Heading to São Paulo? Get ready for one helluva dining experience. If there was a comparison required, Sampa, as it's known by locals is a larger, denser, more tropical New York City. And if you’re a foodie, you'll already start to salivate about the possibilities of what that means. Some claim it’s the most important food city in Latin America (widely rivaled by Mexico City and Lima). With almost 20 million people in the metro area--including more people of Italian descent than Rome and the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, along with concentrated populations of Brazilians of Portuguese, Lebanese, Syrian, Spanish and African descent--you're never going to get bored exploring the multifaceted cuisines of SP. Nonetheless, with all this eating opportunity, it’s a city where you want to know where to eat. If you want good food and a truly sophisticated Sampa experience, you're at the right page.
JoJo Ramen has been claimed by several locals to be the best ramen in SP. Which is the equivalent of a New York local claiming they know the best ramen joint in NYC. Spacing here is limited, and the ramen is, in fact, quite delicious. The vibe is casual and relaxed. I would recommend this for a weekday dinner or lunch. Great place to go with a small group of friends. Just be weary that there will be a wait
Location: R. Dr. Rafael de Barros, 262 - Paraíso, São Paulo - SP, 04003-041, Brazil
If you're looking to impress a date or have a cocktail with a group of friends/colleagues, let Skye Bar's rooftop views and pool set the ambiance to your evening. Cuisine varies between a Japanese and Brazilian fusion. Quite a common theme in São Paulo. Enjoy the views and company as you set into your night. P.S. This place has made the list of World's Best Bars ;)
Location: Hotel Unique - Av. Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 4700 - Jardim Paulista, São Paulo - SP, 01402-002, Brazil
Yes, you read that right. There is an EATALY in Brazil, and of course it's in the city where everything goes down in Brazil, none other than the Belly of the Beast. So of course without a doubt this makes the list of top ten places in SP to wine and dine. Step into this multistory building and let the chaos of Brazil escape you as you enter the country of Italy. Enjoy the grocery store, cafe, meat stands, restaurants, and gelato. Eataly just doesn't get old.
Location: Av. Pres. Juscelino Kubitschek, 1489 - Itaim Bibi, São Paulo - SP, 04543-011, Brazil
This restaurant opened late 2017 and is located in the JK Iguatemi Mall. São Paulo does one thing damn right and that's sushi. The ambiance at Kitchin is impeccable and brings in a crowd outside of mall goers because of it. Enjoy cocktails here and some of the finest sushi. Let the staff take care of you, and who knows, maybe a drink or two here may convince you to buy that item at JK Iguatemi you've had your eyes on ;)
Location: Av. Pres. Juscelino Kubitschek, 2041 - Vila Olímpia, São Paulo - SP, 04543-011
The famous chain from NYC and Miami makes it's sexy way to SP. I'll be honest and say the food did not meet my standards BUT this is the spot for a big group dinner. Why you ask? Go in on a Friday/Saturday night for a late dinner and watch the restaurant turn upside down. Music starts blaring, bottles with sparklers start coming around, and before you know it, you're dancing on top of the table with your new Brazilian friends. Not a bad way to start the weekend night out. I would have never guessed walking into this classy French establishment that it would turn into such a party.
Ok - this place is NOT in São Paulo City, only in São Paulo State - but let me share that it is a TOP 5 FAVORITE throughout the WORLD. This place calls for a mountain weekend trip to Sao Bento do Sapucai. Everything is locally grown and cooked down to the wine. You take a long dirt road that the GPS doesn’t recognize to get here. When you get to the restaurant, you truly feel like you just walked into a fairy tale. The landscape is beautiful, the service is spectacular, and the food is worth the trek. I promise you won’t be disappointed. If time allows for a weekend getaway, rent a car and make your way out here to enjoy this mountain country side. Contact the restaurant beforehand for reservations and directions.
Location: Unknown. You have to connect with the restaurant/ask locals.
Try reaching them at: +55 12 99745-9897
Seen sits on a top floor of the Tivoli Hotel offering 360 degree views of São Paulo. The establishment has the sex appeal and intimacy for a date night or a classy dinner party. The restaurant offers an international cuisines so your options aren’t limited when it comes to pairing your choices with a full cocktail bar. This restaurant is a must have experience while you’re in Sampa! Tivoli Hotel also offers pool side service if you decide to make a day trip out of the experience.
Location: Alameda Santos, 1437,Cerqueira César CEP - 01419-001 São Paulo - Brasil
Fun fact - The second largest concentration of Japanese in the world reside in... SP! Sushi is a deeply integrated social institution in this city. And for us foodies, that means that this city has the best sushi in the world after Japan. It can be tricky to get a reservation here at Nakka, even on a Tuesday night. Make sure to reserve ahead of time. Getting seated by the sushi bar is always the best look if you’re into something more intimate. The chef’s put on quite the show. Recommendations -
Location: Rua Pedroso Alvarenga, 890 Itaim Bibi, São Paulo - SP
This is a fusion Brazilian joint owned by a chef that was voted 2014’s best female chef in the world. Not sure how someone can be named best chef in the world but HEY - congrats on the recognition, kudos to Helena Rizzo! Now - I usually don’t eat much steak because of it’s hard, chewy texture, but let me tell you that Mani Manioca has the BEST filet mignon I have EVER had. Full of flavor and the perfect consistency. Get ready to drop some dolla dolla bills on this beautiful, sun-filled spot. I recommend it for a classy lunch. Pro tip - Make sure to get the Capiroksa with Dragon Fruit.
Location: R. Joaquim Antunes, 210 - Pinheiros, São Paulo - SP, 05415-010, Brazil
A Casual cozy beach-themed spot off the streets of São Paulo makes it to the number one here. Walk in, pick the fish you want cooked, and let them prepare it. Everything is FRESH AF. Let me recommend the red snapper. Kid you not, when I go back to Sao Paulo, this will be the first place I will want to eat at. Solid spot for lunch. It gets packed on the weekends, try to get there beforehand or you’ll be waiting.
Pro Tip - They make some of the best caipirinhas in town. One will have you feeling SOME type of way. Make sure you do them traditional with cachaça ;)
If you didn’t know--Cachaça, a sugar cane-based clear rum, known by some as pinga ("drip") is the national liquor of Brazil.
Location: Address: R. Inácio Pereira da Rocha, 112 - Vila Madalena, São Paulo - SP, 05432-001, Brazil
DINE AND SHINE HOMIES
Hit the comments below if you have recommendations .