Rio de Janeiro Bars are perfect places to while away a few hours enjoying excellent cold draft beer (Chope or Chopp), traditional salty snacks (Salgadinhos), and a Caipirinha or two! Come as you are, straight from the beach, and relax in these open air indoor/outdoor drinking establishments.
Rio de Janeiro Bars most often are open air or indoor/outdoor places. Smaller bars, known as Botecos, often open directly onto the sidewalk, serve only light snacks, and sometimes just bottled beer. Botequins are small restaurants or bars with table service. Some bars are really restaurants that happen to have the word "bar" in the name, such as Bar Lagoa or Bar Urca.
The three descriptions - Bar, Boteco, and Botequim tend to overlap and you can debate all night long which type of establishment it really is. All that really matters is that the Bar has great atmosphere, cold chopp, caipirinhas, and decent salgadinhos.
There are so many good Rio de Janeiro bars that we couldn't possibly list them all. On this page we list our favorite bars and try not to duplicate the entries from our Botequins page. There are a couple of very popular bars that overlap with the term Botequim, so we felt we had to list them on this page as well.
"Senhor - mais um chopp por favor!" (Waiter - one more draft beer please!)
It's Caipirinha Time in Rio de Janeiro!
Our Favorite Rio de Janeiro Bars
Sindicato do Chopp
Location - Avenida Atlantica 3806, Copacabana; Avenida Atlantica 514, Leme & Rua Farme de Amoeda 83, Ipanema. Open until 3am.
Sindicato do Chopp's main location is at Posto 5, on Copacabana Beach, with most of it being outdoors and covered by large canopies. The ocean breeze that flows through the outdoor bar both day and night, as well as the cold Brahma Chopp, makes it a great place to relax and people watch. Their Leme location, further up the beach, also faces the ocean and is more quiet. The Ipanema location on the party street Farme de Amoeda, gets packed later at night and draws a predominantly gay crowd.
The lunches are pretty decent and inexpensive, but this is not one of the Rio de Janeiro bars on our list of places to enjoy dinner. Sindicato do Chopp is a great place to soak up the beer with late night deep fried appetizers (salgadinhos).
Skylab Bar- Rio Othon Palace Hotel
Location - Rio Othon Palace Hotel. 30th Floor, Avenida Atlantica 3264, Copacabana. Tel- 55 21 2525 1500. Open until midnight or 1am.
The Rio Othon Place is not on our list of beachfront hotels at which to stay in Copacabana, but Skylab is one of the Rio de Janeiro bars that's well worth the visit, if just to take in the panoramic views of Copacabana Beach.
Perched high up on the 3oth floor of this tourist class hotel, one can sit at the bar by the pool or at a table overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Visit Skylab to have a drink or two at sunset or for a nightcap after dinner at one of the restaurants on Avenida Atlantica, such as the venerable Marius Steakhouse.
Horse's Neck Bar - Sofitel Hotel
Location - Sofitel Hotel, 2nd floor balcony, Avenida Atlantica 4240 Copacabana. Tel- 55 21 2525 1232. Open until 2am.
The Horse's Neck Bar (pictured above) is located on the 2nd floor of the upper class oceanfront Sofitel Hotel overlooking Posto 6 on Copacabana Beach. The bar is decorated in an African motif which exudes a relaxed "dressy casual" atmosphere.
The bar area is located inside the hotel with more tables located on a connected and well covered outdoor veranda. The place is full of comfortable chairs and couches, and the bartenders prepare excellent caipirinhas. The Horse's neck also claims to serve the largest selection of Belgian beers of all Rio de Janeiro bars. It's a bit pricey but not overly so when you consider the surroundings.
As with some other Rio de Janeiro bars, the Horse's Neck will present live Bossa Nova or Jazz music on weekends and during other nights during the summer. Stop by the front desk and check the schedule.
Location - Avenida Prado Junior 35, Copacabana. Tel- 55 21 2275 6147. Open noon until very very late.
For decades Cervantes has been known for consistently providing Cariocas two things - cold Brahma beer and a big selection of delicious meaty sandwiches. In the guide books, Cervantes is often called a Copacabana "institution", which happens to be a very accurate description. Older male waiters wearing white coats and black bow ties serve large sandwiches to hungry, often intoxicated diners, from noon until 3-5am every day of the week.
There's not much to the place, it has tables, a few Don Quixote paintings and a 'stand-up only' bar that opens onto the street.
Cervantes is one of the Rio de Janeiro bars in Copacabana that you must visit for a beer and lunch or for a late night sandwich. We give Cervantes our highest recommendation.
Shenanigan's Irish Pub
Update! Rio's only Irish owned Pub closed in October 2010. The property owner doubled the rent as commercial space is at a premium in the General Osorio area. (due to the new Metro Station).
Location - Rua Visconde de Piraja 112, Ipanema. Tel- 55 21 2267 5860. Open until 3am. Across from Praça General Osorio.
You may be thinking, "With all of the different Brazilian style Rio de Janeiro bars in the city, why should I stop by an Irish Pub?" Well, it's because Shenanigan's Irish Pub is a good time bar for sure.
Expat Americans and Europeans are regulars at this pub, so if you want to get the 'low down" in English on what's happening in Ipanema then head to Shenanigans. Lots of Gringo tourists party here as well, so you'll have a hard time not making friends or short term acquaintances. Surprisingly, a large number of Cariocas frequent Shenanigan's as well, making for a lively mixed crowd.
Pass on the food but be sure to knock back a few Irish Ales or Stouts instead, which will provide about the same amount of calories as a meal. Shenanigan's also has live music a few nights each week.
Academia da Cachaça
Location - Rua Conde de Bernadotte 26, Leblon. Tel- 55 21 2239 1542. Open until 1 - 2am.
If you like Cachaça and Caipirinhas and are looking for the real thing, then the 21 year old Academia da Cachaça in Leblon is the place to visit. Located in the upscale Leblon neighborhood, it's a short cab ride to get to here from Copacabana or Ipanema and is well worth the trip.
In addition to offering 5 different types of Caipirinhas and 80 different brands of the fiery sugar cane liquor, this pleasant indoor/outdoor bar/restaurant serves a Brazilian feijoada lunch every weekday from noon - 4pm.
Their Caipirinha varieties include the classic lime (limão), pineapple (abacaxi), bittersweet orange (lima), passion fruit (maracujá), and one made with seasonal fruit. Try the maracujá caipirinha - it's fantastic!
If you want to stock up on Cachaça or bring home a uniquely Brazilian gift, the Academia da Cachaça has a nice gift shop.
Watch short video segment about the "art" of drinking Cachaça.
Academia da Cachaça on a Saturday afternoon
Locations - Rua Visconde de Piraja 540, Ipanema; Rua General San Martin 1241, Leblon; and other locations. Open until very late.
Devassa is a fast growing local chain of Rio de Janeiro Bars or Botequins, which brews and serves several types of its own excellent draft beer. Included are classic beer types with names that describe different types of women. Devassa's five chopp varieties include Loura (a blond pilsner), Ruiva (a light pale ale), Negra (a dark or "escura" ale), India (pale ale), and Sarara (wheat beer). Try a "Mulatta" which is a blend of Negra and Loura chopp.
Interestingly, the term "Devassa" describes a rather sexy or sensual woman of questionable character. A Carioca friend of ours provided Portuguese synonyms of the term "Devassa" which included "libertina, licenciosa, dissoluta, crapulosa & desregrada" (wanton, licentious, dissolute, crapulent
But make no mistake, Devassa is one of the more upscale and expensive Rio de Janeiro bars which brews and serves some of the best chopp we have ever tasted in Brazil.
And this note - at Carnival 2010, the Devassa Company hired American celebrity Paris Hilton to promote their brand. As of February 2010, Paris Hilton adorns the Devassa Website. (click the "Sim" button if you are over age 18).
Also, Paris Hilton shot a Devassa Beer commercial while in Rio de Janeiro for Carnival 2010, which created a lot of controversy in Brazil due to it's racy and sexually suggestive nature. Wow, that's some statement coming from one of the more sexually charged societies in the Western Hemisphere! See the full length "PG Rated" commercial below.
Below is a 4 minute segment of the "3 Sheets Rio" travel video. You host Zane, spends time at the Devassa Bar and brewery in Leblon, learning about chopp and drinking it..!
Garota de Ipanema
Location - Rua Vinicius de Moraes 49, Ipanema. Tel - 55 21 2523 3787. Open until 3am.
This may be the most famous of Rio de Janeiro bars, as it was here that Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes wrote their most famous song "The Girl from Ipanema", for which the botequim is now named. Legend has it that a "..tall and tan and young and lovely girl from Ipanema went walking.." by the bar on her way to the beach, while these 2 Bossa Nova songwriters/poets drank beer in the late morning. (they were Bohemians after all..) The songwriters were "inspired" by watching her walk .... and the rest is history.
Garota de Ipanema may also be considered a Botequim and serves pretty fare food. Many tourists stop here for an early evening dinner or snacks on the way back from Ipanema Beach. It's a relaxing place to drink a few cold chopps and while away a couple hours.
Insider's Tip - Grab a table on the side of the bar that faces Rua Vinicius de Moraes , as the bus traffic is pretty loud on the Rua Prudente de Moraes side.
Location - Marina All Suites Hotel, 2nd Floor, Avenida Delfim Moreira 696, Leblon. Tel- 55 21 2172 1100. Open until 2am.
Located on the 2nd floor of the ritzy Marina All Suites Hotel in an exclusive part of Leblon Beach, Bar D' Hotel is one of the more expensive and very upmarket Rio de Janeiro bars.
Affluent Cariocas and jet setting foreigners sip on exotic cocktails and enjoy fine cuisine at this bistro bar, while gazing out at beautiful Leblon Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.
Hang out here long enough and you catch sight of famous Brazilian actors, models and the local power elite. Because of its elegance and over sized suites, the Marina All Suites Hotel is a perennial favorite of the Brazilian upper class.
Location - Rua da Carioca 39, Centro. Tel- 55 21 2262 6900. Open noon until midnight Monday - Saturday.
Our good friend Mit at RioApartments recommends Bar Luiz, which he calls a "legendary establishment" and which may be the oldest of all Rio de Janeiro bars. Bar Luiz is a meeting place for Cariocas who work in Centro to stop in for a beer at the end of the day. Although considered to be a "bar", Bar Luiz also serves excellent dishes.
Founded in 1887 by Brazilian Jacob Wendling, the son of Swiss and German immigrants, it was originally named "Zum Schlauch", German for the type of hose through which beer flowed from the keg to the tap. The bar was later renamed "Bar Adolph" after Jacob's God Son and second owner Adolph Rumjaneck. During World War II, Bar Adolf was stoned by angry students who assumed the bar had some allegiance with Hitler. The owner quickly changed the name to Bar Luiz, and the rest as they say, is history.
Bar Luiz is known for its cold draft beer and excellent German food, including Kassler (smoked ribs), white bratwurst, Vienna sausage, Eisbein (pork), and other sausage varieties. Try the mixed sausage appetizer.
Insider's Tip - You can easily reach the Centro District by catching the Metro, at Cantagalo station in Copacabana or at the new Ipanema station at Praça General Osorio. After visiting the historic sites in Centro, stop at Bar Luiz for beers and a sausage plate. Catch the Metro at the nearby Carioca Station and return to your accommodations in Copacabana or Ipanema.
In 2005 Bar Luiz opened a Kiosk (Quiosque) on Copacabana Beach in front of the Copacabana Palace Hotel near Posto 2. Named "Bar Luiz Orla", the kiosk served the same cold chopp and several of their signature sausage dishes. Bar Luiz Orla closed in 2011
Location- Lagoa, at Avenida Epitacio Pessoa 1674, walking distance from Ipanema. Tel- 55 21 2523 1135.
Bar Lagoa is locally famous for serving excellent and very cold Brahma Chopp. So it's also a great place to stop for a beer after an afternoon walk around Lagoa Rodrigo Freitas, or in the later evening when a younger more raucous crowd takes over.