By Raiza Cavalcanti
Those who visit the city for the SP-Arte fair cannot miss the Sao Paulo gastronomy
With a population of over 12 million people, this metropolis has a little of the culture of each region of Brazil, as well as of each country in the world: it is for this reason that Sao Paulo gastronomy
is worldly famous for its exuberance and diversity. There’s a little of everything: from the best Italian cuisine, to the best Chinese food restaurants, as well as Middle Eastern, Pakistani, German, and Northeastern food (the latter referring to the northeast of Brazil).
Italian food lovers shall be fascinated by how many restaurants are dedicated to Italy’s culinary arts in the city of Sao Paulo. The Italian immigration process that took place at the beginning of the XX century left its marks on Paulistiana
culture, and there are even some neighborhoods, such as Brás
, that became reference points for the Italian community within the city. Sao Paulo’s passion for Italian food has led to the search for an increasingly sophisticated and high-quality approach towards the preparation of these dishes. A good example of this is the restaurant Eataly Mare, Pesce & Vino, the latest venture from the Eataly restaurant chain
Eataly Restaurant, San Paolo
Located in the elegant neighborhood of Itaim Bibi, one of Sao Paulo’s most upscale areas and home to Brazil’s most important galleries, Eataly
is a complex that combines a market on the ground floor and the group’s restaurants on the upper floor. Mare, Pesce & Vino
is the newest of these restaurants, specializing in fish, seafood and wines and offering its clients elaborate dishes prepared with fresh and high-quality ingredients. Eataly takes special care of its seafood’s source, seeking to buy from small suppliers that commit to non-predatory fishing. The chef behind Eataly
is Thiago Saldiva, who has prepared a menu of dishes inspired by Italian cuisine yet with a modern touch, making an emphasis on fish from the Brazilian coast. Eataly
also has an excellent wine list, as this is one of the restaurant’s specialties, offering options from a variety of countries and pairings with the menu’s dishes. It’s the perfect place for a pleasant and sophisticated lunch after visiting the neighborhood’s most renowned art galleries, such as Luísa Strina, Nara Roesler, and others. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 8 AM to 11 PM and on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 AM to midnight.
Address: Av. Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek, 1489 – Itaim Bibi, Sao Paulo
If Asian food is your passion, Sao Paulo is a good place to try the best dishes of this gastronomical tradition. Japanese immigration, followed by a large Chinese and Korean immigration, has made Sao Paulo the city with one of the highest populations of Asian immigrants in the country. Asian culture has made its way into the city in such a way that Liberdade
, Sao Paulo’s famous Asian district, is one of the most loved areas, both by Sao Paulo locals and tourists. Good Chinese, Korean, and Japanese food restaurants aren’t hard to come by in Sao Paulo. But there’s one that stands out for its quality, innovation, and sophistication: Ton Hoi
. This restaurant is one of the most frequently named places in lists of best restaurants to open in Sao Paulo over the past few years. It also appears in several gastronomy articles published by restaurant critics in the country’s most renowned media outlets. Behind a simple appearance, it hides an enormous gastronomic treasure, with a menu that offers eighteen different Chinese noodle dishes, as well as a variety of fish, seafood, and meat main courses and a wide array of entrees. The restaurant follows the recipes created by Wong Chu Yuk, a Chinese immigrant that founded the restaurant four decades ago, yet with a modern touch added by Sao Paulo chef Tommy Wong.
TonHoi Edificio, San Paolo
reproduces the atmosphere of classic Chinese restaurants, adding a vintage air to the experience of visiting Chinese culture and culinary arts, with a touch of Brazil. The restaurant is located in the bucolic neighborhood of Butantã, in Sao Paulo, an area that concentrates the largest amount of green areas in the city and is filled with trees and parks. This area is also where important institutions are located, such as Sao Paulo University, one of the best in Brazil, and Instituto Butantã, known for its investigations in the area of health and which currently also functions as an open museum. For lovers of urban nature and Chinese food, visiting Ton Hoi
is a fine treat. The restaurant is open every day from midday to 10 PM.
Address: Av. Professor Francisco Morato, 1484 – Butantã, Sao Paulo
Imagine how great it would be if in addition to having an excellent food experience you could also experience the city through a fantastic panoramic view. In Sao Paulo, this is possible. The city has several rooftop restaurants and all of them offer incredible aesthetic and gastronomical experiences for their clients. The most well known and recognized of these restaurants is Esther Rooftop
Esther RoofTop, San Paolo
is the latest venture of the famous Brazil-based French chef, Olivier Anquier. It’s a modern and elegant place that provides the experience of immersion into downtown Sao Paulo. Located on the terrace of one of city’s first modernist buildings, in the central Republica neighborhood, Esther
offers one of the most beautiful and extensive views of Sao Paulo. This bistro-style restaurant highlights Brazilian ingredients, prepared with French cuisine techniques. Some of the highlights on the menu are the Terrine do Meu Avô
(pork meat served with bread), fried chicken and shrimp ravioli, and Brazilian Camembert, a typical French cheese that is actually produced in Santa Caterina and served baked with honey and flower essences.
Esther Rooftop, dish,San Paolo
Another element worth noting is the restaurant’s bar, which offers a wide variety of drinks, from the most traditional, such as the classis Gin Tonic, to other more modern ones, such as the Mediterraneo
(gin, tonic, Sicilian lemon, Rosemary and Angostura bitter) and other that have been created by the Esther bar itself, such as the Rooftop
(Tahitian lemon, Malibu vodka, sparkling wine and mint). It’s the perfect place to visit after a spending fun evening in the city, getting to know Sao Paulo’s history and tradition and enjoying a gastronomic experience that represents this city: modern and sophisticated, yet keeping its simplicity. Esther is open every day from midday to 11 PM.
Address: Calle Basílio da Gama, 29 – República, Sao Paulo
And for those who love cocktails, Sao Paulo is a paradise. There are countless options for bars that offer elaborate drinks of all sorts and styles, a variety of bottled and draft beers, wine from diverse parts of the world, all of this accompanied by delicious bar food menus. And for a fun night out on the town with good drinks and a pleasant atmosphere, Dona Onça and Guilhotina are ideal spots
. Dona Onça’s main attractive is its location: the ground floor of Sao Paulo’s most famous modernist building, the Copan, which in turn is located in the middle of the city. The building itself has become one of the city’s touristic attractions, and is a compulsory stop for those who love good food as well as art. Currently, in addition to restaurants, the Copan houses important artistic projects such as the alternative gallery Pivô
, which has made its way onto the map of important art spaces in the city and is definitely a place worth visiting. Dona Onça
is a young bar with a modern and stripped-down style that specializes in drinks and traditional Brazilian fare, with a few contemporary touches. The entire place’s decoration is centered on onzas
, a cougar-like feline, which gives the atmosphere a fun and elegant vibe.
Dona Onça, San Paolo
The menu, created by chef Janaina Rueda, highlights typical Brazilian preparations, such as Rabada
(oxtail cooked with different spices), Dobradinha (white beans cooked with a variety of meats, and Fígado
(cooked ox’s liver). The bar’s drinks are well known, and are also inspired in Brazilian tradition. The most highly demanded cocktail is the classic caipirinha. But Dona Onça
’s menu isn’t limited to traditional preparations. The bar has also a few experiments of its own, such as the caipirinha de cajú
(a typical fruit from North-East Brazil, mixed with sugar and cachaça
), or special drinks made with a combination of Brazilian fruits, such as one that mixes passion fruit, orange, and vodka, or more sophisticated dishes such as the filé ao molho poivre com capellini na manteiga e sálvia
(steak cooked in herb butter with capellini on the side). It’s a bar that goes for a traditional experience of Brazilian food, made with high-quality ingredients and elaborated with sophisticated gastronomic techniques. It’s a perfect place for lunch and an entertaining afternoon after getting to know one of the city’s most traditional spots, along with its intense cultural activities. Dona Onça
is open every day from midday to 11:30 PM.
Address: Avenida Ipiranga, 200 – Edifício Copan, lojas 27 e 29. Centro. Sao Paulo, SP.bardadonaonca.com.br
Guilhotina: Guilhotina has one of the most privileged locations in Sao Paulo: it’s located in Pinheiros, a neighborhood in one of the city’s most modern districts
. The neighborhood is close to the famous Vila Madalena, the heart of Sao Paulo’s cultural scene, home to the new galleries that are currently giving much to talk about in the Brazilian art market, as well as institutes such as the Instituto Tomie Otake. Guilhotina
is a modern spot that offers a relaxed and fun atmosphere, where enjoyment is the main priority. Cocktails are the main attraction at the bar, which is known for the pleasant and entertaining interaction between patrons and the barmen. This bar was named one of the World’s 50 Best Bars, appearing in the ranking of best bars according to Drinks International
GUILHOTINA, San Paolo
’s cocktail list is lengthy and presents a few curious and creative combinations that result in drinks such as Pantalones
(Pisco Capel Moai Reservado, Alvear Fino, Marsala Heritage 1994 and berries) or Piña (des)Colada
(Ron Bacardi with pineapple, absinthe, All SpiceDram, lemon and brown sugar). The food menu is simple but creative, including options such as the Sandwich de barriga de puerco
(sourdough French bread, pork belly marinated in herbs, and green mayonnaise), Pizza Chena
(a Neapolitan recipe for a pie with eggs, semi-cured cheese, and Italian salami), as well as traditional Argentinean-style empanadas. It’s the perfect place to bid the city of Sao Paulo farewell with a night of entertainment, sampling a wide array of excellent drinks in a young, modern, and fun atmosphere. Guilhotina
is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 6 PM to 1 AM.
Address: Calle Costa Carvalho, 84 – Pinheiros, Sao Paulo. www.guilhotinabar.com.br