Rio has never been busier. The city is building up and out for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Part of a massive port facelift, the Museum of Art of Rio opens later this year. But in colonial bairros, such as Santa Teresa, fresh paint hasn’t changed the carioca spirit. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue.
Instituto Moreira Salles, founded by the late Walther Moreira Salles, a banker and diplomat, houses thousands of historic photographs, books, paintings, and recordings. The auditorium hosts film screenings—a nod to his son, Walter Salles, who directed The Motorcycle Diaries. 55/(0) 21-3284-7400. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue.
Ipanema’s iconic Fasano hotel, conceived by renowned designer Philippe Starck, features wooden armchairs by local architect Sergio Rodrigues and rooftop views of the city’s mountains. Expect three Fasano outposts to open elsewhere in Brazil before the World Cup. From $770. 55/(0) 21-3202-4000. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue.
A new addition to the hopping Leblon neighborhood, Brigite’s is perfect for a low-key bite. Parquet floors and an open kitchen complement dishes that range from namorado whitefish with flaxseed farofa (a mix of flour and yuca) to steak tartare with plantain fritters. 55/(0) 21-2274-5590. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue.
Beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema are justifiably famous, but city insiders head southwest to Prainha for some of the area’s best surf and views. Join locals at Restaurante Bira for fish stewed in coconut milk or for an after-surf caipirinha while watching the waves. 55/(0) 21-2410-8304. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue.
The Santa Teresa district is a tangle of cobblestone streets and crumbling landmarks perched above the city. It’s undergoing a renaissance thanks to anchors such as the restored Hotel Santa Teresa and the working-class eatery Bar do Mineiro. The latter lures diners with its feijoada (bean and mixed meat stew).