Best Spots for Drinking and Dining in Trendy Leblon

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. 



The Devassa chain brews its own beers in a range of flavors and alcohol strengths, and while their marketing is playful, they take their brewing seriously. Here you might want to try a malt beer or a --loira--(blonde) beer, which are served ice...  Read More

Academia da Cachaca
Photo courtesy of Daniel Bonatto/Flickr


Brazil's famously potent national drink, cachaca, is celebrated in all its myriad forms at this lively little bar that has become a Leblon nightlife institution. The national firewater may have a reputation for being as harsh on the palate as it...  Read More



For a night out among Rio's fashionable elite, make a beeline for Rua Dias Ferreira, at the heart of upmarket Leblon. This tree-lined street is lined with so many fashionable bars and upscale restaurants that it has become the go-to spot for...  Read More



This funky Mexican restaurant at the heart of Rio's trendy Leblon neighborhood serves immaculately-presented margaritas and other cocktails that taste as good as they look. The food is a major draw, too, and is a cut above the Tex Mex fare more...  Read More



Based on the Italian concept of 'Stuzzichini' - small plates of light bites for sharing over drinks, similar to Spanish Tapas or Greek Mezze - Stuzzi brings together deliciously moreish finger foods and dangerously drinkable cocktails to create...  Read More



A relatively recent addition to Rua Dias Ferreira's already-illustrious drinking and dining scene, the chic whitewashed space that is Brigite's has fast become part of the well-heeled establishment. The bistro-style dishes are as immaculately...  Read More



This 2011 addition to Leblon's hip drinking and dining scene has proved a perfect fit for the elegant neighborhood. Billed as a 'gastrobar', the chic venue caters to the type of fashionable carioca about town that likes to nibbled daintily on...  Read More

Chico & Alaide
Photo courtesy of Chico & Alaide


The Brazilian bar snack, when well made, is a beautiful thing, and those at Chico & Alaide are among the best in Rio. The pair behind the bar have created a 'petiscos' (snacks) list that is so extensive it is hard to know where to begin, but...  Read More



Widely considered to be the best Tapas bar in town, Venga serves the traditional Spanish-style small eats in a relaxed atmosphere that lends itself perfectly to socializing over a jug of sangria. Authentically recreating the ambiance of a...  Read More



In a neighborhood where many bars are formal and a little stuffy, Jobi is a breath of fresh air. The early-opening, late-closing Leblon institution is a fine example of the Rio boteco - botecos being informal bars serving food and good company...  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.