Sao Paulo, Brazil
Luisa, 32
Lawyer, Wannabe Foodie
see her Sao Paulo city guide

ask Luisa about

contemporary cuisine pizza markets cocktail bars gastropub

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a lawyer, and I feel we get such a bad rep for being boring... not fair, guys! I've always liked reading, writing, discussing and thinking about things (a nerd? definitely) and I feel my job allows me to do that.

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

Marisa Monte's "De Mais Ninguém" and "Dança da Solidão" can make me cry, seriously. Also "Gimme All Your Love" by Alabama Shakes. If it's an angry heartbreak, "What Kind of Man" by Florence and the Machine.

What are the best TV shows of all time?

I am going through serious Game of Thrones withdrawal. Also, Girls <3. No other show made me be annoyed by characters while still relating to them like that.

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

Quiet cocktail bars that allow for some intimate conversation: Frank, Fel, sitting at the bar at Cozinha 212.

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

I don't really believe in idolizing people, we are all unique combinations of both good and bad things.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

I love Brazilian labels like Farm, Animale, FYI, Fit, Leeloo and so many others... I'm also a sucker for fast fashion. I'm hoping for the day & Other Stories and/or H&M will open in Brazil.

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

Never say die. But I will admit it will be hard to convince me to go to fancy clubs that require wearing heels and waiting in line...

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

This may seem crazy but can you miss going for walks and driving at the same time? I sold my car, which used to be a big part of my everyday life. Now i'm making the move towards a more pedestrian lifestyle, so i'm still in the limbo.

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

I recently tried this crazy dish at a Japanese omakase to which the chef referred as "protein bomb": raw tuna, two different kinds of fish roe, uni (sea urchin), nato (fermented soybean), a sous vide egg and okra. The instructions were to mix and slurp it all, and it was wonderfully weird.

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

I love this place called Raful in an old, immigrant area in downtown Sao Paulo. There are several Middle-Eastern shops and restaurants on the street and they accordingly serve what is known in Brazil as "Arab food", a mix of Syrian, Lebanese and other cultures. What I love about it is that it is super simple and casual, and you can just get to the front and choose from a variety of snacks and pastries that represent the perfect mix of Middle-Eastern and Brazilian cuisines: kibe (kibbeh, a meat and wheat fried dumpling), esfiha (sfeeha, a Lebanese kind of baked pie with multiple fillings) and our dear Brazilian coxinha, among many others.

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?

For my birthday once I went to D.O.M., the only 2-Michelin star restaurant in Sao Paulo (and Brazil). I had one of their tasting menus (which range between USD100-200). It was Spring-themed, fresh and delicious, and it included one of the chef's most famous dishes: ants!

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

That's tricky, I keep changing my mind as I try new cocktail spots. Right now, probably Olivia at Cozinha 212 and Amaretto Sour at Negroni.

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

I'm mad for pão de queijo (bun made with tapioca starch, cheese, eggs) and I can't live without it. The ones with quality cheese in it, that makes all the difference.

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

I'm prejudiced against most fancy, "it" places that have huge lines and show-offs.

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

As you can probably tell from my tips, I love the old downtown Sao Paulo! It's really what the city is all about, a mix of cultures, chaotic movement, different people everywhere.

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

Paulista Avenue, MASP (Sao Paulo Art Museum), Ibirapuera Park.

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