Eat Rio Bar Food Tours



From time to time I’m reminded of how different my experience of Rio would have been if I’d come here alone, without the guidance, recommendations and explanations of a local (a Carioca da Gema, no less). I’m especially struck by this feeling when I meet someone who’s been living in Rio for years but still insists that “there’s nowhere good to eat here” and “all the bars suck”. While trying to suppress my indignation, I rattle off a few of my favourite places and feel somewhat relieved to see a blank look on their faces.

Actually there are great places to eat in Rio

With a little bit of effort and research you’ll find all kinds of hidden gems dotted around neighbourhoods across the city. There are the old stalwarts that have been doing things right for generations – Nova Capela (more on this place in a coming post), Galeto Sats and Botequim do Joia are great examples. Then there are the places giving traditional Brazilian food a light touch and/or modern twist – Café do Alto, Noo Cachaçaria and Puro are firm favourites. For those looking for a cheaper option there are low-cost restaurants all over the city – try Restaurante Adriano in Botafogo, Esquimó in Centro and Lilia in Lapa.


“There’s no good food in Rio” – pffff!

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Eating Rio Again


Look who’s back! It’s a cheery Shimu from Toz.


There’s something rather depressing about visiting a blog for the first time in ages and finding it hasn’t been updated since your last visit. All those plans and aspirations of the author seem to be lying in a heap like some abandoned, unfinished construction project…

Well that ain’t happening to Eat Rio! Although this has been by far the longest I’ve gone without posting, my excuses are pretty solid.

First off, I’ve been writing a book! Facebook and Instagram followers will have seen the odd mention of this project – it completely took over my life from last October until about a week ago. Before you get any ideas of book launches and a glittering career as a novelist, it’s not that kind of book. It’s a guide book to Rio for an existing series of city guides. All the material is now in the hands of the editor/publisher so I finally have my life back and you can expect more information (and for me to plug it madly) once it’s published later this year.

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Rio de Janeiro

A Brand New Eat Rio


Feijoada. Because by the time you read this it will probably be Saturday Sunday.


Hello readers! Remember me? I’m not sure whether a 7 week break can really be called a hiatus, but that’s what I’m going with. I’ve probably gone on about this too much recently, but things have been really busy over the last few months! There have been all kinds of adventures – lots and lots of food tours, recruiting new staff, dabbling in a little catering, changing accountants and getting boring businessey stuff organised, working with a major US broadcaster, preparing for an upcoming trip to Mexico and also working on the brand new Eat Rio website. Oh yeah, and it looks like an actual physical book with my name on it could possibly be appearing next year!

The book thing has not been confirmed yet so we’ll have to see how that goes, but the new website is almost upon us. Now then, long-term readers will read the last part of that last sentence with a certain amount of (justified) scepticism. Over the last 18 months I’ve mentioned this ‘new website’ many times but until now it has been all talk. But the time has finally come! With the help of Tamara at Just Add Glitter, the new site is finally done!

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Junta Local – A food event in Rio that actually works!


I’ve had some very disappointing experiences with culinary events held in Rio. Not long after we moved to Santa Teresa, Mrs Eat Rio and I were really excited to hear that there was a kind of ‘eating market’ event being held in the nearby neighbourhood of Lapa. Various restaurants and other food producers would be selling small dishes at stalls – it sounded like the perfect way to sample lots of different dishes/ingredients and simultaneously have a fun and gluttonous day out. In short: just my cup of tea.

We skipped down the hill with empty stomachs and high expectations. Then we saw the line and our hearts sank. There must have been nearly 500 people waiting, the line snaking up through the Lapa Arches and then doing that miserable switch-back thing that tells you you won’t be getting in any time soon. With the heat of the afternoon sun beating down on us, we decided to find our culinary entertainment elsewhere.

Fast forward to late 2014 and the culinary events that everyone was talking about revolved around one thing: an exciting ‘new’ concept called Food Trucks. It may have taken a while for food trucks to reach Rio, but the idea still held quite a thrill for me. I was picturing amazing pulled pork buns, kimchi slaws, artisanal beers, kickass cocktails and a million other foodie clichés tasty treats.

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Eat Rio Eats Mexico

Even though I’ve been running my own culinary tours in Rio for almost a year, I had never been on a food tour as a guest until just a few days ago. Mrs Eat Rio and I put ourselves in the hands of the good people at Eat Mexico Culinary Tours and we did not regret it!

Here are a few of the highlights:


This was our guide, Anais. First stop: a street stall for seafood tostadas.


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The reason I started Eat Rio



Next month Eat Rio will be 3 years old. During this period I’ve written over 400 posts and 48 static pages; you guys have left more than 4,500 comments, and I’ve filtered out almost 2,000 spam comments (if I ever do inherit 22.9 million dollars from a long lost uncle in Nigeria, I’m almost certainly going to miss out). The Eat Rio Facebook page has almost 1,000 likes (come on people!) and the Eat Rio Twitter account has almost 1,000 followers (are you trying to torture me?).

Now I don’t want to get too misty eyed here but, for me at least, Eat Rio has meant more than just the numbers. Writing this blog has pushed me to investigate and learn more about this great city. I’ve also made lots of friends through the blog, had several of those mythical ‘free lunches’ and just recently I was able to escape a less than satisfying job and switch career paths completely. Not bad for 3 years!

It feels like an age ago now, but I still remember why I started this blog in the first place.

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Eat Rio Food Tours!

I hinted recently that I had some big news to reveal. Well the time has come, here it is. There’s a new activity to add to your list of things to do in Rio: Eat Rio Food Tours!


Tell your friends!


The idea was hatched in a bar (naturally) many months ago. I was chatting with Diana, my US/Colombian friend who moved to Rio earlier this year. Diana is as food-obsessed as me, but she actually knows what she’s talking about! She has a degree in Restaurant Business and a Masters in Gastronomy (pretty fancy right?).

So there we were, discussing all our favourite Brazilian dishes and ingredients and lamenting the fact that so many visitors come to Rio but miss out on the best stuff. Well, we chatted away, drank some beers, ate some bolinhos and by the end of the night our plan was decided: we would take people out of the comfort zone of Ipanema, away from the mediocrity of Devassa and show them the best food in Rio!

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All about me!

There’s an implicit conceit in writing a blog isn’t there? It’s that you judge what you have to say to be worthy of people’s attention. It’s the equivalent of walking into a room and shouting “Listen up everyone! I’ve got something to say and I think you’re going to like it!”. I’m sure we bloggers also have some higher motives, but if we’re honest, I think there’s an element of ‘vanity project’ in every blog.

This makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, but with a subject as interesting as Rio, I feel happy enough to simply describe what I see and speculate on why things are the way they are. Then I can sit back and read what everyone else thinks in the comments. For those that don’t enjoy what I have to say, at least there are some pretty pictures!


The Eat Rio Facebook page just passed 500 likes!


People have all kinds of different ideas about what should go into a blog. Some people use their blogs as a kind of journal through which they invite you into their personal lives, others go for a more cold, fact based approach.

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Photo Post: Eat Rio Graffiti!

Last week we had a couple of guests from Colombia staying with us. One of these guests was a graffiti artist from Bogotá who goes by the name of Dast. Those of you who have picked up on my street art obsession will not be surprised to hear that I was rather excited about the idea of having a real-life grafiteiro to stay. Not just that, but Dast just so happens to do some very cool, geometrically themed graffiti – check it out.

A few hours after Dast and his friend left, Mrs Eat Rio and I decided to go out for a stroll. We hadn’t got more than a few minutes from our house when we turned a corner and saw this:


My very own piece of Eat Rio Graffiti! I had no idea about this until I turned a corner and saw it! A very nice surprise!


Wow! Dast had very kindly added an Eat Rio dedication to his fine work. Of course art appreciation is a subjective matter, but in my opinion at least, Dast also did everyone a favour as this gate had previously been covered in some really annoying scrawlings. I accept the fact that I could be a little biased on this matter…

This kind of art is ephemeral and I have no idea whether this will last a week, a month or a year, but I must confess that seeing it gave me a little glow of pride. Many thanks to Dast – come again soon!