São Paulo is a curious city served for many palates. This diverse cultural metropolis is one of the largest cities in the world with a population of 10,886,518 inhabitants, and some 3 million immigrants from 70 different nationalities.
São Paulo is the main financial, commercial and corporate centre of Latin America, hosting some of the most well qualified executives in the world. Since there are no beautiful beaches nearby to distract Paulistas (São Paulo city inhabitants) most of their lives are dedicated to their jobs.
The luxury market is very large in São Paulo, which is proud to be the 6th city with most billionaires in the world, according to Forbes Magazine. With 21 billionaires and many more millionaires, the city has attained the largest fleet of helicopters in the world! Don’t be deluded though; there is still a lot of poverty and violence that haunts the city.
São Paulo is also host to some of the best restaurants, bars, night clubs and events which makes it a very fun city for outing. Just don’t mind the heavy and hectic traffic, pollution and noise of the big city. Much like NY, if you know the right places to go, you will have a blast!
Picking were to stay can be tricky. There are hundreds of hotels in the city, so make sure you know what neighbourhood you want to stay at before you choose a hotel. Some well known hotels include the Melia chain hotels with many locations, the Grand Hyatt and the Tivoli Mofarrej which are good executive picks; and of course the fabulous boutique hotels that are staples of the city like Unique, Fasano and Emiliano.
From the moment you awake till late at night there is somewhere you must be eating. São Paulo is a gastronomic pole with foods for all appetites. For breakfast, you must check out the bakery or pastry shops known as “padarias”, you will delight yourself with delicious baked goods. Padarias can be found everywhere in São Paulo, some famous ones include Galeria dos Paes, Bella Paulista, Dona Deola, Emporio Itaim and Julice Boulangere.
The city is especially known for their amazing restaurants with renown chefs from all over the world, some of these Haute Cuisine restaurants include Fasano, Emiliano, Mani, Buddha Bar, Figueira Rubaiyat and D.O.M. If you are in doubt of what restaurant to pick, take a stroll down Rua Amauri in Itaim Bibi, which has amazing eateries to pick from.
If you like sushi, you are in luck, São Paulo is home to the largest Japanese community outside Japan and has the best sushi restaurants, which include Mori Sushi, Jam, and Koi. If you like traditional experiences, you must check out Mercado Municipal and get the Mortadela Sandwich, or check out Ponto Chic and get the Bauru, or maybe even go down to Frangó and try the coxinha and the many types of national and international beers.
Pizzerias are very popular among Paulistas, most pizza restaurants serve the New York style pizza with the thin crust, however you can request the thick crust if you like. Some good pizza restaurants are Casa Braz, A Tal da Pizza, Cristal Pizza and Ritto. The famous meat rodízios (all you can eat) is also a must while in São Paulo, good places to go include, Barbacoa, Rodeio and Fogo de Chão.
São Paulo is especially known for it’s good night life. There are great bars to visit and happening clubs to dance at. Some even say, the nightlife in São Paulo is better than in NY! For a sophisticated night out, check the restaurants and bars in Jardins like Brown Sugar and Bar Numero. Later head down to Itaim Bibi and hit up Mynt Lounge a fabulous nightclub. Kiss and Fly, Dorothy and A.F.A.I.R are also happening nightclubs in town. If you are into a more alternative type club, head up to Centro and check out D-Edge, on Monday nights they have rock and roll music! For a quieter night out, take a walk on Rua Aspicuelta in Vila Madalena. For some good beer and chat with friends check out São Bento, Posto 6, José Menino.
Culture and Events
Avenida Paulista is one of the main financial centres of the city, however it also an important entertainment and cultural point with many cinemas, museums, restaurants, coffee shops and bookstores. Many worldwide events have come to São Paulo, including The SPFW . It is not only the most important fashion week in Latin America, but also one of the most creative ones in the world, with outdoor runways and innovating fashion style. This event takes place in the Pavilhão da Bienal in the Ibirapuera Park. This park is like a beach for Paulista, you will see people from all ages enjoying themselves on either a bike or running track or visiting one of the nearby cultural monuments.
If you are into art galleries, São Paulo has some great innovating graffiti art, located outdoors in “Batman Alley” – Beco do Batman in Portuguese. There are also some good museums in the city to check out, some include Museu da Lingua Portuguesa – Museum of the Portuguese language, MASP which is one of the most important museums in Brazil and finally the fun Soccer museum, about the Brazilian soccer history name Museu do Futebol.
Plain or with milk, short or double, with or without whipped cream. The Paulista’s are crazy for coffee, but not just any coffee, they are used to a very strong kind which you can’t find in other Brazilian city. Some popular coffee shops are Oscar Café, Boutique Bar Nespresso, Santo Grão, Cafeera. Tip: take a delicious breakfast at Suplicy.
Praça Benedito Calixto hosts one of the most charming fairs of the capital, with many antiques, and vintage clothing on Saturdays. A very famous outdoor shopping points in São Paulo is 25 de Março, it is known for its vast quantity of cheap accessories, cloths and home appliances. On the other side of town, you will find Oscar Freire, a high-end street filled with Louis Vuitton, Channel and all designer brands. You can also find these designer brands in luxurious malls like Villa Daslu and Shopping Cidade Jardim. Tip: the movie theatre in Shopping Cidade Jardim is a must!
Brazilians are known for their creativity. We have some of the world’s greatest publicists, artists and architects. Oscar Niemeyer is by far the most well known architect of the country, he designed Brasilia, the capital of the country and many more buildings like Edificio Copan, Oca in Ibirapuera Park, and Memorial da America Latina. An interesting building to check out is Edificio Banespa, which is the 3rd highest building in the city where you have a privileged view of Mercado Municipal, Catedral da Sé and Edificio Italia. After Edificio Banespa, you should stroll down to Edificio Italia for a good Italian meal and a great view of the city.
Written by Brazilian Guru, a travel blog written directly from Brazil! Check us out for travel tips, good restaurants, fabulous parties, beautiful beaches and only the best of Brazil.