By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Despite the 4 kilometers of pristine beach, with a reputation for tourism and petty crime, Copacabana does not have the cachet it used to among Cariocas. Yet Copa (as locals call it) offers amazing venues for enjoying a drink, from simple “botecos” to cool pubs, so get ready to experience the best of Copacabana’s bars scene.
Authentic and unpretentious, the Pavão Azul bar probably never thought it would attract so many people from all over Rio de Janeiro when they opened.
Famous for its affordable prices, extremely cold beers and delicious finger food, Pavão Azul (blue peacock, literally translating) is certainly one of Cariocas’ favorite bars.
Apart from its food and beer, what makes “Pavão” so special is its intimate environment – many costumers have close bonds with the owners and call the waiters by their names.
Once in this bar, make sure to try Pavão Azul’s “pataniscas” (codfish fritters) and the pastel (fried dough stuffed with diverse ingredients). “I’ll never forget my first time in Pavão. It has a great coconut drink and its pataniscas are amazing,” says Alex Alper, a Rio resident originally from Washington D.C.
Lovers of Música Brasileira cannot miss Bip-Bip, which gathers live Bossa Nova, Brazilian finger food and cold beer. Open since 1968, the bar has already attracted great names from the Brazilian Popular Music – both as spectators and performers.
Simple and small, Bip-Bip’s movement happens entirely at the bar’s sidewalk, where people appreciate great music and – do not forget it – are only allowed to “applaud” the performing artists by clicking their fingers. Bip-bip is an eccentric musical and drinking venue that is definitely worth the experience.
Those who enjoy a pub atmosphere, with a darker room, rock music and craft beer, should try out Mud Bug, right at the side of the famous Copacabana Palace Hotel. One of the first pubs in Rio, Mud Bug already existed way before breweries became a trendy thing in the city.
Besides its good drinking menu, with diverse international beer labels, Mud Bug has a lively musical line-up from Thursday to Friday, including rock bands and DJs.
Those into the pub atmosphere will also love Pub Escondido, a discrete venue with premium beer labels, modern design and a really cool vibe.
Open since 2010, the pub, whose name pays tribute to “Escondido”, a city in California, offers 24 different beer taps, which includes the house’s draught beer, Escondido Weiss, made of wheat.
Not forgetting, Pub Escondido is one of Copa’s favorites for its delicious homemade burgers. All of the fifteen options are accompanied by hand cut chips, which can be appreciated with seven different sauces.
Open in the 1950s, the Adega Pérola bar is the perfect representation of Copacabana’s golden times. Preserving a vintage decoration, Adega Pérola’s specialty is its delicious Portuguese-Brazilian finger food, served to you quickly at the bar’s counter area.
Like Bip-Bip, the drinking social scene at Adega mostly happens on the sidewalk, which gets especially busy during the weekends. Besides Adega’s draught beer for reasonable prices, good cachaça labels and drinks can be found at the venue.
For those in the mood for having a proper meal, Adega offers a menu of good dishes that can be shared by two or three people.