São Paulo, Brazil
What makes it stand out? Traditional Brazilian food served in the vibrant atmosphere of a no-reservations village bar.
A brief history: Mocotó was opened in 1974 by Rodrigo Oliveira’s father, ‘Seu Zé’, as a neighbourhood bar near the airport, soon gaining a reputation for hearty, tasty food. In 2002, young Rodrigo took over, gradually turning it into the Brazilian gastronomic institution it is today.
Typical dishes: Tapioca cheese cubes served with with rennet cheese and sweet and sour pepper jelly; homemade pork sausages flambéed with cachaça; Mocofava bone marrow stew; salt cured beef with biquinho peppers and cassava chips.
What’s the dining space like? Casual and spacious. The walls are inscribed with the poetry of Elcio Fonseca and paintings by Mexican artist Felipe Ehrenberg. It is also expanding, creating a secondary area alongside the main restaurant.
What else? Mocotó also has a food truck which tours the city, bringing its classic snacks and stews to other parts of São Paulo. Part of the brand are also Mocotó Café in the capital and Esquina Mocotó.
Bonus point: The restaurant's caipirinha bar features more than 100 types of cachaça.