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This unpretentious bar in the heart of Lapa is a lifeline for hungry party-goers. Open 18 hours a day, seven days a week, the 100-year-old bar serves wonderful bar snacks such as crispy bolinhos do bacalhau (codfish balls) as well as hearty main meals. The lamb with brocolli rice and garlic has been named best bar dish in Rio by the Brazilian guidebook Guia Quatro Rodas and makes a perfect stomach-filler before a night out in the clubs and bars of Lapa. Head here at the start of the night for a tasty dinner, then do as the locals do and pop back in again at 4a for a sunrise beer and snack before making your way home.
Fans of champagne and other sparkling wines should head straight for this Botafogo establishment, which offers a wide range of cavas, proseccos and, of course, champagnes. You'll need to have deep pockets if you want to sip the real thing, but the national bubblies are more than affordable. The wines, many of which are available by the glass, go well with the light dishes served here, such as the unusual yet delicious sandwich of Parma ham, Canadian sausage, brie and apricot. The bar is a favorite post-work pit stop for Botafogo office workers, which makes for a lively atmosphere and explains the weekday-only opening hours.
It's a small, less-than-impressive neighborhood pavement bar - so what has made Bar Bracarense such a legend among Rio's many watering holes? Since its establishment, Braca, as it is affectionately known, has been attracting hordes of hungry and thirsty locals on their way to and from work or the beach. The perfectly chilled draft beer, the delicious salgadinhos (bar snacks) and the excellent service all add to bar's recipe for success, and its popularity with beachwear-clad Leblon lovelies has long been a draw for many a male drinker. But it's the relaxed ambiance, good mix of people, lively post-work happy hour, and plentiful pavement tables and chairs that really raise this bar above the competition.