Sao Paulo, Brazil
Marianne, 28
Graphic designer, foodie & endorphin junkie.
see her Sao Paulo city guide

ask Marianne about

breakfast and brunch desserts food markets local design gym museums fine dining

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a graphic designer, a foodie, a sports enthusiast and overall a very hyperactive person – always doing a million things at once.

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

The National, and sorrow.

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Breaking Bad for awesomeness, Mad Men for amazing art direction, Arrested Development, Parks & Recreation and The Office for timeless laughs.

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

I've been to zero tinder dates in my lifetime so I'm not really a good source of information on that.

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

If i had a hero and really wanted to make an impression, I would take her (yes it would definitely be a woman!) to Komah – for an intense and incredible korean food experience.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Mostly Zara Kids #shortpeopleproblems

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

Currently not very much into the whole night club scene.

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

I love pretending to be a tourist in São Paulo. It’s a city that’s constantly changing and evolving, there’s always so much to explore. You can never have the same experience twice. I would really love to have more time to explore every inch of it properly. I’d love to go to rock climbing at Casa da Pedra, running at Pico do Jaraguá (one of the highest mountains in the city, where you can get amazing views), and pretty much spend my days visiting all the museums and cultural centers the city has to offer.

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

I guess the most decadent dish I ever ate in São Paulo was a “dogão” at a shady joint when i was in college. You could probably describe it as a hardcore hotdog with so many fillings you can barely fit in your mouth – 2 sausages, pickled onions, mashed potatoes, corn, requeijão (a type of catupiry cheese), cheddar cheese, potato chips, ketchup and mustard, the list goes on. Oh, and it's delicious.

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

A hidden "hole" i really like is Casa de Vidro – considered an icon of modern architecture, the "glass house" was the first project by Lina Bo Bardi. It's an amazing modernist house, hidden in the Morumbi neighbourhood with lots of green areas and an ancient tortoise (which you can secretly pet!). You need to make an appointment in advance to visit it.

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?

I spent my first night married at the Grand Hyatt – it was awesome, we had breakfast in the room, cozy white robes and the best service. No idea how much it costs though, since it was a gift from my parents!

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

Sainte Marie – it's a really small place, further away from the main spots in town and not very well decorated but the food is simply amazing and the service is top notch. Best middle eastern food in the city!

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

Apothek Cocktails & Co. is probably the smallest, coziest bar in São Paulo. It only opens 3 times a week and it’s run by my friend and awesome bartender Ale D’Agostino. Even though I don't drink, I’m pretty sure you can’t get a better cocktail anywhere else. They also sell them in beautiful little bottles (yup, i'm a sucker for packaging) – so you can take them home with you or give it as a gift.

Where would you take your partner in Sao Paulo if you wanted to really pamper them?

Since my partner is really into music I would take him to Rua Teodoro Sampaio in Pinheiros, where you can find all sorts of instruments and musical stuff.

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

There are plenty of snacks and foods you can only get here. Brazilian cuisine is very rich with a mix of native and immigrant cultures. The most typical dish is the “feijoada”. If you’re a sea food enthusiast, the “moqueca” is the dish for you – sort of like a soup with lots of shrimp, fish and spices like dendê oil. We’re also very good with the sweets – that range from Brigadeiros, quindins, cocadas and so on. If you’re coming to São Paulo and want to try a bit of all brazilian foods I suggest you go to Santinho – an all you can eat buffet inside a museum, by brazilian chef Morena Leite. You won’t be disappointed.

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

Outback Steakhouse and Paris 6.

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

Besides the obvious most visited place in the city, Av. Paulista (I suggest to go on Sunday’s, when the avenue is entirely closed for cars and feels like a great big party), a first-time visitor should definitely go for a walk downtown, check out the amazing modernist architecture and get lost through the historical streets where the city was founded. Put on your comfiest shoes, don’t call too much attention on yourself and prepare for a great ride. The city’s tourism bureau has a website with itinerary suggestions here: http://bit.ly/1KSSY3L

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

I'd wake up really early to watch the sunrise from Paineiras Club – it always has the most beautiful shades of pink. Then I'd get some endorphins flowing, do some CrossFit and meet up with some friends to have brunch at Palácio Tangará (I've never been there, but I've been told their brunch is amazing). Afterwards I'd spend the day enjoying the outdoor spots in the city like skating at Ibirapuera Park and finish the day with a burger. My last day in São Paulo would seem a lot like an ordinary Sunday.

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

New York, because you can visit it a bunch of times and every one of them will feel different and special, like the city is alive and always changing. It’s impossible to get bored or feel sad in NYC, because it’s so overwhelming, there’s always some new play, new restaurants, festivals, stores and so on… Everywhere you go, you discover something awesome and fun.

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Bruno Figueiredo