Anthony Bourdain: The Layover in São Paulo

Anthony Bourdain Sao Paulo

Anthony Bourdain has 36 hours to make the most of his trip to Sao Paulo. He stays in an eccentric boat shaped hotel,  checks out the street graffiti with celebrated artist Speto and dines with friends at Alex Atala’s famous D.O.M. , placed fourth in the 2012 World’s Fifty Best Restaurants Awards.

Anthony Bourdain visited São Paulo  to film an episode of his new TV series The Layover. We asked for his opinions on Atala during a gap in a hectic schedule which included dining at D.O.M., trekking to the suburbs to stop in at restaurant Mocotó, and visiting a Jardins street market.

‘I met Alex for the first time around 2001 or 2002, at D.O.M., and I was blown away by his skillful and delicious use of what were (to me) exciting and entirely new flavors. It was a revelation. He was – and remains – way ahead of his time.

‘Alex is a pioneer – an acknowledged master whose work has long been respected by chefs worldwide. His embrace of uniquely Brazilian flavours and ingredients were revolutionary, and he is, without a doubt, almost solely responsible for bringing modern Brazilian fine dining to the attention of the international food world. He’s also known, admired and greatly liked by chefs all over the world.

‘I think a lot of people have been inspired by Alex and have, after learning French classical techniques, returned ‘home’ to embrace their own culinary traditions and the bounty of their own markets. There are chefs doing amazing things in Mexico, Peru, Scandinavia, Japan and all over the Americas who I’m sure have been inspired by Alex.’

Check out the Anthony Bourdain’s favorite places in São Paulo.

Activities do in São Paulo

Choque Cultural

If the giant art museums of Sao Paulo are too crowded for you, the Choque Cultural is a smaller, more personable gallery for young artists and their works.
  • Rua Medeiros de Albuquerque, 250 – São Paulo, SP- 5436 – Brazil
  • Phone: 55- 11- 267-6600
  • Visit Website

La da Verda

In the neighborhood of Vila Madalena, La da Verda offers handmade gifts, bright kitchen supplies and a fantastic café.
  • Rua Harmonia, 161 – São Paulo, SP – 5435 – Brazil

Instituto Butantan

Instituto Butantan is a research center that specializes in vaccines and snake venom antidotes. They also happen to have a snake center where visitors can see some of the most dangerous reptiles in the world.
  • Av. Vital Brasil, 1500 – São Paulo, SP – 5503 – Brazil
  • Visit Website

Ibirapuera Park

This park is ideal for walking, jogging, soccer or just enjoying the day.
  • Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral – São Paulo, SP,  Brazil

Rua Oscar Friere Shopping

Shopping is big business in Sao Paulo. If you want to shop the Rodeo Drive of the city, then you must go to Rua Oscar Friere.
  • Rua Oscar Freire St – São Paulo, São Paulo Brazil
  • Visit Website

Museu Aberto de Arte Urbana

Directly south of the Santana Metro Station on Av Cruzerio do Sul, artwork is displayed on the pillars of the elevated train.
  • Av. Cruzeiro do Sul – São Paulo, São Paulo Brazil
  • Visit Website

The Luz Station

Sao Paulo’s old train station, Luz Station, is now a metro stop, as well as home to the Museum of the Portuguese Language.
  • Praca da Luz 1- São Paulo, São Paulo Brazil


Unique Hotel/Skye Bar

This luxury hotel was Tony’s home away from home during his time in Sao Paulo. The roof deck has a spectacular view of the skyline, and, each night, the roof becomes Skye Bar, one of Sao Paulo’s hottest clubs.
  • Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 4700 – São Paulo, São Paulo Brazil
  • Visit Website

Censiv Motel

The Censiv Motel is one of the most notorious “Love Motels” in Sao Paulo. It’s a great place to get a room for the night (or just a few hours) if you don’t want anyone to know that you’re there — or who you’re with.
  • Rua Doutor Freire Cisneiro, 80 – São Paulo, São Paulo Brazil
  • Phone: 55 11 3931-9619
  • Visit Website



Tony has dinner at Alex Atala’s restaurant, D.O.M., with friends, Rosa and Luisa Moraes.
  • Barao de Capanema 549 – São Paulo, São Paulo 01411-011 Brazil
  • Phone: 55-11-3088-0761
  • Visit Website 

Bar do Mane

Tony’s taxi driver, Mauricio, brought him to Bar do Mane, located within the Mercado Municipal, for their famous mortadella sandwich.
  • Rua da Cantareira, 306 – São Paulo, São Paulo 1024 Brazil
  • Phone: 55 11 3228 2141
  • Visit Website


Tony visited one of Sao Paulo’s most popular restaurants, Mocotó, and caught up with chef Rodrigo Oliveira.
  • Avenida Nossa Senhora do Loreto, 1100 – São Paulo, São Paulo 02219-001 Brazil
  • Visit Website 

Feijoada da Lana

Feijoada, a traditional bean stew, is arguably the national dish of Brazil. Tony enjoyed some of the best feijoada in Sao Paulo at Feijoada da Lana.
  • Rua Aspicuelta, 421 – São Paulo, São Paulo 5433 Brazil

Ici Bistro

Tony and friends, Rosa and Luisa Moraes, met up with chef Benny Novak at his restaurant, Ici Bistro.

Beco do Batman

For those on a tight budget, visit Beco do Batman for your fill of art – it’s an alleyway beautifully covered in local artists’ works.
  • Rua Goncalo Afonso – São Paulo, São Paulo 05436-100 Brazil

Izakaya Issa

This small restaurant/bar is considered to have some of the best Japanese cuisine in the city.
  • Rua Barão de Iguapé, 89 – São Paulo, São Paulo Brazil

Bar do Luiz Fernandez

Bar do Luiz Fernandez has great beer and food, as well as a festive atmosphere.
  • R. Augusto Tolle, 610 – São Paulo, SP- Brazil
  • Visit Website


With hundreds of beers to choose from and amazing bar food, Frangó is not to be missed.
  • Largo da Matriz Nossa Senhora do Ó, 168 -São Paulo, SP –  Brazil
  • Visit Website

7 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Frango takes what at most places would be the most banal food – coxinha, roast chicken, polenta, etc. – and makes it a real delight to eat. Besides that, it has the most complete selection of beers from around the world I’ve seen in São Paulo. The menu even includes selections of beers if you want to sit down to a beer tasting. Also, they have specials on cases of beer to take home.

  2. We asked São Paulo friends to recommend where the locals go, and we’re so glad they suggested La da Venda. The name means “for sale” and you can buy for items adorning the restaurant. That creates a unique environment and a surprisingly comfortable ambiance. But it’s the food and service that really shine. I had the Stroganoff, which was the best meal of our Brazilian trip.

  3. We had a lovely time at this delightful at Izakaya Issa. It is small but very cozy. There is bar seating for approx 10-12 people. There four booths that are set low. You remove your shoes and sit comfortably.
    The meal was delicious.
    The best part for us was that they had American menus and the waitress spoke English.

  4. Alex Atalla Chef’s restaurant. One of the best Brazilian’s Chef. Nice food. Nice wine list. One of the best of São Paulo.

  5. Sidney, Australia · Edit

    This is a really nice restaurant, and so it should be. The food really does take you on a journey and you are guaranteed to have tasted things you have never tasted before. Service was not quite what I expected, generally good but a little shabby – waiters are talking to each other across the table in Portuguese – a little nit picky but it is a fine dining restaurant. Some dishes I thought were a little heavy on the salt but I have no regrets going there as some dishes will stay with me forever – just mind-blowingly amazing.

  6. DOM is clearly a top notch restaurant. Order their full fare with wine pairings and let them tickle your senses. A word of caution, too many different wines are served, pace yourself or you’ll end up rather tipsy.

  7. I’ve been lucky enough to have dined at some really amazing restaurants around the world, and something I always question is whether the wine/beverage pairing is necessary. My experience at D.O.M. proved how much a wine pairing can not only complement the meal, but really elevate the entire experience. Never have I been more impressed by the drink selection for each dish. This is a must if eating at D.O.M.! Outside of that, D.O.M. is really an exceptional experience. The food is superb and well worth what you pay. The service is acutely attentive without being overbearing, and the atmosphere of the restaurant feels very modern, but does not lose its sense of culinary authenticity.

Comments are closed.

Follow on Feedly