Restaurants in São Paulo
Since this is a city that has grown thanks to immigrants, you’ll find pretty much any cuisine among São Paulo restaurants, from Portuguese to Middle Eastern, Japanese and plenty of Italian. The classic local cuisine, however, is found at the Brazilian churrascarias—all-you-can-eat buffets featuring skewers or the Wednesday--and-Saturday feasts of feijoad, the national dish of black beans and pork with rice, kale, and oranges. In general, São Paolo locals (or Paulistas) tend to dress up a la Europeans for dinner out, and they also like to start late, at 9 or 10 pm. Below are some of the best restaurants in São Paulo.
Mocoto, in the Zona Norte, is an acclaimed São Paulo restaurant that features northern Brazilian specialties, including mouth-watering torresmos (fried pig skin) and rich mocofava (cow-hoof soup with sausage). D.O.M. is a serious foodie-magnet that offers a Brazilian-themed tasting menu by chef Alex Atala. Try the shrimp infused with tamarind and cashew juice and the banana-lime dessert. Just off the Avenue Reboucas, Maria Brigadeiro is a São Paulo restaurant is famous for its brigadeiros, a uniquely Brazilian bonbon concocted of condensed milk, butter and chocolate powder. They are served here in flavors such as pistachio, walnut and cachaça (sugarcane alcohol).
Restaurants don’t get any cooler—or more Brazilian—than this current cult spot owned by 30-year-old Rodrigo Oliveira.
Known for its piled-sky-high mortadella sandwich and flaky pastel de bacalhau (salt-cod pastries).
Though the pleasant exposed brick and liberal use of Brazilian woods clash with the awful banquet chairs, this business steak house is the classiest dining spot at Guarulhos.
A required stop for foodies (and big-name chefs from Alain Ducasse to Ferran Adrià), D.O.M. serves a tasting menu by pioneering chef Alex Atala that showcases Brazilian flavors.
Chef Edinho Engel started the Cambury dining revolution 18 years ago when he opened the restaurant in the rain forest at the end of a 50-foot boardwalk.
In addition to its quality beer, this Rio microbrewery serves traditional Brazilian dishes like picanha (roughly though inaccurately translated as rump steak) and croquettes stuffed with sun-dried beef and yucca with India Pale Ale. The only downside?
Head to Emporio de Serra tavern atop the Cantareira, overlooking São Paulo’s skyscrapers, to savor Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha, made of lime juice, sugar, and cachaça (distilled from sugarcane).
Big, flat oysters are shucked to order for patrons while they wait for their fish to be cleaned.
Though Argentine by birth, Brazil, too, has fallen for this café chain, especially its dulce de leche–stuffed alfajores (a South American confection featuring fillings between two sweet biscuits). It also has the best coffee, post-security.