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São Paulo is to cuisine what airport newsstands are to magazines — the city’s restaurants cater to all appetites. Carnivores should make sure to do the churrascaria Brazilian barbeque experience, while lovers of Italian and Japanese will fit right in.
Here our Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the best places to eat in São Paulo:
1. D.O.M. Located in the Jardins district of the city, the restaurant serves haute Brazilian cuisine from chef Alex Atala. The menu incorporates many regional ingredients including priprioca, a root from the Amazon region that was originally used in the cosmetic industry before Atala manufactured it into an edible essence.
2. A Figueira Rubaiyat. Some of Brazil’s finest dining takes place under the fig tree at A Figueira Rubaiyat. The Rubaiyat private farm supplies fresh and quality ingredients to the restaurant group’s signature location in Jardim Paulista. Steak, seafood ensembles and Brazilian specialties stand out on the menu, with more than 25 desserts to round out your meal.
3. Jun Sakamoto. With the largest population of Japanese decedents outside of Japan, São Paulo does Japanese food better than almost any city outside of the Far East. You won’t go more than a few blocks without encountering a temakaria or sushi restaurant. Head to Jun Sakamoto — arguably the best Japanese restaurant in the city — for high-end dishes served in a minimalistic atmosphere. Reservations are highly recommended.
4. Brasil a Gosto. The colorful interior of the two-story restaurant complements the flavorful dishes whipped up by chef Ana Luiza Trajano. The menu features inventive takes on Brazilian classics, such as tapioca beiju, arapaima (a massive Amazonian fish) and goat loin with sweet potato purée.
5. Maní. There's a husband-wife chef duo behind the scenes at Maní, an uber-popular contemporary Brazilian restaurant located in the city's Jardim Europa neighborhood. Food is innovative and the atmosphere is fun and eclectic — the long entrance is filled with cool art. With an outdoor patio and dishes heavy on Brazilian ingredients, you'll want to book ahead to secure your spot.