Brazilian Street Food: Butantan Food Park in São Paulo
Street Food in Brazil
Brazil’s largest city and financial hub may not spark the interest of most seasoned travelers, but it’s a prime location for business travelers as its Brazil’s financial hub. Francisco and I have visited throughout the year, but we found out that business travel isn’t as glamorous as it sounds – it’s mostly work and little play.
On one of our explorations of this megacity (over 11.3 million in the city proper alone!), we discovered bits and pieces of São Paulo’s street food, like pamonha or curau to name a few, but Sao Paulo’s Food Truck Park gives street food a gourmet touch.
Butantan Food Park
We hopped on the metro on a Saturday afternoon and booked it to the Butantã district of the city. As soon as we came within a block from the park, we were hypnotized by the mixture of aromas of barbecued meats and mysterious scents to be uncovered, each one creating a picture in our minds of what we were about to dig into.
Forget the pastel and juice stands, about 25 colorful food trucks and stands lined a revitalized abandoned parking lot serving food and drinks for up to 25 reais. KQI Productions began this project in May of 2014, shortly after São Paulo’s Mayor Haddad passed a law to promote entrepreneurship by easing restrictions on food sold in public spaces.
Outdoor Foot Court: Trucks, Trailers, Stands and Carts
At first glance, we knew we were in the right place for the food experience we were looking for, our only problem was choosing between all of the options!
We did a round to scope the place out and as we perused through the chalk menus and delicious concoctions, almost all of them seemed like a winner – from sandwiches to crepes and tapioca, fresh pasta, Mexican and Arab food, to sweet and craft products, accompanied by wines by the glass and handmade carbonated juices.
We decided on the most different and tasty looking plates that we hadn’t seen at any of the restaurants we had visited in São Paulo thus far.
We started with ribs grilled to perfection, a crisp layer of fat with tender meat shredding off the bone.
Our second plate was a waffle burger with a mildly sweet and spicy sauce topped with caramelized ginger and onion, tangy yet balanced.
For dessert we each had a cooling ice cream smoothie to recover from the scorching heat. This was awesome, it was perfectly creamy with small chunks of fruit giving it that extra fruity taste.
The downfall – São Paulo is really hot and humid, and the main seating area has no shade. In 90+ degrees weather trying to scarf down ribs fresh off the grill can only equal one thing – meat sweat. There weren’t many healthy food options, although there were some vegetarian dishes, but as travelers, we can make these delicious exceptions.
On the plus side, they have a shaded section with local and imported cold beers which is refreshing and perfect for a hot day paired with great food.
Butantan Food Park Info
Monday – Wednesday 11:00 – 4:00 pm
Thursday – Saturday 11:00 – 10:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 – 7:00pm
Rua Agostinha Cantu 47, Butantã
You can easily get here using public transportation (Metro Butantan) or by car at the end of Eusebio Matoso Bridge. Type your location into Google Maps for directions!
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