As Paulistas are often fond of saying ‘Quem nao tem mar, vai pro bar’. With innumerable curves of golden sand which stretch from Prainha, past iconic Ipanema to Niteroi’s Itacoatiara, Rio could be forgiven for a lack of good watering holes. On the contrary, great bars in Rio abound. Dehouche takes a look at 5 of the best:
Jobi-One of Rio’s most traditional and charming botecos, Jobi has been a pillar of Rio’s drinking scene since its opening in 1956, From post beach, bow-tied waiters serve large trays of ice cold chops to the Great and the Good of Zona Sul who spill out on to the pavement well into the early hours .
What to know: Make sure you are on first name terms with Juninho- Jobi’s ever present waiter controls the flow of Chopp supply and is the person to know when things get desperate.
What to order: Chopps, the steak sandwich (a perfect boteco snack and arguably the best in town), Polvo a la Gallega.
When to go: Anytime, day or night- this is a great place to make new friends and indulge in some harmless Carioca style flirting.
Carioca Da Gema– Located in a beautiful old house in the centre of Lapa, Carioca Da Gema is the place to go to listen to some of the city’s best live Samba. A small, intimate space that reverberates with the vibrant energy of Lapa and will have even the stiffest hips soon shaking along with a crowd that ranges from professional footballers to dashing old charmers in white suites leading beautiful girls around the dance floor.
What to know: With any age welcome, this is a great place to take any visiting friends or family for an authentic Rio night out. Head down early ( 9 pm) or book a table in advance so you can take a break from dancing.
What to order- Caipirinhas. Samba makes a lot more sense after a few Caipirinhas.
When to go– There are great bands playing every night of the week (check the website for listings), but Friday night is when things really begin to heat up.
Ovelha Negra– Tucked away in the laid-back bohemian barrio of Botafogo is Brazil’ s first ‘Champaneria’. Neither a bar, nor boteco, this rustic hidden gem is all about the bubbles. Only open during the week, this is the ideal spot to make eyes at Rio’s young professionals over a few after work drinks and with almost 50 different varieties of national and imported sparkling wine and champagne, there are multiple reasons for a return visit.
What to know: For whom the bell tolls- snacks are served in the form of gourmet sandwiches up till the first gong sounds, after this, the doors close and only drinks are available. Make sure you are inside by the time the second gong sounds and the doors shut to outsiders.
What to order: For local value, Aurora Pinot Noir, Miolo Brut, but if the boss is paying then splash out on a bottle of Dom Perignon.
When to go: Ovelha Negra is only open between 17:30 and 23:30 from Monday to Friday. With an intimate space such as this, fashionably late is not the answer if you are looking for a stool to perch on.
Black Bar- Leblon’s newest kid on the block attracts a mix of trendy foreigners (who flock from the Z.bra hostel across the road) and good looking locals who come to practice their innovative chat up lines in a bar that lies somewhere between boteco and dancing spot. It’s ever increasing popularity illustrates that this is that the age of 151 style bars is dawning.
What to know: The bar has a reputation of having a fairly firm door policy so don’t be dissuaded by burly bouncers. On weekends, you may need to pay a cover charge.
What to order: To Flash your cash like a true playboyzino, (rich Leblon local) a bottle of vodka with multiple cans of red bull in pride of place on your table is really the only option.
When to go: from Thursday through the weekend. The bar stays open till 3.30 am but things get going after 10 pm.
Astor-A bohemian bar that hails from Sao Paulo and now holds the crown for one of the only drinking spots in Ipanema from which you can sip your cocktail while gazing at Ipanema beach. Monochrome checked floors and fifties-style smouldering yellow lights combine to create a feeling of old-school glamour and lend it an ideal atmosphere for long cocktails and dangerous liaisons.
What to know: Whether you pick a spot along the bar or at one of the tables on the patio outside, this is a great spot for people watching.
What to order: Cocktails. Lots of them. For an authentic Brazilian classic, try the Caju Amigo, a vodka based cocktail mixed with Caju. This is one of the only places in town that has them on the menu.
When to go: From late afternoon to watch the sunset over Ipanema beach well into the night, the charm of Astor is that it is a good option at any time of day, any day of the week.
Contact Dehouche to book your dream trip to South America, and our 24 hour concierge service will be on hand to help you explore the inside track to Rio, and will soon have you navigating the nightlife like a local.