Rio de Janeiro may seem a little twisted at a first sight and it’s essentially because it’s a huge city, full of stunning places to go to, especially in terms of bars and pubs, in restaurants and cafés. And we’re perfectly able to understand your confusion, but there are some places in the city that under no circumstance should you miss. Although I’m personally pro finding yourself a place to fit your personality, there are some places just so worth it regardless of the standards, that I felt the need to share some of them with you.
Before actually going to the clubs and pub crawling, here’s some advice: the nationally produced drinks are the safest ones, they’re also not very cheap. The Brazilians do accept tips and it’s almost compulsory to leave 10 per cent extra, so do the math before leaving the place. Yes, it’s fine to have some cheap beer before actually going inside the clubs/bars. Since they’re not exactly cheap, if your goal for the night is to get as close to wasted as possible, there’s no other way than this without remaining with no pocket money whatsoever. Checking how much the entrance to the club’s going to cost is also something smart to do before making plans.
Academia da Cachaca has nothing to do with any academy, unless speaking academically is one of your drunkenness stages – because here you’ll find over 500 varieties of what’s going to be your most favorite Brazilian drink. There are lots of ways in which you can drink Cachaca, the most important thing is not to have more than two if you’ve got important things to do the following day. The passion-fruit combination with the beverage is best served with some snacking, preferably something crispy, crunchy and not sweet. You’ll find Rio de Janeiro’s best academy on the famous Leblon Street (No. 26, Rua Conde de Bernadote Leblon).
Bar d’Hotel is one of the classics in Rio, and it’s popular for being not only very fancy and classy, but also the kind of romantic place where you’d like to go have dinner over an amazing ocean view with the significant other. It’s perfect if what you’re aiming for is relaxing, but you shouldn’t come here unless you’re fine with crowded places. Since it’s very elegant, socializing isn’t one of its strengths. But here’s where you’ll have one of the most sexiest, romantic and sensual hangouts of your trip to Rio. You’ll find it at 696, Avenida Delfim Moreira Marina Hotel.
Since we’re talking about alternatives which imply socializing, whenever you want to make friends or just enjoy a bottle of beer and a glass of wine over a conversation with a complete stranger, Bar da Praia, just next to Bar d’Hotel is the best choice you’ve got. It’s got all you could possibly need if you’re not on a business meeting: a seafront, happy, friendly people, it’s the most inviting place you’ll see. It’s the kind of relaxed, informal environment where you go to grab a sandwich and drink a beer watching the ocean.
The most Rio-experience you’ll have in Rio is at Baro do Copa. As the name clearly suggests, you’ll find it at Copacaban a Palace, Avenida, Atlantica. To please all the tastes there’s not only a club here but a lounge as well, an elegant place with golden walls, chandeliers drape over the spacious rooms. It’s impressively stylish and hi-class. The club stays open until early in the morning, the entire sensation the whole place it gives you is a combination of opulence, class and flashy, splashy elements all over. It’s more than decent and it’s only fair given the spicy prices. But you didn’t go out looking for glam and expecting it to be cheap, did you?
There are tons of styles that you’ll find mixed up in the culture of Rio, and some of them are as awesome as their sources of inspiration. One of the examples is Melt, a restaurant and lounge bar that you’ll find at 74, Rua Rita Ludolf Leblon. It’s inspired by New York bars and in case you’ve never been to New York, this should tell you something about the way the entire place looks: dark, informal, relaxed, with lots of cushions and sofas, the type of place where you head to at the end of a busy day. It’s also quite cosmopolitan, and if you plan on eating here it may be the most expensive dinner of the month, but it’s completely worth the extra money.
If you don’t have the money, there’s a cheaper, less pretentious alternative where you’ll find at least as good of a menu, fun people and the best place is that if Melt is almost always over crowded by tourists, in Emporio you’ll have the same conditions not only at a better price, but with a highly more debonair atmosphere. At 37, Maria Quiteria you’ll have one of the best informal dinners with nice people to meet, but if you’re not interested in socializing with strangers that’s not a reason to give up this experience.
Another place to dine is Baronetti, which is totally going to remind you of Nottinghill not necessarily because of the place in itself but there’s something about the Barro da Torre Ipanema Street that you’ll find awfully bourgeois. The local is very popular, especially among the middle-class and the high-class. If you’re over 30 years old, you’ll feel even older once you go there – it’s a popular place for 20-something people. But the locals love it. Plus, if it’s overly crowded you can always try Boox¸another restaurant that’s going to feel like walking into the locals’ shoes – and it’s only a few doors down the street.
If you’re the kind of guy who’s burning the midnight oil for a regular basis, Casa da Matriz is just what you’re looking for: funny people, good music (from alternative rock to D’n’B – depending on the night) and an overall young, fulfilling atmosphere. The place is located in an old, huge house – and it’s pretty cozy as well. If you’re the kind of person who loves spending the nights in fun atmosphere over a glass of wine, here’s to the best choice. 107, Henrique de Novaes is where you have to head to – as about the clothes, don’t worry. Just come as you are, make sure you’re casual and in the mood for some fun. Also, have your dinner before going out, there’s no restaurant at the bar.
And since we’re talking about clubs, Nuth is an amazing place even if you’re not that much into spending nights out, loud music and tipsy people all over the place. It’s very spacious (actually it’s huge compared to most of the other bars in town) and it’s both smart and casual (as your dress code should be). Coming here early though wouldn’t harm – since most of the people here are smart, classy, rich and elegant, beautiful and ready for fun (we’re not even kidding!) you should be decided from during the day. 999, Armando Lombardi is where you’ll tell the cab driver to take you, and a ride from Ipanema won’t be more than $10.