The best pre-game bars to kick-off a night of partying in Rio
Say what you want, but Brazilians know how to party like nobody’s business. And nowhere is this more true than in sunny Rio de Janeiro.
Taking you from the beach to the early hours, carioca evenings are always filled with surprises (and of course, plenty of samba and caipirinhas). In this adventure, perhaps the most important stage is the pre-game: the first bar or boteco that will get you in high spirits and set the tone for how the rest of the night will go.
Here are our top picks.
One of the most famous chains of botecos in the country, Belmonte has definitely cracked the code to start the perfect night out: ice cold beers, perfect caipirinhas — strong, generous and extra chilled —, delicious snacks, and a warm, lively environment that is sure to get you in the right mood as soon as you arrive, no matter which of Rio’s three locations you pick.
Bar e Restaurante Urca
The Urca area is as picturesque as it gets, with its beautiful waterfront filled with fishing boats and its charming square where locals like to play chess. Overlooking the bay is Bar Urca, a beloved local institution open since 1939 where things take a definitely livelier turn. Cold beers and savory pasteis are the name of the game here, perfect to enjoy while socializing with the young local crowd.
Quiosque Praia Skol 360º
Rio’s ubiquitous beach kiosks serve everything from cold drinks, freshly cracked coconut water and traditional Brazilian snacks, but they’re also great spots to get your buzz on after a long day of sunbathing and hitting the waves. By far the most fun and popular one is Copacabana’s Quiosque Praia Skol 360º, known for its live samba and forró, generous caipirinhas (make sure you pace yourselves!) and happy mixed crowd.