The most happening neighborhood in terms of nightlife is Moinhos de Vento, where there are lots of hot spots on Rua Fernando Gomes and Rua Padre Chagas. Younger, artier student types frequent the more alternative bars in Cidade Baixa—surrounding the Parque Farroupilha—where you can often hear live music being played.
The city’s progressive politics have spilled over into the arts and music scene, making Porto a surprisingly vanguard place. There is a fairly active gay and lesbian community—for listings of events or festas, log on to www.nuances.com.br.
The eternally fashionable Dado Pub (Rua Fernando Gomes 80, Moinhos do Vento 3395, www.dadobier.com.br, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.–close Mon.–Fri., 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. and 6 p.m.–close Sat.–Sun.) began life as a riff on an Irish pub, but became so popular that it expanded into a bar/restaurant with a vast menu that accompanies the home-brewed ale. Although its location ensures an upscale clientele, the bar’s pubby flavor keeps it down-to-earth.
Extremely eclectic Ocidente (Av. Osvaldo Aranha 960, Bom Fim, tel. 51/3312-1347, www.ocidente.com.br, noon–2:30 p.m. Mon., noon–2:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.–3 a.m. Tues.–Thurs., noon–2:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.–6 a.m. Fri., noon–3:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.–6 a.m. Sat., cover R$10–20) is a nocturnal institution. During the week, performances here range from indie rock bands to “electronic” literary salons. On weekends, things get groovy as DJs take charge of thematic festas such as the Best and Worst of the ’80s. Friday attracts a gay and lesbian crowd. Meanwhile, vegetarians can drop by for the lactovegetarian lunch buffet served during the week.
Tiny Ossip (Rua da República 666, Cidade Baixa, tel. 51/3224-2422, 7 p.m.–close daily, no cover) is a favorite haunt of Alegrenses from all walks of life who meet to chat late into the night. For nibbling, there are appetizing petiscos and sandwiches on ciabatta bread that go down nicely with local beers such as Polar and La Brunette.
Nearby, Zelig (Rua Sarmento Leite 1086, Cidade Baixa, tel. 51/3286-5612, www.zelig.com.br, 7:30 onwards Tues.–Sat., cover R$5–7) is another favorite laid-back hangout. It’s famed for having the best chopp in town, Coruja. For something to nosh, try the spinach yogurt pancakes or the open-faced sandwiches on dark rye with toppings such as German sausage, quails’ egg, eggplant caviar, and cherry tomatoes. On weekends, there’s a varied mix of live music and DJ-spun tunes.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition