One of the brightest rising stars in Sampa ’s gastronomic firmament is Ana Luiz Trajano, the chef at Brasil a Gosto (Rua Professor Azevedo do Amaral 70, Jardim Paulista, tel. 11/3086-3565, www.brasilagosto.com.br , R$35–50). Having steeped herself in culinary traditions from all over Brazil , Trajano revisits classic recipes, revitalizing them with unpredictable and delightfully contemporary twists. Shrimp with heart of palm in orange vinaigrette and badejo fish, encrusted with baru (a rare type of cashew), and served with a creamy banana da terra puree are examples of the inspired fare served in the tastefully appointed and relaxed dining room.
Another inspired female chef devoted to the cause of Brazilian cuisine is Mara Salles of Tordesilhas (Rua Bela Cintra 465, Consolação, tel. 11/3107-7444, www.tordesilhas.com , noon–3 p.m. and 7 p.m.–midnight Tues.–Fri., noon–5 p.m. and 7 p.m.–midnight Sat., noon–5 p.m. Sun., R$25–40). While Salles—a former secretary who couldn’t ignore her passion for cooking—tackles traditional regional dishes with gusto, she also goes out on creative limbs with the unusual likes of carpaccio of carne-de-sol (sun-dried beef) and pork ribs with mulato risotto. If you want a sampling of the best of Brazilian cuisine, come for the Sunday buffet, which offers a cornucopia of regional dishes.
If you can’t make it to Bahia  and want to sample its fragrant Afro-inspired cuisine, head to Bargaço (Rua Oscar Freire 1189, Jardim Paulista, tel. 11/3085-5058, www.restaurantebargaco.com.br , noon–3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.–midnight Mon.–Fri., noon–1 a.m. Sat., noon–11 p.m. Sun., R$40–65). Try one of various types of moqueca, a succulent seafood stew cooked in a heady concoction of coconut milk, dendê (palm) oil, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime. Despite the upscale address and ambiance, prices are surprisingly decent.
In 1946, Afonso Paulillo (nicknamed “Bolinha”) decided to stop driving taxis for a living and open up a small hole-in-the-wall serving his—and most other Brazilians’—favorite dish: feijoada. Little did he know that Bolinha (Av. Cidade Jardim 53, Jardim Europa, tel. 11/3061-2010, www.bolinha.com.br , R$59–69 pp) would become a local institution, renowned for serving the city’s most celebrated version of Brazil ’s national dish. Although this isn’t the cheapest feijoada in town, couples can take advantage of a chivalrous rule whereby women get to eat for free after 7 p.m.
Rodeio (Rua Haddock Lobo 1498, Jardim Paulista, tel. 11/3474-1333, www.churrascariarodeio.com.br , 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.–1 a.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11:30 a.m.–1 a.m. Fri.–Sat., 11:30 a.m.–midnight Sun., R$50–70) is a traditional churrascaria where the entrepreneurial and artistic classes head to get their red meat fix. The house specialty—picanha (rump steak) cooked to perfection on a mini grill at your table—is melt-in-your-mouth divine. However, there are plenty of other meats to choose from, including pork tenderloin and even ostrich. Side dishes range from fried bananas to grilled hearts of palm.