Shanghai Bar Review: Barraco

By Betty Richardson, November 29, 2017

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The changing of the seasons comes all too quickly in Shanghai. After a blazing 40-degree summer, a beautifully temperate but brief fall transitions to the bitterness of winter. It’s a pity that Barraco has opened after the weather has turned, because this is exactly the kind of bar we could have used this summer. 

This tiny Brazilian-run spot, named after the shanty town structures that characterize the outskirts of cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, has a semi-al fresco front patio complete with mini palms, beach chairs, pebbles, and whimsical swings for barstools (that would later prove near-lethal for one of our companions.)

Naturally, Brazil’s national drink, the caipirinha, is on the menu. If ever there was a cocktail to put you on vacation mode, this is it. Barraco’s is tart from lime, sweet without mouthfuls of granulated sugar, and with a potent kick of rum that asserts its presence after the second round. 

More ambitious and equally tropical drinks are available too. One almost entirely tequila-based number that riffs on the notoriously flammable 'Blue Blazer' cocktail sees the whole glass set alight and transferred, still-flaming, between cups by a Colombian-French mixologist who barely looks old enough to drink. It’s fun to watch, but the fresh pineapple cocktail (unnamed) he produces afterwards is better. 


In the end, Barraco’s caipirinhas prevail, along with rounds of generously priced Don Julio Blanco (RMB50), a tequila that’s nearly good enough to be sipped on its own. There’s no denying this is concept is really great fun, especially for small to medium-sized groups out for a good time. We’ll definitely be back to this little gem again, regardless of the season.

Price: RMB100-250 per person
Who’s going: mainly expats
Good for: tropical vibes, al fresco drinking

See a listing for Barraco

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