Boavida cafe offers simple eats with a Portuguese flavor in Outer Sunset

Boavida cafe offers simple eats with a Portuguese flavor in Outer Sunset
Boavida is Outer Sunset's newest cafe and eatery | Photos: Saul Sugarman/Hoodline
By Saul Sugarman - Published on November 18, 2019.

The Outer Sunset recently added a café and eatery with a European twist. Boavida, which opened in October, offers food with a Portuguese influence, coffee drinks, wine, and other assorted beverages and snacks for all at the corner of 46th Avenue and Taraval Street.

“I like the simplicity of it,” said owner Andrea de Francisco. “Good cheeses, good bread. You can have good delicious food that’s not pretentious.”

Boavida, which translates from Portugese to “good life,” rose from the ashes of Streamline, a coffee house in the same space that closed in March this year. Not long before that, in 2017, de Francisco parted with her first business she owned by herself, Café St. Jorge.

She said she was “kinda tired of the food industry,” but Streamline’s closure presented an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

Boavida owner Andrea de Francisco.

“I missed it, and I’m masochistic,” she said. “I always wanted a café by the beach.”

The dining area is sunny and wide open, with big windows, lots of exposed wood, and strings of patio light bulbs hung across the ceiling. There's also a grocery section of the shop that offers wine and cheese, much like you might find in Portugal, according to de Francisco.

The cafe's entry room area.

She spent all her summers in Portugal with her dad since she was two years old, she said.

“Having grown up that way and having it be such an influence on my life, it’s not something I can let go of,” she said.

She designed the café to resemble stores she saw during her stays abroad with family.

“It’s a market, but it’s also where you get your espresso,” she said. “It’s where you go to get your sliced ham and baguette.”

Buy your wine and cheese at Boavida.

Boavida offers a “breakfast board” to build your own morning meals, piling on selections like avocado, olive oil, and Topo cheese on country bread, sweet rolls, bagels, and other options. Half the pastries sold by the shop are made in house, including sweet banana bread.

De Francisco, who is allergic to eggs, also likes selling items that are “secretly vegan,” she said with a laugh. She began experimenting with egg-free baked goods some time ago and then gluten-free ones, too, acknowledging the high demand for those menu items.

“The waffles are secretly vegan,” she said. “People would say it’s delicious, and I would go, ‘Oh haha, it’s vegan!’”

Across the street from Boavida, de Francisco and her husband own Tunnel Records & Beach Goods, a “little side project” they began a couple years back in order to pursue his passion for music.

In addition to vinyl records, the shop also sells cards, jewelry, and other assorted gifts. De Francisco planned on making a lot of those herself, but her her growing family absorbs a lot of her attention — she has two children aged 3 years and 19 months.

She designed Boavida to be “super kid friendly,” she said.

“I want a place that can feed our bodies and nourish our souls," she said. "A place where you could leave and say, ‘I hung out with the staff, I had some delicious bread, and the experience itself was heartwarming.'”

Boavida is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day except Mondays and Tuesdays.