The beachfront bars and kiosks of Ipanema and Copacabana are all well and good, but for an altogether different experience, head to the hills of artsy Santa Teresa, and join the hip hordes at Bar do Mineiro.
This casual bar has long been the hangout of choice for locals and visitors alike, and on sunny weekend afternoons drinkers spill out onto the pavement, creating something of a street party atmosphere.
Bar do MineiroÃ–ï¿½Ã–Â´s lively crowd regularly spills out onto the sidewalk — Photo courtesy of Melhores bares do Rio
Inside, the simple white walls are hung with artworks and posters celebrating the great and good of Brazil´s 1970s Tropicalia movement, which united poets, artists, musicians and film-makers in taking a stand against the military dictatorship of the time.
You won´t hear much by the way of music inside the bar - instead, you´ll hear the chatter of countless local artists, intellectuals and assorted eccentrics as they set the world to rights over an ice cold beer and a plate of hearty Comida Mineira (food from Minas Gerais state). Main dishes are hearty and meat-based, but for a lighter snack try the pasteis - small, deep-fried pastries filled with shrimp, cheese, meat or - the local favorite - seasoned black beans.
A great place to begin a laidback night out in Santa Teresa or to prepare to hit the town in nearby Lapa, Bar do Mineiro is busy from Tuesday to Sunday (it´s closed on Mondays) and its late opening hours make it a good place for the late night crowd.