Sao Paulo, Brazil
Julia, 32
Marketing & PR Professional for Startups
see her Sao Paulo city guide

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a bit about Julia

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a Marketing Communications executive. I love writing and researching so I had my major in journalism and I'm mad about the dynamic life we have in communications. I end up in PR a few years ago because of a very fortunate opportunity and have loved it ever since. I have worked for a big American PR agency in Brazil creating communication plans for Tourism Destinations and travel brands such as Tourism Australia and Air France KLM, so tourism comms became a passion. I now manage the mkt team for a hotel rewards startup, Allpoints.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Wow. So many. But basically R&B ballads. My favorite singers for this moments are Sunshine Anderson, Gabrielle, Toni Braxton, Vanessa Williams, Mariah (yes!), Mary J. Blige, Kelly Anderson and others.

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Handmaids Tale! Also loved Years and Years, Black Mirror, She's Gotta Have It... To watch over and over any time I choose How I Met Your Mother, Sex and The City, or Friends. Just randomly pick an episode from any season and I'm good.

Name some spots in Sao Paulo that are good for a Tinder date.

Wow, so many. Negroni and Guarita bar in Pinheiros and Vila Madalena, Riviera, at Paulista Av. or Barouche, downtown. For a more cool and fun atmosphere at day time, Mirante Nove de Julho.

Who’s your hero and where in Sao Paulo would you take them out for a serious hang?

I admire people for their public position and for how they collaborate for collective growth and for the future of our society. I'm crazy about Green Living so I'd take Bea Johnson - Zero Waste Guru - to "Virada Sustentável", our big open (and fun!) event with many activities around sustainability. And chef Dan Barber, from Blue Hill at Stone Barns, who actively works towards a better future for the food chain, I'd take to a good tour starting with Banco de Alimentos NGO and a few schools to share his knowledge and mission to the ones responsible for our future, the kids.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Well, that's a tricky question. I'm a lazy shopper so I tend to buy from few brands and shops. My fave shop in town for a great mix + vintage is Casa Tropi, in Pinheiros. Loja Três always have great deals too at more affordable price. Osklen carry a great Brazilian id, Haight has THE BEST "swimsuits" ever, Melissa for plastic all-use sandals and Triya for the most beautiful bikinis. Cabana Crafts has perfect handmade accessories and Livo Eyewear for the perfect Brazilian made shades.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Hm. I think somewhere like Panamby. It's just way too far from my area, isolated, bad public transportation and no walking zone.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Go to parks on weekends and just bike ride or walk around with no agenda.

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Sao Paulo and where did you get it?

Sanduíche de Pernil (ham sandwich) at Estadão Lanches.

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Sao Paulo that you particularly like?

Botequim do Cesinha for great drinks away from the fuzz at Vila Madalena and Bar do Hugo at Itaim Bibi for a great Happy Hour. All family owned and warm welcoming atmosphere.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Sao Paulo? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

Definetly D.O.M restaurant, one of World's 50 best. It was around USD 150/person, and I had the steak with aligot (french smashed potatoes with cheese) the last time. Amazon fish are also great there. Aigai Spa, the most beautiful, instagrammable and peaceful place you can be in São Paulo has average treatments start at USD 120. I had a great massage and a bath. Lucky me I went to these places on business matters, definitely not for my pocket. ; )

What restaurant in Sao Paulo looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

We have many like that. One is Acrópole, greek food downtown, and other is Bar do Biu, in Pinheiros. The best "Feijoada" or "Vaquejada". The first is a bean stew and the other meat stew.

Where can you get the best cocktail in Sao Paulo? Which one do you like?

I love Le Jazz Petit Bar, Negroni (White Negroni is a must have there). Sub Astor also has amazing creative cocktails.

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

Not so fat: Pão de Queijo, Tapioca, Açaí and Água de Côco. (cheese bread, manioc flower sort of pancake, açaí berry cream with granola and banana and coconut water). Full of calories: Coxinha, Pastel, Brigadeiro, and Caldo de Cana!!! (chicken "balls", fried pastry, chocolate "fudge", and sugar cane juice). I absolutely love them all.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Sao Paulo?

Jardins and Itaim Bibi. Restaurants and bars in those two areas tend to be more expensive.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Sao Paulo?

Tenda do Nilo. The most amazing Lebanese food in town is not so popular outside of its neighborhood.

What are the Sao Paulo spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

A tour downtown for history and heritage (City Hall, Martinelli Building, Vale do Anhangabaú, Biblioteca Mario de Andrade), Pinacoteca for a good art exhibition or a concert at Sala São Paulo (or both). Drinks at Mirante Nove de Julho near Av. Paulista, a night out at Ramona or Barouche downtown, bar hop at Vila Madalena (if you go on a Saturday, make a stop at street farmer's market for "pastel" and "caldo de cana"). Check social media for a party called Santo Forte. And Parque do Ibirapuera, Bienal building and MAM (especially if there is a concert happening at Auditório do Ibirapuera, inside or outside).

Tomorrow’s your last day in Sao Paulo. How do you spend it?

I'd grab a bike and ride the bike lane, from one end to the other.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Lisbon. My dad lives there and I go every year, since I was 6. I love how the city reinvented itself in the past few years and still keeps the cozy atmosphere, classic tiny little restaurants (tascas) and has great views, beaches, small cities all around and so close. Also have to say I'm crazy about Amsterdam. Small cities have my heart. Recently fell in love with Melbourne, Australia.

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Giulio Paletta