MANI SAO PAULO: Maní is arguably São Paulo’s favorite and best restaurant.  It was recommended by all locals, Rio de Janeiro chefs, and every Brazilian gastronomy fan.

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The restaurant employs Brazilian ingredients in its artful dishes.  The Brazilian, Asian and European fusion restaurant is the brain child of Helena Rizzo and Daniel Redondo.  Helena Rizzo was the World’s and Latin America’s best chef in 2014.  It’s an achievement that shined a bright light on São Paulo’s favorite restaurant and every blog raves about them.  The restaurant has garnered the following accolades:  Mani Sao Paulo

  • 2016 One Michelin star
  • 2017 One Michelin star
  • #51 on the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
  • #81 on the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Maní Sao Paulo Brazil Mani Sao Paulo
Maní’s decor

The restaurant sits comfortably in one of São Paulo’s wealthiest neighborhoods — Jardim Paulistano.   The long hallway entrance filled with wooden benches with art on its walls; it’s a preview to the restaurant’s multiple decor dining rooms.  Each room had a different atmosphere with the patio being my favorite dining room.  It has a rustic-inspired environment.  Mani Sao Paulo

The service was definitely on the level with other Michelin rated restaurants.  The meal’s progression was perfectly timed with every dish arriving a few minutes after I finished my current dish.  The wait staff were all kind and attentive; they did their best to explain each dish’s preparation and background.  They understood when I couldn’t fit anymore food into my stomach.  Mani Sao Paulo

Maní has a large menu.  The menu offers à la carte options like Fettuccine with Osso Buco Ragout, Char-grilled Octopus,  and Helena Rizzo’s famous Bonbons.  The other options include a five course menu, a full tasting menu, and a vegetarian tasting menu.  I decided to go with the full tasting menu and here were my favorite items:  Mani Sao Paulo

  • Bonbons Trio – The bonbons trio is definitely one of the most popular Maní appetizers.  The trio consisted of three different types of fillings — Guacamole, Brazilian nuts, and Foie Gras.  The Brazilian nuts had a very earth taste.  The guacamole had a creamy texture.  The Foie Gras had a rich and buttery flavor.  It’s definitely a great dish to start the meal.  Mani Sao Paulo

    Maní Sao Paulo Brazil Mani Sao Paulo
    Bonbons Trio
  • Rice w/Pork Belly –  The simple dish had pork belly laid on the bottom then topped with rice, quail eggs, and leaks.  It’s a comfortable dish and a departure from the other decadent dishes on the tasting menu.  The sauce was bold and added depth to the dish.  In addition, the plump pork belly was succulent.  Mani Sao Paulo

    Maní Sao Paulo Brazil Mani Sao Paulo
    Rice w/Pork Belly
  • Mochi – The dessert dish was Mochi and a Matcha ice-cream scoop.  It’s not surprising to see Mochi or Matcha on the menu due to the large Japanese community in Brazil especially São Paulo’s Liberdade neighborhood.  The Mochi’s texture was soft yet firm; the Mochi complemented the creamy matcha ice-cream.  It was definitely a memorable dessert.  Mani Sao Paulo

    Maní Sao Paulo Brazil Mani Sao Paulo
    Mochi

Maní is definitely a great restaurant.  Its warranted hype is the reason locals praise the restaurant.  It’s also the reason the restaurant had a line in front of it before its doors were open.  The perfect service, creative dishes, and artistic decor makes it a great dining experience.  Maní is definitely worth a spot while in São Paulo and it won’t break the bank.  Mani Sao Paulo

Check out our restaurant recommendations for Yoka and DOMLastly, the famous Beco do Batman and things to do in Sao Paulo here.

  • 8/10
    Service - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Presentation - 8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Flavors - 8.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Decor - 8.5/10
  • 8/10
    Ambiance - 8/10
8.2/10

Summary

Maní is arguably São Paulo’s favorite restaurant.  It was recommended by all locals, Rio de Janeiro chefs, and every Brazilian gastronomy fan. The menu offers à la carte options like Fettuccine with Osso Buco Ragout, Char-grilled Octopus,  and Helena Rizzo’s famous Bonbons.  The other options include a five course menu, a full tasting menu, and a vegetarian tasting menu.  Maní is definitely a great restaurant.  Its hype is warranted and it’s the reason locals praise the restaurant.  Reservations are recommended.