A foodies guide to: São Paulo
Though often seen as the younger sister of dazzling Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo probably comes out ahead when it comes to the foodie scene. Whether you’re looking for the best of Brazilian cuisine, European fare or perhaps a Japanese feast, São Paulo can provide.
We’ll start with Brazilian cuisine, which Paulistas, as the inhabitants of São Paulo are also known, are extremely proud of, and for good reason. We recommend the Hocca Bar, located in the Mercado Municipal where everyone must order the mortadella bellissima at least once. This sandwich is filled with four inches of cheese, mortadella and a tomato sauce with olive oil and oregano. It’s really popular so you’ll likely have to queue, but trust us, it’s worth it. Next up is D.O.M, currently ranked at number 6 in S. Pellegrino’s list of The World's 50 Best Restaurants and a must on any visit to São Paulo. The owner has mixed traditional Brazilian recipes with modern touches to create a menu that is both nostalgic and innovative. For the best experience, try one of the tasting menus. For something a little more laid back, try Brasil a Gosto, also using traditional Brazilian flavours, but in a smaller, more rustic setting. Equally Tordesilhas was popular, which takes Brazilian cuisine into the future with innovative cooking techniques and creative.
When it comes to European cuisine, there are a couple of good options. Sarrasin is set in a quiet neighbourhood and serves French-inspired cuisine, even going so far as to name them after French personalities. Here you’ll find plenty of galettes and crêpes with everything from smoked salmon and brie, to chocolate ice cream and toasted almonds. We also recommend Manì, a mix of French and Catalan delicacies, but also offering a selection of Brazilian favourites, ideal if you’ve got someone wanting to try the local cuisine alongside someone looking for something distinctly European.
For those looking for something a little different, Varanda claims to serve up the finest meat in São Paulo, and we’re inclined to agree. It first opened its doors 15 years ago and is still going strong today. Meats come from across Argentina, Brazil and the United States and the wine list to accompany them is simply outstanding. Equally, head over to The Liberdade district, where you’ll find an immense community of Japanese expats, the largest community of Japanese outside of Japan. The food here is outstanding, from the stall along the street to the cosy eateries and sophisticated fine-dining establishments. That said, our office in São Paulo claim Kinoshita is a must for any Japanese cuisine connoisseur and as it features on this years’ Michelin guide, we’re willing to bet they’re right. The menu is wonderfully varied, but we’re told to really get the most out of your visit, the two tasting menus are well recommended. The menu fluctuates with the seasons so you’ll always find something new to tempt you with.