About a month ago I saw that an increasing number of my friends had been heading over to Castro Burger. With each Instagram picture and positive social media review I read, I became intrigued about this burger restaurant. You see, Castro Burger isn’t your regular burger joint! Its goal is to spread the idea of equality among everyone who visits, which is great, of course. But I remember asking myself; ‘Surely São Paulo has more than enough LGBTQ friendly places already? Does the city really need a place specifically for burgers and equality?’ So two Fridays ago, my friend Lucas and I headed over to Vila Mariana to check the place out for ourselves.
I’d totally forgotten that Lucas is a vegetarian when I suggested going – I know, right? I’m such a bad friend! But before he agreed to go, he went online and saw that there were quite a few options on the menu for him.
For those of you reading this that are unfamiliar with the city, Castro Burger is in Vila Mariana – and this isn’t the sort of neighbourhood you just ‘end up in’ when you’re on a night out. Yet, at the same time, it isn’t too far from Paulista Avenue – so you would never really describe it as being totally out of the way either. But on reflection Vila Mariana is a pretty inspired choice for Castro. I say this because the hustle and bustle of the traditionally popular areas like Vila Madalena and Rua Augusta do not feature here. So the venue in Vila Mariana feels a little calmer, a little more secluded – and it has a more intimate vibe.
When we arrived we walked through the open air courtyard into the spacious restaurant area, and we were then quickly seated by one of the waitresses. As I looked at the menu I couldn’t help but notice that the starters had some pretty interesting names – like Strong Enough, Believe, Chandelier and Vogue! After ordering the Chandelier, a burger (Burgers range from about 20-35 reais) and a cocktail, I looked around and recognised that the clientele seemed to encompass many from the LGBTQ community. Not only this, but there was a table of elderly gentlemen next to us (Who would later walk past us on their way out – with the aid of walking sticks), and I thought that this was so refreshing.
On the night we were there, Castro Burger really did seem to be a place that everyone from the LGBTQ community could enjoy, young and old.
I remember thinking that despite São Paulo being a city with so many options for the LGBTQ community; Castro Burger still stands out as being unique. So to go back to the question I asked myself at the beginning of this post: does São Paulo really need a place for burgers and equality? Well, actually yes, I think it does! Castro Burger offers great food and drinks, a relaxed atmosphere and has friendly and attentive staff.
Not only would I recommend this place but I’ll totally be back!
Castro Burger: R. Joaquim Távora, 1517 – Vila Mariana, São Paulo – SP, 04015-003