Rio de Janeiro is known as a city of contrasts, and that truism applies as much to its nightlife options as anywhere else. While the downtown party district of Lapa is the place to go for cachaca-fueled craziness, the well-maintained street that is Rua Dias Ferreira - located in upscale Leblon - is the best place to find gourmet food, artfully mixed cocktails and a chance to watch the famously beautiful Leblon locals at play.
Revellers at Stuzzi Bar — Photo courtesy of Stuzzi Bar
The street is lined with chic and sleek "gastro bars," which offer a chance to nibble on such delights as authentically Spanish tapas at Venga, Italian Stuzzichini at Stuzzi and immaculately presented bistro fare at Brigite's.
Cocktails at all of these venues go well beyond the classic lime caipirinha, to take in colorful combinations of potent alcohol and vibrantly colored Brazilian fruits. Take, for example, the Yami at Stuzzi. It combines vodka with native fruit Ggraviola and a jam made from the jabuticaba berry. This drink's as delicious as it is potent.
With most bars along Rua Dias Ferreira serving the kind of light bites that are ideal for sharing, this is an excellent destination for couples and groups of friends. Be prepared for some high prices, though. This is the haunt of Rio's well-heeled elite, after all.
A cheap night out, it isn't, but Rua Dias Ferreira offers top-quality nibbles, delicious cocktails, live DJ sets and some astonishingly good-looking patrons.