Sao Paulo's reputation as Brazil's culinary capital is well earned. The city's wide array of excellent eats gives serious eaters plenty of options. You could easily spend the better part of a day noshing on fruits and fried snacks at the large Mercado Municipal. But the city's high-end dining options are also worth noting. Even if you're more of a hidden-hole-in-the-wall-sandwich-joint type, the opportunity to taste the creative, flavorful interpretations of Brazil's top chefs is quite an experience.
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The Mercado Municipal in Sao Paulo is up there with the great markets around the world. Towering piles of fruits meet giant sides of freshly butchered pork and beef. Espresso stands crowd next to purveyors of dried fruits and nuts. There are stands dedicated to hot peppers, to candy, and to feijoada ingredients.
This list rounds up some of the most traditional, classically Brazilian dishes. They are basic dishes that hail from all over: the Northeastern area of the country, the Amazonian jungles, the quick take-away shops in Sao Paulo.
I recently spent five days eating my way through Sao Paulo, Brazil, where, in addition to consuming many thousands of delicious calories, I got a crash course in essential Brazilian ingredients. Sao Paulo is known as Brazil's food capital and offers many excellent examples of the country's Portuguese, African, Italian, and Japanese influences, not to mention the differing regional cuisines within Brazil. Here are nine that provided a useful, delicious introduction to the local staples.