Rio de Janeiro is a city of stark contrasts, and this is particularly evident in the city's nightlife scene. While the downtown district of Lapa is known for its raucous, cachaca-fueled street parties, the well-heeled neighborhood of Leblon is renowned for its sleek and chic lounges, upmarket gastro-bars and a clientele that often prefers to be seen sipping elegantly on a long tall cocktail than knocking back bargain caipirinhas.
But Leblon also has plenty of relaxed botecos, popular with sandy-footed locals heading back from the beach. A real Rio institution is Jobi, a relaxed boteco whose laid-back ambiance and superior bar snacks make it the hangout of choice for the neighborhoods intellectuals and bohemians, as well the post-beach crowd.
There's an international vibe to Leblon's bar scene, with Venga, offering a convincing taste of traditional Spanish tapas bars in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. There are top-notch Italian nibbles on offer at trendy hangout Stuzzi, and Mexican drinks and snacks at La Calaca.
Those looking for more local flavor will find arguably the best, and most extensive, collection of petiscos (snacks) in the city at the much-loved bar Chico & Alaide. For the city's best collection of bar-restaurants, make a beeline for Rua Dias Ferreira - this famed gastro-strip is also packed with lively nocturnal hangouts.