Where to go in São Paulo
While in São Paulo I took the opportunity to explore some foodie related places and some sites of interest in the city I was born. The city of São Paulo is ranked among the five-largest metropolitan areas on the planet with a population of around 20 million. São Paulo is the capital of São Paulo state, which is the most populous state in Brazil. The city is ranked 3rd in the world in number of high-rise buildings with more than six thousand. If you ever find yourself in São Paulo here are my suggestions – what to do and where to go.
by Rosana McPhee
A typical street market in São Paulo. This kind of market has been taking place in the streets of Brazil since the 17th century. Selling fresh produce as well as street food, each district has at least one market during the week. They are regulated by the town hall and great sources of jobs as well as distributing fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish.
A great place to sample food from all over Brazil under one roof and to stock up on essential Brazilian products and ingredients from top quality producers.
Underground: Luz or São Bento – 10 mins walk
Comida for kilo is everywhere in Brazil. This is usually an extensive buffet of hot and cold foods and desserts, where your plate is weighed and you pay per kilo.
In a rodízio the customer pays a fixed price and the waiters bring an offering of food to each customer at several times throughout the meal, until the customers signals that they have had enough. In churrascarias, servers come to the table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of meat, most commonly local cuts of beef, pork, or chicken. There’s always a buffet of hot and cold food to accompany the meats. There are other rodízio style restaurants, for example serving pasta or pizza rodízio (where various pizzas are brought on trays). Its common, also, to have rodízio-style sushi restaurants in Brazil.
Two fruits to try while in Brazil
Caju (where cashew nuts comes from) has unique taste and texture and Jabuticaba
Avenida Paulista and the Underground
Avenida Paulista is the heart of the financial, cultural and business centre in São Paulo, the 2.8 kilometre is home to an extensive shopping area and to Latin America’s most comprehensive fine-art museum, MASP.
Liberdade – our Soho
Pinacoteca – museum of visual arts
Estação da Luz
Places to stay, eat and drink
Located at Jardins district – Upmarket restaurants and shops, near Av. Paulista
Great bar at Unique hotel, the Skye Bar and view over Sao Paulo (below), designed by Ruy Ohtake
Most famous junction in Sao Paulo: Av Ipiranga x Av. Sao Joao – a bit of a touristic point, Bar Brahma. Bar Brahma has been the meeting place of choice for intellectuals, musicians and theatre-goers since 1948. The bar bore witness to key events in São Paulo’s history, from inflamed discussions about the political repression of the 1960s to the start of bohemian samba circles. Great for sampling some of Brazil’s famous nibbles like pao de queijo, coxinha, picanha na brasa, etc. The menu is extensive and my suggestion is to wash all down with a delicious caipirinha or chopp (light coloured beer) served below freezing.
Panoranic view of São Paulo from 41st Floor from Terraco Italia Bar and Restaurant
Free between 3-4pm Monday-Friday – check before you go.
Pavement outline of São Paulo Map
Praca and Cathedral Sé
Neo-gothic architecture, construction started in 1913 and it took 40 years to build
Praça da Republica – small green square in the heart of the city
Parque do Ibirapuera
The largest green area in Sao Paulo with museums, exhibition spaces, planetary, theater, cultural spaces, momuments, picnic and sports areas (basketball, skating, football, running, cycling to name a few). The Museum of Contemporany Art, MAM- Museum of Modern Art, Museum AfroBrasil, in the grounds of this immense park, were designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the 1950s.
City Centre – Map
Words by Rosana McPhee. You can read more of Rosana’s writing on Brazilian food at Hot and Chili.