With new restaurants opening each week, it takes time and dedication, not to mention an expandable waistband and forgiving credit card, to keep track of SP’s latest dining hotspots. Whether you’re looking for a healthy bite for a post-gym reboot or to over-indulge with a hunk of steak and a bottle of red, there’s bound to be something in São Paulo to satsify.
Read on to discover ten new venues, opened in early-mid 2013. And if you get there before us, let us know what’s worth a visit and what’s not, in the comments below.
Rua Oscar Freire 187, Jardim Paulista (3081 6464/ frutariasaopaulo.com.br)
Starting things off at the healthy end of the scale, the Frutaria looks set to cater to a crowd of gym bunnies and calorie counters. A sister restaurant to the Frutaria in Vila Nova Conceição, a post-park weekend favourite just a skip and a hop from Parque do Ibirapuera, the new branch on swanky Rua Oscar Freire brings the same natural vibe, decked out in woods and an abudance of plants.
The healthy hangout serves up the same bumper menu of juices and smoothies, light lunches (think tuna hamburgers, egg-white omelettes and the like) and a breakfast buffet at the weekend (8am-1pm).
Rua Barão do Bananal 991, Pompéia (2548 7749/ namabaru.com.br)
Fresh flavours are at the heart of Thai cuisine, and one of the most long-awaited openings this year – for the Time Out team at least – is Nama Baru. We loved the zingy salads and the intense curries that the chef Ique Lopes whipped up in possibly the city’s smallest kitchen, in Nama Baru’s former incarnation as a lunch-only spot on busy Avenida Pompeia. Lopes and his wife Talita have scaled things up in every way possible at this new spot, just a few blocks away, and we’re itching to go and check it out.
Rua Jerônimo da Veiga 36, Itaim Bibi (2389 9399/ tianrestaurante.com.br)
Continuing the South East Asian theme, Tian is a sexy-looking new spot in Itaim. With its sharing-style dishes and urban vibe – all whitewashed brick and dramatic pink lighting – it does Itaim style to a tee, while the comprehensive menu has a crack at capturing South East Asia’s complex cuisine, with nods to Thailand, China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines in dishes like Chinese pork buns (R$18), crispy duck salad (R$22) and grilled picanha (rump steak) with Asian herbs (R$29). And all for refreshingly reasonable prices.
Rua Campos Bicudo 141, Itaim Bibi (3167 1034/ wcontemporaneo.com.br)
Drawing a glitzy crowd, W Restaurante’s upbeat, we-can-do-it website claims that W is creating ‘a new concept of restaurant’, describing São Paulo as ‘the world capital of gastronomy’.
A glance at the menu turns up the likes of the Salada W – brie with leaves, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, croutons and a honey-and-mustard dressing (R$22), and salmon with passionfruit or caper sauce (R$30-$32). So far, so run-of-the-mill. If you want to avoid the venue’s ambient house music, grab a spot at the open-air terrace out front.
Rouge Bar à Vin
Rua Mário Ferraz 561, Itaim Bibi (2628 8377/ rougebar.com.br)
Rouge Bar à Vin is a new addition to the city’s nascent enoteca trend, serving French wines (with around 30 options available by the glass, R$16-$29) and twists on bistro classics. We can’t wait to get our chops round the dreamy-sounding bolinho croque (R24.50) – a deep fried ball of ham, cheese and bechamel.
Rua Joaquim Antunes 48, Pinheiros (2507 5932)
Wine and French fare are the mainstay at Avek, too – it’s a blend of restaurant, wine bar and wine shop. Work your way through a selection of wines as you tour the menu, devised by French chef Alain Uzan, starting with light dishes such as oysters (R$21-$28) ) or charcuterie (R$16), working up to a French classic like the steak tartare (R$38), and rounding off with macaroons with red berries (R$22). Zut alors!
Rua Joaquim Antunes 224, Jardim Paulistano (3068 9888)
O Pote has been reborn in the place of the recently-closed O Pote do Rei. It’s all change in an effort to breathe life into the location: new name, new chef, new menu (French-Italian) and new décor, though with the same secluded garden out the back, we hope.
Rua Costa Carvalo 138, Pinheiros (3034 1267)
Italy is the inspiration for Ella, a cosy spot in a quiet corner of Pinheiros. Slide onto a red banquette and try the ex-Fasano chef Alexandre Romano’s housemade pastas, like the rustic spaghetti bigole (R$30), served with duck ragoût, or meats – or we love the sound of the roasted lamb shoulder (R$38) with fregola (tiny round beads of pasta).
La Quottidiana Trattoria & Rosticceria
Rua Doutor Jesuíno Maciel 710, Campo Belo (5093 0773)
A stalwart of São Paulo’s Italian scene, Sergio Arno has added another feather to his cap with La Quottidiana Trattoria & Rosticceria. The simple spot, with terracotta walls and red-chequered chairs, joins Arno’s medley of Italian eateries, which includes La Pasta Gialla, and doubles up as a deli, selling fresh pastas, sauces, olive oil and wine.
Big Kahuna Burger
Alameda Lorena 53, Jardim Paulista (3051 6268)
For a fix of good ol’ Americana, the dubiously-decorated Big Kahuna Burger brings a slice of Tarantino movie memorabilia, and another chapter in the city’s burgeoning burger obsession. The house burger packs in 220 grams of beef with mozzarella, caqui tomato, onion, pickled cucumber, bacon and mayo (R$26.50). But no five-dollar shake.