Three natives share their favorite city locales.
Chef, Espirito Santa
“The village of Santa Teresa, with its winding streets and crumbling mansions, has a bohemian spirit unlike the rest of Rio. I love to visit the atelier of Brazilian painter Carlos Vergara (by appointment), who now exhibits all over the world. You can always catch an authentic music performance at Parque das Ruínas (169 Rua Murtinho Nobre; 55-21/2215-0621), an open-air cultural center with amazing views of Sugarloaf. For drinks, don’t miss Armazém São Thiago, a neighborhood favorite known by locals as Bar do Gomes.”
Architect, House in Rio
“On weekends, I like to wander the tree-lined streets in Jardim Botânico and Gávea. If you enjoy photography, stop at the Instituto Moreira Salles to see works by both Brazilian and international artists. Hipódromo (55-21/2270-9720; $$) is a beloved lunch spot packed with young Cariocas; order the tasty picanha beef steak. Afterward, take a stroll through nearby Parque Lage. Oro Restaurante ($$$$) is great for dinner—try the multicourse tasting menu, made with fresh ingredients and avant-garde cooking techniques.”
“The district of Botafogo, where my studio is located, has become a gastronomic hub. My go-to place for modern Brazilian cuisine is Irajá Gastrô ($$$), run by chef Pedro de Artagão; get the pirarucu fish with sautéed banana. For experimental art exhibits, check out MAM Rio, in Flamengo; the museum’s Novo Desenho shop sells beautiful jewelry and housewares. After browsing the contemporary furniture at Ipanema’s Arquivo Contemporâneo, head to Arpoador beach and watch the sunset.”