Despite the city’s status as the third-largest metropolis in the world by population, São Paulo’s hip culinary scene doesn’t always get the global attention it deserves. But those in the know are aware it’s the best city to eat in the southern hemisphere. Home to some of the region’s best restaurants like Alex Atala’s D.O.M.; Maní, founded by husband-and-wife team Daniel Redondo and Helena Rizzo; and Kinoshita, one of many restaurants reflective of Brazil’s large Japanese communities (the largest outside of Japan), São Paulo is a culinary world in itself.
Its makeup of different cultures, especially Japanese and Italian, has led to a diverse global community loaded with young people from around the world, not to mention tons of unique shops, edgy cafés, and cool bars.
“You'll hear more about Cape Town, Sydney, and Melbourne because these are all touristy places, but the quality, variety, and feeding frenzy in Sampa is right up there with the world's most famous foodie destinations,” says travel writer and Lonely Planet author Kevin Raub. “Chefs Alex Atala (D.O.M.) and Helena Rizzo (Maní) have finally got the world's attention via their outrageous success on the coveted World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, but there is plenty more where that came from, including out-of-this-world Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Italian food. Pizza Paulistana ranks alongside pizzerias in Naples, New York, Chicago, and New Haven for the world's best pizza, and the current contemporary Brazilian movement, spearheaded by Atala, has dethroned New Nordic as the current culinary movement of note.”