Restaurants in São Paulo - Beef and Barbecue
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Below, a list of some good restaurants specialized in meat in São Paulo.
Notice that these restaurants serve à la carte: the client orders, and the dish is made especially for him; the size of the portion and the garnishments are determined by the restaurant. For restaurants which serve in buffet service, check out this page about Rodizios.
The Portuguese word for beef is 'carne'; many restaurants refer to 'churrasco', which is the Portuguese for barbecue. 'Rodizio' is a reference to the way that the beef is served, not to the way it is prepared.
Brazil is the largest exporter of beef in the World, but Brazilians openly admit that, when it comes to prepare 'churrascos', the beef and the techniques from Argentina and Uruguay are better than the Brazilian ones (some places have different prices for beef from Argentina and from Brazil).
This explains why there are so many restaurants of Argentinian and Uruguayan style in Brazil; likewise, the words 'parrilla' (the Spanish for barbecue) and 'parrillada' (the Spanish for plenty of parrilla, or the Brazilian 'rodizio') are very commonly found in menus at these restaurants.
Notice that Brazilians don't eat snake eye-balls in a monkey-skull bowl (Indiana Jones was only a movie). Most restaurants serve cuts of beef, chicken and pork; there are some places serving exotic cuts, like cayman, ostrich, boar and the like, but these are rare to find.
Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2954 - Itaim Bibi - Phone: (11) 3078-9488
Alameda Santos, 86 - Paraíso - Phone: (11) 3141-1188 (closed for restoration until late 2007).
Rua Haddock Lobo, 1738 - Jardim Paulista - Phone: (11) 3063-3888 (this is Figueira Rubayat, famous also for having tables under a big figo tree).
For the past ten years, Veja, the most influential Brazilian magazine, has been appointing Rubaiyat as the best restaurant of its category; it is the only restaurant to achieve it. The owners (father and and son) Belarmino Iglesias and Belarmino Iglesias Filho strive to provide the best in comfort, service and food. On Saturdays, there is feijoada. The wines menu is also the best in town.
Rua Treze de Maio, 614 - Bela Vista - Phone: (11) 3288-7045
The family of Marcos Bassi used to run a butchery; at age 18, Marcos starts his own butchery, with a difference: customers could choose to buy just the very best cuts of beef. The butchery, Bassi, becomes known as "Boutique da Carne" (Boutique of Beef); Marcos Bassi becomes an authority in high quality beef. The restaurant Bassi was opened in 1978.
Bassi still provides some of the best beef in São Paulo. In another smaller restaurant, across the street from the main one, Bassi promotes beef festivals (by reservations only).
Alameda Santos, 45 - Paraíso - Phone: (11) 3016-5333
Established in 1960, one of the oldest. Also, one of the few qualified as top.
Praça Júlio Mesquita - Centro - Phone: (11) 3221-8066
Established in 1914, this is one of the oldest and most traditional restaurants in São Paulo; customers of different generations have been faithful for decades.
«The main dish is Filet do Moraes: thick filet, grilled with oil and plenty of garlic (see photo).
Rua Haddock Lobo, 1498 - Jardim Paulista - Phone: (11) 3083-2322
Not with the same glamour as it once had (the restaurant has been opened in 1958, always at the same address), Rodeio is still one of the top restaurants in town.
Rua Doutor Sodré, 241A - Vila Olímpia - Phone: (11) 3845-7743
Ran by Argentinian Juan German Seoane, who turned his house into a restaurant. The word Bárbaro has two meanings in Portuguese: either Barbarian, the people who fought the Romans, or as synonymous of 'Excellent'.
Rua Azevedo Soares, 1008 - Tatuapé - Phone: (11) 2295-0099
Restaurant in the Eastern side of town. Serves beef from Argentina and Uruguay.
»Cabaña del Asado
Avenida Eliseu de Almeida, 1077 - Butantã - Phone: (11) 3726-2908
The name is in Spanish, and translates to English as 'Hut of Barbecue'. Indeed, the restaurant is like a large hut, surrounded by plenty of trees (from the streets, one can easily miss the place).
»Casa do Churrasqueiro
Rua Afonso Brás, 390 - Vila Nova Conceição - Phone: (11) 3044-5100
The name means 'House of the Barbecuer'; the owner put together a restaurant, a shop of utensils to make barbecues and a shop of fine cuts of meat.
Rua Roque Petrella, 265 - Brooklin Paulista - Phone: (11) 5531-4141
Established in 1986, one of the traditional houses in São Paulo; Wednesdays and Saturdays, there is also feijoada in the buffet for lunch.
»Dr. Tchê la Parrilla de la Villa
Rua França Pinto, 489 - Vila Mariana - Phone: (11) 5575-9625
Another Argentinian restaurant; Tchê is how people from Buenos Aires call each other. According to magazine Veja: "the discomfort of the premises and the lack of professionalism of the staff is compensated by the quality of the food".
Rua Conselheiro Brotero, 903 - Santa Cecília - Phone: (11) 3667-8108
Spatious and comfortable. The meat comes from Uruguay, as well as the wines.
Alameda Joaquim Eugênio de Lima, 1396 - Jardim Paulista - Phone: (11) 3885-0133
The name means 'Station South' in Spanish, a reference to the Argentinian origin. Besides the restaurant, there is also a shop of barbecue utensils and a fine butchery.
Rua Aspicuelta, 683 - Vila Madalena - Phone: (11) 3814-6747
Established 1980. Meat from Argentina, but prepared the Brazilian way (with coarse salt), rather than the Argentinian (with refined salt).
Avenida Moaci, 187 - Moema - Phone: (11) 5096-7713
There is also a restaurant in the Shopping Center Eldorado. Barbecue prepared the Australian way.
Rua Professor Sousa Barros, 493 - Jabaquara - Phone: (11) 2577-6616
Decoration is simple, but the food is sophisticated. Wine menu lists more than 500 labels from South America.
»Rincón de Buenos Aires
Rua Santa Justina, 99 - Vila Olímpia - Phone: (11) 3849-0096
Authentic Argentinian parrilla.
Rua da Consolação, 2063 - Consolação - Phone: (11) 3231-5487
Avenida Ipiranga, 1058 - Centro - Phone: (11)3229-9986
Established 1921. The self-mocking name means 'Little Dirty Place'. One of the few places which stay open until very late, always with the same quality.
Rua General Mena Barreto, 793 - Itaim Bibi - Phone: (11) 3887-8870
This restaurant serves beef cuts from Argentina, USA and Japan (the very special kobe beef).
Rua Canário, 408 - Moema - Phone: (11) 5051-1628
New restaurant, open in 2005.
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