The legendary concrete jungle of the Western Hemisphere, São Paulo is made up by an ocean of skyscrapers. But travel west from Avenida Paulista towards Jardim Europa and the glass and steel towers thin out. This is Jardins. The district, roughly 30 blocks by 18 blocks at its widest, is one of the wealthiest and most popular in all of São Paulo. This neighborhood offers a huge variety of delicious restaurants, high-end boutiques, tempting bars and beautiful cafés all within walking distance of one another.
With so much to explore throughout São Paulo we shine a spotlight on this cool oasis in the heart of the concrete madness. Arm yourself with this itinerary, take a daycation and explore our most valued treasures tucked in the corners of Jardins.
| These Shoes Are Made For Walking |
A shopping trip on Rua Oscar Freire is enough to make a millionaire pat his wallet. And yet, smack bang in the middle of all the hedonism, stands the impeccably cool shoe boutique Melissa. Here’s what makes it special: all the shoes are made of plastic, they release one-off collaborations with top names including Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood, and the shoes themselves are surprisingly affordable. Coolness extends right through the store, too, from the fantastically eye-catching amphitheater entrance, whose changing façade provides a dazzling pop-up gallery for major artists, to the amazing Invasion of the Body Snatchers pods displaying the shoes and the delightful ‘new eraser’ smell all that plastic creates.
www.melissa.com.br - Rua Oscar Freire, 827 São Paulo, (11) 3083-3612
Open Mon-Fri 10am-7pm; Sat 10am-5pm
| Arte Arte Arte |
Every visitor to the city knows they should go to Museu de Arte São Paulo, the city’s unofficial landmark building. Fewer, perhaps, know why. Go, then, to find what is widely acknowledged as the best collection of European art in the Southern Hemisphere. Go, also, to admire the incredible floating super-structure that houses the main gallery, a jewel in the crown of Modernist Brazilian architecture. And definitely go to explore the fascinating labyrinth of auditoria, libraries and cafés hidden below street-level. Finally, go in order to stand in the shadowy courtyard beneath the main gallery, along with all the kids, cops and protesters, to take in for a moment the unimpeded views over downtown and the Cantareira mountains beyond.
www.masp.art.br - Avenida Paulista 1578, Bela Vista, São Paulo, (11) 3251 5644
Open Tue, Wed 10am-6pm; Thu 10am-8pm; Fri-Sun 10am-6pm
| European-Brasilian fusion cuisine at Maní |
There are innumerable glitzy dining options in Jardins, but for a triumph of substance and style, head to Maní on Rua Joaquim Antunes. A new entry for 2013 on S.Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World list, Maní specializes in European-Brasilian fusion cuisine as conceived by the husband and wife team of Daniel Redondo and Helen Rizzo. Drawing on influences from Brasil, Spain and Italy, the results are best seen in the Maniocas – manioc roots baked and served with coconut milk, white truffle oil and tucupi froth (the reduced juice of squeezed manioc roots) – or the Sopa Fria de Jabuticaba, a syrup of the jabuticaba berry served over prawns steamed in cachaça and cauliflower pickled with seeds from the endangered amburana tree. But, really, from the effortlessly chic interior to the tantalizing tasting menu, this is one of those places where you can’t really go wrong. The only risk you face is not knowing what to try first.
www.manimanioca.com.br - Rua Joaquim Antunes 210, Jardim Europa, São Paulo, (11) 3062 7458
Open Tue-Thu noon-3pm, 8-11.30pm; Fri noon-3pm, 8.30pm-12.30am; Sat 1-4pm, 8.30pm-12.30am; Sun 1-4.30pm
| Classic Paulistano Culture at Bar Balcão |
After your gastronomic odyssey at Maní, you may well find yourself in the mood for some classic Paulistano culture. If so, head uphill to Bar Balcão and grab yourself a spot at the winding wooden counter that weaves its way around the whole of the ground floor. There, among a friendly crowd of journos, artists and off-duty doctors from nearby Hospital das Clínicas, you can sip on a perfect chope (draught beer) and soak up the hubbub of a hundred conversations. The fare on offer is like the place itself: simple but effortlessly stylish, delivered with a minimum of fuss. All the better, then, for absorbing that convivial atmosphere.
Rua Dr. Melo Alves 150, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo, (11) 3063 6091
Open Mon noon-3pm; Tue-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-late; Sat 6pm-late
| The Best Cookie in Brasil |
Rumor has it that PÃO was São Paulo’s first organic bakery, but ethical concerns seem to go by the wayside when you’ve got baked goods as righteous as these. Seriously, they probably do the best cookie in Brasil – and the brownies, cookies, brioches and fresh artisanal breads look just as outrageous. It is a tiny place, however, with only two tables and a long counter with stools at the back. So either rock up early or order your deliciousness, plus coffee, to go.
www.padariaartesanal.org - Rua Bela Cintra 1618, Jardim Paulista, São Paulo, (11) 2193 2116
Open Mon-Sat 8am-10pm; Sun 9am-6pm
By Oasis Correspondent Matt Phipps
This 3 bedroom apartment mixes vintage, antique and modern for a unique blend of old world meets new world.Brazil, Sao Paulo