São Paulo

We’ve compiled the best of the best in São Paulo - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Madeleine

    Vila Madalena

    The riffs heard at Madeleine place it in an exclusive stratum of São Paulo music clubs, but it's the mix of music, food, drinks, and atmosphere that lends the bar its comprehensive appeal. Jazz ensembles play in the exposed-brick lounge, which has clear sightlines from the mezzanine. Better for chatting are the candlelit tables in the well-stocked wine cellar, and the seats on the veranda, with its panoramic views of Vila Madalena. Wherever you sit, the gourmet pizzas go great with the craft beers poured here.

    Rua Aspicuelta 201, São Paulo, São Paulo, 05433–010, Brazil
    11-2936–0616
  • 2. Veloso

    Vila Mariana

    Tables here are as disputed as a parking spot in front of a downtown apartment. An intimate corner bar on a quiet cobblestone plaza, Veloso dispenses some of São Paulo's best caipirinhas, including exotic versions such as tangerine with red pepper, and coxinhas (fried balls of chicken with cheese).

    Rua Conceição Veloso 54, São Paulo, São Paulo, 04110–120, Brazil
    11-5572–0254
  • 3. Alberta #3

    Centro

    A linchpin of the nightlife revival pulling hipsters back to Centro, this club across from the Novotel Jaraguá caters to crowds from happy hour to the bewitching hours. Head upstairs to the lounge for cocktails and imported beers or downstairs to shake it out on the dance floor to indie and classic rock. Cover fees average R$20.

    Av. São Luís 272, São Paulo, São Paulo, 01046–000, Brazil
    11-3214--5256
  • 4. All of Jazz

    Vila Olímpia

    People come here to listen quietly to good jazz and bossa nova in an intimate environment—there's even a CD store upstairs with more than 3,000 discs. Local musicians jam from 10 pm on except on Sunday. The club gets crowded on weekends, when it's best to reserve a table.

    Rua João Cachoeira 1366, São Paulo, São Paulo, 04535–006, Brazil
    11-3849–1345
  • 5. Astor

    Vila Madalena

    The 1960s and 1970s bohemian-chic decor here sends you back in time. The quality draft beer and tasty snacks and meals mean that Astor is always hopping—the menu is full of specialties from classic bars in Brazil. Don't miss the picadinho: beef stew with rice and black beans, poached eggs, banana, farofa, and beef pastel (a type of dumpling). To finish up, head downstairs, where SubAstor, a speakeasy-style sister bar, serves the kind of cocktails that inspire you to attempt knockoffs at your next house party.

    Rua Delfina 163, São Paulo, São Paulo, 05443–010, Brazil
    11-3815–1364
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  • 6. Balcão

    Jardim Paulista

    Balcão means "bar" in Portuguese, and this artsy place has a long, curving one. If you'd like a little food to accompany your drinks and conversation, try one of the famous sandwiches on ciabatta bread.

    Rua Doutor Melo Alves 150, São Paulo, São Paulo, 01417–010, Brazil
    11-3063–6091
  • 7. Bar Brahma

    Centro

    First opened in 1948, Bar Brahma used to be the meeting place of artists, intellectuals, and politicians. The decor is a time warp to the mid-20th century, with furniture, lamps, and a piano true to the period. This is one of the best places in São Paulo for live music, with traditional samba and Brazilian pop groups scheduled every week. Caetano Veloso immortalized the intersection of Ipiranga and São João Avenues, where the bar is located, in his 1978 song "Sampa." Cover fees range from R$15 to R$50.

    Av. São João 677, São Paulo, São Paulo, 01036–000, Brazil
    11-2039--1250
  • 8. Bar Do Arnesto

    Vila Olímpia

    More than 500 types of the rumlike liquor cachaça—the main ingredient in caipirinhas, Brazil's national cocktail—line a huge wall at this traditional Brazilian botequim. These casual bars generally specialize in cold bottled beer, snack foods, and caipirinhas.

    Rua Ministro Jesuíno Cardoso 207, São Paulo, São Paulo, 04544–050, Brazil
    11-3848–9432
  • 9. Blue Space

    Barra Funda

    In a huge colonial blue house in an old industrial neighborhood, Blue Space is one of the largest gay nightclubs in São Paulo. Every Saturday and Sunday, two dance floors and four bars, along with lounge and private rooms, fill with a large crowd, mostly 40 and over, interested in the house DJs and go-go-boy and drag shows. Cover charges average R$30.

    Rua Brigadeiro Galvão 723, São Paulo, São Paulo, 01151–000, Brazil
    11-3666–1616
  • 10. Bourbon Street

    Moema

    With a name right out of New Orleans, it's no wonder that Bourbon Street is where the best jazz and blues bands, Brazilian and international, play. Most performances start at midnight, but Sunday shows tend to start earlier. Cover fees average R$30.

    Rua dos Chanés 127, São Paulo, São Paulo, 04087–031, Brazil
    11-5095–6100
  • 11. Bubu Lounge Disco

    Pinheiros

    Disco balls dangle over the dance floor at gay Bubu, where shirtless is the new fully clothed. Drag performers strut their stuff at Sunday matinees, and the last Thursday of the month is girls-only night. Cover fees average R$50.

    Rua Dos Pinheiros 791, São Paulo, São Paulo, 05422–011, Brazil
    11-3081–9546
  • 12. Café Piu Piu

    Bela Vista/Bixiga

    The café is best-known for its live-rock nights—Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On other nights, it hosts groups that play rock jazz, blues, bossa nova, and sometimes tango. Cover charges average R$30.

    Rua 13 de Maio 134, São Paulo, São Paulo, 01327–000, Brazil
    11-3258–8066
  • 13. Canto da Ema

    Pinheiros

    At what's widely considered the best place in town to dance forró (music/dance from Brazil's Northeast), you'll find people of different ages and styles coming together on the dance floor. Xiboquinha is the official forró drink, made with cachaça (a Brazilian sugarcane-based alcohol), lemon, honey, cinnamon, and ginger. The doors open at 8:30 pm Wednesday and Thursday, and 10:30 pm Friday and Saturday; the hours on Sunday are from 7 pm to midnight.

    Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima 364, São Paulo, São Paulo, 05426–200, Brazil
    11-3813–4708
  • 14. Carioca Club

    Pinheiros

    A carioca is a person from Rio de Janeiro, and Carioca Club has the decor of old-style Rio clubs. Its large dance floor attracts an eclectic mix of up to 1,200 college students, couples, and professional dancers who move to samba, gafieira, and pagode from Thursday through Saturday starting at varying times. Cover fees average R$30.

    Rua Cardeal Arcoverde 2899, São Paulo, São Paulo, 05407–004, Brazil
    11-3813–8598
  • 15. Casa 92

    Pinheiros

    Giving new meaning to the concept house party, Casa 92 was fashioned out of a converted domicile. The living room has been fitted with disco lighting; the patio and terrace each have bars. An upstairs dance floor resides where a bedroom otherwise would. The music is eclectic with an emphasis on (what else?) house. Cover fees average entry R$50.

    Rua Cristovão Gonçalves, 92, São Paulo, São Paulo, 05426–050, Brazil
    11-3032–0371
  • 16. Cine Joia

    Centro

    Cine Joia takes the form of a resurrected vintage cinema, minus the seating but with the added attraction of a top-notch video-mapping system. See the site for live dates, or check out regular club nights like Talco Bells, spinning soul classics for a faithful party crowd. Cover fees average R$60.

    Praça Carlos Gomes 82, São Paulo, São Paulo, 01501-040, Brazil
    11-3101--1305
  • 17. D.Edge

    Barra Funda

    Electronic music is the main attraction at this popular club with a Death Star–meets–Studio 54 appeal. As many as nine DJs, often including internationally renowned turntablists, spin music several nights a week. The terrace here has views of a park of Oscar Niemeyer design. Cover charges dip as low as R$20 but sometimes exceed R$100. Put your name on the list ahead of time or arrive early to pay a discounted rate, depending on the event.

    Av. Auro Soares de Moura Andrade 141, São Paulo, São Paulo, 01155-040, Brazil
    11-3665–9500
  • 18. Drosophyla

    Consolação

    Your creepy aunt's house filled with bizarre keepsakes meets quaint garden bar at Drosophyla. Young professionals and midlife free spirits assemble here for exotic caipirinhas, shots of vodka with cranberry syrup, and other zesty cocktails. If here for a meal, try the huahine, a French-Polynesian dish with marinated raw tuna, carrot, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and coconut milk.

    Rua Nestor Pestana 163, São Paulo, São Paulo, 01303-010, Brazil
    11-3120–5535
  • 19. Filial

    Vila Madalena

    When it comes to ending the night, Filial is considered by many to be the best bar in town. Many musicians stop by for an after-hours taste of its draft beer, along with the flavorful snacks (such as bolinho de arroz, or rice fritters) and meals (try galinha afogada, a stew with incredibly moist chicken and rice).

    Rua Fidalga 254, São Paulo, São Paulo, 05432–000, Brazil
    11-3813–9226
  • 20. Frangó

    Freguesia do O

    A stop at off-the-beaten-path Frangó, northwest of Centro, makes you feel as if you've been transported to a small town. The bar has more than 300 varieties of beer, including the Brazilian craft beer Colorado. The Indica brew, an IPA made with sugarcane, nicely complements the bar's unforgettable coxinhas de frango com queijo (fried balls of chicken with cheese).

    Largo da Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Ó 168, São Paulo, São Paulo, 02925–040, Brazil
    11-3932–4818

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