Where to Drink with the Bohemian Set in Artsy Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is widely acknowledged as Rio's bohemian heart, and the lively bar scene of this scenic hilltop neighborhood is one of the most appealing in the city. Cooled by mountain breezes, the atmosphere is ultra-relaxed, the dress-code is boho-chic and the artistic local set welcome visitors with open arms. Forget the chain bars of Centro and the Zona Sul, Santa Teresa is all about small, independent bars and a hipster crowd. 

During the summer street parties are held at Largo do Guimaraes, the neighborhood´s main square, while nearby bars such as Bar do Mineiro, Simplesmente and Portello do a lively trade, with revellers spilling out onto the streets at weekends.

A short walk away, Armazem do Thiago (fondly known as Bar do Gomez) is one of the oldest and best-loved botecos in the city, and the mix of beer-swigging locals and long-stay ex pats make for a welcoming and lively atmosphere.

With the famous Santa Teresa currently out of service for repairs, cosy bars such as Bar do Bonde and Mike's Haus lie a little off the main tourist drag, but are worth a few minutes' walk to enjoy a reasonably-priced drink, chat with locals and soak up Santa Teresa´s wonderfully laid-back vibe.

Largo do Guimaraes
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

This picturesque public square at the heart of Santa Teresa is the social heart of the bohemian neighborhood, and the setting for many a lively street party. The square itself if flanked by bars and restaurants, and this is the best place to...  Read More

Bar do Bonde
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

Take just a slight detour from Santa Teresa--s main tourist trail and you--ll find one of the neighborhood--s best bar-restaurants. Located just a few minutes-- walk (follow the tram line uphill from the main square at Largo do Guimaraes), this...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

Rio de Janeiro has traditionally been lacking coffee shops that have gone beyond with-or-without-milk, but this Argentine-owned spot in leafy Santa Teresa is one spot where a good cappuccino or cafe latte is guaranteed. Perfectly positioned...  Read More

With a prime location on the main drinking and dining strip in leafy, artsy Santa Teresa, Bar do Mineiro is the focal point for the neighborhood's famously lively social scene. As the name suggests, the menu bears the culinary influences of...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

The team behind Santa Teresa's acclaimed Cafecito cafe-bar have expanded into the floor above their much-loved establishment, transforming the leafy courtyard into a dining space that is arelaxed in ambiance and as rustic in decor as the name...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

This appealingly laidback bar at the heart of Santa Teresa´s nightlife strip is a long-standing favorite among locals and visitors alike, with its late opening hours making it a top spot for end-of-the-night drinks. Prices are reasonable, the...  Read More

A relative newcomer to Santa Teresa´s famously lively drinking scene, Portella occupies a prime spot right at the heart of the party action. Live samba music fills the air here, while the windows that open onto the neighborhood´s main...  Read More

Mike's Haus
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

This cosy German bar-restaurant in Santa Teresa was the hangout of choice for British Train Robber Ronnie Biggs during his many years in exile in Rio. Today, it attracts beer lovers and foodies looking for a change from Brazilian food. The vast...  Read More

Largo das Neves
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

Framed by a pretty whitewashed church and surrounded by laid back bars and restaurants, this neighborhood hangout feels charmingly like a village square despite being mere minutes from Rio city centre. On Friday nights, the square throngs...  Read More

This Santa Teresa bar-restaurant was opened by a family of Spanish settlers in Brazil in 1919, when it doubled as a grocery store. The official name, Armazem Sao Thiago references this, but for decades this most inviting of watering holes has...  Read More


Meet Lucy Bryson

Lucy is a British freelance writer living in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. While there are some things she misses about her home country, the lure of year-round sunshine has proved too powerful to resist.