Rio is probably one of the best places to live if you are a beach person but also an urban person. It’s a big city but has some outstanding landscapes and picture-postcard views. It’s inspiring living here as a musician and some of the most notorious Brazilian musicians like Cariocas have lived here for a period of time. Names like Vinicius de Moraes, Tom Jobim, Carmem Miranda, Chico Buarque, Nara Leão, Caetano Velloso, Gilberto Gil also come to mind. However, because it is such a tourist spot, there are a lot of places to eat, drink, sightsee and go for walks in the great outdoors; aside from the obvious beach option. Also, there are always loads of people from different places around the world and the Cariocas love that and are always welcoming. Although the city’s nightlife has been heavily affected by the Corona Virus pandemic there are still some places to go and enjoy the city – here are some of our favorites:
Pavão Azul (Rua Hilário de Gouvêia 71 – Copacabana)
This is a classic spot in the heart of Rio’s Copacabana and has been open for 42 years old. A typical “boteco” (little street bar) that serves amazing food. We recommend trying their shrimp risotto, probably their best seller. Also for starters get the bolinho de bacalhau, an amazing codfish fried cake. This is a special place for us as we went there to celebrate after finishing shooting our first video-clip. It’s a place to spend whole afternoons eating and having a couple of laughs and beers.
Adega Pérola (Rua Siqueira Campos 138 – Copacabana)
Tradition is the best word to describe this place. It was founded in 1957 and since then has been one of the most reliable places to eat well. Their balcony snacks are the real deal with over 40 different kinds of snacks ranging from quail egg to a bunch of different seafood. It’s spectacular!
Adega is located in Copacabana and it’s definitely one of the neighborhood’s most precious places with a growing audience each year but at the same time with the same regulars always attending the place.
BB Lanches (Rua Aristides Espínola 64 – Leblon)
In Rio there are places called casa de sucos, which are places that you go for a quick sandwich, açai and many different juices. They usually are places that don’t have tables, you go on the balcony, order and eat there. Most of them don’t serve alcohol as well. Between the hundreds of places like this spread around the city, BB Lanches is definitely a standout. Everything there seems to be so good and fresh, you can’t go wrong ordering whatever you feel like. We recommend trying their Açai mixed with the fruit of your choice and their shrimp pastry.
Artigiano (Avenida Epitácio Pessoa 204 – Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas)
This Italian place is amazing if you feel like having wine and pasta. Located in Lagoa, a beautiful neighborhood in the city. It looks like a place that came out of a Godfather movie, a lot of old folks dressed up popping wine bottles from the hundreds they have on their menu. The food is also on point – from their bread and dips to their main dishes. We recommend sticking to the pasta menu with over 40 different dishes and selecting a wine of your choice to go along.
Bars and Hangouts
Selina Hotel Lapa (Largo da Lapa 9 – Centro)
Located in Lapa, the most bohemian place in Rio. Full of bars, concerts, graffiti, and a lot of people in the streets. Selina has some cool features besides being a great choice for accommodations. On the first floor, they have a cafe and also their own radio station called Lapa 55 Radio where they have a massive schedule of DJs playing every day, so you can have a coffee or a beer and listen to some cool DJs playing live, they usually have 3 DJ slots a day. The other cool feature is the last floor of the building, with some amazing views of the Arcos da Lapa. They often had parties there prior to Covid.
Desvio (Rua Ramalho Ortigão 12 – Centro)
This venue is the hippest in the city currently. Located in a very cool old building, the kind of building you only see in downtown Rio. They have DJs of all kinds playing every single day and they are always keen to help minorities and promote artists in need, which makes them even cooler. It’s a safe place in Rio where everyone is welcome and the vibe is always high.
Pato Com Laranja (Avenida Visconde de Pirajá 539 -Ipanema)
This is one of Rio’s current hot spots, located in Ipanema, one of the city’s best places to live. They have DJs from Thursdays to Sundays and it’s a great place to have drinks, listen to good music, and if you are single possibly flirt as the regulars are usually beautiful people from 18 to 40 years of age. The music is usually a mix of Brazilian, funk & soul, and as the night goes into Disco and House. They have a lot of amazing drinks, we recommend Paradise and Cajugin. Also, their Japanese bar is spot on, try their usuzukuri or the Tuna Avocado roll.
Mureta da Urca/ Bar Urca (Rua Cândido Gaffrée 205 – Urca)
Probably one of the best places to watch sunsets in the world. Located in the beautiful Urca neighborhood, a hidden treasure in Rio. They have a bunch of bars and restaurants alongside the mureta which is the wall built in front of the ocean, so people just sit with friends and family to have lunch, drinks and appreciate the amazing view. If you manage to go there we recommend going late in the afternoon and getting food from Bar Urca, one of the most traditional restaurants in Rio, everything there is delicious!
*All the places mentioned are respecting the local laws towards COVID