A great option in Sao Paulo if you want to meet new friends, have excellent appetisers and hamburgers, and play snooker while enjoying live music is the Canucks, located in the Vila Olimpia region. It is a fantastic place and English is spoken (www.canuckspub.com).
Rua Gomes de Carvalho 1666 phone 55-11-3463-5240
If you want a lazy lunch in beautiful surroundings then this is the place for you. Eat in the tented covered gardens whilst enjoying wonderful caipirinhas then if you like, buy the table and chairs you have been sitting at and on. Every piece of furniture and artwork at the restaurant is for sale. Inside there is a well stocked wine cellar. The staff are very friendly and know their food and drink.
Rua Minas Gerais, 112
Stunningly designed hotel by architect Ruy Ohtake. It looks like a slice of water melon replete with 'pips' for windows. It's worth a visit solely for the roof terrace. The views of São Paulo up top make you feel like you're in a South American version of Blade Runner, minus Rutger Hauer mind.
4700 Avenida Brigadeiro Luis Antonio;
tel: 11 3055 4710;
One of the many tributaries running up to and across Avenida Paulista. This is a trendy part of town notable for its multitude of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Keep your eyes peeled for the street art. There's some interesting graffiti and amusingly designed stickers to be found here. If you're hungry there is great sushi to be had at gohan cozinha oriental - R.Augusta 2542.
Large gallery showing a range of work by the prolific Brasilian artist and friend to the stars Romero Britto. There are some beautiful pictures on display and plenty of bars and cafes to relax in afterwards on Rua Oscar Freire.
Rua Oscar Freire, 562
Outlying district in the ABC conurbation, accessible by trolleybus or train from Luz. Derided by locals (those in the city centre) as being a hick town, it's actually worth visiting for a browse around the shops (the staff don't leap on you like in the centre) for bargains and a few pots of cold beer in one of the more friendly bars there.
Santo Andre stations (Line D)
Worth catching a cab (the metro station isn't so near to the action) and soaking up what the late night drinking district has to offer, whether your trip is brief or you're hanging around longer.
Vila Madalena Metro station
You can’t just go and gawp; you’ll have to buy a drink in the bar. But it’s worth it. From the 41st floor of this skyscraper, the city’s second-tallest building, you can see across the whole of São Paulo and get some sense of its vastness. On the horizon, through the haze, you can glimpse distant mountains. Between you and them, there is an apparent infinitude of buildings. One day, perhaps, the whole planet will look like this.
Avenida Ipiranga, 344 (corner with Avenida São Luiz);
If you're in Sao Paulo and prefer an alternative to either the Irish pubs or what the locals refer to as "playboy" bars, try Funhouse, which is a large sprawling rock (of the US/UK indie variety) bar on two levels, occasionally with live bands.
Rua Bela Cintra, 567, São Paulo
With 420 different cachacas to choose from, this bar/restaurant is able to satisfy the most demanding of students of Brazil’s national spirit. And for neophytes, the knowledgeable bar staff will happily design a program that takes you from the mildest to the strongest cachaca in four increasingly drunken steps. Passing that exam was a pleasure, although my memories of the graduation ceremony are a little hazy.
Rua Iaiá, 83 – Itaim, São Paulo – SP; tel: 11 3167 0461; www.sergioarno.com.br
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