- Culinary walks
- Our Story
- CB Passport
Brazil and its cuisine are a wild and sometimes baffling stew of influences and cultures. Our walk dives right into that mix by taking you through the vibrant heart of Rio’s two most historically and architecturally significant neighborhoods: downtown’s Centro and Porto areas. These atmospheric districts are where the Portuguese began building Rio, where the slaves who were brought over to Brazil first landed, where samba was born and – most importantly – where this bustling city’s multicultural identity and food culture started taking shape.
As Rio undertakes an ambitious growth plan, these still-untouristed neighborhoods are now being rediscovered and revitalized. With Rio’s history and modern rise as a backdrop, our walk works its way through the traditional eateries and bars of this district, catching some little-known cultural treasures along the way. Starting with a Portuguese-style pastry and strong coffee at Rio’s oldest café, we then sample the culinary offerings of the city’s largest open-air market, which Jewish, Syrian and now Chinese merchants have all called home. Moving through the historic port area, we stop at iconic botequims – lively, old-fashioned watering holes where locals take their lunch – for classic Rio bar food and a taste of cachaça, the sugar cane spirit that is Brazil’s national drink.
After we take in the view from the area’s hills, there will be stops for fresh-squeezed juice and, later on, a visit to a classic local restaurant for some traditional Afro-Brazilian specialties. We end our walk at an old-school sailors’ haunt that specializes in roast goat accompanied by glasses of Portuguese port, soaking up the atmosphere of an area whose own story tells the larger story of Rio itself.
Note: This walk does include some hills and stairs. Though punctuated by plenty of stops, it can be strenuous at times.
What is included in the fee?
In addition to your Culinary Backstreets guide, all food consumed on the walk- almost a dozen different edible specialties- are included in the price. A limited selection of alcohol is served on the walks and is included in the price.
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.
If you have just paid a deposit, but would rather pay the full amount in advance, please click on ‘view booking’ on your confirmation email and continue to the ‘pay balance’ button.
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 2-7 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your situation before booking.
Are your walks suitable for vegetarians, pescetarians, and vegans?
We do not recommend this activity for vegans, but vegetarians and pescetarians will only have to pass on a few offerings.
Are your walks suitable for a gluten-free diet?
We do not recommend the walks to folks with a gluten-free diet, as it is too restricting.
How physically demanding are the walks?
This walk does include some hills and stairs. Though punctuated by plenty of stops, it can be strenuous at times.
Can children join the walks?
Of course! We offer a 50% discount to children ages 12 and under, and we do not charge for children under the ages 6 and under.
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 9 and 12 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
They offer walking and food tasting tours that veer away from the typically trodden tourist paths into the backstreets of areas where everyday life plays out naturally and away from the eyes of mass tour groups. The groups are kept small. We were a group of 5 and it was the perfect size to move discreetly through the tiny shops, botequims (pubs), and the areas of Rio de Janeiro that are now being rediscovered through revitalization. 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