Over the years I’ve made great Cariocas friends – “Cariocas” is a nickname for people originally from Rio de Janeiro, like Bostonian from Boston and New Yorkers from NY. This fantastic group of friends has helped me put together a list of 10 local hot spots that you won’t find in guide books or on the web – these are the “real” Brazil!
1- Bira de Guaratiba
Located 45 minutes outside the city of Rio de Janeiro, Bira is a culinary gem located in Guaratiba. Offering visitors fantastic views from the Restinga da Marambaia and delicious sea food dishes, a visit to this paradise is highly recommended.
Caminho da Vendinha, 68
Guaratiba, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 23020-810, Brazil
No website available at this time
2- Maze Jazz
The first Friday of every month, Maze B&B opens its doors for a night of Jazz music. Located inside a pacified slum, Maze visitors will be stunned by the breathtaking views of Rio while sipping on fresh caipirinhas and listening to Bossa Nova jazz. The live music starts at 9pm and goes all night.
Rua Tavares Bastos, 414
Catete, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22221-030, Brazil
Phone: (21) 2558-5547
3- Don Pascual
Don Pascual is located in the middle of the Mata Atlântica, the restaurant itself is situated in a forest! Harmonizing nature and food, this restaurant offers a good selection of wine and a mix of Brazilian/Mediterranean cuisine.
Estrada do Sacarrão, 867
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22785-085, Brazil
Phone: (21) 2428-6237
4- Aconchego Carioca
Famous amongst Cariocas, this spot serves boteco food. Boteco’s are small bars in Brazil that offer creative small dishes, similar to Spanish tapas. Be sure to try a bolinho (dumpling) filled with Feijoada – you’ll love it! Add a cold beer and your meal will be perfection
Rua Barão de Iguatemi, 379
Praça da Bandeira, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20270-060, Brazil
Phone: (21) 2273-1035
Website under contruction: http://www.aconchegocarioca.com.br/
5- Festa Segredo
Festa Segredo (Secret Party) takes place once a month and is limited to 300 people at a time. The address of the secret location is shared on Facebook, so you have to connect to their Facebook page. People that attend the party are invited to write down a secret on a communal board. It’s an all night party filled with beautiful people dancing all night long. It’s can be hard to get in, especially if you are not a Portuguese speaker, bit worth it if you can find a spot. Good luck!
6- Bar Chico e Alaíde
Another boteco for you to try. Located in Leblon neighborhood, this place serves more than 40 different kind of small plates like bolinhos, empadas e caldinhos. Cold draft beers called Choop are very popular here.
Rua Dias Ferreira, 679
Leblon, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22431-050, Brazil
Phone: (21) 2512-0028
7- Lapa 40º
Lapa 40º is a bar in the Lapa neighborhood that offers live Samba music. It’s a big venue with 4 floors, live music and 5 pool tables on the first floor (pay per hour) and some more on the third floor . This is a great local spot to enjoy a beer and catch up with friends. Live samba brands perform on the 4th floor, entrance fees are charged after 10pm.
Rua Riachuelo, 97
Lapa Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20230-013, Brazil
Phone: (21) 3970-1338
8- Casa Moreira Salles
This used to be the residence of Walter Moreira Salles (1912-2001), one of Brazil’s most successful bankers and a politician. In 1990 this house was converted in a cultural center to promote photography, literature, and Brazilian music.
Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 476
Gávea – Rio de Janeiro
Phone: (21) 3284-7400
*Call to confirm time
9- Casa de Rui Barbosa
This house belonged to Rui Barbosa (1849-1923), an important Senator, Minister of Finance and Diplomat. After his death, the Brazilian government bought the house and created a Foundation in his memory. Rui lived there for 28 years and all his furniture and personal library with 35,000 books remain in the house. The landscape and grounds surrounding the house are beautiful and showcase many different varieties of Brazilian plants and trees.
Rua São Clemente, 134 -
Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22260-000, Brazil
Phone: (21) 3289-4600
*Call to confirm time
10- Mirante do Pasmado
Mirante do Pasmado is a open park with great views of Guanabara bay and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Great place to take a walk after lunch and enjoy the views.
In Botafogo neighborhood. After passing the Pasmado tunnel, turn on General Severiano Street.
P.S.: Many thanks to all my Carioca friends who always support Adventures in Brazil and provide us with local tips and experiences to share with our travelers: Carol Sauer, Vivian Prudente de Moraes, Cristiano Ricon and Eduardo Almeida. You guys rock!