Bustling with activity at night, and with just the right mix of edgy and hip, São Paulo's famous Rua Augusta is a safe bet for finding fun almost every night. With most of the street's joints leaning towards the grittier side of cool, Caos, which opened in 2011, is one of the consciously hipper bars on the strip.
Less than a ten minute cab ride away, two new venues that have more in common than they might care to admit, as direct competitors, are a pair of renovated cinemas. First to open its doors was the gorgeous Cine Joia, followed by the larger Metrópole, which opened late 2012. Both are live music venues that run occasional clubnights as well.
Over in Pinheiros, in a charming 1950s house, Casa 92, is one of the most surprising nightspots in town: it's laid out like a real house, and the best nights here have the feel of a great house party. Dancing about in the living room, expect remixes of Marina and the Diamonds, the Killers, Hot Chip and Kings of Leon. In the back, there's a rose garden, while the house next door has recently been taken over and converted into a VIP area, complete with its own dance floor, and a pool table in the front room.
Not far away, an island of interesting nightlife can be found in the neighbourhood of Barra Funda, where revellers party in a series of great bars and clubs, dotted along the railway line – and one mega club, set apart from the others in more ways than one. The pride of the city's nightlife since it opened in 2005, electronica-heavy D.Edge, attracts both regulars and the curious with its programme, which takes in rock (On the Rocks, on Mondays), but is perhaps best known for the well-curated electronic music at the crowded Mothership, an after-hours on Sunday mornings.
Equipped with an LED lighting system synced to the the music, the main D.Edge dancefloor meshes cutting-edge technology with music picked by well-known DJs and producers. The club regularly features in lists of the best electronic music joints in the world, and in 2010, inaugurated a new dancefloor plus a terrace overlooking the sinuous concrete forms of the Memorial da América Latina, created by the prolific architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Back on Rua Barra Funda itself, three clubs are responsible for much of the buzz, particularly from Thursday night onwards. Founded five years ago, Clash Club, is located in a former industrial warehouse, and first emerged as a venue for electronic music. These days, look out for Tuesday's Chocolate, a night that features hip hop, rap and R&B, bringing together paulistano talent of the likes of rappers Kamau, Emicida, Rael da Rima and others.
Circuito, Clash's well-regarded Saturday night is another safe bet for a good night, featuring music by the likes of Laurent Garnier, Vitalic and local producer Gui Boratto. A few feet away, Alley Club opened in mid-2009, attracts a twentysomething audience, who dance to pop with all the fervour of fired-up punks. On the first floor, the regulars admire the railway junction while sipping imported beer.
|By the bar at Lebowski
The youngest of the street's hotspots, Lebowski is a vodka bar with a similar crowd to Alley Club, where even the margaritas are vodka-based. On the compact dancefloor? Indie rock.
Finally, in leafy Jardim Europa, in the striking, distinctly unleafy outdoor space of the Museum of Image and Sound (MIS), Green Sunset is a daytime party, with a roster of great national and foreign DJs, inspired by afternoon happy hours at New York's MoMa.
Alley club is at Rua Barra Funda 1066, Barra Funda (3666 0611/ alleyclub.com.br). Cover R$15-$60. Read more on Alley Club
Caos is at Rua Augusta 584, Consolação (2365 1260). Read more on Caos Casa 92 is at Rua Cristóvão Gonçalves 92, Pinheiros (3032 0371/ casa92.blogspot.com.br). Cover R$80-$160. Read more on Casa 92
Cine Joia is at Praça Carlos Gomes 82, Liberdade (3231 3705/ cinejoia.tv). Cover R$40-$140. Read more on Cine Joia
Clash Club is at Rua Barra Funda 969, Barra Funda (3661 1500/ clashclub.com.br). Cover R$20-$100. Read more on Clash Club
D.Edge is at Rua Auro Soares de Moura Andrade 141, Barra Funda (3665 9500/ d-edge.com.br). Cover R$40-$120. Read more on D.Edge
Lebowski is at Rua Barra Funda 1070, Barra Funda (98057 0008/ lebowskisp.com.br). Cover R$20. Read more on Lebowski
Metrópole is at Avenida São Luis 187, República (3868 9944). Times and prices vary depending on the night.
- Prices were correct as of November 2012