Five of the Best: Bars in Rio

The beaches, the bodies, the rainforest and, of course, nightlife like no other


Words by BarChick 

BarChick is head over heels in love with this city. The scene is starting to change in Rio, though, little bars and parties are popping up all over town and no longer just in the ‘south zone’ - the safest area in Rio.

So where is hot? Well, Leblon boasts New York style restaurants, trendy bars and upmarket sushi joints. Whereas Ipanema is a little cooler and more down to earth, with every corner housing a juice bar (hello hangover cure) and local botecos (bars) dotted all over.


Santa Teresa is still a bubble of old grand colonial mansions, Bohemian bars and local artisan restaurants. BarChick loves this boho vibe, but you’ve got to play safe as it can still be dangerous at times so always grab a taxi. If you’re after a little craziness Lapa is where it’s at every weekend; the streets is littered with tourists, kids, locals and vendor sellers. This is the epitome of hedonistic Rio and although it might not be everybody’s cup of tea, you won’t know until you try! There are new bars and clubs popping up all over this area offering live music, samba dancing, hip hop grinding or just beers on the street so you are totally spoilt for choice.


For something different why not go to a party in one of the favelas? Since the pacification started, word has got out about these little gems spread out all over the city. BarChick’s favourite is in Vidigal, a great party, great music and a spectacular view. For the full downlow on Rio's drinking scene check out the BarChick Rio guide, but for now here are 5 of the best...



For killer cocktails:

Baretto Londra at Hotel Fasano

It’s all exposed brickwork, comfy leather sofas and rock memorabilia, plus chuck in some hot Brazilian barmen and you’ve got Londra situated on the ground floor of the world renowned Fasano Hotel. It’sthe place to head for perfectly mixed cocktails. Sip on your Apple Martini, or pretty much anything you fancy, and watch live music from Beatles tribute acts to disco DJs. Londra is definitely worth putting your lipstick and heels on for, this is the place to be seen, and if you’re looking hot they’re not afraid to let you know. For extra excitement see if you can sneak up to the rooftop pool bar sporting epic views of Ipanema beach.

Londra at Fasano, Baretto-Londra, Avenida Vieira Souto 80, Rio de Janeiro, +55 21 3202 4000



For ladies who lunch:

Bar Dos Descasados at The Santa Teresa Hotel

Overlooking Rio city from the Bohemian hills of Santa Teresa stands the colonial 19th century mansion that is the luxury Santa Teresa Hotel. Amid the tropical gardens of this boutique abode sits the quiet lounge bar of Bar dos Descasados. Perfect for a girly lunch or an indulgent drink after a massage at their spa. Kick back and relax on one of the wooden day beds and tuck into a salmon club sandwich. The birds will be tweeting around you while you and your friends sip on Cardamon Matinis and put the world to rights. This is definitely a flat sandals kind of joint as taking a wander around the rest of hilly Santa Teresa is a must do.

 Bar dos Descasados, Santa Teresa Hotel, Rua Almirante Alexandrino 660, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, +55 21 2222 2755


For girls who just wanna have fun:

Rio Scenarium

If you want to dance in Rio, as in really dance the night away until your feet are gonna fall off, then head to Lapa. And if you are heading to Lapa you have to see Rio Scenarium in all its three floor epic 19th century glory. Each floor plays host to a different flavour of music and a different crowd. Ground floor is for Forro music, dancing and men, likelihood is you’ll get dragged to the dance floor by an 80 year old Brazilian dude – go with it. The annex is for pumping house and samba music bursting with sweaty bodies. Multi-coloured walls are filled with 10,000 antiques, film props and random pieces from all ages and genres, it’s like a giant flea market with good music and vibes. A great place to dance the night away and make new friends.


Rio Scenarium, Rua do Lavradio 20, Centro Antigo, Rio de Janeiro, +55 21 3147 9005,


To get down with the locals:

Bar Astor

This bar come restaurant situated in the most prestigious area of Ipanema beach is bursting to the brim with Rio’s hottest, trendiest crowd. Grab a table outside on the terrace with your friends, drink Choppe (the local beer) and watch the surfers go by. Fancy being a real local? Pull up a red leather stool and perch up at the 130 year old Tennessee saloon bar. The food is best kept Brazilian but when it comes to the cocktails there is much more on offer than just a Caipirinha. If you are feeling a little home sick order from their extensive G&T menu. It closes at 3 am but if you’re still in a party mood head upstairs to Studio RJ for some bumping and grinding. Those Brazilians know how to have fun.

Bar Astor, Avenida Vieira Souto 110, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, +55 21 2523 0085


For epic views:


After spending a relaxing day in the most incredible botanical gardens you will ever see (Jardim Botanico), stroll over to Paxeco for a cocktail and some light refreshments. This colonial house is missing its roof, which totally works for us as the view is breath taking; Christo on one side and the top of the palms in the botanical garden on the other. Don’t forget that camera. This tranquil open air bar has got the vibe spot on – ultra chilled, even more so once the Strawberry Mojitos and Caipirinhas start flowing. Early evening is the best time to go, take in the scenes, wait for the sun to set and watch toucans fly by.

Paxeco, Rua Paxeco Leão, 724 terraço Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro, +54 21 3114 8710 ,

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