top thing to eat in sao paolo - the top thing

The Top Thing to Eat: São Paulo

Written: The Top Thing Staff | October 16, 2023

1. Mortadella Sandwich

The mortadella sandwich is an iconic dish in Sao Paulo, often found in the bustling Mercado Municipal. This popular street food features generous slices of mortadella paired with soft bread, making it a staple meal during lunchtime.

This beloved roast beef sandwich is a testament to the city’s rich culinary culture and its appreciation for simple yet delicious recipes. The combination of delicious mortadella and fresh bread creates a satisfying experience for locals and tourists alike.

Served at various restaurants and street vendors across the city, this savory delight offers a taste of traditional Sao Paulo cuisine. Its popularity extends beyond just being a quick meal; it has become an integral part of the local food scene, reflecting the city’s vibrant gastronomic landscape.

In addition to its classic form, variations such as adding cheese or salad bar ingredients provide options for customization based on individual preferences. Whether enjoyed with friends during a leisurely lunch or grabbed on-the-go, this sandwich encapsulates Sao Paulo’s passion for hearty street fare.

The mortadella sandwich embodies Sao Paulo’s commitment to preserving its culinary heritage while embracing innovation in flavors and textures. It stands as a testament to the city’s love affair with restaurants and good food that brings people together.

2. Pão na chapa

Pão na chapa is a simple yet delicious breakfast staple in São Paulo. It consists of toasted bread generously slathered with butter, offering a delightful combination of crispy texture and rich flavor.

This beloved dish is commonly enjoyed at local cafes, making it an integral part of the city’s morning routine. The straightforward preparation and satisfying taste have made pão na chapa a favorite choice for locals and visitors alike.

Local lanchonetes (snack bars) often excel in preparing this classic dish, showcasing their expertise in creating the perfect balance between the toasted bread and creamy butter. Chefs take pride in ensuring that each serving delivers an indulgent experience to diners at restaurants.

The simplicity of pão na chapa reflects the authentic culinary culture of São Paulo, where even uncomplicated dishes hold immense significance. This traditional breakfast item epitomizes the charm of dining in São Paulo, inviting patrons to savor its comforting flavors within the vibrant atmosphere of local restaurants.

3. Coxinha

Coxinha is a popular pork savory snack in Brazil, beloved for its delicious and satisfying flavors. This Brazilian delicacy consists of shredded chicken wrapped in dough and then fried to perfection. The result is a delightful treat that is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

The coxinha’s unique combination of textures makes it an irresistible choice for locals and tourists alike. Its crunchy exterior gives way to a tender, flavorful filling, creating a harmonious blend of tastes with every bite.

This iconic snack has become deeply ingrained in Brazilian cuisine, often enjoyed as a quick indulgence or as part of celebratory gatherings. It perfectly encapsulates the rich culinary heritage of Brazil, showcasing the country’s expertise in crafting delectable finger foods.

When visiting Sao Paulo, trying coxinha at restaurants is an absolute must-do experience. Whether enjoying it from street vendors or at traditional eateries, this dish offers an authentic taste of Brazilian gastronomy that should not be missed.

4. Cod Pastel (Bacalhau)

The Cod Pastel, also known as Bacalhau, is a traditional Brazilian pastry that encapsulates the rich flavors of codfish. This delicacy has become an integral part of Sao Paulo’s street food culture, offering locals and tourists alike a crispy and savory appetizer to enjoy.

Cod pastels are deeply rooted in Brazilian culinary history, often tracing back to old photos depicting bustling marketplaces where vendors skillfully craft these delectable pastries. The combination of flaky pastry and well-seasoned codfish filling creates a delightful contrast in textures and tastes, making it a beloved snack among the people of Sao Paulo.

In recent years, this iconic dish has gained international acclaim for its unique blend of flavors and its representation of authentic Brazilian cuisine. Its popularity extends beyond local eateries to food festivals and events dedicated to showcasing the diverse culinary heritage of Brazil.

When strolling through the vibrant streets of Sao Paulo, one can witness the artistry involved in preparing these pastries at numerous stalls or quaint little shops scattered across the city. Each bite into a freshly fried cod pastel offers an immersive experience into the gastronomic traditions cherished by generations.

The appeal lies not only in its taste but also in its cultural significance as an emblematic street food that embodies the spirit and essence of Sao Paulo’s dynamic food scene.

5. Feijoada

Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil, celebrated for its rich flavors and cultural significance. This hearty stew is a delightful blend of black beans and various cuts of pork, creating a savory and satisfying meal experience.

Traditionally, feijoada is accompanied by sides such as rice, collard greens, and orange slices. These accompaniments not only add depth to the dish but also showcase the culinary diversity present in Brazilian food culture.

The combination of these elements, including the chef, creates an explosion of flavors that represents the essence of Brazilian dining. The robustness of the stew paired with the freshness of collard greens and citrusy notes from orange slices offers a truly immersive gastronomic journey.

This iconic dish encapsulates Brazil’s passion for native ingredients like black beans and manioc flour while demonstrating their adeptness at transforming simple components into an extraordinary culinary masterpiece.

6. Virado À Paulista

Virado À Paulista is a staple of traditional Paulista cuisine, reflecting the diverse culinary influences in Sao Paulo. This hearty dish typically consists of rice, beans, pork chops, and sausage. It showcases the fusion of indigenous, African, Italian, and Portuguese flavors that have shaped the city’s food culture.

The combination of ingredients in Virado À Paulista creates a satisfying and flavorful meal that resonates with locals and visitors alike. The dish’s rich history intertwines with Sao Paulo’s multicultural identity, making it a must-try for anyone seeking an authentic gastronomic experience in the city.

One notable aspect of this dish is how it encapsulates the essence of Brazilian comfort food while highlighting Sao Paulo’s unique regional variations. From upscale restaurants to humble eateries or even homemade versions prepared by families across the city, Virado À Paulista offers a glimpse into the heart of local dining traditions.

Whether enjoyed as a casual lunch or dinner option, this iconic dish provides an opportunity to savor Sao Paulo’s cultural tapestry through its culinary heritage. Its widespread popularity underscores its significance within the vibrant food scene of Brazil’s largest metropolis.

7. Açaí na Tigela

Açaí na Tigela is a nutritious and refreshing Brazilian superfood bowl that has gained popularity worldwide. Made from açaí berries, which are packed with antioxidants, this dish offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures.

The base of the Açaí na Tigela consists of blended açaí berries, often mixed with banana or coconut milk for added creaminess. Topped with granola, fresh fruits like bananas and strawberries, and sometimes honey or condensed milk drizzled on top, it’s both visually appealing and delicious.

This dish is perfect for those seeking a quick yet healthy snack option. The combination of fiber-rich fruits and energy-boosting granola makes it an ideal choice for individuals leading an active lifestyle.

In Brazil, Açaí na Tigela is not only enjoyed as a snack but also as a meal replacement due to its nutrient-dense composition. It provides sustained energy levels while offering essential vitamins and minerals.

Whether you’re exploring the streets of São Paulo or visiting your local juice bar, indulging in an Açaí na Tigela can be both a culinary adventure and an opportunity to nourish your body with wholesome ingredients.

8. Cuzcuz Paulista

Cuzcuz Paulista is the Brazilian version of couscous, made with cornmeal. This classic dish is a staple in Sao Paolo and offers a unique blend of flavors and textures.

It’s typically served with fish or shrimp stew, adding depth to the dish while creating a perfect balance between savory and hearty elements. The combination of the fluffy couscous and rich seafood stew makes it a comforting and filling meal that locals love.

One popular spot to try Cuzcuz Paulista is at Mercado Municipal, located in the city center. This bustling marketplace not only offers an authentic taste of local cuisine but also provides visitors with an immersive experience into Sao Paolo’s vibrant food culture.

The dish reflects the region’s culinary heritage, making it an excellent representation of Sao Paolo’s diverse population and rich cultural traditions. For those looking to explore the city through its food, trying Cuzcuz Paulista is a must-do activity.

9. Picanha

Picanha is a premium cut of Brazilian beef, renowned for its exceptional flavor and tenderness. This succulent meat is a staple in churrascarias, where it’s expertly grilled to perfection on skewers over open flames.

At traditional Brazilian steakhouses like Barbacoa, this prime cut takes center stage as one of the main dishes offered. The chef’s expertise in preparing picanha ensures that diners experience the full depth of its rich flavors and buttery texture.

When visiting Sao Paolo, indulging in picanha at a reputable restaurant is an essential part of experiencing the local cuisine. Its popularity lies not only in its taste but also in the cultural significance attached to this style of barbecue.

Pork and roast beef may be common options at many eateries, but picanha stands out due to its unique preparation method and distinct flavor profile. In fact, different cuts are often showcased through omakase-style barbecues, allowing patrons to savor various renditions of this prized beef.

10. Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro is a classic Brazilian chocolate truffle that has become an iconic sweet treat in Sao Paulo. Made with condensed milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate sprinkles, this delightful confection offers a rich and indulgent flavor experience.

This beloved dessert holds cultural significance in Brazil, often being present at celebrations and gatherings as a symbol of joy and togetherness. Its simple yet exquisite combination of ingredients results in a creamy texture with intense chocolate notes.

In Sao Paulo, brigadeiros are widely available across bakeries, confectionery shops, and even as street food. Tourists visiting the city can savor these delectable treats while exploring the vibrant culinary scene.

The popularity of brigadeiros extends beyond Brazil’s borders, gaining recognition worldwide for its unique taste and cultural representation. Many artisanal chocolatiers have also put their own spin on this traditional delicacy by experimenting with various flavors and presentations.

Whether enjoyed as an after-dinner delight or as part of special occasions like weddings or birthdays, brigadeiros continue to captivate locals and visitors alike with their irresistible allure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Mortadella Sandwich?

A Mortadella sandwich is a popular street food in Sao Paulo, consisting of thick slices of mortadella served between French bread or rolls. It’s a must-try for anyone visiting the city.

Where can I find the best Pão na chapa in Sao Paulo?

For an authentic experience, head to local bakeries and cafes known as “padarias” where you can enjoy freshly toasted Pão na chapa with butter.

What is Coxinha and why is it famous in Sao Paulo?

Coxinha is a savory snack made of shredded chicken wrapped in dough, shaped into a teardrop, battered, and fried. Its popularity stems from its delicious flavor and portability.

How does Feijoada differ from other Brazilian dishes?

Feijoada stands out as Brazil’s national dish due to its rich history and unique blend of ingredients such as black beans, pork, and sausage. It offers an immersive culinary experience unlike any other.

Can you recommend the best place to try Açaí na Tigela in Sao Paolo?

Look for specialized juice bars or “lanchonetes” that serve Açaí na Tigela topped with granola and fresh fruits for an authentic taste of this popular Brazilian superfood.