Established in 1939, Bar Urca is one of Rio’s must-visit bars. Situated on the Urca peninsula, right next to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf mountain), it combines truly delicious seafood with great drinks and a beautiful view. In 2012 (as in 2011 and 2007-9) Bar Urca won the “Best View” category of the famous Veja food and drink awards (a hugely competitive category in a city as visually stunning as Rio).
The simple bar itself isn’t much to look at – you might at first wonder what all the fuss is about. But order some food and drinks and then take them up to the long sea wall just across the road and you will understand. The Caldinho de Frutos do Mar (a rich, thick seafood stew) is wonderful, as are the pasteis (deep-fried, crispy pastries filled with shrimp, cheese or meat) and empadinhas (savoury pies).
If you feel like having a proper sit-down meal then there is a small restaurant above the bar, but to get the true carioca experience, you should find yourself a spot on the wall. Here you can enjoy on of the great experiences of Rio – to watch the sun go down across the water as you nibble on something delicious, sip an ice-cold beer and drink in the beauty of the Cidade Maravilhosa.
Pros: Delicious seafood, beautiful view, great Carioca atmosphere.
Cons: No good in the rain. It gets very busy on sunny weekends (but that’s because it’s so nice!).
Address: Rua Cândido Gaffrée, 205 – Urca
Telephone: +55 (21) 2295-8744