What are some of the popular traditional dishes that one must try while visiting São Paulo?

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and an important financial center of the country. The city has a diverse population, with immigrants from various countries, resulting in an incredible mix of cultures that can also be seen in its cuisine. São Paulo is known for its street food, sophisticated restaurants, and traditional dishes.

One of the most famous dishes in São Paulo is the “feijoada,” a stew made of black beans, beef, pork, and sausages, served with rice, farofa (toasted cassava flour), collard greens, and orange slices. It is a staple dish in traditional Brazilian cuisine and can be found in many restaurants and street vendors.

Another popular dish is the “virado à paulista,” which is similar to feijoada but instead of a stew, it is served in a bowl with white rice, beans, pork chops, sautéed collard greens, banana, and fried eggs. The dish is hearty and satisfying and commonly served in traditional eateries.

For snacks, São Paulo offers a vast variety of options. One of them is the “coxinha,” a deep fried dough filled with shredded chicken, cheese, and catupiry (Brazilian cream cheese). It is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, making it an excellent option for a quick lunch or snack.

Also popular are the “pastel” and “empada,” both small pies that are filled with meat, cheese, shrimp, or other ingredients. They are usually found at street fairs and markets, but also at specialized shops and bakeries.

For those with a sweet tooth, São Paulo offers mouth-watering treats such as “brigadeiro,” a chocolate truffle made of condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter. There are many variations of brigadeiros, such as chocolate with nuts, coconut, or even fruit flavors like passion fruit and strawberry.

There is also the “pão de queijo,” a small cheese bread made of cassava flour and cheese. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and can be found all over the city, from street vendors to high-end restaurants.

For those seeking international cuisine, São Paulo has plenty of options. The city is home to one of the largest Japanese communities outside of Japan, resulting in an incredible selection of sushi restaurants and other Japanese cuisine, such as yakitori (grilled skewers) and tempura.

São Paulo is also famous for its Italian cuisine, with many traditional trattorias serving homemade pasta, pizza, and other classic dishes. Brazilian-Portuguese cuisine is also popular, with seafood dishes like moqueca (stew with fish or shrimp) and bacalhau (codfish).

To experience the best of São Paulo’s regional foods and street food, head to the Mercado Municipal. It is a bustling market where locals go to buy groceries and where tourists can find a variety of traditional food products, including exotic fruits, spices, and cheeses. The market also has several restaurants serving up local dishes, such as the feijoada and virado à paulista.

Another excellent option for traditional São Paulo food is the Casa do Porco. This restaurant is known for its pork dishes, including the famous pork sandwich with crispy pork belly, pickles, and aioli.

For an upscale dining experience, D.O.M is a two-Michelin-starred restaurant that serves contemporary Brazilian cuisine with a focus on indigenous ingredients. The tasting menu includes dishes like pirarucu (a giant Amazonian fish) and manioc, and tapioca with duck.

In conclusion, São Paulo offers a culinary experience with a mix of local and international cuisine, ranging from humble street food to sophisticated fine dining. Whether you are looking for tradition or innovation, São Paulo has something for everyone.

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