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Jun 17, 2012 08:09 PM

Feijoada in Sao Paulo

Any recommendations on where to get good feijoada in Sao Paulo? We know about Figeuira Rubaiyat's feijoada bar, but we won't be in town on Wednesday and may not be able to get there on Saturday (can anyone advise if it's worth really trying? how much is is?). If we can't get there, any good recommendations for a good bowl elsewhere?

Thanks in advance

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  1. I posted a similar question on another site's board and someone came back with Bolinha, but from reviews I couldnt tell how much it was (overpriced and expensive were used in most reviews, though). Anyone have any thoughts on Bolinha?

    Does anyone know how much Figueira Rubaiyat's Saturday feijoada bar costs?

    9 Replies
    1. re: wallyg

      Where are you staying, that would make a difference particularly as a cab ride will add up quickly? Here are prices from Veja SP last fall, so they are probably pretty close, they also tell what is included (carne seca -- dried beef, torresmo -- fried pork rinds/belly, linguica -- sausage). R$75 for Bolinha, R$95 for Rubaiyat (with suckling pig, carne seca from a younger bovine, free drink). One other to mention from that list is Feijoada da Bia which Veja claims is served all days,but google reviews say otherwise -- Saturdays only (and that the price is R$60). I don't know much about it or the neighborhood and its going to be a long cab ride from the Paulista or Jardins, but if you want something that isn't Wed/Sat it might be worth looking into. The veja page has links to reviews of each restaurant (outside feijoada) with a bit more information including addresses and you could translate it with google. I haven't tried any on the list, so can't give you a specific review. I have been by Figueira Rubaiyat and its a nice, happening place and I have heard good thigns about Baby Beef Rubaiyat, but R$100 is steep even with the extras. However, if its near you the cab savings could make it worthwhile.

      If you were definitely in town on Saturday, one possible option is feijoada at an escola de samba. This is probably most fun with a few people. (Vai-vai I think has one regularly and is closer to the Paulista, but on their site I can only find old dates.) You could ask a hotel or work colleague to check out some of the "schedule" sites for escolas de samba to see if there was one in a reasonably safe area... or call vai-vai for you. Although this time of year is when Festas Juninas are held, so I wouldn't expect many. Here is one this coming weekend with entertainment, but its not at a very convenient location and R$80.

      1. re: itaunas

        We're staying by the World Trade Center. We're in town Saturday, but may have other obligations...we're not sure it'd be great to find something more flexible.

        Escolas de samba? I can translate that, but how does that work? I wouldn't imagine it'd be a very similar experience to a restaurant? It'll be just me and my wife.

        Thanks for the input!

        1. re: wallyg

          As far as the list of feijoadas from VejaSP, you are reasonably well located as several are in the general area of Itaim Bibi. As far as flexibility Bolinha has feijoada 7 days a week, its complete and says its made on a wood stove. Current price is R$89pp weekdays and $107pp weekends, but Veja claims for couples women are not charged if you go after 7pm so if true that could help with the cost although I would confirm first. Feijoada de Lana is also has full feijoada buffet on Sat and Sundays all day and holidays (one review on Veja claims it was good but jumped the shark) -- may have more limited feijoada buffet weekdays. Both are a little bit further than some of the others and a bit more expensive, but closer and less than Figueira Rubaiyat. Incidentally the Rubaiyat Faria Lima is closer to you and has Feijoada Wed/Sat, but don't know if they have all the separate options (where you can select each meat separately) and the suckling pig as at the one in Jardim Paulista. Any of the pricey feijoadas generally include a drink or drinks. You also are pretty close to Morumbi Shopping which has a few options (Esplanada Grill a churrascaria comes to mind) if you want to check out several places and decide on the spot, Feijoada probably only Wed or Saturday.

          If you want something a bit more reasonably priced, look for a nicer bar. Here are some ideas generally near your hotel, again Wed/Sat.

          Each Escola de Samba usually has its home "Quadra" or headquarters and rehearsal space. Some are hangers the size of a large airplane hanger, others a room the size of a school gym and larger rehearsals are held in the street. Generally rehearsals are held twice a week and are often open to the public for a fee, particularly when you get close to carnaval. Many have a bar (or at least a booth where you can buy beer tickets and redeem them for cans of beer), the more elaborate ones have VIP suites (camarotes), sell costumes, and security. Seating usually isn't a high priority (its samba...) and some get crowded, though! The rehearsals are particularly popular in Rio de Janeiro and are well traveled by tourists there, such that even though many are not in particularly nice areas there is reasonable access and cabs will go there. Feijoadas -- often sponsored by the "velha guarda" of the samba school -- are just another extension of this that some "escolas" do , generally on Saturdays, for fundraising purposes. In this case there will be a buffet and seating. Beyond that there are cultural shows done in some hotels and historic locations (pao de acucar) which include feijoada and a presentation from an escola de samba, but these tend to be somewhat expensive. Again its winter right now and "Sao Joao" and "Festas Juninas" are really the cultural events of this period, so you would really need to have someone call on your behalf to find out about even ensaios.

          Here is an article with a map of where the Escolas are located in Sao Paulo, as you can see Vai-Vai and Perola Negra are really the only ones remotely near you. But I think they are probably the most appropriate to accommodate foreign visitors if they have an ensaio during your visit.

          1. re: itaunas

            I was going to recommend Rubaiyat, because the Founder Ceo, and owner Balermino Fernández Iglesias from Lugo, Spain; who lives in Sao Paulo is a dear friend of our´s. He has a lovely restaurant in Madrid, Buenos Aires and I believe Rio de Janiero too ... RUBAIYAT´s Feijoada is fabulous in Madrid and Sao Paulo.

            We get over to Brazil at least once a year.

            Balermino also raises his own Wagyu Calves on a ranch in the Sao Paulo Province and has several vineyards. All of his products are sustainable and ecological.

            1. re: itaunas

              Any ideas for near my Sao Paulo hotel? A French magazine and New York magazine recommend Dom. But I prefer good food to showy expensive places, so I wonder whether anyone has suggestions for good bars or local spots near my hotel. It is the Blue Tree Hotel, and, as far as I can gather it is at Rua Quintana,1012 Brookline Novo, Sao Paulo 04569-011.

              1. re: Fuffy

                The post above has a link to three bars with slightly upscale food in Brooklin (Brazilian spelling of Brooklyn) Novo. I haven't been, but they sounded interesting enough to link them from a Feijoada blog. If you search back 2 years you can see some other threads for general Sao Paulo recommendations and the poster Ffromsaopaulo below also has a blog with some reviews. You'll have to include the commute time and cost of a cab in many outings though (such as to Itaim Bibi, Moema -- Braz, Shopping Ibirapuera).

                (prior post in this thread)

                1. re: itaunas

                  From the same owner of Botica do Quintana and with feijoada on saturdays is , although I have never been as it is far from where I usually go.
                  Would you consider going to other neighborhoods?
                  As itaunas mentioned, you would need to get a cab.
                  A good place is Piraja, according to google around 6 miles from your hotel, although traffic even on saturdays could take you a lot to get there.It is in Pinheiros area.
                  In Vila Mariana and around 6,5 miles from your hotel is Veloso, , which is very small, so you could have to wait a lot for a table, but feijoada is very good and the barman Souza has won several prizes for the best caipirinha in town (brazilian pinga or vodka with smashed fruits), being one of my favorite places in Sao Paulo.

                  1. re: itaunas

                    Hello Itaunas,
                    sorry to ask for help so last minute but I am traveling to Rio tomorrow and I was wondering if you can suggest some wonderful place (I am interested in Brazilian Food ) that I shouldn't miss once I get there !
                    Forgive me for interrupting a thread about Sao Paulo and Happy New Year! :)

                    1. re: Pappabuona

                      I just saw this posting now, so apologies if you see this after your trip. In which neighborhood in Rio are you staying and what kinds of dining experience are you still looking for -- modern upscale Brazilian food, inexpensive eats, regional food, churrasco? There are a couple of threads going on about Rio which you might want to refer to and other posters who can give you better guidance. Some things I do like specific to Rio is food served in some of the larger butecos (including some of the better salt cod balls in Brazil, "galeto" a small roasted chicken, things like "picanha na tabua," carne seca a mineira). You can get some more unusual cuts of meats at some rodizios, but something Rio and SP have are places with a la carte churrasco which I personally like (Majorica-Lgo de Machado near the center and Esplanada-Ipanema in Rio). There are good options for Portuguese food, some from Minas Gerais and I have enjoyed some of the regional offerings like Siri Mole but that was many years ago (and it still didn't compare to food in Bahia). Its worth becoming familiar with a "comida por kilo" restaurants as the capital cities have some good ones -- wider selection, healthier food choices, some special ingredients but I don't know many in the Zona Sul. There is great seafood in Rio, but unfortunately price is not a good indicator of quality so I would also look for a good a la carte place over one of the huge buffets. Make sure you visit a juice bar which uses fresh fruits, keep your eye out for exotic ice cream flavors (although many of the commercial brands fall flat), and try some bakery goods. You can try tapioca (a yuca flour crepe) or acaraje (black eyed pea fritters) from a street cart, such as at the Ipanema Hippie Fair or some farmers markets.

                      Here are some of the Rio topics I have liked which have some suggestions in those areas and different neighborhoods.


        2. Well, I've tried some of the high-priced feijoadas in São Paulo and, in my opinion, none of them worthed it. I'd still go for the simple stuff, offered every Wednesday and Saturay at any of these simple bars we call "botecos". Costs low and tastes great. Some will say you in risk of getting food poisoning, but I've been eating at these places since long ago and nothing ever happened to me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BrHotDelicious

            Price is now 112 reais, including amuses bouches, feijoada, batidas (cocktail), desserts and excluding tips. Some photos on my tumblr.

          2. I am ASTOUNDED by the prices quoted here!!!! I haven't been to SP in over ten years but visit Rio at least once a year. I think the most expensive feijoada we've ever gotten was maybe $R22 with drinks extra but including tons of desserts. Are the expensive places just for tourists? Is SP just that much more expensive than Rio? Amazing. And, IMO, Saturday is just a must. In addition to the food, we love seeing all the families and friends gather.

            2 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              c they eat feijoada in Copacabana?!? I thought it was just lettuce leaves, vegetarian sushi, noni, and suco de clorofila? :-) :-)

              If you check out the price of the feijoada at Antiquarius its in the same stratosphere as some of the ones in SP, there probably are other examples in Leblon, and closer to you the Skylab buffet is up there. If you head out to Petropolis the sky is the limit and while fish is more of the order on the litoral, Angra dos Reis probably has its own pricey bistro versions too.

              My recent experience is the middle-range per-kilo prices are pretty similar in good neighborhoods in both cities. And both cities have plenty of people who pay through the nose to "be seen" in the right places, as well as others who check off lists of "best restaurants." There are very different restaurant cultures between the two, so that is probably the biggest difference. Sao Paulo has had a fair number of restaurants at the higher end featuring "culinaria regional," its where "contemporary" cooking started (featuring more exotic regional ingredients/essences/flavors), and in Rio the "boteco" is much more of an institution. So yeah in Sao Paulo people are more used to paying more for traditional food and I have seen large family outings such as notable birthdays in the few expensive restaurants I have been to. That seems slightly less common in Rio (also where Portuguese was the rule at the high end for many years), but could be the people I know -- a family gathering would involve a special fish or churrasco, or aunts getting together to cook while the men in the family watch Flamengo... or just head to the beach to eat a few skewers of churrasquinho de gato.

              In any case there are inexpensive bar feijoadas in Sao Paulo in many neighborhoods, except maybe not the Jardins. And there are some less expensive well known ones too. BTW, Commercial Real Estate is reportedly as or more expensive than some regions of Rio than Sao Paulo today and I have better luck getting a more affordable reasonable hotel on the metro in Sao Paulo than Rio recently. So if you haven't been to Rio this year expect some higher prices (although better $ exchange). An arroba de boi gordo (Brazilian commodity) is still cheaper in RJ state than SP, so in general the food index should be slightly less but they are both pricey compared to the rest of Brazil.

              1. re: itaunas

                Hi, itaunas!

                We've seen prices climbing over the five years we've been visiting and I'm actually glad. Brazil is really coming into its own as a world player and higher prices mean, in some cases anyway, higher wages. Our fave feijoada place in Rio, The Deck, on Atlantica at maybe Siquero Campos, has changed from a buffet to a plate and, while good, it just isn't the same. We liked being able to pick and choose from the little "cauldrons" of piggy goodness. And all the little toppings. And then return to choose from approx. a dozen desserts. So we moved down the beach to another place that also isn't a buffet but the food was better. BTW, we sold our apartment this summer...for 3X what we paid for it 5 years ago!!! Tschau, C