Sleepless in São Paulo
WHEN TO GO?
If you can, visit during Carnaval (the 2 weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday) as the city comes even more alive with street parades. There are blocos (street parties) taking place all over the city so you just have to pick which music you like best. My favorite was the Beatles bloco which played samba remixes of all their songs!
STAY / SLEEP
We’re torn between Jardins and Vila Madalena. If you’re looking for something fancy, good restaurants and lots of shopping, Jardins is the place for you. Get a place on Oscar Freire Street if you can! If you’re into street art, trendy bars and cafes, and creative spaces, stay in Vila Madalena. It’s also considered the “coolest” area in São Paulo.
(Beco do Batman, Vila Madalena)
SEE / DO
1. Listen to live samba music at O Do Borogodo (and maybe dance a little samba yourself!)
2. For lovers of graffiti and urban art, walk down Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley), an open air gallery of street art, which dates all the way back to the 80’s when someone decided to paint - you got it – Batman!
(yep, that's a haircut right in the middle of the street)
3. Shop at Farm Rio, our favoritest brand ever! With floral prints and feminine style, it's a tropical paradise for any girl. Their three-floor flagship store in Vila Madalena makes you feel like you're in an urban jungle.
(Farm Rio, Vila Madalena)
4. Check out the view of the city from The View Bar (and order a kiwi Caipirinha while you’re at it!)
EAT / DRINK
1. If there’s one restaurant you must try, it’s Maní (Rua Joaquim Antunes, 210). Won top 50 restaurants but for us it’s number 1! Its interiors are decorated like a traditional Brazilian house with food is made from local Brazilian ingredients you’ve probably never even heard of. It’s a burst of flavors and textures in your mouth like you’ve never experienced before.
2. Indulge in some churrasco at Churrascarias like Vento Haragano (Avenida Reboucas 1001 – Jardim Paulista) where waiters parade around the restaurant tempting you with meat on giant skewers until you’re so full you can’t stand up. Faves are the wild boar served with jabuticaba jelly and grilled mozzarella! Also, the grilled banana goes with everything!
3. Have some tapioca (did you know that it has zero fat and is gluten-free?) but not in the form you’re used to. Sweet tooth? Have it as a cake or as a Nutella-banana crepe. Salt-craver? Fill it with grated cheese! Locals recommend Dona Tapioca & Cia.
4. Don’t leave Brazil without having some Açaí. While Açaí bowls are delicious practically anywhere in São Paulo, we’re obsessed with BotaniKafe (Alameda Lorena 1765 – Jardins) because everything about it is so darn cute. With glass ceilings and exotic plants everywhere, you feel that you’re lounging somewhere in the jungle. This place is all about bowls and toasts, which makes it perfect spot to have your Açaí bowl (and take photos of it too!)
5. Last but not the least, have a Caipirinha. SubAstor – Bar do Cofre is one of the city’s trendiest bar. It is located inside the vault of the former Bank of São Paulo, which was modeled after the Empire State Building in NYC. Cheers!