Travel Guide: São Paulo
As the locals say, if Rio de Janeiro is like LA, then São Paulo is the New York City of South America. A cosmopolitan haven! The city has four restaurants in the worlds top 100, seven restaurants on Latin America’s top 50, and the number one restaurant in Brazil. There are plenty of hip neighborhoods with cool cafés, cocktail bars, vintage clothing shops, and antique stores. The city is also a hub for travel within the country, centrally located with three airports and flights to some of the biggest attractions in Brazil from the Amazon to Iguazu Falls. And not to worry if you’re craving the beach, Rio is a 25 minute flight away!
Food & Drink
1 A Casa do Porco • e landed in São Paulo and took a taxi straight to Porco for opening time at noon. Without a reservation, we were told a 2hr wait time, as expected for the seventh best restaurant (and short compared to the 4-8hr waits we saw on google reviews). It was well worth it! We opted for the tasting menu which showcased the restaurants specialty, pork. Chunks of juicy pancetta with guava jam served in a ceramic pigs head, pork sushi, pork tartar, pork bone broth soup, pork sausage, pork arepas, you name it! The cocktail pairings were also a highlight, all house-made and featuring mai-tais, pisco sours, micheladas and house liquors! If you can’t get a reservation (like us), we recommend going when the restaurants opens at noon to minimize the wait.
2 D.O.M. • D.O.M. rates as one of the best bang for buck fine dining experiences we have had while traveling. The twelve course tasting menu showcased a range of Brazilian dishes such as Amazonian cod with açaí tapenade, slow roasted local lamb, and guava salad. The wine was perfectly paired with South American whites and reds, the dish portions were generous, and the service staff were knowledgeable and friendly. At ~$200 per person with pairings, we would highly recommend this tasting menu experience.
3 Tan Tan • Tan Tan is a double entry, sitting on the world’s top 100 bars and Latin Americas top restaurant list. The house yardbird katsusando (homemade hamburger) and wonton ramen were as delicious as any you would eat in Japan!
1 Santana Bar • Santana Bar is one of those places you plan to revisit the second you step inside. The hip bar blends in with the street vibe so well so you only notice it due to the crowd of people sitting at the counter and on the patio. The cocktail menu has classic offerings dating back to Fish House Punch invented in 1794 through to the Cubed Old Fashion invented in 2011. There’s a house signatures section with a banana daiquiri that comes highly recommended!
2 Tan Tan • Japanese food, cocktails, and hip hop, a perfect combination! The house cocktails were creative, expertly mixed, and dangerously tasty. We would recommend starting off with a cocktail from the Hall of Fame (the Tan Tan Club is our favourite) and pairing a saké with your meal!
3 Picco • Cocktails, pizzas, music and art gathered in a bar called Picco in the Pinheiros neighbourhood. The outdoor space is covered in graffiti by São Paulo street artists and there is live music everyday, ranging from jazz to Brazilian.
1 Mercadão • This is São Paulo's biggest and busiest municipal market, located in the old centre of the city. The market has hundreds of stalls selling fruit, vegetables, spices, and cured meats, as well as several restaurants which source ingredients straight from the market.
2 Mercado Municipal de Pinheiros • Located in the trendy neighborhood of Pinheiros, the Mercado Municipal de Pinheiros is a great option for anyone looking to buy superb produce and rare ingredients sourced from all over Brazil. Also, some of the city's best chefs have opened food stalls at this market, and we hear Comedoria Gonzales serves the best ceviche in town!
3 Feira da Praça Benedito Calixto • A short walk from the Mercado Municipal de Pinheiros is Benedito Calixto Square. Every Saturday the square hosts a market selling local art, vinyl records, vintage clothing, and antique furniture.
Other Food & Drink
Other Food • Maní, Evvai, Metzi, Charco Restaurante, Tuy Cocina I Jardins, Gopala Restaurant, Espaço Aflora, Chou, KOF - King of The Fork, La Guapa Empanadas, Make Hommus. Not war
Other Drink • Guarita Bar, Bar Do Julinho, Pensão Bar, Bar Astor, Seen - Restaurant & Bar, Jiquitaia, Bar e Lanches Estadão
Coffee Shops • STUDIOS COFFEE, The Coffee (all locations), the little coffee shop, Coffee Walk, Sensory Coffee Roasters
Activities & Attractions
1 Helicopter Tour • Fly over Brazil’s “concrete jungle” of São Paulo. Views of Paulista Avenue, Santander skyscraper, and municipal market landmarks to look at out for!
2 Santos & Guarujá Day Trip • Relax on the beautiful white sand beaches of Guarujá before heading to the picturesque coastal town of Santos. Take the funicular to the top of Monte Serrat for panoramic views of the coast!
3 Jaraguá Park • Forty minutes outside of the city is Jaraguá Park. This is the perfect if you enjoy the outdoors. The hike through the Atlantic Forest rewards you at the top with 360 views of São Paulo.
Other Attractions (Sites, Parks, etc.)
Sites • São Paulo Botanical Garden, Avenida Paulista, Sé (Cathedral), Teatro Municipal, Beco do Batman (Batman Alley)
Day trips • Santos & Guarujá, Ilhabela, Bertioga, São Sebastião, Ubatuba, Campos do Jordao, Embu das Artes, Louveira, Brotas, Barretos
Galleries/Museums • Museu de Arte, Museo do Futebol, Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Museu Paulista
Parks • Ibirapuera Park, Trianon Park, Parque da Independência, Parque da Aclimação
Pinheiros, Jardins, Jardim Paulista
Airbnb & Hotels
A Duplex Charmoso Novo • This was one of the best Airbnb’s we have stayed in! The Airbnb is in an excellent location, Pinheiros, with central access to all of São Paulo, and the perfect launchpad for exploring the city. The loft was super clean, equipped with all the essentials for our stay, including WiFi for working remotely. It was also super stylishly decorated, and spaciously laid out over two floors!
A APT GARDENS • This Airbnb is located in one of the most coveted neighbourhoods in São Paulo, Jardins (the Gardens). The flat is within walking distance to Ibirapuera Park, Avenue Paulista, and Oscar Ferreira Street. Plus, the building has great amenities such as a gym and sauna!
H Guest Urban Hotel • This boutique hotel is affordable, and features warehouse-chic rooms. Located in the trendy neighbourhood of Pinheiros, the hotel is within walking distance to the best restaurants, cafes, and bars in the city.