Where to eat and drink in São Paulo
Eating out is a popular pastime in São Paulo, as evidenced by the abundance of chic restaurants, full-service bakeries, por quilo buffets, corner snack bars and 24-hour luncheonettes.
Many eateries are informal, community-centred social spaces where friends and families get together to chew the fat for hours, especially at weekends. Pop in to a boteco or lanchonete – one of the innumerable casual diners around town – and have a salgadinho (assorted golden-fried goodness) or a freshly made juice in one of a hundred tropical flavours. Just don’t forget to visit the vast, animated Mercado Municipal, home of what claims to be the world’s biggest Mortadella sandwich.
If you need a nip to warm you up, downtown’s hip Alberta #3 is one of the most reliably buzzing joints in town, with its beatnik vibe, rock’n’roll décor theme and images of youthful Jagger and Dylan watching over the three-floor space. If you fancy grabbing some pre-party grub or quirky cocktail, you’ll find Ramona – owned by the same cool crowd – just two doors down, serving up late-night eats and wildly creative cocktails (FYI, their bloody mary is served with two strips of bacon).
Over in the bohemian, bustling bar district of Vila Madalena, the biggest stand-out is Astor and its downstairs companion, SubAstor. Upstairs, Astor is a vintage, high-ceilinged boteco (or bar-restaurant), while SubAstor down below, decked out in dramatic red and black, concocts some of the best cocktails in town – make your descent to the bar and order up the delicious Aviation.
Restaurant and bar venue details
Mercado Municipal (aka Mercadão) Rua da Cantareira 306. +55 11 3313 1326.
Alberta #3 Avenida São Luis 272. +55 11 3151 5299.
Ramona Avenida São Luis 282. +55 11 3258 6385.
Astor/SubAstor Rua Delfina 163. +55 11 3815 1364.
For in-depth and up to date coverage of all that’s going on in Brazil by local experts – from food and drink to arts and entertainment – visit our local edition at Time Out Sao Paulo.