Restaurants in Sao Paulo
With more pizzerias than any Italian city, 50 different national cuisines and some 12,500 restaurants, São Paulo is not short of culinary choices. The Brazilian staple may be beans, rice and pork, but immigrant recipes have added world-class Japanese restaurants, Middle Eastern eateries and Italian dishes to the gastronomic spread.
The city has great options for snack food, with juice bars serving up tangy, rich açaí (made from a vitamin-rich Amazonian berry), pão de queijo (cheese buns) and other light fare. Botecos (bars) dole out piping hot salgados (snacks) like pastels (a pastry filled with cheese, meat or shrimp), coxhinhas (shredded chicken in a tear-shaped crust) and kibes (ground spicy beef inside a golden crust) - all of which go nicely with an ice-cold chope (draft beer). Paulistanos traditionally enjoy feijoada (black bean and pork stew) on Saturdays and Sundays are often pizza nights. Recent years have seen the rise of fine-dining establishments, making the city the culinary capital of Latin America.
The São Paulo restaurants below have been hand-picked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over 225BRL)
Moderate (120BRL to 225BRL)
Cheap (under 120BRL)
These São Paulo restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for one, including a drink, and 10% service tax, unless stated otherwise.
Superstar chef Alex Atala serves up contemporary Brazilian cuisine that soon exhausts superlatives. Within a high-ceilinged modernist interior, his team blends traditional Brazilian foods with experimental cooking techniques to tantalize the palate. Here, you'll find wild manioc, jambu (an Amazonian herb), baru (a type of nut) and palm hearts spectacularly reanimated with gels and foams. Atala actively supports indigenous Amazonian communities in obtaining his produce.Address: Jardins, Rua Barão de Capanema 549, São Paulo, 01411-011
Telephone: +55 11 3088 0761
Chef Tsuyoshi Murakami follows a 30-year tradition of Kappo cuisine in this stellar Japanese restaurant. Kappo philosophy presents ingredients as fresh and of the highest-quality, while its presentation is refined and elaborate. Seven- and nine-course tasting menus offer visionary combinations like terrine of smoked eel with foie gras and green apple. The dining room, designed by architect Naoki Otake, is intimate and calm.Address: Vila Nova Conceição, Rua Jacques Félix 405, São Paulo, 04509-000
Telephone: +55 11 3849 6940.
Serving modern but unpretentious dishes with heaps of flair, this hidden gem of a restaurant is worth seeking out. Its innovative cuisine includes everything from seared tuna with quinoa and blackberry chutney to octopus sticks with potatoes and sweet paprika. Tuck in and enjoy.Address: Pinheiros, Rua Joaquim Antunes 210, São Paulo , 05415-010
Telephone: +55 11 3085 4148
Bistrô CharlôCuisine: Fusion
A cracking alternative if you crave fine dining and attentive service without a hefty bill at the end. This white tablecloth bistro delivers hearty Brazilian favourites with a streak of French haute cuisine. A three-course meal might include sea scallops with hearts of palm, grilled duck breast with pears and spinach, and compote of figs with almond cookies, though the menu changes regularly.Address: Cerqueira César, Rua Barão de Capanema 454, São Paulo, 01411-011
Telephone: +55 11 3087 4444
Feijoada da LanaCuisine: Brazilian
Feijoada, the famed national dish of Brazil is served up with panache at this delightful restaurant in Vila Madalena. For those new to the experience, feijoada is a decadent pork and black bean stew that simmers for hours to give it a hearty, rich flavour. It's served with shredded kale, orange slices, rice and toasted manioc flour that's sprinkled on top and goes best with a caipirinha or two. Normally dished up on Saturdays, it's available every day of the week at Feijoada da Lana.Address: Vila Madalena, Rua Aspicuelta 421, São Paulo, 11730-050
Telephone: +55 11 3814 9191
A bright and funky restaurant that is perfect for terminally indecisive diners. Chef Hugo Delgado's enthusiasm for international cuisine spills over onto an eclectic menu featuring Brazilian, Italian, Mexican, and Thai dishes. Decide whether you're in the mood for penne pasta, spicy nam tok salad, or moqueca (Brazilian seafood stew). Frequented by an unpretentious and fun-loving crowd, the eatery also has periodic themed evenings featuring music and a specific cuisine.Address: Jardins, Rua Melo Alves 205, São Paulo, 01417-010
Telephone: +55 11 3086 4774
Bráz PizzariaCuisine: Pizza
Italian immigrants left a long-lasting legacy on the food scene of São Paulo, particularly in the realm of pizza. Inside this handsomely designed space you can taste the old-fashioned recipes honed to perfection in marvellous pizzas baked up in a wood-burning oven. Start off with a plate of steaming sausage bread, and a few rounds of draft beer before moving onto their delectable pies. Bráz has three locations around the city, plus three in Rio as well, and they're all enormously popular. Arrive early to beat the crowds.Address: Higienópolis, Rua Sergipe 406, São Paulo, 01243-000
Telephone: +55 11 3214-3337
Elidio BarCuisine: Brazilian
Mercado Municipal has inexpensive market snacks through a host of lunchtime eateries such as Hocca Bar and Bar do Mané. The market is famous for mortadellas, essentially doorstep bacon sandwiches, and pastel de bacalhau– codfish pasties. Upstairs, the Elidio Bar offers sit-down dining, though tables are at a premium. In addition to tasty snack fare, Elidio whips up more substantial (and pricier) dishes like grilled steak and fish plates.Address: Mooca, Rua Isabel Dias 57, São Paulo,
Telephone: +55 11 2021 3097
Karê YaCuisine: Japanese
Emerge from Liberdade Metro Station and you might be forgiven for believing you'd accidentally traveled to the Far East. For those with budgets not stretching to five-star Japanese restaurants, bargain sushi and sashimi restaurants cluster around Praça da Liberdade. Karê Ya Restaurant serves fresh sushi and sashimi platters that are prepared before your eyes. Price is only for sushi and soft drink.Address: Liberdade, Praça da Liberdade 258, São Paulo, 01503-010
Telephone: +55 11 3271 0746.