São Paulo, one of Brazil’s most famous cities, is also home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. It is thus no surprise that for those seeking good sushi restaurants, this is the place to be. Below are five of the best sushi restaurants in the city located outside the traditional Japanese neighbourhood of Liberdade.
Restaurant, Sushi, Japanese, $$$
Djapa Restaurant in São Paulo
Finding a sushi restaurant with as much variety as Djapa in São Paulo will be challenging. The all-you-can-eat restaurant offers great choices for those who aren’t really into raw fish, and even better ones for those who are. Among their diverse menu items are fresh oysters – something worth trying, as you will rarely find these in any other sushi restaurant around the city, and definitely not as delicious as here. The restaurant, however, does not offer à la carte options.
Having received several awards and much praise, Kinoshita easily serves some of the best sushi you will find in São Paulo, staying true to the Kappo Cuisine style. The service is extremely friendly and attentive to your needs, and the fish is always extremely fresh. Beware though as the bill can easily stack up fast, with à la carte dishes being small and pricey. A meal can cost between BRL281-312 (USD$90-100) per person, and that’s including only one drink each.
Located in a small and hidden alley, Dhaigo offers one of the best all-you-can-eat ‘rodízios’ in town for under BRL100 (USD$32). The variety here is also stunning and the temakis are exceptional. Don’t stress about their seemingly small size, that just means you get to try more, since you can have as many as you want. The restaurant offers both à la carte and all-you-can-eat options, with cheaper prices if you prefer not to go for sashimi. Today the restaurant has three locations in São Paulo, with the original headquarters in the ritzy neighborhood of Itaim Bibi.
Created to be much more than a simple Japanese restaurant, JAM offers customers not only food, but art and music for the soul and spirit. The restaurant’s name is an acronym for it all – ‘Japanese food, Arts & Music’. On the menu you can try both traditional Japanese dishes and the more elaborate creations of Ichiban chef Alexandre Tanamate. The restaurant has friendly service, though at times it may be slow, and the food is of good quality with some innovative dishes. Prices are somewhat higher than most sushi restaurants with the same quality of food, but the atmosphere is most certainly worth it. The restaurant has two locations, one in Jardins and the other in Itaim Bibi.
Hamatyo is small, serving only twenty customers at a time, with everyone sitting at the bar watching as sushi chef Ryoichi Yoshida skillfully prepares sushi and sashimi and personally serves customers. There are no hot entrées or sushi platters here, but the top-notch ingredients in Yoshida’s masterful creations and the soft Japanese music playing in the background make for a rewarding experience. The calm atmosphere takes you back to simpler times, when people took the time to create beautiful dishes so diners might savour them slowly.