By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – From across Guanabara Bay on the shores of Niterói, seeing the sun set over Rio may signal to some day-trippers to begin their journey back. However after sundown, Niterói has its own nightlife; restaurants, bars and clubs waiting to reward visitors who stay for a little longer.
“The nightlife in Niterói is very animated with several different bars and restaurants and events,” says resident Grazy Frossard.
In the neighborhood of São Francisco, located on the shores of the bay and accessible by bus or car from the ferries or the Rio-Niteroi bridge, restaurants offer the prefect way to end a day of touring or begin a night out.
Prices are generally cheaper compared to those in Rio proper and often the outside dining areas feel a little more spacious. For dessert and hot nights there are ice cream parlors but if visitors feel more like chatting over beers with friends, there are also several smaller bars (botequims), sometimes with live music.
Located in the Cantareira region of the São Domingos neighborhood which is known for a more bohemian nightlife crowd. The area is sometimes referred to as the “Lapa of Niterói” with its many bars and art studios surrounding its Praça Leoni Ramos.
“My favorite place is The Way because they mix different kinds of music and they play live music. The whole Cantateria area is bustling with all the bars and it’s a nice crowd,” explains Frossard.
Another destination for live music in Niterói, is Bar do Meio in the neighborhood of Piratininga. Many well known Brazilian acts have played there and many more are scheduled to play in the future.
“The public varies according to the performers. Preta Gil, Pixote and Belo draw a younger crowd but Elymar Santos and Elba Ramalho bring a more mature audience. We also have a very popular sertanejo night on Wednesday” explains Leo Seixas, partner at the original Bar do Meio located in Icaraí.
Established ten years ago, the original Bar do Meio doesn’t have live shows but is a popular bar and restaurant where many people like to gather and watch football (soccer) games while enjoying a chopp (beer on tap) tower or two.
Whatever one’s ideal night out might look like, Niterói has the available colors in its pallet to make it happen. Vistors should know that the ferry service does end at 11:30 PM but should not let that stop them from experiencing the nightlife Niterói has to offer.
Buses run from the Charitas, São Francisco and Icaraí neighborhoods of Niterói to Rio’s Flamengo, Copacabana and Ipanema districts throughout the night. They are generally safe but those weary of late night bus travel can also catch many available taxis back.