The Monday- and Friday-night street parties here are major draws for lovers of samba, whether they're Brazilian or foreign, rich or poor. The lively samba da mesa features a handful of changing players who belt out well-known songs to swaying, joyful crowds surrounding the tiny plaza.
The atmospheric but run-down setting is rich in history – samba in fact was born in the Bahian community that once flourished here. Because the action happens outdoors, the music is cancelled on days of heavy rain. It's best to take a taxi here (around R$40 from Copacabana).