Jardim Botanico is a wealthy neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro and home to the Globo headquarters, one of Brazil’s largest broadcast channels. The area is popular among the city’s rich and famous, and while the elite vibe here is unmistakable, it is hardly pretentious; rather, the neighboring Atlantic forest creates a leafy, tranquil setting, the ideal spot to enjoy heady cocktails and chilled beers in one of its many bars. Here are some of the best bars in and near Jardim Botanico.
The name itself—‘go up,’ as it translates to—hints at the lofty appeal of this rooftop bar. With a row of towering palm trees in the skyline, a vast sky of twinkling stars overhead, and quirky touches such as umbrellas suspended from beams, Sobe is one of Jardim Botanico’s most picture-perfect bars. Go for jugs of cocktails, a friendly and prompt service, and energetic live music.
The crisp, trendy décor sets a pleasant scene at Bingo, making it the ideal spot for an afterwork tipple or pre-drinks before a longer night out. The venue prides itself on delicious contemporary dinner options and snacks, which are perfectly complemented by any of the flawless cocktails on the drinks list. Head here for Happy Hour when cocktails and glasses of wine are two for one.
What was once a lime-green mansion is now the venue for Bar do Horto that has maintained the colonial architecture and added its own whimsical touches—a multitude of colored wallpaper slapped on the wall behind the bar like a patchwork quilt, colorful lights suspended from the ceiling on long reels of wire, and quirky ornaments scattered around. Pull up a pew on the pavement outside to get a soothing mix of the sounds of the wilderness coming from the nearby Botanical Garden and the beats of the live music inside while sipping on some of the city’s best caipirinhas.
This highly successful chain of bars seems to have a representative in every neighborhood in the south zone of the city, and while they all follow a specific standard, the design of each one varies. With its wide glass windows and airy open walls, the Belmonte in Jardim Botanico is one of the best ones for a pleasant hangout spot and is best enjoyed with an extra-chilled chopp (a classic Brazilian beer) and one of the bar’s famous dried meat or prawn pies.
With branches in the best neighborhoods in Rio—Copacabana and Leblon as well as Jardim Botanico, just to name-brag—Venga has firmly established itself as the best and most authentic venue for proper Spanish tapas and beverages. The sangrias are as moreish as the tapas are delicious, and they come in a choice of red wine, white wine, or rosé, posing the inevitable question: why not try all three?
The 10-minute stroll to Palaphita Kitch involves leafy avenues and lakeside views before arriving at the picturesque bar with its prime spot for viewing the sunset over the Lagoa lake. The inside of the bar is all open-walled, allowing the lake to be a focal point of the view no matter where you sit, and is built like a bamboo-hut with low, wooden benches outside. The cocktails are made from seasonal fruits and are borderline perfect; just be prepared to dig fairly deep when the bill comes.
Famed for its internal competition of seeking out the grumpiest waiter each year, the service there is, in fact, friendly and charming, although you will find yourself eyeing up the waiters to determine who the winner could be. The bar’s German roots are reflected in the food choice which mixes Brazilian and German traditions, and the interior of pink walls and tiled floor has stayed the same for the last 90 years, making it one of the most traditional and established bars in the area.
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