Time Out Rio de Janeiro

Bip Bip

Copacabana's cult samba bar, just don't expect first class service because here it really is all about the music

Bip Bip

Open Daily 7pm-1am

Rua Almirante Gonçalves 50, Copacabana

Telephone (21) 2267 9696

Nearby Stations
Metrô Cantagalo

In a city where confrontation (at least outside of football matches) is avoided as much as possible, the attitude of Bip Bip owner Alfredo is refreshing. Dare to make too much noise during one of the frequent rodas de samba and incur a bearded scowl and very public chastising, for here, as the plastic pavement-side table and chairs attest, the music takes centre stage. Inside there is literally room for the table at which the musicians sit, a large refrigerator (from which you help yourself to beer and Alfredo instictively keeps tally of who has had what), and perhaps standing room for six or seven people.

That's not to say the musicians are always worth hearing either. Young chancers and old professionals alike (Beth Carvalho, Nelson Sargento, Elton Medeiros, Moacyr Luz and Cristina Buarque have all played) are happy to get together and run through the classics in one of the last bastions of samba in zona sul, overseen by the black and white photographs of legends gone by. Sundays samba sessions get really busy so don't expect to find a table too easily, but Tuesday's choro, Wednesday's bossa nova and Friday and Saturday's rodas de samba are all well worth dropping by for. As is the annual Carnival bloco if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.

16 May 2013.

Words by Time Out Rio de Janeiro editors
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