Spotlight On Team Canastra

There’s something gathering momentum here in Rio de Janeiro’s street bar scene! Sure, bars like Belmonte and Jobi are winning with the tried and tested 1950s formula of ice cold chopps and Brazilian bar snacks, but they better watch out. The days of the traditional boteco are fading and in their place is arising the hottest new trend in Rio nightlife. The concept draws from Carioca’s love of informal street drinking but mixes it with a something new and different.

Spotlight on Canastra Bar 

Where: Rua Jangadeiros, 42, loja B, Ipanema, 18h/midnight
What: Wine, cheese, beer & charcuterie

This tiny boteco tucked away behind the General Osorio metro station in Ipanema does’t look much at first glance, but come nightfall it truly comes alive. Opened earlier this year by three Frenchmen and one Carioca, this game-changing bar already attracts many customers with its addictive informal atmosphere. Tables scattered the sidewalk and friendly waiters whiz in and out of the buzzing crowd. Their concept is fuss-free and original with a simple wine-list, and a variety of bistro-style delicacies from a fresh Burrata to Marinated Octopus and from Dry Meat cuts to ‘Chic Boursin’. We sit down with one of the owners, Vassia Tolstoi and ask him about starting Canastra and his favorite things to do around the “Cidade Maravilhosa”.

Q. Where did the idea of Canastra come from?
A.  The idea of starting Canasta was to create a bar to where people could meet. A bar with which would reflect our characters! Relaxed, informal, working only with nationally produced wine and food. A boteco with a bistro flavor!

Q. What are you future plans for Canastra?
A. Our future plans involve making our own wine.

Q. Where are you favorite places to: 

  • To meet friends? The beach
  • To have dinner? Cafe in Parque Lage
  • To go out at night? La Cave
  • To have do something cultural? IMS Foundation (Moreira Salles Institute)

Q. What is Rio best kept secret?
A. Canastra co-owner GG’s Sardine recipe

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