Itaim Bibi and Vila Olimpia are two of São Paulo’s most exclusive neighborhoods. In this guide, I am going to show you what to do in Itaim Bibi & Vila Olimpia so that you can make the most out of your visit.
My top picks for things to do in Itaim Bibi and Vila Olimpia are:
- Parque do Povo
- Cocktails and Fine Dining
- Day Drinking & Eating at Up Scale Boteco Bars
- Nightclubs for Every Taste
- JK Iguatemi & Vila Olimpia Shopping Centers
- Brascan Open Mall
- Santander Theatre
- And more …
If you end up staying the entire weekend in São Paulo, I’ve got you covered: Local’s Guide to the Perfect Weekend in São Paulo
If your looking for Nightlife Options in Vila Olimpia, check out Vila Olimpia Nightlife: São Paulo’s Awesome Nightclub District
What to do in Itaim Bibi and Vila Olimpia, São Paulo
Parque do Povo
Parque do Povo is a well-maintained park in Itaim. The large open space with its trees manicured lawns, and basketball courts stands in contrast to the large office towers towering above it. Parque do Povo is a great place for exercise or simply to lie out in the sun. It’s always a nice place to do some people watching, especially on the weekends. The external path that goes around the park is ~1.5km long and there is an exclusive bike lane available. The large central lawn in the middle is home to open-air movies on certain nights, as well as free yoga classes. The bathrooms are well maintained and there are vendors at the exits of the park so that you can get cold coconut water or popcorn to help you enjoy your visit.
Opened in 2015, Eataly São Paulo was the first Eataly in Latin America (there are 38 total worldwide). The large complex located on Juscelino Kubichek Avenue (called JK Avenue for short) is 4,500 square meters in size and home to 6 different restaurants. The complex also includes a cafe and several different stores where you can buy fresh pasta, wine, dry goods, and even books. The complex is three floors and a great place to visit on an afternoon, before or after going to a movie or show. There are also many different courses and events offered, everything from cooking classes to wine classes. There is even a tour available, which can make sense if you want to get the complete experience. Check the website for more info.
Cocktails and Fine Dining
Itaim which is a uniquely walkable and high-end neighborhood in São Paulo. Jeronimo de Veiga street in Itaim is emblematic for fine dining and cocktails. The street is home to some of the most elegant Italian restaurants in São Paulo, as well as great cafes, cocktail bars, and restaurants that turn into night clubs. Banana Cafe or Santo Grao are great places to start the night. Banana Cafe is a younger and louder scene, while Santo Grao is a bit more refined and elegant. Right up the street, are three hip and elegant Italian restaurants, with beautiful people galore: Da Marino, Nino Cucina, and Giulietta. Da Marino has expanded outdoor seating, as does Nino Cucina, making them both great choices for a daytime meal on a nice day. You’ll be in good company, with many of São Paulo’s most elegant clientele on hand, don’t be surprised to see Porsche’s and Ferrari’s parked out front. Finally, you can close off the night with a visit to nightclub and lounge Cafe de la Musique or Jeronimo 446 for dancing and bottle service if the mood strikes. Cafe de la Musique features a younger crowd, while Jeronimo 446 features a more mature crowd.
Next to Jeronimo de Veiga street, you have Rua Amauri and Rua Pedroso Alvarenga, both have innumerable fine dining and drinking options. On Rua Amauri you have high-end restaurants such as Forneria San Paulo, Parigi, Osaka, and others. In terms of bars and nightclubs, there is Ginteria for a younger crowd and Bagatelle for a decadent dinner and nightclub experience. Rua Pedroso Alvarenga and the surrounding streets are also home to high-end eateries and cocktail lounges. When it comes to bars and restaurants, you have SoShots Gin Club, Modern Mama Osteria, Nakka, and cafe Mr. Baker.
Joaquin Floriano street is the main thoroughfare in Itaim and home to a diverse set of restaurants and bars. You have upscale sushi restaurant and bar Tessen, the lively boteco Tatu Bola (great on Saturdays), as well as the more laid back comfort food restaurants of New Dog, Joakins, and Si Senor.
Night Clubs For Every Taste
If Itaim Bibi is the land of refined bars and cocktail lounges, then Vila Olimpia is the land of nightclubs where you can dance until the sun comes up. There is something for everyone, including more traditional Brazilian Botecos, electronic dance parties, flash-back clubs, and more. Vila Mix features a younger crowd, with live Sertaneja and Funk acts. Trabuca is an upscale cocktail lounge and nightclub popular with many of the area’s office workers. Limelight & The History are famous flashback clubs featuring the music of the 1970s and 1980s and an older crowd of rowdy devotees. Sutton is an upscale electronic music venue and restaurant, while Rey Castro is a Latin themed nightly club. Many other places come and go but other clubs to keep in mind are Toca do Tatu, Tulum, and Bar das Patroas. For full coverage of the nightclub scene in Vila Olimpia, check out my post here.
Day Drinking & Eating at Upscale Boteco Bars
Both Itaim and Vila Olimpia have lively Boteco lunch spots where you can have some good drinks and Brazilian comfort food. In Itaim you have Vaca Veia and Piraja which are two great upscale Boteco’s located right next to each other on Rua Pedroso Alvarenga. Vaca Veia is known for its ice-cold beer which is kept at a temperature of -3 degrees. They also have 11 different types of cachaça and innumerable flavors of caipirinha cocktails. Piraja is modeled after an upscale Boteco from Rio and has incredible food, including a vegan variation on a traditional Brazilian dish: moqueca. Both are great places to grab a feijoada, steak, or fried bar food, and then wash it down with a freezing cold beer or a delicious caipirinha. On the other side of Itaim, Boteco Sao Bento is a great classy variation on a traditional Boteco. Great spot to watch a sports game or meet friends.
In Vila Olimpia, on Rua Gomez de Carvalho, there are several well known day drinking and eating spots. These includeTatu Bola&Eu tu e Eles.Both feature great food, live music, and a lively environment. Once the music starts, you may have a hard time sitting down because of the lively music and dancing. The later the evening gets, the more the night club bar atmosphere starts to pervade. For a more traditional Boteco experience, check out Excelentissimo Botequim up on Rua Ramos Batista. For a complete list of all the night spots available in Vila Olimpia, check out this post.
JK Iguatemi & Vila Olimpia Shopping Malls
JK Iguatemi Shopping is an ultra high-end mall located near Parque do Povo in Vila Olimpia. It is home to several great restaurants including the steak house Varanda Grill, and the Japanese restaurant Kitchin. In addition, there are many fast-food restaurants as well as great ice cream and cafes. The stores are pretty high end, with all the main luxury fashion brands represented. There is a movie theater located on the top floor which features VIP seats and chaise lounges. JK Iguatemi is a nice place to come and shop and have a bite to eat or catch a movie. There is also the country’s nicest WeWork offices located here. The clientele is decidedly high end. If you are looking for more of a middle of the road mall, you can check out Shopping Villa Olimpia located nearby. Shopping Vila Olimpia is also home to some solid restaurants and a movie theatre.
Santander Theatre is a modern and sophisticated event space, and concert hall located right next to JK Iguatemi Shopping in Vila Olimpia. The venue receives a diverse set of performances including concerts, theatrical performances, kids shows, and speakers. The Theatre allows for a more refined experience than what you will have in some of the other concert halls in the city. There is a nice cafe on the first floor and the acoustics and seats are very comfortable. There is also a rooftop event space called, 033 Rooftop which will host its own shows and events.
Brascan Open Mall
Brascan Open Mall is an open-air shopping and dining pavilion right in the middle of the Itaim Bibi neighborhood of São Paulo. The quality of the architecture and the gardening make this a calm and relaxed place to go and hang out. The open-air mall features a food court with fast-food restaurants as well as waiter serviced options. There is also an upscale movie theatre with 6 screens, 2 of which are the VIP style with recliners and waiter serviced food options.
Small Store Shopping
Rua Joao Cachoeira in Itaim is a hotbed of small stores and local commerce, especially between Jesuino Arruda street and Leopoldo Couto street. The stores are not as fancy as what you might find on Oscar Freire in Jardins, however, there are lots of mid-range clothing stores, cosmetic stores, boutiques and beauty salons. It’s a great place to buy a gift for someone or treat yourself. In addition, on this street, you can find some great restaurants which sell food by the kilo and are quite affordable including Cachoeira Natural and Madureira.
Fresh Food Street Markets
Going to a street fair to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and fish is a great way to get to know the local neighborhood. You can take in the different flavors while also stopping for a famous Brazilian pastry called “Pastel” which comes with many different fillings like meat, broccoli, and cheese, or hearts of palm. In Itaim Bibi there is a street market on Tuesdays at the intersection of Bandeira Paulista and Rua Prof. Tamandare Toledo. Parque do Povo also has a street fair on Saturdays. Check the city website to confirm the times and locations of the street markets throughout the city.