On the surface, Ouro Preto, with its colonial architecture and historic significance, could seem like a sleepy touristic town. And that’s true—in part. It’s also a thriving university city with a high student population. As a result, Ouro Preto changes on the weekend as the youth of the city let their hair down and enjoy late-night bars. But it’s not just for the students—there’s something for everyone in Ouro Preto’s bars. Culture Trip round up the best bars in Ouro Preto.
The exposed brickwork in Taberna Music Bar creates a rustic setting appropriate for the colonial vibe of Ouro Preto and makes a relaxed atmosphere for a night of good food and great drinks. The drinks list is brimming with beers and cocktails, yet the homely environment makes the wine menu more appealing, especially with the wide range of local and imported vinhos. As the name suggests, there is often live music at the bar which plays a mix of Brazilian pop music, bossa nova, and pop rock.
The exposed brickwork and wooden furnishings give Porão Cervejaria a rustic, pub-like feel which seems fitting with the historical surroundings of Ouro Preto. The name Cervejaria loosely translates to ‘beerhouse’ so it’s clear what’s in store for visitors to this bar. Unsurprisingly, the selection of beer is huge and includes local beverages as well as imported varieties. Pair with any of the Brazilian food on the menu which includes pastels and barbecued meat.
For a simple yet cozy and comfortable place for a few drinks, good food, and live music, Escadabaixo Bar Cozinha is the ideal spot. The live music mixes piano and guitar that creates a serene setting and makes a pleasant backdrop for a memorable evening. The exposed brickwork gives the venue a pub-like feel and the tasteful décor adds a modern edge. The menu has a good cocktail selection as well as several different types of beers.
Almost every city has an Irish pub and Tenente Pimenta Rock bar is Ouro Preto’s. The venue seems small on the outside yet remarkably opens up into a large venue which becomes full on the weekends. The live band usually plays rock and is loud enough to liven up the place while still allowing conversation without having to shout over the music. The cocktails are well-made and the bar has a good selection of both local and imported beers. For football fans, the big screens downstairs show most of the main matches.
This cozy hangout is a popular one with locals and has a casual, dress-down feel. The bar has let guests write on the walls over the years, filling the white space with personal scribbles, stamping an intimate touch on the place. It’s the ideal bar to drink a few cold Brazilian beers while chatting among friends and meeting the locals. For a bar snack, try the coxinhas (deep-fried balls of shredded chicken wrapped in dough) – they come highly recommended.
The simple set up of plastic tables and chairs with showy floral-patterned table cloths may not be the most sophisticated but it’s certainly homely and makes a relaxed setting for a few casual beers. The ribbons hanging from the ceiling add a quirky touch; this is a place to go to hang out with locals in an unpretentious environment. The live samba is a wonderful performance as the band play for the sheer joy of it rather than obligation, and locals quickly get up to dance.
Cervejaria Ouropretana is the place in Ouro Preto to go for beers, and not just any old beer. This brewery-meets-bar produces their own beverages and they serve several types of Ouropretana beers, from strong ales to mellow IPAs. In line with its artisanal style, the décor of the bar is distinctly hipster with a low-key black and yellow color theme and quirky images on the wall. With the likes of roasted pork belly with a thick slab of crackling on the top, it’s worth saving room for the food.