Vegan São Paulo Guide: The Best Restaurants, Shopping & Where to Stay
I’ve written before about the top things to do in Sao Paulo, but I’ve not yet told you much about vegan Sao Paulo food. In this article, I will answer some of the questions I’ve received about the vegan Sao Paulo scene and all the vegan Brazilian food and non-Brazilian food you can find in Sao Paulo.
I’ll also share with you my recommendations of the best restaurants in Sao Paulo for vegan eating.
Is veg food easily available in Sao Paulo, Brazil?
Absolutely! After traveling all over Brazil from top to bottom, I feel confident in saying that São Paulo is the best place to be a vegan in Brazil. The vegan movement is really strong here, and I met several vegan Brazilian activists in São Paulo who are doing amazing things for animals.
Are there any vegan restaurants in Sao Paulo?
According to the current count on Happy Cow, there are no fewer than 64 fully vegan restaurants and 72 lacto-ovo vegetarian restaurants in São Paulo. That’s a lot of veggie restaurants! And of course, there are also plenty of other places that serve vegan options.
What is your favorite vegetarian restaurant in Sao Paulo?
Oh man, it’s so hard to choose! I tried to visit as many of São Paulo’s vegan restaurants as I could, and I got so many great recommendations from vegan locals. If I had to choose just one, I’d probably pick POP Vegan Food.
But there are lots of other amazing restaurants too! And with so many vegan restaurants to choose from, I didn’t even make it to any of the vegetarian restaurants in the city.
Below is a list of all the places I tried, roughly in order of my favorite to least favorite.
Best Vegan Restaurants Sao Paulo
POP Vegan Food
São Paulo is famous throughout Brazil for its pizza, and POP Vegan Food is definitely the best place to try local Paulistana pizza flavors, such as arugula and goat’s cheese, in a vegan version.
There are lots of different pizzas to choose from, and you can even order a stuffed crust that’s stuffed with vegan cheese! Gluten free and whole wheat crusts are also available. The cheese they use here is a delicious local artisanal brand called No Moo.
On Tuesday and Friday evenings, they have an all-you-can-eat “pizza rodízio” for 37 reais plus 10% service. Rodízio is a very popular concept in Brazil. Instead of you going up to a buffet bar, the servers keep coming to your table, each time with a different type of pizza.
It’s a lot of fun, and the rodízio at POP includes both savory and sweet pizzas. There’s a two-sided coaster on the table that you can flip to show if you want sweet or savory options. POP is extremely popular, so get there early or be prepared to wait for a while.
If you come at lunch time, instead of pizza you’ll find an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. The options are pretty typical vegan Brazilian food, such as rice, beans, pasta, lentils, salads and veggies. On most weekdays the buffet costs just 15 reais, and on Mondays it goes down to 10 reais!
POP aims to democratize the vegan movement by making vegan food as accessible as possible. If the huge queues out the door are any indication, they’re doing a great job. Arrive before noon if possible, and be prepared to share your table with strangers.
Contrary to what you might expect, you won’t find any salads here. Instead, what you will find is indulgent vegan junk food, including a variety of burgers, crispy fries and decadent milkshakes.
They also have doughnuts and other vegan sweets. As much as I wanted to try the desserts, there was no room left in my stomach. The milkshake is a dessert in itself!
This place is tiny, with just a couple of tables. If it’s full, they can also do takeaway.
This is a great place to come for breakfast. The menu includes both sweet and savory options, such as the lovely torta caponata.
Also, do not miss the gelato! There are several flavors to choose from, all of which are vegan, and they also have vegan cones. I chose the floresta negra (black forest) and hazelnut. The floresta negra flavor in particular was really delicious.
Vaca Ateliê Culinário
This is a great place to come for brunch on the weekend. They offer a combination of sweet and savory items, including veganized versions of classic Brazilian treats like pão de queijo (cheese bread), carolinas (profiteroles) and sonhos (creme-filled doughnuts). It’s in Sumaré, which is just northeast of Vila Madalena and is easily reached by metro.
This place is a little bit fancy and is perfect for a date night or a special occasion. It’s Brazil, though, so you can still dress casually.
Sushimar is a fully vegan Japanese restaurant that offers a sushi rodízio. I explained the concept of a rodízio above in relation to pizza, but this one was not really like other rodízios.
I found it all a bit confusing, to be honest, but they do bring out lots of different things and you get plenty of food, even though it’s not technically all you can eat. In addition to the sushi platter, which is the main dish, you also get to try various other Japanese dishes.
We chose the gyoza, money bags dumplings, edamame, pickled vegetables and hand rolled sushi cones.
The sushi chef uses really innovative plant-based ingredients to recreate the look, texture and mouth feel of traditional sushi. For example, one of the sushi rolls is topped with pomegranate arils to mimic salmon roe.
It seems they don’t bring out wasabi and ginger automatically, but don’t be shy about asking for it. On weekdays for lunch, the rodízio costs 65 reais. For dinner and on weekends it’s a little bit more. This is slightly pricy for Brazil, but worth it for a splurge.
The restaurant is spacious and has lots of windows, but it’s completely hidden inside a shopping gallery. We visited as part of our vegan São Paulo walking tour with Vegan 4 You. If I’d been on my own, I’m not sure I ever would have found it.
The menu changes daily, but when we visited the two options were vegan feijoada with all the usual side dishes (farofa, green salad, rice and an orange slice) and a raw noodle dish with pesto.
We ordered one of each and they were both very good, and the portions were quite generous.
Real Vegans is a very small place, and it seems there’s just one guy who runs it all by himself. Understandably, the service was slow. What’s on offer is vegan fast food, including burgers, hot dogs, pizza and various types of Brazilian salgados (savory snacks).
This is one of the few places that serves an individual size pizza, so it’s good value for solo travelers on a budget at just 15 reais. Don’t expect authentic Italian pizza, though.
The jaca loca (pulled jackfruit) sandwich was OK, but the oversized coxinhas and the palm heart, corn and cream cheese tapioca pancake are better options.
If you’ve been to any of the Loving Hut branches around the world, then you have an idea of what to expect from this all-vegan buffet restaurant.
This branch puts a definite Brazilian twist on the usual buffet, though. It’s a good place to try vegan versions of traditional Brazilian food, such as “fish” moqueca and empadinhas (small savory pies).
There are also plenty of international dishes too, like gyoza, sushi and lasagna. You can choose to either pay by weight or pay a set price for unlimited access to the buffet.
The all-you-can-eat option includes juice, fruit and desserts and is the best value, costing 40 reais on weekends and a bit less during the week.
We visited the Rua Augusta branch, but there’s also one in Vila Mariana. I wasn’t feeling that well, so I didn’t have much of an appetite and had a hard time finishing my plate. But Nick was quite happy with the food, so I think I was just having an off day.
This is a pretty small place that’s open only for lunch. They offer a changing daily menu as well as a vegan burger and yakisoba noodles. The latter is a Japanese noodle stir-fry dish that is very popular in São Paulo.
I ordered the daily menu, which was a mixed plate of several different dishes. The food was simple but satisfying and healthy, and the friendly vegan staff made eating there a pleasant experience.
Vegan Stores in São Paulo
This is a small shop inside the Galeria do Rock, which is something you must see when you visit São Paulo. The Galeria is an entire shopping mall devoted to rock music! It’s the kind of place that could only exist in São Paulo.
You can buy vegan message wear here, as well as cruelty-free toiletries. They also sell a few food items. While you’re here on the upper level of the mall, be sure to check out the view of Largo do Paiçandu and the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary below.
This little shop sells vegan t-shirts, toiletries, frozen foods and pantry items. The chocolate-coated ice cream bars, which are similar to a Magnum, come highly recommended.
Like many vegan businesses in São Paulo, this one is hidden away inside a shopping gallery and is easily missed. If you want to be sure of finding it, I recommend joining the vegan tour of Sao Paulo offered by Vegan 4 You.
Where to Stay in Sao Paulo for the Best Vegan Food
While there are dozens of veggie restaurants in São Paulo, it’s a humongous city of over 12 million people, and some areas certainly have more vegan options than others.
When I visited São Paulo, I stayed in the Liberdade district because it was centrally located. It’s a vibrant area with a large Asian community. You can get some great Japanese, Chinese and Thai food here, but there aren’t many veggie places nearby.
If having lots of vegan food options within easy walking distance is important to you, I recommend staying in one of the following districts instead.
At meal times, I often ended up walking from Liberdade to Vila Mariana, which is a bit further south, near the Ibirapuera Park. There you’ll find Salad Days, Good Vibrations, Loving Hut, Tunel do Tempo Cultura Veg and Vegg’s, among others.
Accommodation in Vila Mariana
For a little luxury, the 5-star Pullman São Paulo Ibirapuera is in a great location for sightseeing and cultural activities.
A bit more budget friendly, but still very comfortable, is the Mercure São Paulo Paraíso, with an on-site gym, sauna and outdoor pool.
And if an apartment is more your style, Apartamento Design Metro has a beautiful modern design and amenities that you would normally only expect at a hotel.
This quiet, artsy suburb is where you’ll find the famous Batman Alley, another sight not to miss in São Paulo. Vegan and vegetarian restaurants here include Veganeria, Casa S Simplesmente, Holy Café, Maha Mantra, Vila das Rosas, Cereal Brasil and Banana Verde, which I’ve heard great things about!
This neighborhood is not far from Vila Madalena, just a little further southeast. The eating options you’ll find here include Casa Jaya, Hareburger, Estação Vegana, Super Natural 2, Vegano SP.
Accommodation in Vila Madalena and Pinheiros
There are some lovely apartments for rent in these neighborhoods:
This new studio in Vila Madalena is in a building with water sports facilities and an outdoor swimming pool and has a panoramic view of the city.
This one-bedroom apartment is in Pinheiros and also has an outdoor swimming pool and city views.
This street that runs perpendicular to Avenida Paulista near the Consolação metro station is known for its diversity and acceptance of alternative lifestyles.
It’s also known as being one of the most vegan-friendly areas of São Paulo. In addition to Pop Vegan Food and Loving Hut described above, here are some of the other vegan-friendly eateries you can find in and around Rua Augusta: Laut, Maoz Vegetarian, Cine Café Fellini, Mate Por Favor, Gulab Hari, Saúde e Sabor, Taquería La Sabrosa and Tubaína Bar.
Between Rua Augusta and Rua Frei Caneca is a pedestrianized area known as Calçadão Urbanoide with lots of street food stalls and food trucks. Vendors come and go, so it’s hard to make specific recommendations, but you’re sure to find some vegan options here too. The area is most popular in the evenings and is open every day except Mondays.
Accommodation near Rua Augusta
London SP Residence is an apartment on nearby Rua Consolação in a building that offers an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center and a garden. Click here to read reviews, see photos and book your stay.
Bela Vista Frei Caneca is a cozy homestay option if London SP Residence is outside of your budget. It’s great value and very close to all the action. You can find reviews, photos and booking info here.
Vegan Delivery Service in São Paulo
If you’re not able to stay in an area with vegan food nearby, another option is to have the vegan food come to you! Comida Sustentável is a vegan and organic food delivery service. You can message them on their Facebook page or on WhatsApp at 97312-6366 and they will deliver a fresh vegan lunch to you anywhere in São Paulo.
Comida Sustentável makes vegan versions of classic Brazilian dishes like feijoada and moqueca, so it’s a great chance to try traditional Brazilian cuisine.
Vegan Walking Tour Sao Paulo
I want to give a huge shout out to Elton and Ju from Vegan 4 You, who were the ones who recommended many of these places to me.
During our vegan walking tour of São Paulo, I even had a chance to eat together with them at a couple of these restaurants. The tour was a fabulous introduction to the city, and I highly recommend it.
At the moment, they are looking for a new English-speaking guide to lead the tour. Check their website to see if they have found one by the time you read this and are offering the tour again.
Vegan Sao Paulo Map
Below is a Google Map of all the vegan restaurants and vegan stores in São Paulo described in this guide.
If you have a Google account, you can add the map to "Your Places" to have access to it from your computer or your phone through the Google Maps app. See the instructions below.
Ibirapuera Park: Fernando Stankuns CC BY-SA 4.0, from Wikimedia Commons
POP Vegan Food by Elton of Vegan 4 You
Many thanks to Vegan4You Brasil for the complimentary walking tour. As always, opinions expressed here are entirely my own.