São Paulo is a contender for one of the best party cities in the Americas, if not the world thanks to its friendly locals, late night clubs, live music and an obsession with dancing. This city keeps on top of world trends and you can find everything from gin bars, craft beer hang outs and techno clubs, as well as some of the more traditional spots you would expect to find in Brazil.
São Paulo is the heart of Brazil’s financial activity and is the fourth most populous city on the planet, with over 12 million inhabitants. Popular with tourists for its beautiful mix of architecture and different cultures, with thriving art, fashion and hipster scenes, it is practically impossible to get bored in this sprawling city. With its skyscrapers and Gothic-style & colonial buildings overlooking the Tietê River, it is immediately apparent that this is one of Brazil’s most important hubs.
One of the most popular areas in the city to find a place to party is the bohemian neighbourhood of Vila Madalena, once a popular place for hippies, it now has a growing reputation as a sophisticated and trendy area for young crowds. Vila Madalena attracts people from all over São Paulo for its bars, cafes, art galleries and boutique shopping. It is also a beacon for photographers and Instagrammers looking to snap some great shots of its amazing street art – particularly Beco do Batman, once an unassuming alley, it has now become an open air gallery of complex murals and graffiti.
Another area of the city with a burgeoning reputation is Jardins, a chic, upscale neighbourhood, with a focus on style and luxury. Jardins is home to French Bistros, sushi restaurants, museums, designer clothes shops and high end malls, it also has some of the city’s most contemporary bars & clubs and is well serviced by the metro system.
Whether you are looking to grab a few expertly made Caipirinhas, dance until the sun comes up, or just relax with a few local beers, São Paulo has every option covered and more. This article will take a detailed look into the 9 best bars & clubs in São Paulo to help you plan a big night out in this unforgettable city.
Bourbon Street Music Club
This historic club is the city’s focal point for jazz and blues, with its stage once graced by greats such as Ray Charles and B.B King. It also hosts regular salsa nights to give locals and tourists an authentic Latin experience.
Despite a real focus on music, this bar also serves great meals and its drink selection is second to none. Many people spend the entire night here, arriving early for a delicious dinner, before taking in a concert and then dancing after hours. Often, people who have visited have claimed Bourbon Street to be the best night out in Brazil!
Reviews often praise its top of the range sound system and friendly staff which complement the amazing artists. Each artist has signed the walls of the club to provide a timeline of the venue and the signatures really are a ‘who’s who’ of the jazz and blues scene – anyone who is a fan of the genres should add this Sao Paulo institution to their bucket list.
If you are looking for a buzzing atmosphere, incredible music and high end food, then Bourbon Street is the place to be in Sao Paulo. Situated on R. dos Chanés, 127 in the upmarket area of Moema.
Cafe Piu Piu
This informal cafe-bar has hosted well-known bands for more than three decades and is still going strong.
Easily São Paulo’s most loved Rock n’ Roll joint, Cafe Piu Piu is a great place to grab a beer and stumble across your new favourite band. Also serving food, this cafe is a nice place to relax during the day and try a delicious snack, while enjoying great music.
The drinks menu is relatively cheap for this region and the service is always rated as excellent by regular visitors. The entrance fee is around $10 in the evenings and it is advised to get there before 10pm to secure a good spot near the stage.
This club is open until 4am at weekends and its closing hours range between midnight and 2am midweek. Closed on Mondays. A highly recommended venue if you are looking for an alternative vibe to the nightlife of Sao Paulo.
You can find this bar in downtown on R. Treze de Maio, 134 in Bela Vista, a district also known as Little Italy for its trattorias and pizzerias.
Emporio Alto dos Pinheiros
Providing the most extensive beer selection in Sao Paulo, with 650 local and imported beers on the menu, including 33 choices available on draft – you will be spoilt for choice in one of the city’s most popular bars. Customers can choose from the many bottled beers on the refrigerated shelves, or enjoy a cold glass of Brazilian craft beer, with a range of appetisers and meals also available.
The knowledgeable staff are more than happy to point you in the direction of a beer you may like, pair beers with the correct glass and can also provide a back story on the brewery. The walls provides significant wow factor, with its selection on full view and it is nothing short of a beer paradise for people who are tired of drinking the standard Skol & Brahma.
You can find this bar on R. Vupabussu, 305 in Pinheiros.
Sao Paulo Tap House
This beer Mecca has over 40 draft beers from breweries all over Brazil and beyond, opened in 2015, this bar is designed to showcase the best of Brazilian beer and offers an excellent tasting menu to help you find your perfect brew.
The tasting menu features four tasty options chosen by the bar’s expert staff, while normal beers are served in 150ml and 330ml measurements. The beers on tap are changed regularly, depending on what is new, seasonal or popular across the country and all the best craft breweries are represented, you can also find many limited edition beers which should not be missed.
If you are a craft connoisseur then missing the Sao Paulo Tap House would be a crime and you can even line your stomach with a few mini Bolovos, the Brazilian equivalent of a Scotch egg – the tap house also serves a range of meat and cheese platters to share.
You can find the Tap House on R. Girassol, 340 in Vila Madalena.
Also in Vila Madalena (R. Delfina, 163), Bar do Cofre SubAstor is a popular cocktail bar, specialising in classic signatures and drinks based on whisky, gin, rum and genever, in a very unique setting. Subastor is inspired by up-market bars in New York & London and attracts a more mature crowd, looking for a laid back evening with food and drinks. As you would expect from a classy venue such as this, in this part of town, the cocktails and spirits here can be on the pricier side but are well worth it.
The name comes from the building’s former life, an historic bank with the vaults still intact. The bank was completed in 1945 and was the headquarters of the Bank of the State of São Paulo, modelled on New York’s Empire State building. As well as the main bar, this iconic building also contains cafes and art galleries.
SubAstor’s most popular drink is the Order & Progress (Ordem e Prosecco), constructed with cachaça, spumante, calvados, grapefruit & Tahiti lime. The food menu also provides a similar ingenuity, with Brazilian classics and an Italian twist, creating delicious fusions.
When talking about the trendiest places to grab a drink in Sao Paulo, Bar do Cofre SubAstor never fails to get a mention.
Rated as the best sky bar in Sao Paulo, the conveniently named Skye Bar can be found in Jardins and sits on top of the luxury Hotel Unique. This bar is nothing short of stunning and often finds itself featured in lists of the coolest bars in the world, with its ambient, crimson lightning, providing great photo opportunities.
This rooftop provides amazing 36o views of the skyline and is one of the jewels in the crown of Sao Paulo nightlife. This amazing setting also has a pool to soak up the afternoon sun while enjoying bespoke cocktails. It features an underwater sound system and the decking is equipped with comfortable lounge chairs.
However, it’s after dark when this bar really comes to life, with international DJs providing the soundtrack for the ultimate party. Skye Bar is open from noon until very late and also food, such as modern takes on Brazilian classics, plus a sushi bar.
Skye Bar is located at Av. Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 4700 – Jardim Paulista.
This easy going, underground nightclub is one of the Sao Paulo’s best music spots, with a team of resident DJs playing a range of genres, including hip hop, funk, soul, groove & RnB. Open Thursday-to-Sunday, Pratododia offers a causal alternative to some of the more pretentious nightclubs you might find in Vila Madalena or Jardins.
Attracting a crowd of all ages, this Boteco is extremely welcoming and full of friendly locals looking for a fun night of dancing. It is also one of the cheaper party options in Sao Paulo and perfect for any party-goers who like to travel on a budget and want to avoid the city’s more expensive, up-market nightlife.
The walls are covered in album artwork and puts much emphasis on the most important thing, the music.
Find Boteco Pratododia on R. Barra Funda, 34 in Barra Funda.
Considered to be Brazil’s leading electronic club, with an unbelievable sound system and mesmerising design & lighting, this nightclub is a must visit for any clubbers visiting Sao Paulo. This underground, electronic Utopia was established in 2003 and is a landmark in the city’s nightlife scene. Its music is curated by Renato Ratier and has hosted over 1,1oo DJs and artists in its existence.
Even if house & techno aren’t your thing, this club can be considered a local landmark and is worth the entry fee just to see inside. Designed by Brazilian visual artist, Muti Randolph, this club feels like stepping into a scene from Blade Runner.
Open from 11pm to 7am, D.Edge is easily one of the best nights out in the country and will provide an incredible experience which can rival anywhere in the US or Europe.
This nightclub us located on Av. Auro Soares de Moura Andrade, 141 in Barra Funda.
A venue with legendary status and once dubbed the ‘nightclub of all nightclubs’, Love Story has bags of history and character, with plenty of folklore involving A-list celebrities. When most bars and clubs are easing down at 3am, this place is just about to get going, with the party generally lasting until 10am, or even later.
Opened nearly 30 years ago, Love Story was initially intended for night workers looking for fun when they had finished their shift. However, it now has a worldwide reputation and stars such as Nick Cave, who once lived in Sao Paulo claimed he spent most of his nights in this very place.
The main area is divided into a large dance floor and lounge areas to rest tired feet and maybe grab a gourmet meal. There is also a second floor which resembles an American style bar and also houses the VIP area. Mike Tyson was reportedly arrested after a night in the same VIP area in 2005…
Love Story is quite possibly Brazil’s wildest party and is frequented by all walks of life to provide an unrivalled experience.
It is located on R. Araújo, 232 in the República district.