São Paulo: A Trendy City with a World-Class Dining Scene

São Paulo: A Trendy City with a World-Class Dining Scene

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São Paulo is a trendy city that offers some great culinary exploration

São Paulo’s hip culinary scene doesn’t always get the global attention it deserves.

Despite the city’s status as the third-largest metropolis in the world by population, São Paulo’s hip culinary scene doesn’t always get the global attention it deserves. But those in the know are aware it’s the best city to eat in the southern hemisphere. Home to some of the region’s best restaurants like Alex Atala’s D.O.M.; Maní, founded by husband-and-wife team Daniel Redondo and Helena Rizzo; and Kinoshita, one of many restaurants reflective of Brazil’s large Japanese communities (the largest outside of Japan), São Paulo is a culinary world in itself.

Its makeup of different cultures, especially Japanese and Italian, has led to a diverse global community loaded with young people from around the world, not to mention tons of unique shops, edgy cafés, and cool bars.

“You'll hear more about Cape Town, Sydney, and Melbourne because these are all touristy places, but the quality, variety, and feeding frenzy in Sampa is right up there with the world's most famous foodie destinations,” says travel writer and Lonely Planetauthor Kevin Raub. “Chefs Alex Atala (D.O.M.) and Helena Rizzo (Maní) have finally got the world's attention via their outrageous success on the coveted World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, but there is plenty more where that came from, including out-of-this-world Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Italian food. Pizza Paulistana ranks alongside pizzerias in Naples, New York, Chicago, and New Haven for the world's best pizza, and the current contemporary Brazilian movement, spearheaded by Atala, has dethroned New Nordic as the current culinary movement of note.”

Brazil’s Big Two: Rio vs. São Paulo

Two Brazilian heavyweights go head to head in our latest travel info post! We invite Latin travel experts, Daytours4u, to compare and contrast the Samba city of Rio with multi-faceted megatropolis Sao Paulo…

The battle of the Brazilian cities: São Paulo vs. Rio | Credit: Daytours4u

Let’s face it, if you had to name two Brazilian cities, the first two would be Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. One is the main touristic hub, not just of Brazil, but also of South America. The other is the economic centre of Brazil, and a magnet for business travellers.

When comparing two of Brazil’s most famous and most visited cities, there is a popular cliché that São Paulo is Brazil’s New York and Rio de Janeiro is Los Angeles. There is a degree of truth to this, especially in terms of the rivalry between the Cariocas (people from the city of Rio de Janeiro) and Paulistas (residents of São Paulo).

The stereotype goes that Cariocas are friendly, easy-going, lazy and always late (probably because they’re on the beach), while Paulistas are colder, fast-paced, workaholics and perpetually stressed. A quick look at the size and location of each city certainly explains the stereotype.

But a closer inspection reveals that it is not so straightforward. Rio is also an important business centre, while São Paulo definitely knows how to let its hair down. One thing that is for sure is that they both offer a lot for travellers visiting Brazil.

Let’s see how they compare on a number of aspects so that you can judge more fairly:

The concrete jungle of São Paulo | Credit: Daytours4u

New Restaurant Review: Uma Nota

Formerly of Black Sheep Restaurants, Alex Offe travelled throughout Brazil to prepare for the opening of his first standalone restaurant in Hong Kong, Uma Nota. Through this travels, he fell in love with the South American nation, most notably the artsy and vibrant city of São Paulo.

Boasting the largest Japanese population outside Japan, São Paulo is home to generations-old Brazilian-Japanese botecos (similar to pubs, botecos are casual spots for enjoying good food and drink). This is not trendy fusion fare but an amalgamation of flavours that are deep-rooted in the Brazilian culture. Think raw fish, skewers and dumplings: food for breaking bread with family and friends.

Uma Nota focuses on these uniquely São Paulo flavours, with a cool bohemian look and sharing menu featuring flavours that are unique to Hong Kong. From our initial impressions – the colourful tiled steps leading up the restaurant, with cushions scattered at the top for lounging, the Latin background beats, the genuinely warm and welcoming service – we had high expectations.

The Food and Drink

We wanted to try out everything on the well-curated menu, and if you come with a group of four or more, that’s exactly what we recommend you do. But since it was only two of us, we took it easy by ordering a selection of plates to share along with two caipirinhas a fresca ($90) – using daily-changing fruits of the day. We were in luck because coconut was the chosen fruit on the eve of our visit, and this was the perfect tropical match for the cachaca, the potent Brazilian rum made from sugar cane.

From the Smaller section of the menu, we narrowed it down to three plates to sample. Our favourite was the coxinhas de frango ($70) – chicken and okra dumplings (but these seemed more like American hush puppies to us) served with homemade chilli sauce. Quite simply, these dumplings rocked: the golden, crispy exterior was in sharp contract to the juicy, well-seasoned shredded chicken and okra within. We like our spice, so the fiery chilli sauce was just fine by us, but for those who are spice-shy, beware. The banana dulce ($75) was another surprising standout. More like a plantain in texture and flavour, the fried banana came topped with a peppery crabmeat and sour cream filling that was addictive – an interesting combination of flavours that just worked. The porco crocante ($85) was the only dish we wouldn’t order again. These hefty slabs of crackling pork belly, drizzled with a sweet and spicy tonkatsu sauce, while tasty, couldn't compete with the stellar pork belly found at Canto diners around town.

The ceviche goa ($150) was our choice from the I Like It Raw section. Bursting with fresh white fish, shrimp and squid bathed in a light and tangy coconut and curry ‘tiger’s milk’, we could tell only the best of the best ingredients were used. It was also heavy on the coriander, so this could be a plus or minus for some.

Our carnivorous side won out in The Skewers, with the tender, flavoursome beef skewers ($90 for 2) accompanied by farofa (toasted cassava flour) and a piquant pico-de-gallo-like salsa.

The above would have been enough to satiate two greedy diners, but like the gluttons for punishment we are, we ordered the berinjela ($180) from the Size Matters section to call it a night. Indeed, this was a very generous whole aubergine, split and roasted with (very salty) miso, goat’s cheese and greens – we imagine our veggie-friendly friends would enjoy this meat-like substitute. Thank goodness for the cheese and greens, which balanced out the strong miso flavour.

Much to our dismay, there are no desserts served at Uma Nota, but we were given complimentary brigadeiros (small fudge balls similar to chocolate truffles). A nice gesture, however, they weren’t an impressive enough ending for a meal this good. We'd rather have another caipirinha.


One of our favourite new openings of the year. Founder Alex’s passion for São Paulo’s botecos shines through in this buzzy Brazilian-Japanese eatery that beats to its own vivid, lively drum, serving up distinctively delicious food and drink. In the fast-changing Hong Kong dining scene, we hope Uma Nota is here to stay.

1/F, 38 Peel Street, SoHo, Central, 2889 7576

This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation.

New eVisas and Emerging Flights

The key to Brazil’s affordable luxury is, of course, its advantageous three-to-one exchange rate for Americans (see current exchange rates at XE.com). But a 2018 change in visa requirements for Americans (and Canadian, Australian, and Japanese citizens) will also save you money before you even head to Brazil: eVisas are now available online for about $40 and a waiting period of five days. The process applies to both business and leisure visitors, and visas are valid for two years for multiple visits of up to 90 days.

Compared to the hefty $160 fee and in-person consulate appointment previously required to get a Brazilian visa, getting to Brazil is easier and more affordable than it’s ever been. And while you might think of rainforests and Rio beaches when you hear “Brazil,” the best way to introduce yourself to the massive country is to make a stop in the world-class city you’ll almost certainly have to fly through.

Chilean carrier LATAM Airlines expanded its nonstop U.S. routes to Sao Paulo in 2018, with direct flights to Sao Paulo now operating from Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, D.C., and Orlando. The move is creating price competition for all airlines operating U.S.-Brazil routes through Sao Paulo’s massive Guarulhos International Airport. And while Brazil is, of course, colossal, almost every major tourist city—Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Fortaleza, Brasilia, and more—is just a few hours by plane from Sao Paulo. A weekend here is the best way to break up the journey to any of them.



The capital of the south-eastern state of Victoria, Melbourne is regularly touted as one of the world’s nicest places to live. And basing ourselves on the opportunities to go out and have a great time, we really can’t object. Trendy shops, a thriving art scene, world-class cuisine and amazing bars and clubs, this city has it all.

Over the past recent years, the Central Business District (CBD) has become the heart of Melbourne’s nightlife. Dozens of quirky bars and popular clubs have opened their doors to cater to the city’s stylish young workers and hipster crowd. A great place to start is Federation Square, a vibrant area surrounded by abstract buildings, hip restaurants and multiple cultural venues. From there, you can dive straight into the laneways, a labyrinth of alleys filled with indie art shops, artisan cafes, trendy bars and delicious eateries. Come nighttime, their dozens of wine bars, breweries, cocktail lounges and nightclubs get packed with a happy mix of visitors and locals ready to party the night away.

But don’t stop there! Venture beyond the city centre and head up north-east, to the edgy and bohemian districts of Fitzroy and Collingwood. Home to a scene that is quintessentially Melbourne’s, their lively streets are lined with friendly pubs, chill beer gardens and some of the city’s best cocktail bars. Kick back and relax over drinks before mingling with the city’s alternative crowd in one of the many indie music venues the area is known for.

Drawing a more sophisticated crowd, the Southbank neighborhood offers ample opportunity for prime drinking, dining, shopping and strolling on its lively streets and riverside promenades. Entertainment-wise, there is something for everyone, from renowned cultural venues such as the Malthouse Theatre, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Melbourne Recital Centre, to famous clubs that regularly host international DJs. Make sure you visit South Wharf’s restored heritage sheds that have been turned into stylish waterfront bars, eateries and cafes. Then head further down to South Melbourne, one of the city’s oldest and most charming neighborhoods. Start at the famous South Melbourne Market before exploring the area’s quaint cobbled streets, beautiful historic buildings and thriving food and bar scene.

Next up, the adjacent areas of Prahran, South Yarra and Windsor are home to some of the city’s best nightlife. In this part of town, trendy boutiques, hip art galleries, stylish cocktail dens, and eclectic cafes and eateries abound. Head over to Chapel Street Bazaar for some prime vintage shopping before grabbing a bite at Prahran Market. Then stop for a delicious cocktail on Greville Street, Toorak Road or Chapel Street before hitting up one of the area’s many buzzing late-night clubs.

Finally, we can’t talk about Melbourne without mentioning its beach life. During summer months, this is obviously where you’ll find a lot of the action. St Kilda’s Acland Street , Fitzroy Street and Barkly Street are home to some prime shopping spots and exceptional outdoor dining venues, as well as some of the city’s most prominent nightclubs. Across the bay and only 20 minutes from the city center, Williamstown is also worth a visit. Melbourne‘s first port settlement is now a trendy seaside area with a distinct village feel. Sit back, relax, and enjoy an ice-cold drink as you take in the gorgeous city views.

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Though it’s long been a culturally significant checkpoint in the vast sprawl of São Paulo, Centro has witnessed a spike of late in, let’s say, artistic ordem e progresso. From PIVÔ, a non-profit community center-cum-kunsthalle located in the undulating Oscar Niemeyer-designed Edifício Copan, to the area’s vivid pixação, a form of graffiti endemic to southern Brazil, Centro is seething with creative energy, and it is increasingly attracting artists and designers from the world over.


While it’s technically a country, Luxembourg’s population of around 600,000 makes it smaller than many cities. But what makes this landlocked landscape thrilling is the excellent wine it produces, something few outsiders know. A swath of the tiny country occupies the end of the Moselle Valley, made famous for Riesling from its neighbor, Germany. It’s an important commercial attraction and a key experience for visitors. The Moselle Valley’s steep hillside vineyards and wide, meandering river inspire awe. Grapes grown include Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The country’s sparkling wine has gained popularity with bubbles like Luxembourg Crémant now integral to production.

The bola da vez (hip choice of the moment) of São Paulo's gay clubbing scene, Jerome ensures an otherwise quiet Higienópolis street flanking a cemetery morphs into a festive free-for-all for mature.

Cocktail Bar in Centro & Around

Unsigned and built around a massive concrete support pillar of Edifício Copan, this 13-seat cocktail bar has brought a new level of mixology to downtown. Resurrected drinks date as far back as 1862 and are served.



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Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2020: the list in pictures

The list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was revealed on Thursday 3rd December via a virtual awards ceremony. Recognising the excellence and diversity of Latin America’s gastronomic scene in one of the most challenging periods for the global restaurant sector, the eight edition of the list is intended to support restaurants in the region as they enter the crucial next stage of recovery.

Including six new entries, one re-entry and restaurants across nine countries, this is the ultimate bucket list for foodies in 2021. Explore the list in 50 food photos, all the way down to the establishment voted No.1, The Best Restaurant in Latin America 2020, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.

No.50 Corrutela – New Entry

São Paulo, Brazil

Sustainability is a buzz word throughout the restaurant world, but few Brazilian chefs match up to what 29-year-old César Costa has achieved since 2018 with his planet-friendly restaurant in São Paulo’s bohemian Vila Madalena neighbourhood. Here, the chef creates vegetable-centric dishes with organic local produce, cutting out plastic, composting all waste and using solar energy.

No.49 Celele – New Entry

Cartagena, Colombia

Despite being only two years old, Celele has become the jewel in the crown of Cartagena’s burgeoning culinary scene. Diners can choose from the à la carte menu, but for the full experience a 10-course tasting menu explores everything the Caribbean has to offer, accompanied by a thoughtful drinks flight of regional craft beers, cocktails made with exotic Colombian fruits, fermented spirits and wines.

No.48 Nuema – New Entry

Quito, Ecuador

Within a gastronomic culture that is beginning to take hold in Latin America, Nuema stands out. Recovering the roots of the most beloved Ecuadorian traditions, it injects them with creativity and conveys the experience to a contemporary table where the product shines.

No.47 El Preferido de Palermo – New Entry

Buenos Aires, Argentina

In a large 20th-century house where one of the first restaurants in the neighbourhood was founded, restaurateur Pablo Rivero and chef Guido Tassi set to work. They recovered one of the most emblematic corners of the area, maintaining the essence of a Buenos Aires bodegón. The kitchen, led by head chef Martin Lukesch, focuses on the classic dishes of Buenos Aires, which were influenced by Italian and Spanish immigrants.

No.46 Ambrosía

Santiago, Chile

Former Best Female Chef Carolina Bazán applies French flair to a market-led menu, creating a masterclass of clean-yet-homely flavours fused together in impeccable fashion. Typical dishes include fresh oysters with orange butter homemade pasta with Chilean truffle and egg yolk and wild deer with mushroom purée and vegetables.

No.45 La Mar

Lima, Peru

Visit La Mar to mix with Lima’s buzzing foodie crowd and sample chef Juan López’s creative repertoire of ceviches that include octopus, sea urchin, shrimp and grouper – along with a pisco sour or two – at this popular concept conceived by the legendary Gastón Acurio.

No.44 Manu

Curitiba, Brazil

The 20-seat restaurant in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná forms the epicentre of myriad food projects led by the charismatic Manoella Buffara. The menu showcases the region’s vegetables, herbs and seafood, sourced via a network of artisanal producers as well as foraging. The resulting dishes are frequently eaten with the hands in traditional fashion.

No.43 Aramburu – Re-Entry

Buenos Aires, Argentina

During a 20-course journey, which starts in the main dining room and ends on the upper floor, you will taste the best version of Aramburu’s style, based on the best seasonal products. The food is accompanied by wines selected from the restaurant’s recently added cellar, filled every day with new bottles that are a result of the team’s research into all manner of Argentine winemakers.

No.42 Maito

Panama City, Panama

You’ll need your passport for Chef Mario Castrellón’s tasting menu, as it runs a whistle-stop journey through Caribbean, Indigenous, Asian, Creole, Afro-Antillean and American cuisine that expresses Panama’s multicultural culinary identity like no other. The casual fine dining experience here is perfectly adapted to the hot weather, with light, exciting dishes.

No.41 Restaurante 040

Santiago, Chile

There is no other dining experience in Santiago quite like 040, which applies a high level of technical skill to Chile’s rich and varied native ingredients. Its well-hidden location on the lower level of the fashionable Tinto Boutique Hotel in bohemian Bellavista neighbourhood adds to the intrigue of this 40-seat restaurant.

No.40 Narda Comedor

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Narda Comedor is built around a few simple concepts: eat seasonal, eat vegetables, drink water, try new things and eat well. With the opening of the restaurant in Buenos Aires in 2017, Chef Narda Lepes wanted to show her compatriots what a healthy diet looks like, while proving that it can delight the palate and still offer nutritionally balanced bites.

No.39 El Baqueano

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Fernando Rivarola scours Argentina for smallholders and producers in his quest to unearth native ingredients, such as llama and alligator. Super friendly and relaxed, the dining room is flanked by a traditional wooden bar. The wine list is also accessible but varied in style.

No.38 Osaka – New Entry

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The brainchild of the late Ciro Watanabe, Osaka has been an emblem of Nikkei cuisine in Buenos Aires since 2005. Its excellence in the search for flavours and techniques makes it a unique destination for lovers of this explosive Peruvian-Japanese style.

No.37 Mérito – New Entry

Lima, Peru

The organic encounter of two cultures – Venezuelan and Peruvian – in a small and welcoming space defines Mérito. The team’s impeccable use of ingredients from the Peruvian pantry, showcased in creative and ever-evolving preparations, sets the standard. Debuting on the list at No.37, the restaurant is the winner of the Highest New Entry Award 2020, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles.

No.36 Máximo Bistrot

Mexico City, Mexico

With a shared passion for great food, chef Eduardo García and his wife Gabriela set up Máximo Bistrot to showcase fresh produce from in and around Mexico City. Up to two thirds of the ingredients come from local farms, including the famed floating gardens of Xochimilco in the city.

No.35 Mil

Cusco, Peru

Mil is situated in the Sacred Valley, with breath-taking views of the Moray agricultural ruins. A meal at Mil consists of eight courses that explore local ingredients from ecosystems at different altitudes. From the central Andes, there are potatoes, stems, chaco clay and wild chincho from the Andean forest there is pork belly, avocado and lupinus legume and from extreme altitude there is alpaca, black quinoa and tree tomato.

No.34 Gran Dabbang

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Young chef Mariano Ramón has been instrumental in bringing Asia’s wide-ranging street-food scene to Buenos Aires. From a tiny spot in Palermo, he draws on Asian flavours and ingredients and brings them together with Latin American flair to create an original sensory experience.

No.33 Mocotó

São Paulo, Brazil

Mocotó was opened in 1974 by Rodrigo Oliveira’s father, ‘Seu Zé’, as a neighbourhood bar near the airport, soon gaining a reputation for hearty, tasty food. In 2002, young Rodrigo took over, gradually turning it into the Brazilian gastronomic institution it is today. The signature dish is the tapioca cheese cubes, served with with rennet cheese and sweet and sour pepper jelly.

No.32 De Patio

Santiago, Chile

Secluded in an upscale house in the bustling Vitacura district of Santiago, De Patio is the creative outlet of chef Benjamín Nast, who is on a mission to break rules and surprise diners with his combination of innovative cooking techniques, high-quality produce and striking presentation.

No.31 Nicos

Mexico City, Mexico

A much-loved institution, Nicos has been satisfying Mexicans' stomachs for more than 60 years. Architect-turned-chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo creates dishes that take diners on an odyssey through the country's rich culinary heritage. Try the locally sourced organic pork marinated with chilli, brown sugar and chocolate, accompanied by tamalito corn and corn sprouts.

No.30 Le Chique

Cancún, Mexico

Jonatan Gómez Luna’s tasting menu offers an exploration of the different tastes and products of Mexico with the intent to ‘puzzle, amuse and amaze’ the diner. Cutting-edge and molecular techniques are employed by Le Chique’s 28-strong culinary team to deconstruct and transform traditional Mexican dishes into new creations.

No.29 Rafael

Lima, Peru

Rafael Osterling's eponymous restaurant – housed in a beautiful Art Deco townhouse in the chic Miraflores area – celebrates Peru's eclectic and historic food culture. The menu draws on Peru's diverse culinary heritage, fusing traditional native ingredients with Italian, Asian and Nikkei influences.

No.28 Parador La Huella

José Ignacio, Uruguay

The ultimate in stylised beachside eating, Parador La Huella’s repertoire in grilled seafood led by Vanessa González is second to none, making it a regular summer spot for trendy visitors from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and beyond.

No.27 Leo

Bogotá, Colombia

Celebrity chef Leonor Espinosa’s flagship restaurant showcases little-known Colombian ingredients such as corozo fruit (a tangy red berry), arrechón (an aphrodisiac drink) and bijao (a banana-like plant), while championing local communities and gastronomic traditions. Since opening Leo she has had a great influence on Colombian cuisine and indeed other cooks, being voted by her peers as the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice in 2020.

No.26 Evvai

São Paulo, Brazil

Luiz Filipe Souza calls his cuisine ‘Oriundi’, an Italian word referring to immigrants and descendants of Italy all over the world. Using Brazilian produce, he reinterprets immigrant-inspired dishes such as beef tartare with trout eggs from the state of Santa Catarina, or fresh tuna with homemade buffalo stracciatella.

No.25 Harry Sasson

Bogotá, Colombia

Harry Sasson's eclectic menu blends Latin American, Asian and European flavours. Housed in a mock-Tudor mansion with a stunning bar clad in glass and girders, Harry Sasson is a magnet for Colombia’s rich and famous. But it also manages to retain a welcoming and inclusive feel thanks to warm service and simple, delicious food.

No.24 Mayta

Lima, Peru

Meaning ‘noble land’ in the native Aymara language, Mayta is a personal and contemporary interpretation of Peruvian cuisine by chef and restaurateur Jaime Pesaque. Its muted tones of grey and earthy browns and simple décor allows the food to shine. After debuting on the list in 2019 at No.49, the restaurant shot up 25 spots earning the Highest Climber Award 2020, sponsored by illycaffé.

No.23 Maní

São Paulo, Brazil

The restaurant is set in a quaint little former house with large wooden doors in São Paulo’s leafy Jardim Paulistano suburb. Named both Latin America’s and The World’s Best Female Chef in 2014, Maní's Helena Rizzo is one of Brazil’s best-known chefs, as well as a mentor on culinary TV show The Taste Brasil.

No.22 Astrid y Gastón

Lima, Peru

This is where the magic began: the first establishment helmed by chef and patron saint of modern Peruvian cuisine Gastón Acurio – who fortunately jacked in his law degree for hospitality – and pastry chef wife Astrid Gutsche. Star dishes served à la carte or as part of the tasting menu include Peking-style guinea pig bao, grilled octopus with a pseudo-cereal salad and lucuma gnocchi.

No.21 Lasai

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Visit Lasai for the combination of world-class cooking and a stunning dining space in the Botafogo neighbourhood. The room mixes natural and modern materials with wood from old houses, together with designer lamps. The terrace has a view to the most famous landmark in the city: Christ the Redeemer.

No.20 Isolina

Lima, Peru

Chef José del Castillo is giving back to Lima the ultimate comfort food experience, recreating the feeling of a mother’s love at the table with delicious and nostalgic food in generous sharing portions. Set in a historic house in Barranco – the favourite area in Lima for bohemians, artists and intellectuals – it has the authentic ambience of an old family home.

No.19 Chila

Buenos Aires, Argentina

With a focus on seasonal ingredients, traceable produce and Argentina’s multicultural make-up, Chila offers an innovative interpretation of Argentine cuisine. The menu changes seasonally, with 10 different concepts rotating over the months. Highlights include black hake with Jerusalem artichoke cured beef with yoghurt and chimichurri or young squid, lettuce and capers.

No.18 Kjolle

Lima, Peru

Like the bright orange flower that gives the restaurant its name, Kjolle’s dishes are extremely colourful and offer a taste of ingredients from all over Peru. A nine-course chef’s menu works through sea bass with razor clams, a selection of tubers including yucca, olluco and potato, and cured duck with squid, onion and kañiwa (a grain similar to quinoa).

No.17 Sud 777

Mexico City, Mexico

It’s worth voyaging outside Mexico City’s gastronomic centre for a meal at Sud 777, where chef and co-owner Edgar Nuñez delivers his take on Mexican cuisine, extracting the best from simple ingredients.

No.16 Tegui

Buenos Aires, Argentina

A smart setting with an equally sophisticated tasting menu, Tegui has put contemporary Argentine cuisine on the map. Street art adorns the façade step through the discrete black door to encounter a stylish establishment with an open kitchen. Oenophiles will adore the wine cellar for its labels and aesthetics.

No.15 Alcalde

Guadalajara, Mexico

Chef Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano’s simple, ‘frank’ Mexican cooking in a stylish, welcoming setting in Guadalajara makes diners want to return again and again. Mexican ingredients dominate Alcalde’s menu, with dishes such as green aguachile with prawn and apple, octopus with recado negro sauce and quail aged in beeswax with mole sauce.

No.14 Pangea

Monterrey, Mexico

Guillermo González Beristáin’s restaurant has put the northeast of Mexico on the international culinary map by applying modern French cooking techniques to the region's superb local produce. The softly lit brick and polished-wood dining room has a cosy charm, but it's hard to beat a table on the romantic palm-flanked terrace.

No.13 D.O.M.

São Paulo, Brazil

Former punk and DJ Alex Atala ripped up the rule book in true rock 'n' roll style when he set up D.O.M. in 1999, fusing fine dining with wild and wonderful ingredients from the Amazon basin. High ceilings, slick service and a soothing cream-and-taupe colour scheme make for a pleasantly relaxed space, allowing the fast-paced food to take centre stage.

No.12 Oteque

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Focused on local products, Alberto Landgraf's cuisine is both precise and inventive. His eight-course tasting menu features creative dishes, layers of flavours and intricate techniques, from his famous signature creations, such as the onion stuffed with uni and served with mussel cream, to a foie gras boudin that became an instant hit.

No.11 Quintonil

Mexico City, Mexico

Quintonil is the name of a green Mexican herb similar to coriander that features in some of the dishes and cocktails, and pretty much sums up this restaurant: fresh, authentic and brimming with flavour. Chef Jorge Vallejo’s menu is based on local produce and showcases the best of Mexico.

No.10 Osso

Lima, Peru

A butcher’s shop and restaurant all rolled into one, Osso is the place to go in Lima for all the best cuts, from perfectly cooked ribeye to flavoured sausages (cheddar, rocotó pepper marmalade and limo chilli). Almost everything is grilled over the barbecue and there’s a casual à la carte as well as a tasting menu to be eaten with the hands only.

No.9 Rosetta

Mexico City, Mexico

Visit Rosetta for the mixture of beautiful mansion house setting, and Elena Reygadas’ elegant, super-seasonal dishes makes this one of the most romantic – and popular – restaurants in Latin America.

No.8 Mishiguene

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mishiguene, which means crazy in Yiddish, honours Argentina’s Jewish immigrant heritage by reinventing Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Israeli and Middle Eastern cooking. Here, nouvelle techniques are applied to old world recipes, using the highest-quality ingredients possible.

No.7 El Chato

Bogotá, Colombia

Chef Alvaro Clavijo’s cooking is influenced by time in Europe and the US, but the produce is Colombian, and the style very much his own. The menu changes according to what’s in season, but usually features classics such as Arroz El Chato, the house rice with chicken and vegetables, as well as mushroom tartare and squid-ink-stained rice crisps with crab.

No.6 Boragó

Santiago, Chile

Boragó deals in ‘territory rather than technique’, according to chef-owner Rodolfo Guzmán. He and his energetic team source native Chilean products used by the Mapuche indigenous people to create Endémica, a menu starring diverse preparations that can change during the course of an evening according to produce supply, paired with natural and biodynamic wine or juices.

No.5 Pujol

Mexico City, Mexico

Enigmatic chef Enrique Olvera is credited with proving that rustic Mexican flavours deserve as much attention as any other haute cuisine in the world. Pujol has been his pedestal to make that point via a tasting menu of refined and elegant plates built from indigenous ingredients that pay tribute to Mexico’s rich culinary history, winning the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award 2020.

No.4 A Casa do Porco

São Paulo, Brazil

A carnivore’s idea of heaven, A Casa do Porco means ‘House of the Pig’ in Portuguese, and with everything from crunchy chunks of pancetta crackling to pork tartare, it’s a true porcine pilgrimage, with all meat 100% Brazilian.

No.3 Central

Lima, Peru

Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s flagship restaurant is a shrine to all things Peruvian, including many ingredients that are seldom seen elsewhere. The husband-and-wife team have been travelling the length and breadth of the country for several years to source interesting and unique produce from land, sea and mountains. Central is recognised with the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award 2020.

No.2 Maido

Lima, Peru

When Peru meets Japan on the plate, Nikkei is born – and chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura is a world leader in this style of cuisine. This translates to a welcoming spot where fresh fish and citrus-packed sauces reign supreme. No wonder it was voted The Best Restaurant in Latin America for three years in a row, from 2017 to 2019, and in 2020 retains the title of The Best Restaurant in Peru.

No.1 Don Julio

Buenos Aires, Argentina

A building dating back to end of the 19th century and an emblem of the Palermo neighbourhood is the setting for this immersion into Argentine culture. At Don Julio, the grill takes centre stage and everything combines perfectly for diners to discover the cuisine that represents Argentina in a single meal. Pablo Rivero, a restaurateur since he was 20 years old, dedicated his career perfecting Don Julio and showing the world the culinary landscape of his country, now taking Don Julio to the ultimate gastronomic heights as The Best Restaurant in Latin America 2020, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.

Now recap the whole list from No.50 to No.1 in the video:

The list of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2020 was announced on December 3, 2020, via a virtual awards ceremony you can rewatch on Facebook and YouTube. To stay up to date with the latest news, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.



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