The Avantgarde Sao Paulo Guide to Sao Paulo

This week, the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Brazil with the opening game at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo. The city is host to six world cup matches in total, it is the largest city in the southern hemisphere, and most importantly, it is the home of our Brazilian Avantgarde office. To get some more insights into this megapolis, we spoke to our colleague Caio Nery Filho, a true Paulista and knowledgeable guide to the city.

Caio Nery Filho, a true Paulista!
Avantgarde man Caio Nery Filho, a true Paulista!

Hi Caio! Can you please introduce yourself?

My name is Caio Nery Filho, I was born in the great city of Sao Paulo about 33 years ago and I am the creative director for Avantgarde Brazil. I have always worked with graphic design, I love vector art in particular, but I also like to do some freehand drawing with nankin pens and brush pens. I also worked for a few years with motion graphics, which was a nice experience involving arts.

I love living in Sao Paulo. Apart from the fact that is a huge city, with huge cities’ problems, we are a gastronomic reference worldwide, breeding world class chefs that are constantly mixing well-known international cuisine with Brazilian spices, fruits and even flowers, to create new gastronomic trends.

The night life here in Sao Paulo is one of the best in the world, and different from other countries: It doesn’t have a specific closing time… some clubs can go on for days without closing their doors.

The night life here in Sao Paulo is one of the best in the world … some clubs can go on for days without closing their doors.

Can you describe the Avantgarde Sao Paulo office for us?

The Sao Paulo office is located in the southern part of the city, at Berrini Avenue, famous for being the base for the biggest and most important companies in the city. With a staff of 30 people we work with global brands like Phillip Morris, Allianz, Peugeot and Mercedes-Benz, but we also have some important national clients such as Grupo Petropolis, who are responsible for brands like Itaipava Beer and TNT Energy Drink. In order to provide even more quality to our work we have additional staff spread over six cities in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Floripa, Brasília and the countryside of Sao Paulo.

The Avantgarde Sao Paulo office
The Avantgarde Sao Paulo office

Now about the FIFA World Cup 2014, which will kick off in Sao Paulo. What will the city be like during the world cup?

For most Brazilian people soccer is their life, year after year all they think and talk about is soccer. So one can only imagine the importance of hosting the 2014 World Cup for the Brazilian people. From past world cups we have an idea of the intensity of the party that is going to take place during the matches, but I believe no one can say for certain how big is it going to be this year. One thing I can assure you, the whole country will absolutely stop to watch Brazil’s matches!

One thing I can assure you, the whole country will absolutely stop to watch Brazil’s matches!

And when I say “stop” I am not joking, aside from bars – which cannot close their doors on the most lucrative month of the century – no one is going to be interested in anything but the matches. 

Besides being in a pub, a stadium seems like a good idea to watch a world cup match.
Besides being in a pub, a stadium seems like a good idea to watch a world cup match.

If I happen to be in town during the world cup: Where would you recommend going to experience football in the best way (besides being in a stadium)?

During the world cup there will be a lot of fan fests showing the matches on big screens in public areas, giving the public a great way to be part of the event without being inside the stadiums. But I think the best way to enjoy the party while in Brazil is to find a nice bar, on Vila Madalena, Moema or Vila Olimpia neighborhoods, with a big screen and a large stock of cold beer. You will see that it is too easy to make new friends during these events, specially the Brazilian team ends up winning the competition.

What are some must-see attractions in Sao Paulo?

You definitely have to visit the Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo art gallery, the building itself is a beautiful work of art, that holds important international paintings, worldwide famous Brazilian art and amazing installations displayed in wide rooms filled with natural light.

You can also go downtown to the Terraço Italia Restaurant, located on the top of a business skyscraper, where you can see the magnitude and beauty of Sao Paulo while enjoying a nice dinner. 

As you have mentioned, Sao Paulo is infamous for its 24/7 nightlife. What are the best places to party?

That depends on what makes you tick.

The Lab Club
The Lab Club

If you like electronic music:
Clash Club – Rua Barra Funda, 969 – Santa Cecília
Lab Club – Rua Augusta, 523 – Consolação

If you want to hear and dance some root samba:
Bar Samba – Rua Fidalga 308 – Vila Madalena

Maybe you are a metalhead, no problem:
Manifesto Rock Bar – Rua Iguatemi 36 – Itaim Bibi

And finally, if you want to dance to Brazilian country music:
Woods – Rua Quatá 1016 – Vila Olimpia
Villa Mix – Rua Beira Rio 116 – Vila Olimpia

Where to get good food after a long night out?

There are a lot of options to get an after night bite before going to bed, you may be in a mood to eat proper food and maybe even get a last glass of wine before the morning comes, or you can be craving for a fast meal so you can be dreaming in less than an hour.

Paris 6 Restaurant – Serves a wide range of specialties from the french cuisine and most important, it never closes. Rua Haddock Lobo 1240

Rock n’ Roll Burger – Like the name says, it’s a burger joint that plays rock n roll full time, and they also have vintage pinball machines to entertain the customers. Rua Augusta, 538

If I’m into shopping – what parts of town would you recommend visiting and why?

The spectacuar Cidade Jardim Mall

Oscar Freire Street is where the famous and glamorous brands are, there you can find the best stores and also nice cafes and bistros. You can also visit two of the most beautiful shopping centers in the country, the JK Iguatemi mall and the Cidade Jardim Mall, which has unique architecture projects and luxury brands and restaurants. 

Anything else a visitor to Sao Paulo should know?

You will enjoy Sao Paulo, just don’t forget that you are in a big freaking city that comes with a big variety of cultures, opinions, beliefs and social classes. In a nutshell… don’t flash your money like you are in the streets of sunny Monte Carlo. 

And finally – who will win the world cup and why is it Brasil?

I have to say Brazil, or else I’ll have to sleep with one eye open for the rest of my life.