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Recife After Dark

Recife's historic downtown has undergone a complete face-lift, becoming a cultural and entertainment district. Activities center around the Rua do Bom Jesus; lined with at least 15 bars and restaurants, this is one of the best places in town. Free concerts add to the entertainment, and on Sunday there's a street market.

Recife Nightlife

A good selection of evening entertainment.

One of Old Recife's nicest bars is the Arsenal do Chopp, Praça Artur Oscar 59, at the corner of Rua do Bom Jesus (tel. 081/3224-6259). Most tables are spread out over the sidewalk; for a quiet spot grab a table inside. The bar opens daily at 4:30pm. Recife's hottest dance club is Cuba do Capibaribe, Shopping Paço Alfandega, Recife Antigo (tel. 081/3419-7502; www.cubadocapibaribe.com.br).

This Cuba-inspired bar serves up a great mojito to the sound of live Latin and salsa music, Thursday through Saturday. Lovers of alternative rock, reggae, and blues should head out to Dokas, Rua do Brum 27A (tel. 081/3224-5099; www.dokas.cjb.net). Open only on Friday and Saturday, when the doors open at 10pm, and cover ranges from R$15 to R$25 (US$6.25-US$10).

Another great venue downtown is the Patio de São Pedro. Beautifully restored, this square now hosts a variety of free outdoor music events. On Tuesday, locals gather for the Terça Negra, an event with Afoxé music, a style with heavy African influences. On Saturday, a younger crowd gathers to dance to maracatu, mangue beat, and other regional tunes. Events start at 7 or 8pm.

Nightlife in Boa Viagem.

In Boa Viagem the favorite nightspot is Polo Pina, a few square blocks around Pina beach and Avenida Herculano Bandeira de Melo. Recently named the best bar in Recife, Biruta Bar, Rua Bem-te-Vi, Pina (tel. 081/3326-5151; www.birutabar.com.br), features a large veranda looking out over the ocean, making it the perfect setting for a special date. On Thursday, Biruta presents blues bands and on Friday there's Forró.

The best night for dancing at Boratcho, Av. Herculano Bandeira 513 (inside Galeria Joana d'Arc) (tel. 081/3327-1168), is Thursday when DJs play a variety of music, including samba-rock and regional rhythms. Conselheiro, Av. Conselheiro Aguiar 793, Boa Viagem (tel. 081/3467-7777), is a popular destination almost any night of the week. Early in the evening the venue is more bar with small tables set out in a pretty room.

As the evening progresses, staff remove more and more tables to make space for the dance floor. On Wednesday there is live Forró, on most other nights it's DJs. If you don't want play musical tables, you can move to one of the two lounges where the pace is set to a more mellow beat.

Nightlife in Olinda.

Olinda is not known for its nightlife; most folks settle for wine and conversation over a late-night supper. One of the best spots for a drink or a stroll is the Alto da Sé. On weekends (Sunday evening especially), locals flock to this prime view spot to grab a drink or some food from the many stalls and just hang out for an impromptu outdoor party. Olinda's cutest hole-in-the-wall spot is Bodega de Veio, Rua do Amparo 212 (tel. 081/3429-0185).

It's just a small bar/old-fashioned convenience store where people put their drinks on the counter or sit on the sidewalk. Saturday features live Forró. Note that this is not a late-night place; last round is at 11pm. Brand-new is the Casa Maloca, Rua Amparo 183 (tel. 081/3429-7811), an antiques store with a restaurant at the very back, the lovely Bar Olindita. Guests can sit at a long bar or funky tables scattered about the room. The best spots are on the patio, looking out towards Recife.

Gay Nightlife Venues in Recife.

Metropole, Rua das Ninfas 125, Boa Vista (tel. 081/3423-0123), is a huge male gay club with a bar, dance floor, and video room. Regular shows include go-go boys, strippers, and drag queen performances; it's open Friday and Saturday from 10pm until at least 5am. Another popular gay venue is the SPTZ, Rua Joaquim Nabuco 534, Graças (tel. 081/3223-9100). Open Tuesday through Sunday, from 6pm until at least 4am. For more details check www.recifegay.com.

The performing Arts.

Recife's prime theater venue is the elegant Teatro Princesa Isabel, Praça da República s/n (tel. 081/3224-1020), built in 1850. Just reopened after years of renovations, it's worth checking local listings for events held at this lovely venue.


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