Over the past 16 years, São Paulo Brazil’s Gay Pride Parade (Parada do Orgulho Gay de São Paulo) has become one of the main queer events of the world. And as the city nears the date (May29) of it’s famous 20th edition, approximately 1.2 million LGBT supporters will descend on the thriving metropolis for the weekend. Where to eat, drink, party, sleep, shop and play? We’ve prepared the ultimate guide to experience the best of São Paulo.
It’s hard to think about sleeping in the South American city that never sleeps, but resting your bones at a central location should be top of the list. 5-star digs near the famous Paulista Ave., L´Hotel, is no stranger to the celeb and fashion world and they have a 27% discount for 3-night reservations in May. Similarly central and fantastically retro, Maksoud Plaza is ideal for the budget-minded and houses one of São Paulo’s best cocktail bars, Spencer Mereno’s Frank Bar. While there don’t miss the view from the helipad nightclub PanAm.
Considered to be a culinary capital in Latin America, São Paulo is at the ready to provide you with 5-star gastronomic experiences from all over the world. At Conceição & Discos, the traditional pão de queijo gets a very decadent upgrade: a drool-worthy version filled with slow-cooked ham and a fried egg on top. Wash that deliciousness down with one of their local craft beers. For a taste of contemporary cuisine, visit Bossa and indulge yourself with one of their creations. In true international flavor, São Paulo can please all palates. Mexican aficionados head to La Central, Japanese lovers fill the seats at Kosho or Izakaya Issa, American seekers dial up Frank & Charles and Arabian nights can be had at Baruk. Already packing on extra kilos? Fret not, surely you’ll burn all of those calories at the parade.
Every Saturday, Praça Benedito Calixto hosts an antique and decor outdoor market. The best news? You can do all the shopping with a glass of beer while listening to Chorinho, a traditional Brazilian music. Plus, the LGBT community is known to hang out at this bustling fair. On the other side of town, the fashionistas shop on Oscar Freire (don’t miss the Havaianas store or local brand AMP for their exclusive prints and designs).
If Frank Bar is on your to-do list, you should also add Drosophyla too. This 1920’s house serves signature cocktails and hosts jazz nights like no other. It’s a perfect place to start the night and flirt a bit. Closer to downtown, pay a visit to Mandíbula or Paribar, both have a cool casual vibe and affordable drinks. Meanwhile, beer lovers rejoice at Vila Madalena’s Empório Sagarana while others share 600ml beers at the area’s casual botecos.
During São Paulo pride, there’s certainly no shortage of partying. The entire area around Peixoto Gomide street will be filled with people socializing at bars and on the streets. For the best hits, try A Lôca. Another option nearby is L’Amour, an old red light district house on Bento Freitas street, where they host conceptual and alternative parties for the LGBT crowd. Skorpius, also in the red light district, is a great choice for those looking for an underground night out. If money is no object, then make the reais fly at Yatch, perfect for those who don’t mind spending R$50 on a shot of vodka. And while not entirely gay, Bar Secreto, is known for the after parties and event, Flerte… perfect if you want to break a sweat to hits by Britney and Beyoncé.
São Paulo is filled with museums for every taste. MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art) has many pieces by Brazilian and international artists, and you can also enjoy a 360º view of the city from the rooftop. Another great option is CCBB which occupies a building from the 1900s right in the middle of downtown. If you go, don’t miss a coffee at Cafezal. Mirante 9 de Julho, an open space facing the avenue with the same name, features the coffee shop and an art gallery that showcases weekly events and culture installations. Stop by to see and be seen.
We hope you have a wonderful time in São Paulo, and whether you need an airport shuttle or last minute haircut, don’t forget to check Yelp.