Last week Hub and I went to São Paulo for his work and we had such a great time. I'd been dying to check out Sampa for a long time. I'd heard it was a sprawling metropolis with modern culture, a great grub scene and cool city parks and I really miss that here in Rio. São Paulo did not disappoint. I loved it.
We rented a flat on Avenida Paulista near the MASP museum which was fantastic. It was central, there were great restaurants nearby and it was very safe. In Rio I always feel like I have to be on guard, but I felt more relaxed in our neighborhood.
|view from our flat|
When Hub wasn't working, we were exploring all the good food that SP had to offer. In Rio we are deprived of restaurant culture; the city lacks variety and the level of service and quality is often disappointing. So on this trip we were on a mission to eat and eat well.
SP has a diverse mix of lanchonetes, simple eateries where you can get quick, yummy food for a cheap price. We were staying near Rua Augusta which has loads and tried massive falafal sandwiches at Maoz Vegetarian, tacos from Taqueria La Sabrosa and coconut curries at Made in Thai. Everything was delicious and I was amazed at how every single place had vegetarian and vegan options. I even found vegan salgadinhos!
We didn't get a chance to check out any of the great museums in SP, but we did take a few strolls through their parks. I loved Parque Ibirapuera, which was massive and felt like Central Park.
And there was also Parque Trianon, which was like walking through a rainforest.
São Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan so naturally we had to squeeze in some sushi. We went to this fantastic place called Mori Sushi and indulged in a rodizio of vegetarian and seafood sushi. Amaze.
On our final day we had lunch in Liberdade, which is where the majority of the Japanese community is based. Since we already had Japanese we decided to try Chi Fu, a Chinese restaurant that got rave reviews. As we walked around it dawned on me that there are no expatriate enclaves in Rio whatsoever - no Chinatown or Little Tokyo or Little Buenos Aires. It's surprising because Rio is a huge city and how much I miss that.
I loved Chi Fu. The food was very simple and light on flavor, but everything felt authentic from the Chinese staff who spoke little Portuguese and no English to the family style service.
I heart you Sampa. Until next time!