we stayed at during our entire trip across North East Brazil. It was so dubious that their ‘free wifi’ actually belonged to the restaurant next door.
Its pousadas may be lacking but one hidden gem Meireles does have going for it is 50 Sabores, an ice cream shop on the beachfront that sells the best ice cream in North East Brazil. As its name 50 Sabores (flavours) suggests you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking an ice cream here.
We spent about half an hour deliberating over what to have, from flavours that sound divine such as pineapple and caipirinha (you’ve got to be over 18 to try it) to some that sound quite horrid including beer and cheese – luckily they give you tasters to help you make up your mind.
We eventually went for a double scoop of peanut butter with peanut butter brittle and fig and amaretto (R9 for one scoop or R12 for two scoops) and we weren’t disappointed. It was so good we came back the next day for another helping. Another bonus is that 50 Sabores also has free wi-fi, so you can tweet pictures of your chosen to delights to the envy of your friends. I have to admit I’m quite glad we only stayed in Fortaleza for a couple of days. Mainly because there are much better places in North East Brazil to spend your time but also because the temptation of this hidden gem in Meireles is so great I’d have doubled my body weight in ice cream by the end of our trip.