As a connoisseur of great restaurants I must admit that I was more than a little blown away by the facilities at Figueira Rubaiyat in Sao Paulo. The entire restaurant is built around a 100-year-old (maybe older) fig tree that is nothing less than colossal in size.

Brazil has a lot of big trees, but you wouldn’t expect to find one in the middle of a city this size. The restaurant incorporated the great tree into its architecture putting about a quarter of the tree inside the restaurant with the rest outside. The tree appears to be meticulously maintained by experts.

The place specializes in meat mostly raised by the owner of the restaurant and absolutely world-class. While this restaurant is often categorized by guidebooks as a typical “walking around with meat” churrascaria, it’s not. I ordered from a menu. There were no meat-bearing swords being dragged out. There’s an oyster bar with obscurities from southern Brazil and on certain days the restaurant also serves feijoada, the heavy bean and beef stew considered the national dish of Brazil. Everything is high-end and delicious. That said, this is a steak place foremost. The wine list has an excellent selection of obscure and fantastic Brazilian wines as well as a worldwide range of the usual suspects.


View of the modern bar with the glassed in kitchen in the background

View from the bar into the dining room

View of the kitchen from outside the glass

Woodburning domed smokers

Creative use of air-dried tomatoes in the salad

This was the theme wine for this trip. Perhaps the best red wine in Brazil: The outstanding 2002 Salton Talento. This wine is fashioned after a top notch Madiran from the Southwest of France and is truly a world class cabernet blend.

related links:
Accurate run down of places to visit and see in Sao Paulo

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