South America’s Next Great City
This South American megalopolis gets more glamorous by the minute—and more accessible. Hop on a nine-hour overnight American flight and escape to summer (literally). Now is when the natives, who famously gripe when the mercury drops below 70 degrees, are at their liveliest.
WHERE TO STAY Singer Caetano Veloso is rumored to have a room reserved year-round at the airy Emiliano (384 Rua Oscar Freire; 55-11/3068-4399; www.emiliano.com.br; doubles from $320). Hotel Fasano (88 Rua Vittorio Fasano; 55-11/3896-4000; www.fasano.com.br; doubles from $506) has a retro-classic feel, and the futuristic Hotel Unique (4700 Avda. Brigadeiro Luís Antônio; 55-11/3055-4710; www.hotelunique.com.br; doubles from $380) has some of the best city views.
WHERE TO EAT At Café de la Musique (1400 Avda. Jucelino Kubitschek; 55-11/3079-5588; dinner for two $120) the menu and décor rotate seasonally. Sushi chefs at the hot spot Nakombi (170 Rua Pequetita; 55-11/3845-9911; dinner for two $65), slice fish inside a VW bus. For lunch, head to Figueira Rubaiyat (1738 Rua Haddock Lobo; 55-11/3063-3888; dinner for two $110), built up around a cyclopean fig tree.
WHAT TO DO Browse cutting-edge clothing at Clube Chocolate (913 Rua Oscar Freire; 55-11/3084-1500), a warm-up for Daslu (131 Avda. Chedid Jafet; 55-11/3841-4000), the city’s gargantuan temple of chic. Spend Saturday afternoon in the Pinheiros neighborhood, flipping through vintage bossa nova LP’s at the Praça Benedito Calixto flea market. In the evening, "urban bossa" and other live music entertains an energetic crowd at Grazie a Dio! (67 Rua Girassol; 55-11/3031-6568) and Brazilian DJ’s spin at Love Club & Lounge (189 Rua Pequetita; 55-11/3044-1613). —Karen Keller