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An unseen server pours broth from a serving pitcher into a bowl of tambaqui fish fillet, cauliflower, carrots, and a poached egg. The glazed bowl sits on a dark wooden table.
Tambaqui stew at Banzeiro
Rubens Kato

The 38 Essential São Paulo Restaurants

From empanadas to Japanese pastéis, sustainable chocolate to Amazonian ants, here’s what to eat in Brazil’s largest city

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Tambaqui stew at Banzeiro
| Rubens Kato

Everything happens in São Paulo first. If there is a trend across Brazil or Latin America, chances are it began or was adopted early in São Paulo. Like the culinary worlds of New York or Paris, São Paulo’s food scene sits at the cutting edge.

Few Latin American cities can compete with São Paulo’s cultural melting pot. New Lebanese and Syrian immigrants have renewed interest in old-school Middle Eastern restaurants like Brasserie Victoria. Koreatown, in the Bom Retiro neighborhood, is home to many international transplants who laud haute Korean restaurant Komah. Italian food is omnipresent in every corner of the city, but it gains new life on the tasting menu at Evvai. Brazil is even home to the largest Japanese population outside Japan, much of it in São Paulo, where it’s easy to find Japanese pastéis and supreme izakayas.

Chefs have flocked to the city as well, bringing Michelin-starred techniques from culinary capitals in Europe to Brazil’s extensive native pantry. Ingredients like manioc, cashew fruit, jenipapo, and even Amazonian ants not only enthrall guests from abroad but show off the country’s edible bounty.

Just as the city has diversified ethnically, it has evolved geographically. For decades, the best restaurants clustered in neighborhoods like Pinheiros, Itaim Bibi, and Jardins, but street traffic has helped spur change. In one of the most populous cities in the world, getting across town is a serious challenge, incentivizing restaurateurs to set up shop in new areas with captive audiences. Eaters can find exciting new restaurants in Barra Funda, where Korean restaurants mix with hipster shops, and the nostalgic Tatuapé community, which rarely registered as a blip on the gourmand radar until recently.

With a sprawling, traffic-clotted metropolis to explore, you’ll need some help finding the best spots to eat. Here are the essential eating experiences you need to have in São Paulo now.

Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

Price key per person, excluding alcohol:

$ = Less than R$ 50 (Less than $12 USD)

$$ = R$ 50 - R$ 100 ($12 to $22 USD)

$$$ = R$ 100 - R$ 180 ($22 to $36 USD)

$$$$ = R$ 180 ($36 USD) and up

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Mocotó

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Av. Ns. do Loreto, 1100, São Paulo
SP 02219-001, Brazil
+55 11 2951-3056
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José Almeida, an emigre who came from the Northeast region to pursue a better life in São Paulo, opened Mocotó in 1973. Today his son, chef Rodrigo Oliveira, runs the restaurant, revising traditional nordestinas recipes with modern, inventive touches. His creativity is evident in everything from the iconic mocotó (cow's foot broth) that gives the restaurant its name, to favada (made from fava beans cooked with sausage, bacon, and jerked beef). To make the wait more manageable (there's always a line), order the famous dadinhos de tapioca (cheese curds with tapioca) and one of the 350 cachaças served at the bar. Pro tip: Mocotó is located in Vila Medeiros, a working-class district far from downtown São Paulo, but it's close to the airport, so consider visiting on your way in or out of the city. [$$]

A restaurant interior with simple four-top tables in front of a warm wooden bar with lots of bottles arrayed on the backbar and various ingredients visible on the bartop.
Inside Mocotó
Mocotó / Facebook

2. Bar do Luiz Fernandes

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R. Augusto Tolle, 610, São Paulo
SP 02405-000, Brazil
+55 11 2976-3556
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Maybe the most iconic snack in Brazil, coxinha consists of dough shaped like a chicken leg, stuffed with shredded chicken and then fried. At this dive bar, where the stools are made of plastic and beers arrive in massive 600-milliliter bottles, coxinha is fried to perfection. After devouring a plateful, move on to a variety of other bolinhos (deep-fried snacks), like homemade meatballs, manioc fritters filled with oxtail, and Basque beef cheek fritters. [$]

A bowl of chicken fritters, two whole and one split open, on a napkin bearing the Bar do Luiz Fernandes on a blank background.
Coxinha
Bar do Luiz Fernandes / Facebook

3. Capivara Bar

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R. Dr. Ribeiro de Almeida, 157 - Barra Funda, São Paulo - SP
01137-020, Brazil
(11) 3392-2117
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The cooking of Rodrigo Felício (formerly of the Ritz Carlton’s L’Espadon in Paris) is well worth the trip to the far-out Barra Funda neighborhood. With metal garage doors, simple communal seating, and barebones decorations, Capivara doesn’t look like much, but order anything from the daily menu to see what the fuss is about. Dishes usually focus on seafood and fish, highlighting the catch of the day. There may be octopus salad or raw sea bass, paired with bottles of natural wines. The restaurant only opens for dinner on weekdays and for lunch on Saturday, and you had better not arrive late, as the kitchen usually runs out of dishes early. [$$]

Three slices of raw fish stand upright in a small pool of broth on a plate with a flimsy delicate blanket of fish draped over top
Hake in ponzu sauce
Capivara / facebook

4. Komah Restaurante

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R. Cônego Vicente Miguel Marino, 378 - Barra Funda, São Paulo - SP
01135-020, Brazil
(11) 3392-7072
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São Paulo’s Koreatown in the Bom Retiro neighborhood is full of restaurants serving bibimbap, bulgogi, and kimchi-spiked dishes. Chef Paulo Shin adds another high-caliber option to the neighborhood with modern, elegant Komah, where he serves dishes like a creamy French-style omelet over bokkeumbap (rice cooked in pork broth mixed with kimchi). Be sure to try his yukhoe, Korean steak tartare with julienned meat, served with Asian pear, pine nuts, and a cured egg yolk. [$$$]

A server splits open a runny soft omelette with a large knife. The omelette spreads open over a cylindrical mound of rice, on a white plate, sitting on a wooden table.
Omelette over bokumbap
Rubens Kato

5. Castelões

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R. Jairo Góis, 126, São Paulo
SP SP, Brazil
+55 11 3229-0542
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Pizzerias can be found across the city, but if you're looking for a classic pie, this is the place. Opened in 1924, Castelões has earned generations of fans, with dusty decor and old photos on the walls proving its decades of bona fides. Order the house pizza made with artisanal Brazilian sausage and mozzarella. When the pizza comes out, with a thin, crispy crust and bright red tomato sauce, you'll understand why the place has flourished for so long. [$$]

A brightly lit restaurant interior with checked tablecloths on tables, wood panel walls, lots of chachkies, pictures, and bottles for decorations, including some bottles hanging from a crossbeam.
Inside Castelões
Castelões / Facebook

6. Pastel da Maria

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Praça Charles Miler - Pacaembu, São Paulo - SP
01234-010, Brazil

You can find locals buying fruit and meat directly from producers at feiras (farmers markets) in pretty much any neighborhood, but head to Feira do Pacaembu to find one iconic pastel stand. Originally based on Chinese wontons and later adapted by Japanese immigrants, the deep-fried, thin-crust pies are usually filled with ground meat or hearts of palm. Kyoto-born Kuniko Yohana, aka Maria, has been preparing perfectly crunchy pasteis and growing her business for over five decades. While her pastries are available at locations throughout the city, her most popular stand is at the Feira do Pacaembu in the Praça Charles Miller square on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. [$]

7. A Casa do Porco

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R. Araújo, 124, São Paulo
SP 01220-020, Brazil
+55 11 3258-2578
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At this casual and affordable restaurant in downtown São Paulo, chef Jefferson Rueda serves a true pork feast. His kitchen boasts two barbecue grills that Rueda developed himself to roast two whole (boned) animals at the same time. In his latest menu, the chef invites guests on a pig-focused trip around Brazil through popular dishes, such as a lighter take on feijoada (bean and pork stew), kibbeh to celebrate São Paulo’s rich Middle Eastern immigrant community, and traditional churrasquinho, skewers of meat and sausage usually found at street carts. Nearby, Rueda also runs soft serve ice cream parlor Sorveteria do Centro and hot dog specialist Hot Pork. [$$$]

A close-up on a bowl of cheese and guava, both in various textures and preparations, in a broth with a few herbs sprinkled on top
Cheese and guava
A Casa do Porco / Facebook

8. Casa Mathilde

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Pça. Antônio Prado, 76, São Paulo
SP 01010-010, Brazil
+55 11 3104-7955
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Portuguese desserts are mostly made with egg yolk and affection. At this traditional pastry shop in the center of the city, you can sample a variety of eggy treats, starting with pastel de Belém, a tart filled with rich egg custard in a crisp, crackly pastry. Then try the queijada da Mathilde (cheesecake), a house specialty, which combines egg yolk, almond, cinnamon, and lemon. [$]

Several small pastries sit on a napkin bearing the Casa Mathilde logo on top of a white plate
Queijada da Mathilde (cheesecake)
Casa Mathilde / Facebook

9. Bar do Cofre SubAstor

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R. João Brícola, 24 - Centro Histórico de São Paulo, São Paulo - SP
01014-010, Brazil
(11) 5555-0578
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An old bank vault in one of downtown’s most iconic buildings is now a bar where cocktails are valuable treasures. Under the command of head bartender Fabio La Pietra, classic libations meet inventive signature cocktails made with native Brazilian ingredients such as cashew fruit, maxixe (a sour cousin of cucumber), and rapadura (sugar candy made from raw cane juice). Snacks such as a currywurst-style hot dog and crudites platters balance out the alcohol. [$$]

10. Bar Da Dona Onça

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Av. Ipiranga, 200, São Paulo
SP 01046-010, Brazil
+55 11 3257-2016
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Located in the Edifício Copan, one of Brazil’s most iconic buildings, designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, this bar attracts a bohemian crowd of artists and musicians. Deep in downtown, where people of all walks of life pass by, chef Janaína Rueda serves local dishes like her take on a traditional virado à Paulista platter, which consists of tutu de feijão (mashed beans with manioc flour) accompanied by roast pork carré (pork chops), sausage, banana tartare, fried egg, thin-sliced collard greens fried in pork fat, pork rinds, and rice. It’s a rich meal that perfectly pairs with a caju amigo, a drink made with preserved cashew, cashew juice, and cachaça. [$$$]

A restaurant interior with tables set for dinner, an iron stairway off to one side, a large image of a city skyline on the back wall, and wood accents around
Inside Bar Da Dona Onça
Bar Da Dona Onça / Facebook

11. Tabuleiro Do Acarajé

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R. Dr. Cesário Mota Júnior, 611, São Paulo
SP 01221-020, Brazil
+55 11 95374-6357
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Acarajé is one of the most iconic foods in traditional Brazilian cuisine. The humble fritter is a product of African-influenced food culture common in Bahia state. Black-eyed pea flour is deep-fried in red palm oil, split in half, and stuffed with vatapá (a creamy and spicy stew made from bread, shrimp, coconut milk, peanuts, and palm oil). The tiny Tabuleiro counter serves the best in town. [$]

A fritter in colorful paper container is split open and filled with shrimp and fixings
Acarajé
Tabuleiro Do Acarajé / Facebook

12. Estadão Bar & Lanches

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Vd. Nove de Julho, 193, São Paulo
SP 01313-000, Brazil
+55 11 3257-7121
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One of the first places in the city to offer 24-hour service, this bar serves good food at affordable prices. The restaurant’s name refers to the newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo, whose office was located next door in the 1970s. Estadão is best known for its sandwiches. The most popular sandwich is filled with roasted pork leg and peppers, but the Brazilian sausage and vinaigrette sandwich is more flavorful. [$]

Four heaping meaty sandwiches sit on the bar ready to be served while a server works in the background behind the bar
Roast pork sandwiches
Estadão Bar & Lanches / Facebook

13. Restaurante Cepa

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R. Antônio Camardo 895 antigo n.15 - Vila Gomes Cardim, São Paulo - SP
03309-060, Brazil
(11) 2096-0687
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New restaurants in São Paulo increasingly appear off the traditional gastronomic circuit. Cepa made its home in the Tatuapé neighborhood, instantly becoming one of those comforting local restaurants that seems to have been around forever. Chef Lucas Dante serves organic-inflected cuisine while sommelier Gabrielli Flemming pairs everything with a concise, smart wine selection. The menu options are few but satisfying. There’s always fresh fish (one of the restaurant partners is a fishmonger), along with simple, delicious recipes such as mushroom toast with egg yolk emulsion or a homemade charcuterie board. [$$ - $$$]

A bowl of cooked, open mussels in broth with bits of smoked fish, guanciale, and katsuobushi scattered on top
Mussels, smoked fish, guanciale, and katsuobushi
Restaurante Cepa / Facebook

14. Corrutela

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R. Medeiros de Albuquerque, 256 - Vila Madalena, São Paulo - SP
05436-060, Brazil
(11) 3032-2443
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At this zero-waste, ingredient-focused restaurant in the hip Vila Madalena neighborhood, talented chef Cesar Costa (formerly of Chez Panisse and Copenhagen’s Relae) makes everything from scratch. He buys cocoa beans and organic wheat directly from farmers to produce bean-to-bar chocolate, and mills all his own flour in-house. There’s even an automatic composting machine sitting right in the middle of the dining room, and solar panels generate energy for the restaurant. The menu focuses on comforting yet inventive recipes, such as snow eggs floating in blue custard sauce (made with jenipapo, a native fruit used to dye food), and the kitchen aims to use ingredients entirely, including stalks and peels. For a surprising hit, try the polenta, made with cornmeal ground in the restaurant’s stone mill and nothing else. [$$$]

A cook’s hands prepare a next of crispy chive roots on top of a soup bowl of onions, bread and melty cheese with a small bit of broth at the bottom.
Veggie grilled onion soup, served with brioche, cheese, and crispy chive roots 
Carol Gherardi / Flair Coletivo

15. Coffee Lab

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R. Fradique Coutinho, 1340, São Paulo
SP 05416-001, Brazil
+55 11 3375-7400
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At her Coffee Lab, barista Isabela Raposeiras elevates indigenous Brazilian coffee to a sensory experience. Raposeiras sources from producers and roasters from across the country, and she aims to serve the best coffee using various preparations, from espresso to the perfect brew from a Clever Dripper. Beans are also sold to go, for brewing at home. [$]

The interior of a cafe, with several customers walking in the room or sitting, and a bookshelf in the back filled with items for sale and coffee equipment
Inside Coffee Lab
Coffee Lab / Facebook

16. TUJU

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R. Fradique Coutinho, 1248, São Paulo
SP 05416-001, Brazil
+55 11 2691-5548
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Ivan Ralston, owner and chef of TUJU, represents a new generation of Brazilian cuisine, one that leans on native flavors without forgetting outside influences. Surrounded by vegetable gardens where Ralston grows indigenous (and unconventional) edible plants, the restaurant is formal but not stuffy, respectful of ingredients, and aesthetically vibrant. Do not miss the beverage menu (the homemade tonic is the perfect match for gin). [$$$]

An empty dining room with tables along one wall with floor-to-ceiling windows, long wood beams along the ceiling, and various tiles on the floor
Inside TUJU
Pedro Napolitano Prata

17. Izakaya Issa

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R. Barão de Iguape, 89, São Paulo
SP 01507-000, Brazil
+55 11 3208-8819

The Japanese neighborhood of Liberdade contains the city’s best izakayas. Issa, led by the incomparably warm Dona Margarida, offers a traditional selection of grilled specialties. Sit at the bar and start with an order of pork ribs with boiled turnip immersed in warm broth. Then explore the diverse menu, from the creamy takoyaki to all kinds of udon. And don’t miss the selection of sake and shochu. [$$]

A woman stands behind a bar, topped with drinkware drying on towels, flanked by Japanese bottles
Dona Margarida
Rafa Tonon

18. Marilia Zylbersztajn Confeitaria

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R. Fradique Coutinho, 942, São Paulo
SP 05416-001, Brazil
+55 11 4301-6003
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Pastry chef Marília Zylbersztajn worked in many of the city's best restaurants (including D.O.M.) before opening her own pastry shop. Her highly sought-after pies have made her famous in the city. Pies on offer include pear, cardamom, and pecan; ricotta and ginger; and even an apple galette. Ask for a slice as soon as you sit down, and don't miss Zylbersztajn's flavored caramels — they make an ideal souvenir. [$]

As seen from above, a slice of pie with a powdered topping sits on a plate with a fork, a cup of coffee and a flower in a small pot sit nearby.
Pie and coffee
Marilia Zylbersztajn Confeitaria / Facebook

19. Pettirosso Ristorante

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Alameda Lorena, 2155 - Jardim Paulista, São Paulo - SP
01424-002, Brazil
(11) 3062-5338
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You can find Italian food on almost every corner in São Paulo, but Italian-Brazilian couple Marco and Erika Renzetti take the omnipresent cuisine to another level. Originally from Rome, Marco Renzetti cooks pasta to al dente perfection, bringing sophistication to traditional recipes like tonnarelli cacio e pepe and spaghetti alla carbonara. Eat like the Romans do and order mains like trippa alla romana (tripe stewed in tomato sauce, pecorino, and mint) or porchetta di maialino (suckling pig porchetta served with white bean cream and vegetables). Erika Renzetti takes care of the wine list, one of the best in town. [$$$]

20. Tordesilhas

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Al. Tietê, 489, São Paulo
SP 01417-020, Brazil
+55 11 3107-7444
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Chef Mara Salles might as well be the first lady of Brazilian cuisine. At Tordesilhas, she serves regional, home-style cooking with vibrant touches, highlighting the country’s cultural diversity, from bobó de camarão (shrimp in cassava puree and red palm oil known as dendê) to Northern tacacá soup made from dried shrimp, manioc root, and jambu (a native fruit that creates a pleasant tingling sensation on the tongue). [$$$]

A patio with floor-to-ceiling windows along one wall, wooden floors, translucent ceiling and back wall, a large hutch with plates in the back, and plants and soft pendant lights for accents.
Inside Tordesilhas
Tordesilhas / Facebook

21. Guilhotina Bar

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R. Costa Carvalho, 84 - Pinheiros, São Paulo - SP
05429-000, Brazil
(11) 3031-0955
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Unlike other stars of the global bar scene, which serve long, pretentious menus in buttoned-up settings, Guilhotina represents São Paulo’s casual, friendly mood. Despite the stripped-down metal bar, simple stool seating, and oil drums for al fresco tables, the bar is No. 15 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Try the Un*fool*ish (whiskey, red vermouth, Bénédictine liqueur, peach syrup, and elderflower), or go for a drink with Brazilian pride like the Pimp My Cachaça (made with organic cachaça, orange liqueur, ginger, lemon, Angostura bitters, and cocoa nibs). [$$]

From above, a gold cocktail in a coupe with a diamond shaped piece of ice rising from the center and gold dust around the rim, sitting on a blank gray surface
A cocktail at Guilhotina
Leo Feltran

22. Chou

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R. Mateus Grou, 345, São Paulo
SP 05415-050, Brazil
+55 11 3083-6998
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Chef Gabriela Barreto (who also runs the hip Futuro Refeitório) evokes extreme flavors and textures from cooking over wood and charcoal fires. At her homey restaurant Chou, which boasts an excellent backyard patio perfect for warm nights, Barreto serves cassava cooked over charcoal with sea salt and fresh marjoram; roasted okra with peanuts, lemon, and sesame oil; and grilled octopus with sweet paprika and lemon. Dishes often emerge still smoking from the grill, and dining in the convivial, charming atmosphere is like going to a best friend’s backyard barbecue party. [$$$]

An exterior wall of Chou with the name of the restaurant in raised letters beneath a vintage pendant lamp to one side of a large window allowing a view into the restaurant. The sill is lined with bottles and a server is visible inside.
Outside Chou
Chou / Facebook

23. Rodeio

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R. Haddock Lobo, 1498, São Paulo
SP 01414-002, Brazil
+55 11 3474-1333
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Brazilian steakhouses — with their large, meaty cuts, long skewers, and picanha (the most popular Brazilian beef cut, also known as the "cap") — are famous even in the United States. For more than 50 years, Rodeio has served a traditional selection of grilled meats accompanied by biro-biro rice (stir-fried rice topped with crispy onions) and roasted hearts of palm. It's a place to celebrate Paulistas’ passion for flame-licked meat. [$$$]

A dining room and bar with long back-to-back  banquets running the length of the room, small bar tables, and a well-stocked bar off to one side.
Inside Rodeio
Rodeio / Facebook

24. Fasano

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R. Vittorio Fasano, 88, São Paulo
SP 01414-020, Brazil
+55 11 3896-4000
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Fasano has become a benchmark of hospitality, inspiring many restaurateurs in town. The restaurant’s formula is simple: quality ingredients, classic Italian recipes, excellent customer service, and one of the best sommeliers in the city, Manoel Beato. Known for riding his scooter around town and hosting a radio show about beverages, Beato has achieved local celebrity status. At Fasano, he gently guides diners without dictating stuffy rules, making every glass an approachable joy. [$$$$]

A large ritzy dining room with four rows of tables set for dinner, curtains and gold accents.
Inside Fasano
Fasano / Facebook

25. Casa Do Sabor AMMA

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Rua Ministro Rocha Azevedo, 1052, São Paulo
SP, Brazil
(11) 3068-0240
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In a modernist house built in 1938, this concept store and pastry shop serves desserts and bars made from cocoa beans harvested on a sustainable farm in the state of Bahia. Run by Diego Badaró, a pioneer in specialty beans, AMMA helps farmers produce superior crops, and the shop is the best place to try inventive recipes using the brand’s sustainably sourced, organic, and milk-free chocolate in pies, cakes, and mousses. They even serve brigadeiro, a very traditional Brazilian delicacy made with cocoa powder and condensed milk. Many treats also include native fruits, such as passionfruit, cambuci (an acidic fruit similar to guava), and cupuaçu (a tangy cousin of cacao). It’s a tropical chocolate experience straight from the forest to the city. [$]

A light-filled cafe interior with a bright blue bar in the foreground with a few stools, and a larger dining table in the background, and posters and mirrors for decoration.
Inside Casa Do Sabor 
Casa Do Sabor AMMA / Facebook

26. D.O.M.

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R. Barão de Capanema, 549, São Paulo
SP 01411- 011, Brazil
+55 11 3088-0761
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Alex Atala is arguably the most acclaimed Brazilian chef in the world today. With the help of his longtime right-hand man, Geovane Carneiro, he works to highlight and reinterpret Brazilian cuisine and its ingredients in a modern and creative way at two-Michelin-starred D.O.M. In his latest tasting menu, Atala explores regions across the country to uncover ingredients and pre-contact techniques of indigenous Brazilian peoples. Dishes include pirarucu fish in mullet broth, raw Amazonian leaf-cutter ant inside an amber-like resin made of cachaça, pupunha palm heart ravioli stuffed with vatapa (a creamy mixture of bread, shrimp, coconut milk, and ground peanuts), and many preparations using manioc. [$$$$]

An empty dining room decorated with massive pictures of someone’s hand holding tiny dishes, white table cloths and place settings on tables, and a large communal table in the foreground painted with long arrows
Inside D.O.M.
Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

27. Maní

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R. Joaquim Antunes, 210, São Paulo
SP 05415-000, Brazil
+55 11 3085-4148
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Award-winning chef Helena Rizzo runs the kitchen at this contemporary Brazilian restaurant. With over 20 years experience in the São Paulo dining scene, she achieved instant success with Maní when it opened in 2006, but since the departure of her business partner, chef Daniel Redondo, in 2017, Rizzo has had the chance to shine alone at the helm of the kitchen. Her fantastic tasting menu contains exciting options like fresh cashew ceviche, okra and shrimp tempura with cilantro emulsion and malagueta peppers, and lamb neck with eggplant, sheep’s yogurt, and Rizzo’s take on Indian masala with Brazilian spices and pimenta-biquinho chile. [$$$$]

Diners sit in outdoor seating area beneath a roof of branches that leads seamlessly into an open dining room beyond.
The patio at Maní
NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images

28. Tasca da Esquina SP

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Alameda Itu, 225 - Cerqueira César, São Paulo - SP
01423-001, Brazil
(11) 3262-0033
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Portuguese chef Vítor Sobral delivers flavors right from Lisbon, where he runs five other restaurants. At Tasca da Esquina, Sobral offers a modern take on inexpensive Portuguese eateries known as tascas, dressing up the neighborhood place with elegant furnishings, skylights, and a green wall. If Portuguese heritage has always been present in Brazilian food, diners can return to the source here with options including salt cod with potatoes and egg, sardines with vinaigrette, duck rice, and octopus with potatoes. [$$]

A restaurant interior lit by natural light and industrial pendants on one wall, with tables and a built-in bookshelf to one side and a tiled counter running along the other side, both receding toward the outside door
Inside Tasca da Esquina
Tasca da Esquina SP / official

29. Evvai Restaurant

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R. Joaquim Antunes, 108 - Pinheiros, São Paulo - SP
05415-000, Brazil
(11) 3062-1160
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Luiz Filipe Souza leads a new generation of talented chefs in the city. At Evvai, his first restaurant as a partner and head chef, he showcases modern Italian-accented dishes with worldwide inspiration. His creativity shines most in inventive snacks on the Oriundi tasting menu, in which he plumbs his own immigrant Italian roots for items like scallop bomboloni with fermented tomato salsa, or beetroot pizza with cheese from Marajó and sweet peppers. Be sure to try the carne cruda (similar to steak tartare) with trout roe, or the fontina-truffle gnocchi served in porcini-onion broth. [$$$]

A kitchen team works in an open kitchen, with steel kitchen machines, a bright backsplash, and their uniforms all contrasting colorfully, all seen through the cutout from a dark dining room.
The kitchen at Evvai
Tadeu Brunelli

30. Tatini Restaurante

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R. Batataes, 558, São Paulo
SP 01423-010, Brazil
+55 11 3885-7601
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One of the oldest restaurants in the city, Tatini is now run by the third generation of the eponymous Tatini family. The kitchen still prepares classics like steak a Diana (served with a mixture of mustard and Worcestershire sauce) and steak au poivre (evidence of the influence France once had on Brazilian gastronomy), even as these dishes disappear from other menus around the city. The waiters also still finish items tableside using hot plates and chafing dishes. They flambé, grill, and whisk sauces not only to entertain diners but also to keep these old-school preparations from extinction. [$$$]

Thinly shaved meat is arranged on a plate in front of two glasses of wine, several other small plate and bread baskets, and a vase of flowers, all on a bright outdoor patio.
Old-school bites at Tatini
Tatini Restaurante / Facebook

31. Restaurante Aizomê Japan House

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Av. Paulista, 52 - 2o. Andar - Bela Vista, São Paulo - SP
01310-000, Brazil
(11) 2222-1176
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After establishing an original location in Jardins, Aizomê has branched out with a location downtown inside the stunning Japan House, a cultural center showcasing Japanese arts and design. Chef Telma Shiraishi serves a compact version of her original menu here, but the chef’s best dishes are present, including chirashi, delicately assembled with the freshest fish and expertly prepared sushi rice. Hot dishes include soba, udon, and yakizakana (grilled fish), as well as katsu sandos and veggie buns perfect for a quick lunch. Everything pairs well with a great selection of teas, including cold matcha and hōjicha. [$$$]

A small dish overflows with slices of various fish, a mussel, clump of roe, and mound of wasabi, on a wooden tray with other small plates blurred but visible nearby
Chriashi

32. Tenda do Nilo

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R. Cel. Oscar Porto, 638, São Paulo
SP 04003-002, Brazil
+55 11 3885-0460

You will regularly find a line of people snaking out the door of Tenda do Nilo, a good indication of the quality within. The shop, run by sisters Olinda and Xmune Isper, prepares excellent falafel, crisp on the outside and pillowy in the center. The muhammara (red pepper with walnuts) and baba ghanoush never disappoint either. [$$]

As seen from above, a segmented plate with four dips, each topped with a different herbal or spicy garnish
Dips at Tenda do Nilo
Tenda do Nilo / Facebook

33. Shin-Zushi

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R. Afonso de Freitas, 169, São Paulo
SP 04006-050, Brazil
+55 11 3889-8700
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Brazil is home to nearly 2 million Japanese immigrants and their descendants, making the country one of the largest diaspora communities outside Japan. The cultural impact couldn’t be more evident in São Paulo’s premier sushi bars like Shin-Zushi, where second-generation chef Ken Mizumoto shows off his skills. His knives create perfect pieces of buri and toro sashimi, plus sardines, eels, and squid nigiri. Tradition is the rule here, with no bells and whistles. For the best experience, sit at the bar. [$$$$]

A bowl of chirashi overflowing with various pieces of fish sits on an L-shaped sushi counter while sushi chefs work behind the bar.
Inside Shin-Zushi
Shin-Zushi / official

34. La Guapa

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R. Bandeira Paulista, 446, São Paulo
SP 04532-001, Brazil
+55 11 3079-2631
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Besides good coffee and cold beverages, chef Paola Carosella serves empanadas based on recipes revived from her childhood in Argentina. Crisp and burnished on the outside, the empanadas come in a range of styles: There’s a vegan version with broccoli, squash, zucchini, and pecans; salteña style with ground meat, olives, potato, and free-range eggs; and humita filled with steamed masa. Pick from the seven different locations spread all over the city, and don’t miss Carosella’s alfajor (traditional cookie sandwich with dulce de leche filling). [$]

As seen from above, a plate with two empanadas crispy from the oven, one upright and one on its side.
Empanadas
La Guapa / Facebook

35. Restaurante Banzeiro

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Rua Tabapuã, 830 - Itaim Bibi, São Paulo - SP
04533-003, Brazil
(11) 2501-4777
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After a decade running Banzeiro in Manaus — a city at the entrance to the Amazon forest — chef Felipe Schaedler decided it was time to open a branch in São Paulo to bring his unconventional dishes and rainforest ingredients to the city. The space reflects the union of those two places, with elegant furniture and tableware accented by a green wall, tropical plants, and a massive canoe hanging on one wall. Schaedler begins diners with finger food like Amazonian tambaqui fish ribs with sweet-sour sauce, bao stuffed with fried pirarucu (another Amazonian fish), and pickled victoria amazonica (an Amazonian flower) with wild arugula. Check out the chef’s special, a whole tambaqui slow-roasted over coals and served with classic regional side dishes such as tiny, yellow santarém beans and farofa (toasted flour sautéed with mix-ins) made with manioc flour from Uarini. [$$$]

An unseen server pours broth from a serving pitcher into a bowl of tambaqui fish fillet, cauliflower, carrots, and a poached egg. The glazed bowl sits on a dark wooden table.
Tambaqui stew
Rubens Kato

36. Brasserie Victória

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Av. Pres. Juscelino Kubitschek, 545, São Paulo
SP 04543-010, Brazil
+55 11 3040-8897
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The city's long legacy of Syrian and Lebanese cuisine is best exemplified by traditional spots like Brasserie Victoria. For more than 50 years this family restaurant has served a pitch-perfect puff pastry sfiha, a pizza-like dish very popular in Lebanon and Syria. Founder Victória Feres's recipe has not changed over the years, and the pastries always arrive at the table crispy and tender. [$$]

A close-up on two sfihas stacked on one another with a mint sprig nearby for garnish
Sfiha
Brasserie Victória / Facebook

37. VISTA Restaurante Ibirapuera

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cobertura do MAC USP - Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, 1301 - 8o andar - Vila Mariana, São Paulo - SP
04094-050, Brazil
(11) 2658-3188
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The name of this restaurant, located on the roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art, gives a hint to one of its main perks: the view of Ibirapuera Park, like São Paulo’s smaller version of New York’s Central Park. But the killer view is only part of the draw. Chef Marcelo Corrêa Bastos made his name at the casual Jiquitaia, but he offers a more sophisticated approach at Vista. The kitchen taps into the native Brazilian pantry to showcase invigorating versions of iconic regional dishes, such as magret in place of duck with tucupi sauce (made from manioc root), leitoa à pururuca (roasted suckling pig with shatteringly crispy skin), and moqueca (seafood stew with cilantro, tomatoes, red bell pepper, and coconut milk). [$$$$]

A bustling dining room with exposed ceiling beams and glowing orange lighting, with diners seated at simple wooden tables and others blurred as they walk around
Inside Vista
Rubens Kato

38. Bar Original

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R. Graúna, 137 - Moema, São Paulo - SP
04514-000, Brazil
(11) 5093-9486
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You can’t leave São Paulo without tasting a chopp, a frosty glass of beer straight from the tap — a necessity in a country where the temperature rarely dips below 70 degrees. You can find chopp nearly anywhere, but Original is one of the city’s great bars. With walls covered in old photos and cartoons, wooden tables crammed together, and retro lighting fixtures, Original is the perfect laid-back environment to experience cheerful Brazilian hospitality. After a few rounds, go upstairs for a more elevated experience, where a second bar serves a selection of Brazil’s best craft beers on tap. [$$]

A glass bowl with the name Original on the side, is filled with chicharron and a lime wedge, beside a glass of beer blurred in the background
Chicharron and a cold chopp
Original / official

1. Mocotó

Av. Ns. do Loreto, 1100, São Paulo, SP 02219-001, Brazil
A restaurant interior with simple four-top tables in front of a warm wooden bar with lots of bottles arrayed on the backbar and various ingredients visible on the bartop.
Inside Mocotó
Mocotó / Facebook

José Almeida, an emigre who came from the Northeast region to pursue a better life in São Paulo, opened Mocotó in 1973. Today his son, chef Rodrigo Oliveira, runs the restaurant, revising traditional nordestinas recipes with modern, inventive touches. His creativity is evident in everything from the iconic mocotó (cow's foot broth) that gives the restaurant its name, to favada (made from fava beans cooked with sausage, bacon, and jerked beef). To make the wait more manageable (there's always a line), order the famous dadinhos de tapioca (cheese curds with tapioca) and one of the 350 cachaças served at the bar. Pro tip: Mocotó is located in Vila Medeiros, a working-class district far from downtown São Paulo, but it's close to the airport, so consider visiting on your way in or out of the city. [$$]

Av. Ns. do Loreto, 1100, São Paulo
SP 02219-001, Brazil

2. Bar do Luiz Fernandes

R. Augusto Tolle, 610, São Paulo, SP 02405-000, Brazil
A bowl of chicken fritters, two whole and one split open, on a napkin bearing the Bar do Luiz Fernandes on a blank background.
Coxinha
Bar do Luiz Fernandes / Facebook

Maybe the most iconic snack in Brazil, coxinha consists of dough shaped like a chicken leg, stuffed with shredded chicken and then fried. At this dive bar, where the stools are made of plastic and beers arrive in massive 600-milliliter bottles, coxinha is fried to perfection. After devouring a plateful, move on to a variety of other bolinhos (deep-fried snacks), like homemade meatballs, manioc fritters filled with oxtail, and Basque beef cheek fritters. [$]

R. Augusto Tolle, 610, São Paulo
SP 02405-000, Brazil

3. Capivara Bar

R. Dr. Ribeiro de Almeida, 157 - Barra Funda, São Paulo - SP, 01137-020, Brazil
Three slices of raw fish stand upright in a small pool of broth on a plate with a flimsy delicate blanket of fish draped over top
Hake in ponzu sauce
Capivara / facebook

The cooking of Rodrigo Felício (formerly of the Ritz Carlton’s L’Espadon in Paris) is well worth the trip to the far-out Barra Funda neighborhood. With metal garage doors, simple communal seating, and barebones decorations, Capivara doesn’t look like much, but order anything from the daily menu to see what the fuss is about. Dishes usually focus on seafood and fish, highlighting the catch of the day. There may be octopus salad or raw sea bass, paired with bottles of natural wines. The restaurant only opens for dinner on weekdays and for lunch on Saturday, and you had better not arrive late, as the kitchen usually runs out of dishes early. [$$]

R. Dr. Ribeiro de Almeida, 157 - Barra Funda, São Paulo - SP
01137-020, Brazil

4. Komah Restaurante

R. Cônego Vicente Miguel Marino, 378 - Barra Funda, São Paulo - SP, 01135-020, Brazil
A server splits open a runny soft omelette with a large knife. The omelette spreads open over a cylindrical mound of rice, on a white plate, sitting on a wooden table.
Omelette over bokumbap
Rubens Kato

São Paulo’s Koreatown in the Bom Retiro neighborhood is full of restaurants serving bibimbap, bulgogi, and kimchi-spiked dishes. Chef Paulo Shin adds another high-caliber option to the neighborhood with modern, elegant Komah, where he serves dishes like a creamy French-style omelet over bokkeumbap (rice cooked in pork broth mixed with kimchi). Be sure to try his yukhoe, Korean steak tartare with julienned meat, served with Asian pear, pine nuts, and a cured egg yolk. [$$$]

R. Cônego Vicente Miguel Marino, 378 - Barra Funda, São Paulo - SP
01135-020, Brazil

5. Castelões

R. Jairo Góis, 126, São Paulo, SP SP, Brazil
A brightly lit restaurant interior with checked tablecloths on tables, wood panel walls, lots of chachkies, pictures, and bottles for decorations, including some bottles hanging from a crossbeam.
Inside Castelões
Castelões / Facebook

Pizzerias can be found across the city, but if you're looking for a classic pie, this is the place. Opened in 1924, Castelões has earned generations of fans, with dusty decor and old photos on the walls proving its decades of bona fides. Order the house pizza made with artisanal Brazilian sausage and mozzarella. When the pizza comes out, with a thin, crispy crust and bright red tomato sauce, you'll understand why the place has flourished for so long. [$$]

R. Jairo Góis, 126, São Paulo
SP SP, Brazil

6. Pastel da Maria

Praça Charles Miler - Pacaembu, São Paulo - SP, 01234-010, Brazil