One minute you are on some hellish urban intersection, the next you are in something that feels a bit like an art installation – but with a bar, thank god! Riviera is built from glass breezeblocks, lit in green and has a cool pixelated ticker-tape thing running along one wall. All in all, it’s rather calm and pleasing.
Recently revived having had its heyday in the Seventies, this bar knows what it’s doing. The service is good (you are given a card to run up a tab on as you enter), the food famous (it’s all about the Paulicéia sandwich, served since 1949) and the cocktails are a long list of delights.
We really enjoyed the Rivierinha, with açaí liqueur and lychee foam, followed by São Paulo’s namesake, the Terra da Goroa (the Land of Drizzle). We settled in for the night, sitting at one of the scooped-out bar stools getting a good look at the hot suits sitting over the other side. A stuffed peacock on the wall presides over the place, traffic whizzes by the sexy spiral staircase and the cocktails keep on comin’. Riviera is on the eccentric side… but also kinda awesome.