Let’s face it, eating is one of the great pleasures of travel. And even the incredible aromas of delicious fare that waft from eateries of all kinds along Sao Paulo streets make it worth the trip here. Whatever your cravings, there’s a little of everything here; from Italian or American to Asian and local cuisine, so we’ve compiled a ‘best of’ list that will help you find the right meal in a delicious sea of options.
Best Italian Eats
If you’ve got a strong hankering for some carbs, Italian cuisine is always the best option. Sao Paulo has a large selection of Italian eateries that offer up high quality wine and some serious pasta. Due Cuochi is a great example. Their award-winning food and eclectic wine selection make this a top pick among locals and tourists alike. Crisp plating and a fine dining atmosphere elevate your experience, and you’ll be satisfied for hours after having a plate of their sauce-drenched gnocchi, scampi, or risotto. They also have mouthwatering desserts like molten lava cake with Baileys and a side of passion fruit sorbet for an insatiable sweet tooth. Famiglia Mancini is another gem with rustic decor that screams Italia and a swinging live band that you will keep your toes tapping while you sip your vino and delve into some seriously delicious antipasto from the heart of Sao Paulo’s Little Italy.
Tapas and Pub Food
You simply cannot visit any country in South America without experiencing the phenomenon known as Tapas, and there are literally tons of places to enjoy these appies with a tall glass of craft beer or a stiff drink. Veloso Bar serves up tapas with a Portuguese twist. The red brickwork and minimalist interior are the perfect atmosphere to experience their highly touted Coxhina, known as chicken croquettes to us Anglo-touristas. If you’re more in the mood for a liquid lunch after seeing some historic sites in Vila Mariana, you can chill on the patio with Brazil’s national beverage, the Caipirinha, in one of many exotic fruit flavors. If you’re starving and need something more substantial to wash down your suds with, grab a famous Mortadella Sandwich at the 81 year old Bar Do Mane smack dab in the middle of the Mercado Municipal, Sao Paulo’s biggest and most notable market. The place is constantly packed thanks to great food and kudos from culinary heavyweights like Anthony Bourdain, but any one of their Brazilian deli-style sandwiches will keep you full for days.
Desserts To Die For
If you’re into sugar and the intricacies of Portuguese sweets, you simply have to get down to the uniquely paved Praca Antonio Prado for some Pastel de Belem, a creamy custard-like tart, at Casa Mathilde. This boutique style bakery has been around since back in Portugal during the 1850s. Guests can park themselves at a table near the tall windows for a panoramic view of Sao Paulo’s architecture or find a seat at the modern cafe style booths while sipping a latte and chomping on Petit Fours or Travesseiros de Sintra. If you want something cold, go for one of Bacio di Latte’s conveniently placed locations where you can get large helpings of gelato in stunning flavors like passion fruit, double chocolate, and wild cherry for a fair price. They use organic sugar and fine quality cream and yogurt to make their frozen fare, and they’ll serve it in a cone, cup, or as part of a platter with Petit Fours and little pitchers of fudge and runny caramel. Pure heaven.
Specialties di Sao Paulo
On top of all these tantalizing options, there are many more hidden gems in the city for those of us that have particular tastes. Vegans can dine at Maha Mantra in Vila Madalena, which has an Indian-inspired, organic, buffet-style vegan menu, a warm sunlit patio, and really affordable fresh meal options. Pizzaria Veridiana is the most revered local pizza place. Its roots are planted in Higienopolis, one of the most affluent neighborhoods of Sao Paulo, and the romantic architecture both indoors and out amplifies the diverse wine list and sexy menu. Those who wish to get their Umami on should visit (of all places) the Sao Paulo Soccer Stadium and splurge on sushi, sashimi, and other Japanese delights at By Koji with its kimono-wearing waitresses and a sky-box view during games.