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To truly understand the soul of Rio’s popular culinary culture, all you need to do is enter one of the city’s numerous botequins. These tiny and humble gastropubs – first opened in Rio by Portuguese immigrants – are where locals go to eat, drink, talk and watch the day pass by in no hurry and with no worries. At these relaxed spot there isn’t any kind of dress code: a t-shirt, shorts and a pair of “Havaianas”, the local brand of flip-flops, are more than enough to gain you entry.
Botequins are as common in Rio’s streets as traffic jams, yet, like little treasure boxes, they hold surprising culinary delights inside. At some botequins, the “petiscos” (the Portuguese terms for tapas) can be the core of a once-in-a-lifetime gastronomical experience. At others, the fun is in drinking “chope“, the refreshing cold draft beer served practically on the sidewalk. And let’s not forget cachaça; the Brazilian original spirit is much more than just a caipirinha ingredient – at the best botequins it can be found in more than a hundred different brands with a surprising range and depth of flavors.
On this walk (or crawl), led by CB’s resident botequim expert Juarez Becoza, we’ll spend an unforgettable afternoon drinking and eating at four of Rio’s best botequins and getting to know their owners and the tales behind these gastropubs. The walk takes place in the Copacabana neighborhood, which, despite its touristy reputation, has authentically local backstreets that are home to some of greatest botequins in town. It’s a truly Rio experience, mixing gastronomy, history and, to be sure, a lot of fun.
What is included in the fee?
In addition to your Culinary Backstreets guide, all food and drink consumed on the walk. The walk covers 4-5 stops, each with food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages.
Why is the Culinary Backstreet tour more expensive than some other walking tours?
Our approach is different than most tour companies. Each of our culinary walks is the outcome of considerable research. We work with academics in the field and our own team of experienced professionals – both guides and local journalists. Our ongoing publishing of articles, from restaurant reviews to features about the intersection of food and culture, constantly feeds new material into the culinary walks, so they evolve and constantly improve. Though costly, we believe that this is how to create the quality experiences we strive for.
We practice honest tourism and would never accept a free lunch or any sort of commission. On the contrary, we are proud to know that the money spent during the culinary walk goes to support businesses that we believe in, helping to preserve the social and cultural fabric of the cities we love so dearly.
How does the payment process work?
Once you have selected an available walk route and date, you will be directed to pay the fee or deposit for the walk. If you are registering for a walk that requires approval, your card will not be charged until the walk is approved.
Our credit card processor, Stripe, is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1, the most stringent level of certification. None of your sensitive data ever hits Culinary Backstreets servers. It is all captured, processed, and housed on Stripes servers. Our booking system, Bookeo, also meets both Daily PCI Security Scanning and Security Verified Requirements.
What is your cancellation policy?
100% will be refunded if given one week notice prior to walk and 50% will be refunded if given 72 hours notice or more.
Are your walks public or private? How many people are on them?
Our walks are 3-12 people and are open to the public. If you would like to do a private walk, we may be able to arrange one for an additional fee. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Can I get a discount if I join more than one walk?
Yes, we offer a 10% discount to those who join more than one walk. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join multiple walks.
Are your walks suitable for people with food allergies?
This can vary based on a number of factors, including the food item in question. Please email us at email@example.com to discuss your situation before booking.
Are your walks suitable for vegetarians, pescetarians, and vegans?
Substitutions can be made available for vegetarians, however, vegans may have a more difficult time.
Are your walks suitable for a gluten-free diet?
Gluten-free diet is very difficult to accommodate on this walk.
How physically demanding are the walks?
This walk covers less than 2km of relatively flat terrain punctuated by plenty of stops.
Can children join the walks?
This walk is not so suitable for children as there are many alcoholic beverages on the walk.
Can you pick me up from my hotel? How will I return, once the tour is over?
Our tour prices don’t include transportation. If you book a tour, you’re responsible for arriving to the pre-arranged meeting spot on your own.
Once the tour is over, we will help you get an authorized, safe taxi to your hotel, or provide directions on public transportation, if you’re interested in that.
How much food will I get to try?
This is really up to you. We generally make between 4 and 6 eating stops on our walk and try to include some breaks from eating along the way. The price includes as much food as you’re open to trying. We offer a suggested portion size at each stop and you can take our recommendation if you’d like. Our walks often involve street food and sharing food.
Is Rio de Janeiro safe these days?
Although it is safe to be in Rio de Janeiro, it is always a good idea to keep cameras and smartphones in your bag and your bag closed while walking – the stopping points on the walk will be a great time for taking pictures.
Am I going to get sick from eating Brazilian street food?
We take food safety very seriously and only frequent places that we know to have excellent professionalism in handling food (even if they are humble places). All food stops on each of our tours have been personally tested – often multiple times – by each of our guides.
I am on a tour curated by Culinary Backstreets, a group of foodies and journalists who take travelers on food walks in six cities around the world….Our goal is to eat our way through the day. But Rio’s history is as rich as its food, and our tour is part history lesson, part gastronomic adventure. Read more
This is where Culinary Backstreets, a local food tour, steps up to the plate. Dishing up a different way for tourists and locals to experience a blend of cultures that are “ deliciously and uniquely Brazilian,” palates will be more than pleased after this five-hour long eye – and mouth – opening experience. – Read more
Seit meiner Foodtour in Barcelona war ich total begeistert von Culinary Backstreets und habe mich aus diesem Grund auch in Rio wieder dafür entschieden. Mit Culinary Backstreets bekommt man einen Blick hinter die Kulissen und einen Einblick in das Leben der Einheimischen und genau das macht diese Touren aus. Read more