Design-led Food & Travel
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Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

BARS / CAFES:

  • Bar do Mineiro - Fantastic bar in pretty and bohemian Santa Teresa where backpackers and local artists rub shoulders over a strong caipirhina (rua Pascoal Carlos 99, Santa Teresa, 20240-290 / t: +55 21 2221 9227 / bardomineiro20009@hotmail.com).
  • Copacabana Palace – While the beach area itself is hugely disappointing, the belle époque grandness of the Copacabana Palace Hotel is great for people watching and worth stopping by for a drink (Avenida Atlantica 1702 / t: +55 21 2548 7070 / www.copacabanapalace.com).
  • Cafecite - Lovely cafe/bar that’s open all day serving excellent fresh fruit juices and coffee, plus a full menu.  Outside seating on several layers with a tropical feel and friendly staff (rua Pascoal Carlos Magno 121, Santa Teresa, 20240-290 / t: +55 21 2221 9439).

HOTELS:

  • Santa Teresa Hotel – Highly recommended; see post for more info (rua Almirante Alexandrino 660, Santa Teresa, 20241-260 Rio de Janeiro / t: +55 21 3380 0200 /frontdesk@santa-teresa-hotel.com / www.santa-teresa-hotel.com).
  • Alternative hotel options:
    • Fasano (Brilliantly located if you’re keen on staying by beach in Ipanema. Views from the rooftop pool are outstanding, although pricey and ridiculously busy/touristy – Avenida Vieira Souto 80 / t: +55 21 3202 4000 / www.fasano.com.br); Gloria Palace (Slated to open in 2013 after a major revamp); La Maison (Gavea / www.lamaisonario.com); La Suite (Stylish boutique hotel a little further on along the coast after Leblon, rua Jackson de Figueiredo 501 / t: +55 21 2484 1962 / www.lasuiterio.com); Mama Ruisa (Santa Teresa, t: +55 21 2242 1281 / www.mamaruisa.com); Portinari Design Hotel (Well located for a stay on Copacabana Beach, rua Francisco Sa 17 / t: +55 21 3222 8800 / www.portinaridesighotel.com.br).

NIGHTLIFE:

  • Carioca da Gema – A Lapa institution (rua Mem de Sa, 79, Lapa / t: +55 21 2221 0043 / www.barcariocadagema.com.br).
  • Rio Scenarium – A night out in Lapa, especially a Friday, is an absolute must.  Promising to give you a night to remember, three-stories of eccentric, heaving, party people, this is where Rio comes to Samba (rua do Lavradio 20, Lapa / t: +55 21 3147 9005 / www.rioscenarium.com.br).

RESTAURANTS:

  • Aprazivel – A magical location where tables literally cling to the cliff or hang from high up in tree-houses affording stunning views.  The food is good and service really friendly.  Packed out with locals and in-the-know tourists, it’s important to book in advance and although only a 15-minute walk from Santa Teresa’s ‘place’, probably best to take a taxi as the road is quiet and unlit (rua Aprazivel 62, Santa Teresa / t: +55 21 2507 7334 / www.aprizivel.com.br).
  • Sushi Leblon – Excellent, if pricey, sushi place in posh Leblon.  Book well in advance and if you’re desperate, then opting for lunchtime rather than dinner is more likely to secure you a table (rua Dias Ferreira 256, Leblon / t: +55 21 2512 7830 / www.sushileblon.com).
  • Tereze – Top restaurant with stunning views serving a fusion of French and Brazilian dishes located within the Hotel Santa Teresa (rua Almirante Alexandrino 660, Santa Teresa / t: +55 21 3380 0226 / www.santateresahotel.com).
  • Zuka – Sister restaurant to Sushi Leblon, this another one of Rio’s best restaurants where the young and beautiful flock to see and be seen (rua Dias Ferreira 233b, Leblon / t: +55 21 3205 7154 / www.zuka.com.br).
    • Despite claims that Espirito Santa in Santa Teresa is a much lauded favourite with culinary adventures including piranha soup, it’s actually really disappointing: bad food and bad service, ridiculously touristy and definitely not worth the bother.

SHOPPING:

  • Camizehtas - Cool tees sold from a stall in Santa Teresa (rua Joaquim Murtinho 304, Santa Teresa / +55 21 3685 0743 / www.camizehtas.blogspot.com).
  • Cecilia Brandm - Women’s fashion Brasilian style.  Cute tees, bags and well-made, good quality contemporary samba skirts (rua Almirante Alexandrino, Santa Teresa / +55 21 2232 1389 / www.ceciliabrandao.com.br).
  • Osklen - Brasil’s answer to France’s APC or Sweden’s Filippa K.  Simple, striking, minimalistic and stylish clothing for men and women.  The flagship boutique is in Ipanema and the signature trainers are definitely work a look (rua Maria Quiteria 85 / t: +55 21 2227 2911 2930 / www.osklen.com).