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Bar Ocidental's fried sardines, photo by Danielle Renwick
December 1, 2016

Bar Ocidental: Little Fish, Big City

By Danielle Renwick
Rio -- Downtown Rio, full of historical monuments, colonial architecture and daytime bustle, grows emptier during the evenings. But for the last half century, one cobblestone street has given commuters a reason to stick around: sardines. Salty, crispy, scrumptious fried sardines.Read more
Rio -- Downtown Rio, full of historical monuments, colonial architecture and daytime bustle, grows emptier during the evenings. But for the last half century, one cobblestone street has given commuters a reason to stick around: sardines. Salty, crispy, scrumptious fried sardines.

Sitting at the foot of the Matriz de Santa Rita church, Beco das Sardinhas (Sardine Alley) is a cluster of five bars that pour into Rua Miguel Couto, a pedestrian-only street dedicated to the little fish, and is both a favorite after-work destination and jumping-off point to downtown Rio’s nightlife.

On a recent Friday evening, customers – some in suits, some in shorts and flip-flops and others dressed for a night out on the town – sat at the plastic tables that fill the alley. Read more