Canastra is an impressive bar. For its tiny size – the counter takes up all the room so there’s no seating inside – it draws in the largest crowds of all the bars in Ipanema. Springing up from nowhere and with no advertising, it soon became the social hotspot of Ipanema with hordes of twenty-somethings spilling out onto the street every day, especially Thursday to Sunday. Yet with its delicious menu of locally sourced products (try the Canastra cheese, it’s divine) and well-stocked wine menu, it’s little wonder why people are happy to drink fine wines and eat rich cheese on the pavements.
Rua Jangadeiros, 42, Ipanema, RJ, Brazil, +55 21 99656 1960
Another social go-to, Bar 48 attracts the young and trendy with its dynamic feel and vibrant mood. A reformed garage, the entire front wall is open, making what is technically a small place feel wide and airy, with a seamless indoor to outdoor structure. It’s decorated inside in graffiti which, alongside the steel oil-drum tables, gives it a truly alternative feel. A live DJ plays all night to the chattering crowds that gather there to drink good beers, wine and cocktails.
Rua Teixeira de Melo, 48, Ipanema, RJ, Brazil, +55 21 3624 2139
A pub-style bar, Banana Jack is perfect to meet friends, eat from an ample menu and drink a caipirinha or two. It’s also famous for its Banana Beer that, as the name suggests, is beer made from bananas. You might need to acquire the taste though – you either love it or you don’t – but it’s definitely worth trying to see what all the fuss is about. The bar sits on the main path between the beach and the metro so is an excellent drop-in place after the beach as well as for a weekend night out.
Rua Jangadeiros, 6 – Loja B, Ipanema, RJ, Brazil, +55 21 2521 9055
This Ipanema bar isf amous for being a rock bar with a good selection of classic rock music. Ironically, in recent year’s it’s actually garnered a reputation for being the best street-drinking spot, meaning that most visitors never get to listen to the music that it’s so famous for! But that shouldn’t and doesn’t deflect the popularity of this bar. Every weekend, especially Saturdays, masses of people flock in to drink beer on the street as a late-night after-party.
Rua Maria Quiteria, 37, Ipanema, RJ, Brazil, +55 21 3813 2526
With shelves after shelves of different beers, this bar gives visitors plenty to see and talk about whilst trying to work out where the drinks come from and which ones to try first. It stocks both national and imported beers and literally has hundreds to choose from. It makes for a fun night of experimenting different drinks and eating the delicious snacks that are on offer, such as brie with apricot jam. It also has a small outside seating area for warmer days and nights (which there are plenty of in Rio!).
Rua Barão da Torre, 183, Ipanema, RJ, Brazil, +55 21 2502 0029
This no-frills bar is perfect for those wanting a cold beer and a place to chat. It terms of decorations it doesn’t win many medals, but it’s always filled with people willing to stand up all night due to limited seats and pass the nights chatting there with a very cold chopp. It’s a typical Carioca bar and is located near to the beach making it perfect to drop in and grab a few post-beach beverages. This place is the essence of casual and low-key so feel free to swing by in beach clothes, with salty-wet hair and sandy skin.
Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 181, Ipanema, RJ, Brazil, +55 21 2523 2105
O Bar Do Beto
Located on a street locally known as ‘Farme’ which is familiar to locals as the gay area of Ipanema, O Bar Do Beto is a typical gay and lesbian meeting point and hang out. Its wide, open plan seating makes for a sociable venue and with modern pop music, it’s always a buzzing place with a contagious atmosphere and fun-loving people. In front of Farme street is the LGBT part of the beach, distinctly marked by big rainbow flags, and the majority of the beach-goers there go to O Bar Do Beto post-beach for good food and strong cocktails.
Rua Farme de Amoedo, 51, Ipanema, RJ, Brazil,+55 21 2523 1443
Despite being right next to the beach with ocean views, this is not the kind of place to drop in post-beach. With its air of glamour and sophistication, here you can dress up and enjoy a night out sipping sparkling wine whilst eating good appetizers. With low lighting and a subdued mood, Bar Astor takes you away from the relaxed and casual style of Ipanema and transports you to a world of elegance for the night.
Avenida Vieira Souto, 110, Ipanema, RJ, Brazil, +55 21 2523 0085
As any traveller will know, there seems to be an Irish bar in every corner of the world, and one of those corners happens to be Ipanema. Shennanigans is a fun-loving bar with plenty of offers on drinks, typical pub food, and of course, beers and ales on tap. The place fills up quickly on the weekend and is particularly popular amongst foreigners and backpackers, making it a good place to get to know new people and meet fellow travelers.
Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 112 A, Ipanema, RJ, Brazil, +55 21 2267 5860
Like the whole vibe of Ipanema, Belmonte gives a casual yet modern and trendy hangout for either a cold beer and a snack after the beach or a full night out. The snacks here are some of the best in Rio: generously filled open pies of dried meat and cream cheese are heavenly, as well as the pastels packed with prawns. The outdoor seating is best grabbed early before they fill up and allows for bar-goers to enjoy the warm nights and pass the time people-watching.
Rua Teixeira de Melo, 53 B, Ipanema, RJ, Brazil, +55 21 2267 9909
By Sarah Brown