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By Felicity Clarke, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – Whilst generally a means of simply getting from A to B, Rio’s roads can be destinations in themselves. When asked “where are you going tonight?” a common answer is “the street”, but while this culture is one of the city’s many alluring charms, Santa Teresa is also witnessing a rejuvenation in its bar scene.

Santa Teresa´s famous bonde tram passes through the streets, photo by Rodrigo Soldon/Flickr Creative Commons License.

With its pretty antique architecture, bohemian mountain village vibe and absence of heavy traffic, the peaceful streets of Santa Teresa are a particularly appealing option for al fresco nightlife activities.

Largo das Neves at the end of the Paulo Mattos bonde (tram) line is a hub for weekend festivities with a relaxed family-friendly atmosphere.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, weather permitting, the quaint square with a blue-lit church and twinkling view out towards the northwest attracts a friendly local crowd. With barbecue, burger stand, cake stall and resident mixologist Jorginho’s fruit caipirinhas and batidas (flavored cachaça milkshakes), Largo das Neves provides a tasty and laid back evening out.

Following the bonde track along Rua Oriente, the characterful crowd at the local favorite Bar do Gomes spills out onto the pavement. The little area surrounding the bar is a site for winter season parties with stands selling hot soups and stews and impromptu bloco rehearsals a regular weekend occurrence.

Largo dos Guimarães is a popular spot in the center of Santa Teresa, photo by Rodrigo Galindez/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Sadly, the early Sunday evening samba at Curvelo is no more, but Sunday remains a popular night out in the area around Largo de Guimarães. A crowd gathers along Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno outside Santa stalwarts Bar do Mineiro and Simplesmente. Drinks, hot dogs and homemade brigadeiro chocolate truffles are available from the vendors and samba jams are known to break out in the street.

Last month, this central slice of Santa Teresa welcomed two new additions. Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno holds a new venture from the Mike’s Haus people. The original Mike’s Haus is an established bar restaurant up the hill on Rua Almirante Alexandrinho. With a menu of bar snacks, imported German beers and a cozy decor, the new Mike’s Haus brings a European flavor to the strip.

Towards Largo de Guimarães and opposite Simplesmente, local organic food producers Cultivar Brazil have opened a café bar. Selling their range of homemade organic, gluten free products and serving coffees, juices and healthy snacks, the bright lemon tiled space is a refreshing and alternative addition to the area’s food and drink scene.

Although the weekend is always a good time to head up the hill, on Saturday, July 24th, the Arraiá de Barão, a party celebrating northeast culture, is being held at the old Colégio Tomaz de Aquinas on Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 73. Starting at 4PM, there will be typical foods, drinks, games and music from Trio Pé de Serra and DJ Sergio Feijo. Entrance is R$7 before 6PM and R$10 after.

Mike’s Haus Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 90, open midday to midnight Tuesday to Sunday.

Cultivar Brazil Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 124, open 9AM to 6PM Tuesday to Friday, 9AM to 8PM Saturday and Sunday.

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