Where to Drink with the Bohemian Set in Artsy Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is known as the bohemian heart of Rio - an artsy enclave of musicians, intellectuals and party people set high in the jungle-clad hills. The lively bar scene of this historic 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 visitors will find it easy to make friends with the party-loving locals.  A world away from 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

Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


This appealingly laid back 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



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



Occupying a corner building on Santa Teresa's liveliest square - Largo do Guimaraes - Cafe do Alto has carved out a reputation for serving delicious dishes at fair prices, in a wonderfully colorful setting. The emphasis is on food from Brazil's...  Read More



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 nightlife strip allow for plenty of people-watching as you sip an aged cachaca...  Read More



Santa Teresa is better known for its boho-chic independent bars and restaurants, but visitors looking for something a little fancier will find it at Bar dos Descasados. The terrace bar at the luxurious Santa Teresa Hotel (now owned by Sofitel),...  Read More

Bar do Bonde
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


Named after the 'bonde' (tram) that rattles through Santa Teresa, this welcoming little bar is a little off the beaten tourist track, but well worth seeking out. Locals know this is the place to come for an excellent range of bar snacks and main...  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



Somewhat glitzier than your average Santa Teresa hangout, Explorer bar harbours one end of the famous Largo do Guimaraes square, but has a terrace with views overlooking the steep cobbled streets of this picturesque neighborhood. The drinks,...  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 this most inviting of watering holes has long been...  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.