The section of Rua Augusta between Avenida Paulista and downtown – dubbed Baixo Augusta – is arguably the city’s most dynamic nightlife zone. And this being São Paulo, that means packed streets most nights and ample opportunities for trouble. Along with a bit of Rua Bela Cintra to the north, the strip offers tens of bars, restaurants, clubs and live music venues, all of which are accessible on foot and most of which are at least a little bit on the wrong side of respectable. The area is favoured by punk teenagers, over-sophisticated hipsters and traditional paulistano street-crawlers alike.
Baixo Augusta is all about being unpretentious, so for a bite to start the night, stop at Espetinho do Gaúcho, where you will be served decent-quality steak, chicken or sausage kebabs barbecued on a stick in the style of southern Brazil. You’ll be expected to wash this down with a standard light beer, perhaps while catching the football, volleyball or UFC wrestling playing on the telly.For slightly more high-end fare and decent cocktails, try Bar Exquisito! , where a hodge-podge of traditionalLatin American decorations accompany good caipirinhas, margaritas and standardbar food, sucked down by people who probably wouldn’t be caught dead in most of Augusta’s night spots.
For a really good drink, though, head to Z Carniceria, an international-style bar with a dark, edgy feel. There, drinks will bemade with care, but – unlike most of the barson the strip – you might have to pay an entrance fee on a weekend.
In case sitting around drinking eventually starts to pall, Funhouse, offers a unique mix of house party, bar,and mini-club. Set in an actual house typical of the neighbourhood, pretty young girlsand boys serve drinks in the upstairs lounge where patrons sit at tables near a smallbalcony. Downstairs, they man a small standing-room bar, hiding a little black boxof a dancefloor where they might be blaring electro dance music, pop anthems, hardrock, or funk carioca.
For those with a healthy appetite for destruction – or simply on a less traditional sleep schedule – the usual suspects will be up to no good at the impossibly trashy Eclético’s Bar well into the sunlight hours.Try and steer clear of the over-excited strip club touts. The bang for your buck is minimal.
Eclético’s Bar is at Rua Augusta 890 (3259 5920).
Espetinho do Gaúcho is at Rua Augusta 962.
Bar Exquisito! is at Rua Bela Cintra 532, (3151 4530, exquisito.com.br). Read more on Bar Exquisto!
Funhouse is at Rua BelaCintra 567, (3854 6522, funhouse.com.br). Read more on Funhouse.
Z Carniceria is at Rua Augusta 934, (2936 0934, zcarniceria.com.br). Read more on Z Carniceria.