Eating in Sao Paulo, Brazil
I'm here in Sao Paulo, Brazil for work and just wanted to share with you my experiences eating in Sao Paulo, Brazil. All the recs below were suggested by my local coworkers. I told them that I wanted to eat and experience food like a local.
Italian: Famiglia Mancini. It's like Buca Di Beppo in the States but sooOOOOooo much better. Portions are large (feeds 2 and ~ 45 reals per portion) and the quality is quite high. 90%+ local folks having food times and food. Very lively crowd. English menu is horrible. Just point at pictures and eat.
Pizza: Margherita Pizzeria. They said Brazilian Pizza is some of the best in the world and that 2 million pizzas are sold to Paulistanos (people who hail from Sao Paulo) each weekend. Ranking against my favs -- Lou Manetti's pizza in Chicago, First Class Pizza in SoCal and Village Bakery in Davis, CA -- I have to say you have to try it. It's more cali-style pizza with really fresh, hearty toppings. 80%+ local people. Great place for large groups of people. ~45 reals per pie.
BBQ: Jardineira Grill. If you gotta eat churrascaria, my local friends say you go here. They had something like 10+ cuts of beef, lamb, pork, etc etc and seafood and dessert. All top notch. I heard it's the place where people take foreign execs out (and it shows, very international set of customers). ~120 reals for all you can eat.
Fogo de Chao, I thought "ugg, a chain", I must say we had an incredible meal. 11 cachacas, a salad bar with many native, Brazilian products and incredible meat. Great choice. The central market for Mortadella sandwich, pastel and tons of great fruit. Checkout all the cool Amazonian stuff, fish, though interesting, did not apperar fresh.
I love "A Mineira" for their Minas style spread and their selection of cachacas de Minas.Also Figueira, Amadeus for upscale cozinha baiana, Bolinho, and for churrasco:Fogo de Chao, Paulista Grill, and Angelica Grill for great churrasco at an affordable price.
Yes, the paderias and lanchonettes are not to be missed. They are everywhere.Massimo was divine, but just too expensive.I can say I did it once!
My Paulista wife also took me to some por kilo restaurants that had excellent food.Sao Paulo has an endless array of dining experiences to be had.
For an authentic Sao Paulo experience, visit the Central Market.
Anthony Bourdain also featured the Central Market in "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel show on São Paulo.
I lived in Sao Paulo for a few years. The best pizza on the planet (and I've had NY and Napolitano) is from Braz in Sao Paulo. Rua Grauna in Moema. Truly phenomenal pizza. For great churrasco go to Fogo de Chão (same as on La Cienega). It is the real deal. Jardineira is good too. There are a million great reastaurants in SP. Don't forget to visit the bakeries, I like Santa Marcelina in Brooklyn (SP). Also the great market in the center of the city is an incredible experience. Sao Paulo is a big ugly city, sort of a Bladerunnerish experience. But I found paulistas extremely warm and helpful, especially when talking about food!