São Paulo, the financial hotspot of Brazil, is the centre of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, the most populated in the southern hemisphere and the primary financial centre in the country, which garnered it the nickname of "the city that can't stop."
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Typical paulista food ranges from feijoada (black bean, meat and vegetables stew served with rice) to fresh passion fruit. Being São Paulo the country's financial centre, you're bound to find every international chain of restaurants right next to the typically local eateries. Maize flour and beans are the most frequent traditional ingredients and are present in almost every dish. When talking about sweets and desserts, the Paulista cake, made with ground biscuits, and Curau de milho, a custard-like dessert, will always leave you craving more.
Where to eat in São Paulo
Restaurant magazine ranked chef Alex Atala's restaurant, D.O.M., Rua Barâo de Capanema 549, as the fourth best restaurant in the world, picking out the dish "La Galinhada" from its menu. The same chef owns a second more average restaurant, called Dalva e Dito, on Rua Padre João Manuel 1115, where guests can enter the kitchen to see him at work. The Galeria dos Paes, Rua Estados Unidos 1645, is a unique place to try some snacks out, as is Café Octávio, Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima 2.996, a place used by many businessmen to talk shop.
Where to stay in São Paulo
São Paulo is a very big city, and it is a good idea to find accommodations close to the metro to waste the least amount of time possible commuting. Jardins is the most expensive neighbourhood in the city, but the most affordable hotels are downtown, close to Praça da República. This part of the city, however, can be dangerous, most of all at night, if one's not particularly cautious.
Where to sleep in São Paulo
In the heart of Jardins, the most expensive and elegant part of the city, you can find Hotel Fasano, located at Rua Vittorio Fasano 88, a unique and welcoming place with its own piano bar and nightly jazz performances. The Unique Hotel, located In the same neighbourhood on Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antonio 4700, stands out for its modern architecture and design. With five different buildings around town, Hotel ibis budget São Paulo (formerly Formule 1) is a very popular choice for the budget-concious traveller. The one located in Jardins lies on Av. Nove de Julho 3597. The Radison Faria Lima Hotel, at Avenidad Cidade Jardim 625, is the preferred choice by businesspeople.