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Jul 5, 2011 05:30 AM

Sao Paulo - Help! Where should I eat, visit for foodie experience

Hi all

Have 3 days in Sao Paulo and want to get cross section experinece of the foodie scene in Sao Paulo.
Looking for the must do re markets, supermarkets, independents, lunch and dinner recommendations
Want to learn and understand what food scene is all about and gain knowledge of Brazilian food
I day on my own, and then two with 2 female colleagues so aware they need to feel comfortable.

Any tips of getting around etc also helpful

Traveling 17th July

many thanks in anticaption

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  1. Sao Paulo has excellent food and restaurants. There are many options and it will depend on your budget and what you are looking for.
    Some of the upscale places:
    Fasano - Italian, very expensive and trendy, excellent food and worth the splurge, considered to be one of the best restaurants in SP
    Massimo - Italian, old school, also expensive
    Gero - same owner as Fasano, a bit less expensive, but not cheap either.
    Carlota - Brazilian nouvelle cuisine. Very good, great desseerts: soufle de goiabada (guava) and petit gateau de doce de leite are must haves.
    Brasil a Gosto: Brazilian nouvelle cuisene, one of my favorite places in SP
    Antiquarius: Portuguese
    D.O.M. - Brazilian, nouvelle cuisine.

    One inexpensive option for Italian food is Jardim di Napoli, it's a Cantina, which is Brazilian/Italian food, not exactly Italian.

    You should try a Japanese restaurant, Brazil has the biggest Japanese population outside Japan and you can find excellent places in SP. I can't help you with that because I don't like Japanese...

    Pizza: Brazilian pizza is great, and SP is a great place to try it. I like Braz, but there are many options.

    Lebanese: You can try a less expensive place called Almanara, they have in the malls. There is also a more upscale Lebanese place at Rua Hadock Lobo, near Oscar Freire.

    Market: you should definetely go to the main Mercado downtown. Besides seeing/buying amazing fruits, you should try a sandwich de mortadela and a pastel (Brazilian fried empanada). Another good option to buy food is the Casa Santa Luzia at Alameda Lorena (Jardins, Oscar Freire area), it is a more upscale supermarket.

    And if you are in the Oscar Freire area (which you should go because it is a really nice area to stroll) go to Pao de Queijo Hadock Lobo for an espresso and the best pao de queijo (cheese rolls) in town.

    Vila Madalena has a good night life and many options. I like Bar Astor, but there are plenty of choices.

    Can't really go wrong with food in SP. Have fun.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Toot

      Hi toot

      Many thanks could you recommend a BBQ place

      Many thanks

      1. re: Waynefoodpeople

        Do you mean a Churrascaria, rodizio style? BBQ in Brazil is very different from the US. If you are looking for Rodizio, Fogo de Chao e Rodeio are the more popular ones. Rodeio is at Hadock Lobo (Oscar Freire area) and they just opened a second one at Iguatemi Mall. By the way, Brazilian malls are very different than the US malls, people dress up to go to the mall and you will find many high end restaurants in malls. So the fact that the restaurant is in the mall is not necessarily a bad thing...
        Another option for good meat, not rodizio style is Barbacoa. You can find in different locations. I think there is one at the Iguatemi Mall.

        1. re: Toot


          I'll be in Sao Paulo next month for work and I'll stay there for 2 weeks. Is there a beach that I can go to not far from the city?

          1. re: gwapamic

            believe the beack is approx 1 hr depending on the traffic from the city, cant recommend anywhere as didnt go sorry

            1. re: Waynefoodpeople

              I know this is not related to food, just came into my mind....where can I buy Havaianas in Sao Paulo with the best prices? ☺

            2. re: gwapamic

              gwapamic the closest beach areas to the capital city are around Santos: Praia Grande, Guarujá (can be reached by ferry from Santos or go there direct), and Bertioga. The further areas in the 'litoral norte de São Paulo' would offer more rustic beaches and pousadas for a whole weekend trip. Here is an english language tourism site which can help you with research and a map which shows distances around São Paulo. I would definately recommend purchasing an excursion (excursão) from a reputable travel agent or perhaps making arrangements via your hotel -- Santos is the largest shipping port in South America so its not somewhere to randomly travel to on your own and poke around. Get some advice from a travel professional and know where you are going before embarking on your adventure.


              As far as the Havaianas since they can be bought for between R$17-R$35, it probably isn't worth spending too much time (metro or bus or cab fare) searching out the cheapest. For simple styles and colors (havaiana top, etc) supermarkets often put them on sale, so that might be on one place to start your search. Department stores have wider selections of models, brands, etc and vary more widely in price: Lojas Americanas is one you can find widely which tends to have lower prices (and long lines).

              If you really want the cheapest that might be from 'camelos' (itinerant vendors) who only have limited styles/sizes and you could consider the area around the Rua 25 de Marco where you will encounter camelos as well as varejos. There also is the "feirinha de madrugada" which is now in Brás which people come from neighboring states to buy clothes and articles (often for resale). But keep in mind your safety, that without Portuguese language skills you may not negotiate the best prices, and falsified products abound. You might better spend your time buying such staples from a supermarket or even department store, then visit a "feirinhas" selling traditional "artesenatos" such as the one Saturday and Sunday evenings at the Praca de Liberdade. There are others which specialize in antiques, vintage wear, etc.

              1. re: itaunas

                To make it a bit more chow related, if you do go to the 25 de Marco don't skip a side trip to the Mercado Municipal including the famous sanduiche de mortadela at the bar do mané or a pastel de bacalhau and just to check all the boxes.

                1. re: itaunas

                  hi itaunas! thank you so much for the very nice tips....just what I needed.....I will post more when I'm in Sao Paulo ☺ thanks again

            3. re: Toot

              Went to Barbacoa last week. What an awesome place.

              1. re: qajohn

                Hi qajohn....I googled seems nice indeed. Is it expensive? how much are their food and what dish can you recommend ?☺

                1. re: gwapamic

                  In the scheme of things it wasn't too expensive. We had dinner for 6, including cocktails and dessert for aout 650 Real's. I've been to churrascaria's from Porto Alegre to Belo Horizonte and many in the US. This was by far the best. I went to a place called Baby Beef in Sao Paulo in July that was terrible and much more expensive than Barbacoa.

                  There was really no dish I didn't like. All the cuts of meat were tender, juicy and perfectly cooked. You'll have to ask for the cooked cheese. Also if you like dessert, the strawberry flambe was much better than the Papya Cream.

                  Hopefully I can go once more before I go back to the US this week.