One thing I’ve learned since being in Brazil is that they love their food as much as I do. Meat, cheese and carbs are staples for every meal, and the portion sizes are huge here – most meals are served with rice AND chips. São Paulo is seen as the country’s leading culinary spot not only for Brazilian food, but a range of international cuisines too, and after spending some time in the city it’s not hard to see why. Here are five places to eat that you shouldn’t miss in Sampa…
Underdog Meat and Beers
This was the first meal we ate in Brazil, after collapsing with exhaustion at the end of 24 hours’ travelling. And it set the bar high! Underdog is a little alternative bar that’s famous for its burgers and other meats. You order your burger and then pick your combo and toppings. I just had cheese and green chillies, partly because that was all I understood with my limited Portuguese, but it was enough! Brazilians KNOW how to do beef…everything is cooked rare (Jordan ordered his steak rare and the waiter just laughed – “you’re in Brazil you know”). Even if you’re not eating – which you should be – this is a good place to just get a beer, with an extensive list and good tunes on the go.
Find it at: Rua Joao Moura 541, Vila Madalena, São Paulo 05412-001
Did you know São Paulo is home to the largest population of Japanese people anywhere outside of Japan? The Japanese neighbourhood Liberdade is an interesting place to visit to see familiar Japanese style architecture, buy Japanese crafts and trinkets, and of course, eat East-Asian food – my favourite! We tried Lamen Kazu as we heard it was the best. I can’t really confirm this as it’s the only one I went to, but their spicy pork ramen is amazing (and very spicy).
Find it at: Rua Thomaz Gonzaga 51 – Liberdade, São Paulo 01506-020
This vegetarian restaurant in Vila Madalena is somewhere you’ll be so ready for after spending some time in Brazil, because as I mentioned earlier, meat, meat and more meat dominates here. They have the most amazing veggie buffet that’s all you can eat, and it replenished my vitamin levels after days of living off steak, sausages and cheesy pastries.
Find it at: Rua Harmonia 278 – Vila Madalena, São Paulo 05435-000
I already mentioned this in my São Paulo blog post, but I couldn’t talk about the food in São Paulo without mentioning Brazil’s most famous sandwich – the meaty, greasy, cheesy mortadella. Vegans avert your eyes! Simultaneously the best and worst thing I’ve ever eaten, it’s pretty much a heart attack on a plate, but it tastes amazing and you can’t go to São Paulo without trying it! This isn’t all you can buy at the Municipal Market, there’s also lots of exotic fruits and local delicacies, but the mortadella sandwich is definitely the main attraction.
Find it at: Mercado Municipal, Rua Cantareira 306 – Centro, São Paulo 01103-200
Baixo Pinheiros Bar
This was by far the best place we found to eat feijoada, Brazil’s national dish. It’s a black bean stew with pork that’s served with rice and greens, and is traditionally eaten on a Saturday, which is when we visited this place. It’s really cheap to eat feijoada on Saturdays and it’s so filling; this one had the most tender chunks of pork, smoky sausage and actual ribs in, and is brought to your table still bubbling away 🤤.
Find it at: Rua Guaicuí 62 – Pinheiros, São Paulo 05427-030