10 dishes you need to try in Italy (and where to eat)

Vertical cities, with many buildings, are quite- and aesthetically- oppressive for us who are there from the ground up. At street level, the horizon ceases to exist, the sky is just a beam when we have time to look up, and perhaps that is why the feeling of being above the sea of ​​buildings is so pleasurable. From above, the spectacle of cities that developed without planning is diluted in the grandeur of the metropolis, and problems are invisible, individualities dissolve, we have the sky and the horizon back. And the feeling of greatness, of power, is inevitable.

São Paulo — which has no natural beauty (and, apart from a few examples, architecture is not its strong point) — seems to have finally found its vocation to explore the view of its urban panorama. Loving or hating this one of the largest cities (and the fourth largest metropolitan area) in the world, who is not impressed by the view of the carpet of buildings as you fly over the central region of the city? In São Paulo, apart from the hotels and a few modernist buildings whose roofs are communal spaces, the top floor of the buildings is always private, belonging only to the owners of the units located on the highest floors or to passengers in helicopters.

But which are the places with the best experiences to enjoy the view of the city? The spaces on the heights that function as bars and restaurants open every day, such as Skye, Terraço Itália and Esther Rooftop —  all without gastronomic pretensions and with the variable view built into the prices —, and also those that only open to the public when there are events like PanAm and Balsa, you can check out all the details and how to get the most out of each place in our guide today.


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BARDO TERRAÇO ITALY [Downtown] Old school bar with live jazz but don’t expect great drinks

There is no better view of São Paulo. Point. Opened in 1971 on the 42nd floor of the second tallest building in the city, the Circolo Italiano, aka Edifício Itália (the tallest is the Mirante do Vale, that huge building next to the Santa Ifigênia viaduct, which you can enjoy from the ferry, another option from the rooftop bar below), and with glass walls offering a 180º view of the São Paulo skyline, the feeling is of being in a Zeppelin flying over the city.

The classic and cozy decor with the feel of an English club, designed by Jorge Elias 20 years ago, has aged better in the bar than in the Terraço Itália restaurant, with its comfortable leather armchairs, low marble-topped tables, oriental rugs, lampshades, and porcelain potiches, crystal chandeliers and boiserie e teto de Madeira.

And as it opens at 3 pm on weekdays, it’s perfect for spending the evening having a drink, watching the city lights come on, and getting some scares with the helicopters passing by the windows. The efficient and old-school service, and the quality of the drinks and food, guarantee the satisfaction of what is one of the places we love in the city. Calculate R$25 for the valet, R$30 for entry, R$42 for a drink, R$54 for a serving of smoked salmon canapés.

TERRAÇO ITALY BAR: Avenida Ipiranga, 344, 42nd floor of Edifício Itália; subway Republic. Telephone 55 11/2189-2929. Monday through Thursday, 3 pm to midnight; Friday, from 3 pm to 1 am; Saturday, from 12:00 to 1:00 am; and Sunday, from 12:00 to 23:00. {To access the site, click here .}

SKYE [Itaim] Casual poolside bar & restaurant

It’s too bad to stay at Unique and not be able to swim in the rooftop pool at night (can you imagine swimming at night, alone, with that view?), having to settle for the spa’s closed pool click here to find the best neighborhood and the best hotels in São Paulo }.

But for everyone who goes to Skye, the bar and restaurant on the top and highest floor of the building, an inverted and suspended semicircle designed by Ruy Ohtake, the satisfaction with the view — to Ibirapuera Park right next door, and, further on, to the tree-lined and residential Jardim Europa, and the buildings that go up through the Jardins to buildings and the antennas on Avenida Paulista — it’s guaranteed.

Prefer to go on less crowded nights (forget Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, days when you’ll be in a line downstairs and wait almost an hour or more to get up) and preferably at the very beginning of the night to catch a lounge on the popular glass-walled deck and enjoy the outdoors,  chatting and sipping. Skye’s entrance, accessible by an elevator exclusive to non-guests, is cinematic with alabaster on the floor, walls, and ceiling, illuminated from behind. As for prices, be prepared to pay for the experience: R$50 for valet parking, R$40 for an Aperol (without service), R$50 for any food.

SKYE: Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 4700, on the eighth floor of the Hotel Unique. Entrance from the side of the hotel. Telephone 55 11 / 3055-4700 Monday to Friday, from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and from 6:00 pm until the last customer. Saturday, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and from 6:00 pm until the last customer. Sunday from 1 pm until the last customer. Restaurant until 23:00, bar until midnight. It only makes reservations for guests. {To access the site, click here .}

ESTHER ROOFTOP [Downtown] Bar & bistro with terrace

On the 11th floor of the first modernist building in the city of São Paulo and Brazil, inaugurated in 1938Esther Rooftop faces the Praça da República, in the region that we love the most in the center, overlooking another iconic building in the city. : the Eiffel, designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the 1950s.

To get the view, you’ll need to arrive early to try and get a table or seat at the terrace bar (like Skye, they don’t take reservations). On the menu, French bistro food with oriental touches, well prepared, without great gastronomic pretensions, and craft beers, classic cocktails, and a good selection of French wines. It has a great and well served executive lunch during the week, at R$69, with the advantage that the building is right in front of the República subway exit, on the red line. You can come and go, drink and not get into midday traffic. {To access our exclusive article on Esther Rooftop, click here .}

ESTHER ROOFTOP: Praça da República, 80, 11th floor of the Esther Building. Telephone 55 11 / 3256-1009. Monday to Friday, from 12:00 to 15:00 for lunch and from 18:00 to 23:00; Saturdays and Sundays, from 12:00 to 17:00. No reservations.


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