Sao PauloPerspective > Travel > Sao Paulo
Now when we say beef we mean BBQ that's how the Brazilians do it, they grill it, char it and they sizzle it. Well we say Brazilians however, in São Paulo they hire in the Latin world to get those coals a burning. First stop for us was a Uruguayan restaurant in the relaxed and relatively leafy Itaim Bibi. What came was a mixed bunch of plates including an Asado that did not quite meet expectations however, this initial disappointment was trumped by a juicy and plump rib-eye steak that we shared amongst three in the beautiful and really quite romantic setting of Corrientes 348.
On one of the city's many main drags, Augusta, lies a Spanish tapas bar [Sancho Bar y Tapas], now we remember the staff being exceptionally friendly and the food and drink being accessible and tasty. We say friendly because in a city of over 19m people we bumped into one of the waiters in the street in another part of the city and they remembered us. Crazy. They also make a paella live on a Wednesday night if you ever wanted to see the process of this traditional Spanish dish in action.
You are not going to São Paulo for a culinary experience, we ate in about twenty or so restaurants with varying degrees of success. The food isn't bad, it just feels that you are paying a lot for average food. Expect to fork out between USD $ 60 to 100 per person for a half decent meal, and that's maybe one course and a drink, okay a starter as well if you're lucky.
São Paulo is expensive and finding accommodation that meets your budget and expectations may prove difficult. We ended up staying with one of our lovely friends in Itaim Bibi and a couple of days the Mercure Hotel in the same area, whilst our traveling companion stayed downtown in the InterContinental, Paulista.
If you want a chilled relaxed experience stay somewhere in Itaim Bibi or the Jardins and you can travel easily [relatively for Sao Paulo] to other places of interest such as Villa Madelena, 25 De Marco and Augusta. Despite more crisp hotel chains located in Paulista and the downtown area we felt them to be soulless and a bit too commercial.
This is where São Paulo comes into its element. The city is absolutely bursting at the seams with bars, clubs, and music venues. We found a hidden cavern near the cemetery close to Beco de Batman, Villa Madlena. We say hidden as it didn't have any name but it's next to a petrol station and you'll find incredibly cool and heavily tattooed twentysomethings chilling outside. Once inside this tiny space, the room filled with the buzz of upbeat blues performed by a one man band complete with what looked like the horn of a gramophone.
A rooftop bar that is worth a visit for a drink at night for the view is Skkye bar at the Unique Hotel, but be warned the place had the atmosphere of an Ed Flanders' scrabble game. Looking for a place to go afterwards don't ask the beautiful hosts as the four places they suggested were utter falsehoods that were either expensive, had talentless bands busting out bad covers or full of geriatrics. Charles Edwards bar should be given a wide berth. To be fair this was a Monday night, apparently the quietest night in Sao Paulo.
Easily the best club we went to was D-Egde which had us hanging on to 8am in the morning and entertained by Ellen Allien and the beautiful and engaged clubbers it's regular deep house night each Thursday.
The previous two nights seen us at the traditional Brazilian music night held at Villa Mix an exclusive club where entry is guaranteed by guest list only. Sao Paulo is for exploring, we hit upon a Ja Rule concert who incidentally followed us to Dubai the following week. Expect the unexpected. Enjoy.