Sushi all around us. Sao Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, and so, the sushi is plentiful, inexpensive, and fresh. We spent a couple of days in Sao Paulo, exploring a small fraction of the enormous city while eating sushi. We were a bit overwhelmed with the size of the city. São Paulo is among the world’s most populous cities. The Greater São Paulo ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in Brazil and the third largest in the world. Aside from having such a large Japanese population, Sao Paulo also has the largest Italian population outside of Italy, as well as large populations of pretty much all other countries in the world, making the city a foodie’s heaven.
With the extremely hot weather we’ve been having in Brazil (35degrees celsius), we were hoping Sao Paulo’s beach commute was a bit closer than it actually is (about an 1.5h drive to the closest beach). A bit bummed, not being able to catch some beach time, we decided to take advantage of the city’s melting pot of cultures by having some unbelievable food, cocktails with some amazing friends, and admire some of the much impressive architecture.
On our first day there, the weather was not so great, lots of thunderstorms. We met for some cervejas with some amazing people (Mark, Renata and Guilherme) at their local watering hole, followed by a bit of bar hoping around Vila Madalena, while trying to dodge the rain. Having lived in both the States and Brazil, they were able to answer all our questions about Brazilian culture and we were able to have some great discussions.
On the second day, we followed a downtown walking tour in the city (directions from a Lonely Planet guide book). Downtown Sao Paulo is full of architechural gems, from modern skyscrapers to neo-Gothic and colonial buildings (and of course, many churches).
We had sushi for dinner. The sushi was extremely fresh and pretty cheap compare to the US. They charge $25/person for all-you-can-eat Sushi.
Our last day we went to lunch at the Unique Hotel’s rooftop restaurant. The roof top pool had an amazing view of the city’s skyline. The architecture of the building is pretty unique as well (looking like an arched boat) and the pool was a bright blood red. We spend couple hours there for lunch (filet mignon with a port reduction, followed by fudge brownies covered in melted hazelnut chocolate sauce) and some delicious craft cocktails. We would have loved to stay in this hotel, but unfortunately, our budget wouldn’t have allow it.
Street art is everywhere in Sao Paulo. Some of it truly amazing, and some of it not so much. We walked around a few blocks particularly rich with street art.
Our last night, we met again with Mark and Renata for dinner and drinks in town. We really love their company and the food (steak tartare and grilled fresh fish) and caipirinhas were fantastic. After dinner, we bought beers from a guy’s cooler on the street (everyone was partying on the street for pre-Carnival). We walked around Villa Madalena, but all the bars were already close at 1am?!?! Extremely rare for Villa Madalena, Sao Paulo’s party neighborhood. The police were enforcing a midnight curfew in preparation for handling the insane Carnival crowds.
That’s pretty much sum up all we did in Sao Paulo.
We hope you enjoy reading our blog. Please visit our Gallery to see more of our photography from Sao Paulo. If you have any questions for us, please comment on the post as we will repond as soon as we have an internet connection:)