For lovers of a good bar, Bracarense Leblon is a great choice. Perfect draft beer, delicious snacks, great location and more than six decades of tradition are some of the many attributes of this small establishment, although imposing in importance for the bohemia of the South Zone.
Let’s get to know a little more about this friendly classic that lives in the hearts of Rio residents? It’s no surprise to anyone that the Leblon neighborhood is one of the most effervescent addresses in Rio when it comes to bars. There are several establishments that have maintained a success story for years on end.
Leblon is famously a neighborhood from the golden age of bossa nova, along with Ipanema. In addition to this, the two neighborhoods in the South Zone are home to several traditional and bohemian establishments, some with a tradition dating back over 50 years. In the case of Bracarense, consumer loyalty is linked to the quality of service the place offers and the nostalgic energy exerted by the 60s bar.
Thus, the local loyalty of residents also encourages these bars to keep alive the bohemian spirit of Leblon, so celebrated by those who visit or live in the surrounding area. Operating in Leblon since 1961, the Portuguese-inspired Bracarense bar is now part of the city’s Bar Circuit, becoming a Carioca Cultural Heritage Site. Come see the reasons.
The bar had Portuguese inspiration in the name of the city of Braga, located in the north of Portugal. Today, Bracarense is run by owners Dona Rosa and her son Kadu Tomé, grandson of the founder. To give you an idea, the bar is so famous that it is seen as one of the traditional places of the bohemian scene. The coronation as cultural heritage comes to affirm the importance of these spaces for Rio culture.
Bracarense: Rio’s Cultural Heritage
Opened by the Portuguese Arnaldo Tomé in 1961, Bracarense is located on Rua José Linhares, right where Avenida Ataulfo Paiva meets. Regularly frequented by people like cartoonist Jaguar, writer João Ubaldo Ribeiro and musician Tom Jobim, Bracarense is one of the establishments in the South Zone that best maintains the definition of “bar”.
Simplicity, affection and joy in welcoming are the hallmarks of Bracarense, a place that is much more than a commercial establishment but a meeting point for old and new friends, who cannot do without a cold beer and delicious snacks.
In 2021, Bracarense was recognized as part of the city’s Bar Circuit by the Rio Patrimônio da Humanidade Institute (IRPH), a body linked to the Municipal Secretariat of Urban Planning, in an event open to the public. This gives the bar the status of part of the Carioca Cultural Heritage. One of the reasons for Bracarense’s coronation is that its building is located in an area of preservation of the cultural environment, in a region with unique architecture considered the city’s public heritage.
Entering “Braca” – as it is affectionately called by those closest to it – is like reliving the times of the heyday of bossa nova, of local nightlife, in other words, the best of the “carioca da gema” (the expression “carioca” is used for those born in Rio de Janeiro and “carioca da gema” for the person considered a “typical carioca”, someone who follows local customs) spirit, of that Rio de Janeiro that is still beautiful.
The atmosphere at Braca is very relaxed and cozy, which is why it is widely known and frequented. And it’s not just in the region that Bracarense has gained a good reputation. This is because the establishment has already been named twice by The New York Times as the best in Brazil and elected, in a popular vote by Rio City Hall, four times as the best in the city.
There are no frills at Bracarense, and the atmosphere is truly welcoming and relaxed. In the bar’s lounge, the vintage-style glass counter displays delicious bar delicacies, and you can see the clientele talking to the staff in a very relaxed way. Currently, those who manage the bar are Arnaldo Tomé’s grandchildren, Kadu and Carla Tomé, and they seek to maintain the DNA of the place’s origins and offer the most acclaimed recipes to its loyal clientele.
Bracarense Leblon menu
And speaking of delicacies, a great option is the cassava cake with shrimp and cream cheese, which is a huge hit. The savory snack is the creation of Alaíde Carneiro, a talent revealed in Bracarense himself, now a partner at Chico & Alaíde. The tasty open-faced beef patty with catupiry is also highly rated, as well as the classic ham sandwich with cheese and pineapple and the creamy bean broth.
Furthermore, Bracarense offers options for lunch. The menu features a variety of salads and meats such as filet mignon, sirloin, chicken fillet, sausage and roast beef. One of the highlights is the polenta dumpling with pork and the portion of shredded beef brisket with onion. In addition, Bracarense also has a section of executive dishes to be served at lunch:
- Chopped meat;
- Grilled chicken;
- Shredded Beef Brisket;
- Rump Escalope;
- Breaded Fish with Shrimp Sauce.
The menu also offers options for dumplings, portions, sandwiches and desserts. We selected the most favorite ones:
- Dumplings: jiló, feijoada, polenta with pork and cassava with shrimp;
- Portions: tapioca dice, roast meat, ham, fish fillet, dried meat with cassava and pork ribs;
- Sandwiches: roast beef, complete, fillet with cheese, ham and sausage;
- Desserts: quindim, condensed milk pudding and cream pastry.
In addition, you can also order a single portion of rice, farofa, homemade sauce, salad, beans or fries. To accompany it, Braca offers drinks with and without alcohol, such as water, soft drinks, wine and beer. Brahma draft beer is traditionally served in a long juice glass, and some say it is the best draft in the city.
Between drinks and bar food, Bracarense is part of the legacy of Leblon, a neighborhood that exudes history and sophistication. Among the drinks, the highlight is the passion fruit caipivodca with lime, which goes by the nickname “creamy”.
How to get to Bracarense Leblon
Without a doubt, Leblon can offer everyone a great gastronomic experience at all levels. A simple walk around the neighborhood and you will be able to discover the flavors of different corners of the world with the best restaurants in Leblon. There are suitable alternatives for all budgets and tastes. From classic Italian cuisine to the most traditional bars, you will be surprised by the varieties found in the Rio neighborhood. Here are the address and opening hours of Bracarense Leblon:
Address: Rua José Linhares, 85, Leblon, Rio de Janeiro.
Opening hours: Opens at 11am every day. From Thursday to Saturday, it closes at 11:55 pm; on Sundays, at 9pm; Monday, at 10pm; and Tuesday and Wednesday, at 10pm.
Have you ever thought about living in one of the most beautiful places in the Marvelous City and having the best of Rio’s cuisine nearby? Whether more traditional and rustic (Veloso, Belmonte, Da Roberta), or more contemporary and sophisticated (Jeffrey Cervejaria, Bar do Lado), in Leblon you will certainly find the perfect bar to suit your taste.
The Leblon neighborhood is the most upscale in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Some factors contribute to this: well-maintained natural attractions, cultural events, vast gastronomic and happy-hour catalogue. Therefore, there are countless leisure options and things to do in Leblon, this rich and notorious neighborhood in Rio. Take the opportunity to visit some of the best restaurants in Leblon, as well as the outdoor activities that take place daily at Leblon Beach, such as functional training and surf school.
As it is an upscale neighborhood, Leblon has a good variety of companies that offer basic services, such as gyms, supermarkets, pharmacies, schools, bakeries, among others. Furthermore, Alto Leblon, as the even more noble part of this region is known, is particularly residential and has the most expensive mansion in Rio de Janeiro, which is located in the Jardim Pernambuco Leblon condominium complex.
In fact, apartments in Leblon are recognized as some of the most luxurious in the Rio de Janeiro real estate market. As it is located in the South Zone, which is a typically upscale region of the city, Leblon integrates with other neighborhoods on the Rio coast, such as Ipanema, Gávea and Jardim Botânico nearby.