Head to any city, anywhere in the world, and chances are that you will find an Irish pub there. Rio de Janeiro is no exception, and the party-hard Irish spirit fits in perfectly with Rio’s own love of the good times.
In fact, given the size of the city and the number of foreign visitors it attracts each year, it is perhaps surprising that there are currently a couple of optionsavailable to visitors looking to sink a few pints of Guinness and swap a few travelers’ tales.
2011 saw the closure of a real Gringo institution, the Irish Pub in Ipanema, after a drawn out dispute over the lease agreement, while a newcomer on the scene Waxy’s, also closed its doors after struggling to turn a profit.
However, the two establishments that remain, Shenanigans in Ipanema and the Lapa Irish Pub, are lively locations meeting points for both locals and foreigners (and indeed, locals hoping to meet foreigners, and vice versa).
Shenanigans, in particular, is renowned as a party hangout for groups of visiting backpackers and other young, party-hard tourists, as well as groups of locals keen to try out their English. The venue has a prime location at the heart of Ipanema, with a terrace overlooking the upmarket neighborhood’s main square. Serving Guinness (naturally) as well as other imported beers and traditional food such as fish and chips, Shenanigans opens into the wee small hours and is also a popular spot for watching international sports matches.
The Lapa Irish Pub, on the other hand, has the advantage of a location directly beneath the perennially popular Rio Bohemia Hostel (formerly Sambavilla Hostel), which sits right across from the Arcos da Lapa (Lapa Arches) at the very heart of Rio’s downtown party action.
The Lapa Irish Pub offers few surprises on the food and drinks menu – fish and chips and burger and chips being among the usual suspects to be found here, but the one must-try option is the Guinness Pie, which is sure to satisfy a few cravings for both Irish food and the country’s most famous drink.
Speaking of which, Guinness is thankfully present here, along with other draught and bottled imported beers and a range of Brazilian favorites such as Brahma, Bohemia and Antartica, High import taxes mean that non-national beers are expensive, so anyone with a hankering for a sip of Guinness might find that they opt for the local options instead once they clock the price tag.
Both Irish pubs attract a party-loving crowd that are well and truly up for the craic, and these are good spots to meet fellow travelers and enjoy drinks promotions such as cocktail jugs and two for one beers.