Kick off with the pizza: Speranza has some of the best pies in the city; Cantina Roperto is an old-school classic; or just eat yourself comatose with a rodizio at one of the street’s cheap and cheerful cantinas.
And then hit the bars. Close to Brigadeiro, things start out in a wholesome fashion at Bar Ludus. Board games are the gimmick at this 3-storey house, and are played at every table, from couples hunched over battleships to tables of four and more, convivial over a game of Risk or KerPlunk.
A block along, Bar Lua Nova is a no-frills space: head upstairs, where live music includes Wednesdays with sambista Elizeth Rosa. For a cover charge of R$5, she sings with musicians from Vai Vai samba school, just down the hill and at the heart of Bixiga, culturally speaking.
Salsa! Merengue! They’re doing all that and the mambo at Pacha Ynti Bar a tiny, low-lit Latin dancehall. Dance your corazón out before heading on down the hill to check out number 409. If there are hipsters outside and music seeping from the space over the carpark, you might be in luck: it could be a Sem Loção party (see Facebook). If it is, join the queue for electro dance, pop and good-natured dancefloor fun.
Or at the opposite end of the dial on the cool-ometer, Dimitri stands shoulder to shoulder with The Wall Café and Piu Piu bars, and specialises in classic rock covers nights. If you’re too cool for school, just keep walking till you hit Rua Santo Antônio at the end of the street, and head left to Bar Amigo Giannotti, at number 1106. It’s pizza time again – and this time, it’s personal. Your personal Scud missile of a pizza, that is: it’s Giannotti’s lethal fogazza – a fried, calzone-style wallop to the liver, and the perfect end to a night on the town.
Bar Amigo Giannotti is at Rua Santo Antônio 1106, (3211 3256).
Bar Ludus is at Rua 13 de Maio 972, (3253 8452, ludusluderia.com.br). Read more about Bar Ludus.
Cantina Roperto is at Rua Treze de Maio 634, (3288 2573, cantinaroperto.com.br).
Dimitri is at 13 de Maio 140, (3237 1328, dimitribar.com.br).
Bar Lua Nova is at 13 de Maio 540, (3263 1015).
Pacha Ynti Bar is at Rua 13 de Maio 192, (3257 9556, pachaynti.com.br).