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Feb 17, 2012 12:58 PM

Where to drink in Sao Paulo and Rio?

I'm going to be in Sao Paulo and Rio for three days each in a week, and am loving the recommendations here for where to eat -- but where are the good places to drink? Whether it's great cocktails, or a great scene, or a beautiful room, or beautiful people, or the perfect kind of dive, or fantastic music. I particularly love high-design hotel bars, bars attached to excellent restaurants, and (for lack of a better explanation) hipster bars, the kind with young, artsy folks filling them up. Great bar snacks are a bonus, too!

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  1. Helen, Brazilian culture is very different than the American when it comes to bars. Food is bigger than drinks in Brazil. A happy hour without food is not that happy in Brazil :) Of course people appreciate good wine and cold beer but there is much less of a bar scene in Brazil than you would have in the US.
    In Sao Paulo a really nice upscale bar is the bar in Hotel Fasano but not sure how young the crowd is. The place is pretty expensive. D.O.M. restaurant has a bar, also expensive. Spot used to be a trendy, people watching place, but I haven't been in SP for a while.
    In Rio you will have a big botequim (casual bars, mostly for beer) culture, especially for after the beach. But these are very casual places where people go in their bathing suits, not exactly what I belive we are looking for. One suggestion in Rio is Belmonte (they have in different locations), it's a casual place but with a young lively crowd, has wonderful salgadinhos (Brazilian savory snacks) and good beer.
    The Marina Hotel in Leblon has a more upscale option, Bar da Praia. Also in Leblon, Q Bar is supposed to be very nice. In the same street of Q there is Chico e Alaide who is very popular, casual botequim.
    There is a newish Champagne Bar in Copacabana I went last time. Charleton Lounge. It was ok but too pricey for me and it really felt like a place for tourists to me. But you can check it out.