Despite being a chain, Fogo de Chao is one of the most incredible restaurants I've visited. We dined there the night before this year's Grand Prix, and although our hotel had made a mistake with our booking, they still managed to accommodate our party of ten on what must be their busiest night of the year. The service, food and wine was outstanding - there's a set menu and the gaucho waiters will keep bringing various meats to your table and carve them, until you signify you've had your fill by turning over your drinks coaster, from green (Yes!) to red (No more!). There's a wonderful salad bar and wine list, and the staff are great. Highly recommended!
São Paulo, Vila Olimpia, Av. dos Bandeirantes, 538
Newly opened space devoted to organic food - shop and restaurant. Menu is a bit limited and they're overawed by their own tandoor, but all in all, it's a nice relaxing place to eat breakfast/lunch and the food is absolutely fresh.
Al. Franca, 1590 (Jardins)
This large, covered market sells all kinds of stuff that, if you’re not Brazilian, you probably will never have seen before. There are fruits from the Amazon region, for instance, that don’t even seem to have English names. Wandering past the stalls, you can see and smell eels, herbs, pineapples, salami, snails ... crammed together like a monument to the tastebuds.
Rua da Cantareira 306
The upmarket old-fashioned service supermarket in São Paulo. If you can't find it here, you probably can't find it anywhere in Brazil (with exceptions detailed in other tips). Not cheap, but management very obliging and they can often start a food trend - eg a year ago there was hardly any basmati rice in Brazil and what there was was exorbitantly priced. I lobbied them and now they stock 5 varieties - all of a sudden tandoori chicken and curries are appearing on the menus of various restaurants. If you want to make a feijoada to impress friends you can buy a ready-made pack here.
Casa Santa Luzia Imp. Ltda
Alameda Lorena, 1471
01424-001 São Paulo SP
Tucked away in the centre of SP but one of the great food markets of the world (IMHO) in a railway-station like building dating from 1928 - best place to buy fish/meat/cheese/fruit/spices - anything edible in SP (NB if you're going to buy fish like tuna/salmon, look for the Japanese owners and ask for sashimi quality)
Has also undergone a pleasing renovation with a glass-floored balcony section that allows you to admire the stained-glass windows or watch the commotion below while eating the famous pasteis de bacalhau - a fried A4 size pasty full of shredded salt cod, or sandwiches with gravity defying amounts of ham/salami/mortadella/cheese, etc. Not very good on veg, but there is a more conventional market across the road which sells live animals.
Rua da Cantareira - Metro São Bento (turn right and go down the hill to 25 de Março, then turn left).
Probably the most luxurious delicatessen in SP - you can burn serious amounts of money here, but you don't have to. Excellent bread (the only place in SP that does proper bagels). And the best sushi bar.
Also has a good selection of wines and cachaças, including RioSol - wine from Pernambuco - 8 degrees South of the Equator (OK, OK, it's still got a long way to go, but it has definite novelty value).
Av. Cidade Jardim, 790
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