How to enjoy the carnival in São Paulo
Until recently, the São Paulo carnival was considered a bit of a joke: the samba schools did not have the same tradition and style as the Rio parades. There were no trios elétrico, like in Salvador, or frevo dance like in Olinda. People only stayed for carnival in São Paulo to avoid the commotion.
However, the calm has now turned into a lively carnival, with more than 600 official entrants. This means hundreds of groups of revellers, masked or otherwise, dancing in the streets. If you want to follow the action more closely, it’s worth looking at the website Blocosderua.com. Or head for the western side, especially the districts of Pinheiros, Vila Madalena and Baixo Pinheiros, where most of the festival action is concentrated.
Photos: SP Turis
Photos: SP Turis
It’s no accident that bars and restaurants in the area enter into the spirit to entice passers-by. An example ? The Creperia N’Areia, in Vila Madalena, has created the "Combo Folia”: for R$ 36, the festival-goer can recharge their batteries in a healthy way, with a crepe filled with courgette, mint, raisins, ricotta, curd cheese and parmesan and a detox tea of hibiscus, orange, lemon and ginger.
In Baixo Pinheiros, the Negroni Bar is open all day, without breaks, and is launching new drinks to thrill carnival goers. They include a gin infused with orange, homemade coffee liqueur and tonic, which goes well with one of the naturally-fermented pizzas, such as Diavola (with spicy calabrese salami, parmesan, onion pickles, sweet pepper, fennel and rosemary). Both the cocktail and the pizza have the cocktail and the pizza have a special price special price of R$ 25. The Nou is offering a jug of sangria for a table of 5 or more people in Pinheiros or Baixo Pinheiros.
At a safe distance from the fray, chef Renata Vanzetto, a fan of the mini parades and the carnival fun, has prepared a treat for customers at their Marakuthai restaurants (there is one in Jardins and another in Itaim): anyone who orders a main dish will win a ‘Mikareta duo’, consisting of a drink made from pisco brandy, grapes and basil and a fish dumpling with pepper jelly.
Away from the bustle, in Vila Olímpia, the Praça São Lourenço restaurant is not going to put its carnival block on the street. But it will be putting on a lively lunch programme, with a mask-making workshop on Saturday (2 March), a costume parade on Sunday, games with musical instruments on Monday, and a dance with mini-parades for the little ones on Tuesday.
Experience it at L’Hotel PortoBay São Paulo!!