“The best pizza in the world is in Brazil.” I didn’t believe it until I tried it. But Brazil doesn’t just have the best pizza, they claim the “best” title for a wide range of culinary delights from sushi to their very own feijado. With 19 million residents, São Paulo is the third largest city in the world, which can make exploration daunting. But if you just follow the restaurant reviews you won’t be disappointed.
The vibrant and unpretentious foodie culture is amazing! Featuring five star restaurants where you can don your beach flip flops under the white linen table cloths and markets offering food that rival those restaurants. While the prices aren’t always easy on the wallet you won’t regret a penny spent after your first bite. So, what are the not-to-be-missed food experiences? Let me walk you through my perfect eating day in São Paulo.
Japanese delights in Liberdade
São Paulo boasts the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, which makes a visit to the Liberdade neighborhood a requirement. The market on the weekends is the best bet for an authentic snack from the land of the rising sun. It’s hard to choose from the rice triangles, noodle bowls, fresh sushi and fish balls on a stick, but the prices are low enough you can try them all.
Located at the Liberdade metro stop the market is open 9 am to 6 pm on Saturdays and 10 am to 7 pm on Sundays.
Mortadella sandwich at the Muncipal Market
The large municipal market offers everything under one roof, fresh fruit and vegetables along side cheese, meat and olives. However, the main attraction is the famous mortadella sandwich offered at many different restaurants throughout the market. It’s a heart attack on a plate, but it will guarantee you die happy.
Located near the Luz metro stop the market is open Monday through Saturday 6 am to 6 pm and Sundays 6 am to 4 pm.
Per kilo pleasure
If you can stomach the idea of eating anymore after your market visits the next stop on your food tour should be one of São Paulo’s many per kilo restaurants. These establishments bring a whole new strategy to buffet eating as you pile your plate with your choice of salad, rice, pasta, meat and dessert then weigh in and pay for how much you eat. It is a uniquely Brazilian and definitely worth checking out.
Per kilo restaurants are located throughout the city and easy to spot with signs advertising their offerings.
Dinner at Braz
Hopefully you played your cards right at the per kilo buffet and opted for a “light lunch” because you’ll want plenty of stomach space for Braz Pizzeria. One of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten (and I consider myself a connoisseur), crispy crust, fresh toppings and stringy cheese, assembled on the spot and cooked to perfection in a wood fired oven.
Not only is the pizza at Braz amazing, their signature salami bread is delicious and the ideal pre-pizza snack enjoyed on their romantic patio. The service at Braz is as good as the food, your pizza is kept hot while you eat and then served to you one piece at a time by an eager, bow-tie-clad server.
Braz has three locations in São Paulo:
R. Sergipe, 406 – Consolação, São Paulo, 01243-000, Brazil, transit: Paulista metro stop
Rua Vupabussu, 271 – São Paulo, 05429-040, Brazil, transit: Pinheiros metro stop
R. Graúna, 125 – Vila Uberabinha, São Paulo, 04514-000, Brazil, transit: Fiandeiras Cb 1
Night cap at the Vila Madalena cafes and clubs
If you aren’t in a food coma yet, head to Vila Madalena and enjoy a coffee, dessert or caipirinha (it’s supposed to help with digestion) at one of the many cafes and clubs. This was my favorite neighborhood in São Paulo and should not be missed.
Keep in mind that I’m traveling on a budget, if I weren’t I would have most definitely checked out all three Braz locations, indulged in sushi and done my own review of DOM restaurant. That being said I would love to hear your São Paulo restaurant recommendations and food reviews.