As moody, low-lit and downright sexy as its upstairs neighbour Astor is cheerful and bustling, gorgeous SubAstor is one of Vila Madalena's classier treats. Head through Astor and straight down the stairs into SubAstor, a basement cocktail bar decked out in red and black, its walls lined with glinting vodka bottles.
A seat at the bar is a good call, where you can watch the excellent bar staff doing their mixology thing; or slink into a low-slung seat and watch as the place fizzes elegantly, the customers feeding off the drama of the decor – not to mention the creative and original bar food. The carpaccio, beautifully prepared and presented, is a favourite; and if you can't make your mind up on the immense list of cocktails, which is where the bar truly excels, talk to the staff or simply allow us to recommend the Aviation. In a revamped version of the 1916 original recipe, gin, cherry liqueur, lemon juice and sugar add up to a smooth, subtle glass of heaven, with a cherry on the bottom.