Leblon is the most exclusive neighborhood in Rio

Leblon is the most exclusive neighborhood in Rio. For the most part, it is a posh and exclusive residential area. The Jardim de Alah and a shallow canal make up the border of this neighborhood. Leblon has some of the best restaurants, shops, theaters, concert halls and schools in all of Rio. Most of the trade and other services are concentrated along Ataulfo de Paiva Avenue. This neighborhood is well sought after by the locals for its superb infrastructure and standard establishments.

However, tourists ought not to be put off by this sober description. Leblon has a lot to offer the discerning traveler. Upper Leblon is a residential area and favored neighborhood by the rich and the famous of Rio. Posh apartments, mansions and villas make up a bulk of the neighborhood. Lower Leblon on the other hand is more bohemian and laid back. This region was known for its nightlife in the 70s and 80s and continues to be a vibrant source of entertainment. Pizzas and beer are a particular favorite among party goers and some restaurants remain open till about 4 am. Leblon has become a hotspot for young locals to meet up and enjoy major soccer games.

Once in Leblon find about:

► Where to stay
► Where to eat
► Where the carioca hangouts
► Other Places to Visit in Leblon

Leblon beach on sunday

History

The area was owned by Charles Le Blond, a Frenchman and owner of a major fishing company known as Aliança. The land was later sold to Jose de Seixas Magalhães. Due to its inaccessibility, Leblon was the ideal hiding place for runaway slaves. The introduction of the streetcar helped this neighborhood grow. Since it was at the end of the line, it grew at a much slower pace. Renovations continued through the 90s and the area was expanded into much sought after neighborhood.

Geography

Leblon is located west of Ipanema and is bordered by Gávea in the north. The “Dois Irmãos” or “the Two Brothers” peak forms the western border. Leblon and Ipanema share a beach.

 

Highlights

Ataulfo de Paiva is the main street in Leblon was renovated to have its own unique charm. From the wooden seats to the streetlights and even the public phones, all the elements were added to make it a perfect neighborhood.

Niemeyer Avenue connects Leblon to São Conrado. It is considered one of the most scenic drives through Rio. Built by Conrado Niemeyer, it took 30 years to complete and was eventually opened in 1916. An overlook near Leblon provides an opportunity to take photos of the most scenic surroundings you will ever come across.

Cobal do Leblon and around

A visit to the Cobal Leblon will truly give you a taste of the local spirit. This farmer’s market offers the freshest products and features several snack bars, cafes and small restaurants which will obviously serve good food with the best ingredients. Arataca is a restaurant well known for its northeastern cuisine. The activities are not restricted to the daytime. At night even though the market is closed, hordes of visitors as many restaurants open at night and the pizza park holds jam sessions.

Plataforma should also be on your to visit list. The first floor houses a legendary steakhouse which is a firm favorite with tourists and locals alike. With good food served in large portions, it’s no wonder customers keep coming back for more. The menu offers more than just steak and you are sure to be satisfied with your meal. Then you can saunter up to the second floor where you can enjoy the samba show with mulata dancers. This is the only show that happens on a regular basis so be sure to catch it.

Conde de Bernadote street, a prime area of Leblon, is right behind Cobal do Leblon, it concetrates the best laid back bars of the region, besides a theater gallery, a
cultural center of reference of Rio de Janeiro for quality plays. Academia da Cachaça, Botequim Informal, Rota 66, Desacato are among the bars/restaurants that
turn the street into another bohemian corner of Leblon.

 

Eateries

The best restaurants are concentrated along Dias Ferreira Street. Other than the famous Celeiro and Sushi Leblon, several other restaurants specialize in different cuisines, so finding one to whet your appetite won’t be a problem.

Not too further, at Rua José Linhares, is the Bracarense a boteco that has been living up to its tradition of excellent service and lip smacking food for the past 50 years. The casual and friendly atmosphere is what attracts customers to the restaurant. The appetizers are legendary and you must try the croquettes (bolinhos) or small crusty pies (empadas). The jerked beef is a hot favorite among the customers so be sure to try that as well. The best seats in the house are actually outside on the sidewalk where you can enjoy great food and enjoy the scenery as well.

Jobi is a botequim (more like a bar)  which must be on your culinary adventure. The service is beyond question and the food is just fabulous. There are quite a few house specialties which you must try. The waiters here are especially friendly, adding to the whole dining experience.

Leblon hosts a variety of restaurants from contemporary to Japanese cuisine. Sawasdee is known for Thai food is located on Rua Dias Ferriera. The menu also has many crossover dishes which have their roots in Thai cuisine.

Zuka is also located on Rua Dias Ferriera and specializes in contemporary cuisine. Their menu mainly comprises of seafood and vegetarian delicacies.

Manekineko is a famous Japanese restaurant. Giuseppe Grill Leblon’s restaurant boasts of a beautiful décor and an excellent menu, making it popular with locals and visitors. The restaurant Antiquarius, located in the district at Rua Aristides Espinola, is renowned for their “Cod Oil” among other specialties in Portuguese cuisine.

For a more casual atmosphere and moderate price range, there are various places to go. The Frontera chain of restaurants offers buffet style service at moderate prices. Fellini is another good buffet style restaurant located at Avenida General Urquisa.

Where to stay

The neighborhood does not have much to offer in terms of hotels in comparison to some of the other neighborhoods. The Marina All Suites and Marina Palace Hotel are the two biggest luxury hotels in the area. The Leblon inn and the Promenade are moderate range hotels. The Lemon Spirit Hostel is an attractive option for young travelers on a tight budget. At our hotel & accommodations section you can search for all hotels in Leblon according to your budget.