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For Rio’s hottest and trendiest neighborhood, head to Leblon where the wealthy youth hang out side by side with Brazil’s hottest celebrities. Rua Dias Ferreira is the central spot for upmarket restaurants and cool bars; here, we pick out the top ten that you should definitely visit in Leblon.
Jobi is spoken so highly of by Cariocas that it comes as a surprise that it is in fact a small and unremarkable pub at first glance. However, once you take a seat and order a beer, the buzzing atmosphere and cheerful service instantly wipes away any doubts of the place. The most common drink here is the chopp, a light and icy cold draft beer served in a tall glass with a frothy head. The night starts with older clients yet slowly gives way to an increasingly younger and boisterous crowd as the night ticks on. Fun, lively and friendly, Jobi is one of the most popular spots in Leblon.
A beloved bar in Leblon just a few blocks from the beach, Bar Bracarense attracts post-beach goers and those looking to let their hair down after working all day. The cold chopps here are a huge hit with the quasi-official title as being some of the coldest in town. For a snack, try the fried balls of prawns and cream cheese — it is one of the oldest recipes and most ordered snacks on the menu.
Bacana in Portuguese translates to ‘cool’ or ‘awesome’ in English. While this bar is not especially trendy, it definitely fits the description of being a cool and informal hangout, especially post-beach. Unlike many bars in Leblon, Bar do Bacana is reasonably priced and offers delicious and honest Brazilian food that comes in generous portions. The bar mostly serves frosty cold beers such as chopps or in bottles, but is also known for its cachaca with ginger that will really warm the soul.
One of the most commonly listed bars in Leblon’s best (and in Rio de Janeiro), this chic yet casual boteco is famous for its generously stuffed pastels, its open pies oozing with fillings and top service from its cheerful staff. When there is a national football match on, Boteco Belmonte screens the games, making it a great spot to cheer on a team while eating, drinking and being merry.
Casa do Alemão’s crunchy meat croquettes served with super cold chopps brought fame to this Leblon bar. This thematic bar is decorated with German posters, bringing something new to the neighborhood. Casa do Alemão also does a mean caipirinha that is generously served with a huge pouring of cachaca and is disguised with a sweet blend of various fruits, making it dangerously good.
One of the most classic points for nightlife in Rio de Janeiro, Pizzaria Guanabara is famous for serving pizza throughout the night and only closes when the sun comes up and the last person goes home. This place also serves a great cold beer, making it a popular after-club hangout amongst the younger club-goers. Pizzaria Guanabara is also popular amongst national celebrities, so don’t be surprised to see someone from a Brazilian soap opera ordering a slice of pizza and a frosty chopp.
Botequim Bate-Papo has an informal environment that sums up Rio in a nutshell. This is one of the few bars in Leblon that has live music — usually samba, bossa nova or Brazilian pop. It is a popular hangout with the beautiful crowd, where even in casual attire people seem well-dressed. The most ordered items from the menu are the petiscos (Brazilian bar snacks), with the fried cheesy cassava a popular option. All of the beers are incredibly cold and refreshing, yet for something different try the cachaça; there are more than 40 brands available.
For those looking for something stronger than a regular beer, Academia da Cachaça is the place to be. The cachaça menu offers more than 100 different types of cachaça, enough to satisfy all tastes and the friendly, knowledgeable bar staff are there to help you pick out the best ones based on your preferences. To soak up the strong alcohol, there is also an extensive food menu with influences from northeastern Brazil.
With its varied and delicious menu alongside its cold chopps, Bar Chico e Alaide has built up a name for itself in Leblon. One of the owners, Alaide (from whom the bar takes its name from) is responsible for the snacks on the menu and carefully designs and preps them all. The excellent snacks and cold beers are two reasons why this bar is so popular; the cozy, informal atmosphere and the welcoming owners, Chico and Alaide, are the others.
Bar Chico e Alaide, Rua Dias Ferreira, 679, Leblon, RJ, Brazil +55 21 2512 0028
By Sarah Brown