Hocus Pocus DNA
DivulgaçãoHocus Pocus DNA

Craving a cold one? Here are the best bars in Rio de Janeiro

Here you have some of Rio's coolest spots where you can grab a drink, munch on tasty bites, and soak up some local vibes.

Renata Magalhães
Advertising

As thinker Luiz Antonio Simas says, we live in such an individualized world that chances for real connection are becoming increasingly rare. Enter the bar—a spot to snack and sip, sure, but more importantly, a place to meet people and chat. It’s a timeless Rio tradition, waiting for you anywhere in the city, with options ranging from down-to-earth to sophisticated toasts.

Recommended: The best beaches in Rio de Janeiro

Craving a cold one? Here are the best bars in Rio de Janeiro

At Boteco do Raoni, the menu descriptions alone will have you laughing and hint at the good humor of the owner, Raoni Soares. Some popular new drinks include "Já Falei que É Suco, Mãe" (R$32), a gin and tonic with tangerine syrup, tropical fruit juice, and lemon-passionfruit foam, and "El Guerrero" (R$38), with tequila, cinnamon liqueur, lemon and orange juice, and mint. They’ve got twelve taps of craft beer, featuring famous brands like Hocus Pocus and unique house recipes like the IPA "Pra Quem É, Tá Bom" (R$15). To avoid a hangover, order the house specialty, the "Kibechinha" (R$19 for four pieces)—a kibe stuffed with coxinha (yes, you read that right).

  • South African

Dida Nascimento shares African culture through her cuisine. The journey spans from Congo's banana moqueca with peanut farofa (R$57) to South Africa's Kruger ribs marinated in spices (R$69). You can also taste Nigeria with the Jollof Rice (R$65) and Angola with the dried meat calulu (R$66). For drinks, Henrique Andrade's menu surprises with choices like the "João Candido" (R$28), featuring gin, strawberry syrup, lemon, hibiscus, and pink lemonade. Every two weeks, there's a traditional African dinner (R$75), showcasing wonders from three different countries.

Advertising

Opened in 1957 by Portuguese from Madeira Island, this little spot has been a hit for decades with its variety of snacks offered at the glass counter. You can spend hours trying and sharing some of the over 50 snacks, from classics like sardines in escabeche (R$9 each) to garlic preserves (R$36) and fried provolone (R$58) to more sophisticated choices like the "pérolas do mar" (R$48), with scallops, shrimp, octopus, and mussels. To wash it all down, a Brahma chopp costs R$10, and there’s a good selection of bottled beers and assorted wines.

  • Breweries

This brewery, set in a trendy garage with psychedelic decor, features 14 taps that alternate between brand experiments and classics that never go out of style, like the Orange Sunshine (R$16), an American blond ale with a citrus flavor that's a best-seller. For snacks, the breaded olives (R$32) are a hit. If you're hungrier, the Surya Namaskar (R$44), an Angus beef burger with a mix of mushrooms and Parmesan crisp, is a great choice. If you’re into cocktails, mixologist Walmyr Monteiro just launched a new menu, including "Queimando Tudo" (R$34), a mix of vodka with Magic Trap beer (a beloved Belgian golden ale), plus vermouth, mango, lemon, ginger, and hot pepper.

Advertising

This Tijuca spot wasn’t named after a King Momo for nothing. Antônio Lopes dos Santos, aka Tonhão, bought it from a former King Momo and opened it back in 1972. To really get to know the place, you can’t leave without trying the rice balls (R$9) with three types of cheese and calabresa sausage—a phenomenon. Other must-tries are the pastéis (R$8-R$10), the mini oxtail coxinha (R$35 for six), and the "Farol de Milha" (R$42), roasted meat stuffed with sausage, special sauce, melted cheese, and egg. For drinks, you can stick to classic cocktails or bottled beers like Ramal 33 (R$18), but the coconut or passionfruit batidinha (R$10) is a must.

In a classic cocktail scene from the movies, British agent 007 instructs a waiter on how to make his personal drink, the Vesper. Similarly, in the award-winning series Mad Men, protagonist Don Draper teaches a bartender how to make his Old Fashioned. These and ten other iconic TV and movie moments inspired Tai Barbin's new menu in Leblon. There's also the "Calçada da Fama" with house favorites, including the Black Negroni (R$42) with gin, Campari, vermouth, amaro, and coffee, and the Porn Star Martini (R$41) with Absolut Vanilla vodka, passionfruit, lemon, and sparkling wine.

Advertising

With green and pink walls showcasing sentimental objects and rare records, Suru Bar is the creation of cocktail and bohemian experts Igor Renovato and Raí Mendes. Go for drinks like the Surupinga (R$26) with cachaça, jurupinga, and seasonal fruits, or the Surubeba (R$14) with jurubeba, Cinzano, and Cynar. The Muquira (R$23) with Campari and orange tonic, and the Becoza (R$24) with white cachaça, Becosa, bay leaf, lemon, and bitters, are other great picks. Chef Roberta Antonia's menu mixes Rio and Raí's hometown Belo Horizonte flavors, featuring bar snacks like torresmo, seasoned olives, quail eggs, calabrese potatoes, and pickle mix, along with rissoles de língua (R$15), pork shoulder with farofa (R$45), and fried cheese bread with spicy molasses (R$27 for six pieces).

  • Izakaya

Rio’s first izakaya (Japanese pub) has been adventurous with its menu since opening in 2017. Classics like grilled fish cheek (R$70 per kilo), Osaka-style gyoza with homemade mayonnaise (R$36), pork tonkatsu (R$54), and chicken karaage (R$35) have always been popular. Other great options are the shrimp pancake (R$37), grilled oysters (R$28), various flavored pabuns (R$29-R$32), and noodles, from ramen (R$58) to shrimp yakisoba (R$69). Chef Akemi Hirose runs the kitchen, while co-owner Luiz Petit is the executive chef. To drink, there are over 20 types of sake, plus unique cocktails by Cristiano Lanna.

Advertising

This mix of second-hand bookstore and bar, a haven for intellectuals and artists, has been revamped without losing its historical charm. The outdoor tables invite you to sit and enjoy drinks and snacks like roasted jiló with confit tomato (R$16) and carne louca (R$27) on display in the front window. Main dishes include the Picadinho Carioca (R$49) with garlic farofa, rice, poached egg, and baked banana, along with new hits like cheese ravioli with concassé sauce (R$48). Fridays and Saturdays feature shrimp bobó (R$52) and feijoada (R$58). Golden tip: don’t leave without trying the creamy coconut batida (R$15), served in a big cup.

This spot feels like a French café but focuses on Brazilian products and producers, featuring artisanal cheeses and meats (served individually or in a selection, R$19-R$109). To start, try the breaded heart of palm with basil pesto and roasted tomatoes (R$56) or feta with marinated peppers (R$42). Then, maybe go for the roasted sandwich with beef ribs and mustard (R$56). To drink, choose from a good variety of wines, with many Brazilian options. The cocktails include the "Aperitivo do Marché" (R$35) with sparkling wine, Cynar, tonic, and lemon zest.

Advertising
  • Barbecue

Known for their perfect grilled meats and cold chopp, this spot features bread with garlic sauce (R$8), which is a tradition, and chicken hearts (R$24), a must-try. Their most famous dish is the full chicken meal (R$110), coming with farofa, vinaigrette, fries, rice, and salad. For two people, the half chicken is a great option (R$68). Other popular dishes include the ribs (R$114) and the chicken parmigiana (R$106). If you’re feeling adventurous, try the house-famous "Pé de Porco" (R$54) or the "Pé de Galinha" (R$46).

If you like surprises, head to this bar run by mixologists Tai Barbin and Alex Miranda and chef Manu Zappa. Every week, they launch a new menu, always with delicious surprises. The highlight, though, is the small menu with classics and house specials. Start with octopus with chickpeas (R$36) or cold eggs (R$9). Next, try the stuffed squid with roasted sauce (R$54). The chopp (R$10) is well pulled, and the cocktail menu is worth exploring. Try the "Sangue de Boi" (R$30) with Calvados, gin, grenadine, and lemon, or the "Senta Que Eu Empurro" (R$30) with gin, Cynar, apple syrup, and lemon.

Advertising

Awarded by the "Comer e Beber 2019/2020" guide for best cocktail bar, Nosso is a mix of bar and restaurant offering cocktails with unique ingredients and modern cooking techniques. Chef Bruno Katz’s dishes include Steak Tartare Oriental (R$58) and a Bao with pork cheek and teriyaki sauce (R$36). If you prefer seafood, go for the ceviche in a bowl made of ice (R$39). Their drink menu showcases national ingredients, like the Old da Amazônia (R$38), with Amazonian herbs and cachaça.

  • Gastropubs

From the walls decorated with posters and old Brazilian movie records to the "bambolê" chairs, this bar in Botafogo is ideal for those who enjoy something a bit out of the ordinary. The menu highlights include the "Korean Fried Chicken" (R$34), fried chicken seasoned with Korean chili sauce and peanuts, and the "Continental" (R$32), marinated tuna with a special house sauce. The drinks menu offers options like "Miss Dynamite, Meu Amor" (R$26) with gin, sparkling wine, lemon juice, and spicy syrup.

Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising