São Paulo is the biggest city in South America, home to more than 20 million people. More and more restaurants have become a main attraction to the city. Paulistanos, people born in São Paulo, are lucky enough to have the option to taste different foods from around the world in one city. They also have the option to order traditional Brazilian dishes, which is are among the best in the world! The choices are plentiful! Even though it is easy to find Brazilian classics in almost any restaurant, below is a select group of some of the top restaurants in São Paulo that serve these traditional Brazilian dishes. Here you will find Paulistanos favorite dishes, where all classics are treated like king.
One of the most famous snacks for paulistanos is coxinha, which literally translates to – a little chicken thigh. However, in reality it is dough filled with seasoned shredded chicken breast and then fried to perfection. In just one bite it is possible to taste the crunchiness from outside and with the hot dough filling from the inside. Coxinha is a common delicacy found in most bars in São Paulo, but it will be in Frangó where the experience is elevated. This tiny bar in a residential area presents the classic coxinha filled with chicken and catupiry, a running cheese to die for. The difference is the size of the snack, which is smaller making it crispier and in consequence tastier. In order to get there, grab an Uber or a taxi as public transportation won’t bring you closer to it. If feeling hungry, a menu with traditional Brazilian food is available along with a great selection of beer.
There is one thing that need to be said about São Paulo: it likes diversity. The city is a melting pot of cultures highlighting the best of what each one of them have to offer. Mocotó is probably the most famous in this subject as it pays respect to a traditional Norther western cuisine of Brazil, more precisely from Pernambuco state. Food is outstanding using basically Brazilian ingredients, including exotic fruits difficult to find, even in São Paulo. It is hard to pick just one dish, as everything in the menu sounds tasty, but Peixadinha do São Francisco in which fish stew is brought to the table is hard to forget. Are you curious? A menu in English is available in their website. Despite its location, closer to the international airport than to São Paulo city center, Mocotó is famous among Brazilians. The deal here is to arrive early and if possible during the week, when lines can be easier to handle.
Bar do Mané
Located inside the city Market of São Paulo, aka Mercadão, this tiny bar serves a classic sandwich: the bologna sandwich. Okay, so its not totally a traditional Brazilian cuisine, however, it is incredibly unique to this restaurant. Brazilians from all over the country stop at this bar for a taste of this over filled sandwich. Many restaurants have tried to copy it, all have failed. As simple as it can be, the traditional sandwich has only bologna and bread. The meat is thinly sliced and much more than one slice is layered in between the bread, when seeing for the first time it seems overwhelming, but actually it is delicious. Nowadays it is possible to add cheese or make it hot, in any way the flavors will be there. The best way to arrive in Mercadão is early morning by Uber or taxi, it is also possible, but not recommended, to take the subway. If going by subway, keep in mind it is necessary to pass through one of the most popular retail streets in Brazil which can get really crowded any time of the day.
Feijoada da Lana
As the restaurant’s name already states, here is where classic Brazilian feijoada is made with distinction. The dish itself is a combination of different cuts of pork cooked into beans stew and it is eaten with rice, kale and farofa, a seasoned toasted cassava flour. Despite being pretty simple by description is extremely flavorful and it will be at Feijoada da Lana where it is possible to taste one of the best of São Paulo, while feeling welcome with its home decoration. Brazilians usually eat during Wednesdays and Saturdays, but it is hard to know how they handle during weekdays as it makes you sleepy all-day long. Enjoy it with caipirinha drink, which combines cachaça, lime and sugar, and gets really well with the main dish. Even though it is served all year long, during cooler weather it is much appreciated but here is a tip, allow yourself a nap after tasting it, you will need.
On a daily basis the favorite dish among Brazilians, especially in São Paulo, is prato feito which usually involves rice and beans, a salad and a cut of meat. The most popular restaurants in Sao Paulo make sure they serve this traditional Brazillian cuisine at a fair price and guarantying a nutritious meal for all. In case of Estadão Lanches. Furthermore, this dish gets its name from being across the street from the newspaper Estadão. It is not possible to try the classic dish without an kind of side, like adding fries or choosing a different kind of meat. Estadão Lanches has an informal atmosphere and it is a great option for a stop after visiting downtown São Paulo. Here is a 2 in 1 place to get to know classics of São Paulo and the best part is that it is open 24/7, being a famous address for after party snack.
Traditional Brazilian Dishes Done Right
The list could go on and on, as cuisine is a serious subject for Brazilians, but these top the list of the best in the city! Have bio fears, if tradition Brazillian food isn’t for you, you’ll likely be able to find pizza as easy as it is to count to 1, 2, and 3. Either way, make sure you embrace the best each place has to offer and you will be surprised by all the flavors Sao Paulo has to offer. Enjoy!
Bruna Cazzolato Ribeiro – Guest Writer