Eat Rio Food Tour guests

An Undercover Clown on the Eat Rio Food Tour


Our Eat Rio food tour guests sometimes ask us “Don’t you ever get bored doing these tours? Don’t they feel repetitive?”. The answer is “Not at all! Every tour is different”. Although we may be visiting the same market or juice bar several times in a the space of a week, each tour is unique because of our guests. 

Eat Rio Food Tour guests
Take a small group of strangers and lead them through the backstreets of Rio, sampling food and drinks along the way. Good times ensue.

Eat Rio Food Tour Guests

Our guests vary in age, background and nationality. They also vary in the questions they ask, what they want to get out of the tour and how they react to the various experiences that make up the day. We never know quite what cocktail of personalities we’ll get on a tour and that adds a delicious unpredictability to the whole experience. Over the years we’ve met Hollywood film directors, chefs and food writers, backpackers, mathematicians, retired teachers, every type of scientist you can imagine, actors, teachers, students, athletes, entrepreneurs and even other food tour guides.

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Making and hunting chocolate in Rio

At the very beginning of each of our food tours, the first thing the guide checks with the group is whether of them have any food allergies. The common ones are peanuts and shrimp, but the allergy list has a long tail and from time to time we encounter something unusual like sweet potatoes, strawberries or celery (I’m always suspicious of the celery ‘allergy’ as it usually turns out to be a case of [delivered sheepishly]: “Well, it’s not a very serious allergy really… Erm, well… I’m not sure if it’s officially an allergy at all. I just prefer not to… [trails off mumbling something about ‘adverse reactions’]”.

In any case, there is a golden rule when you first hear about someone’s allergy: you don’t gasp and then blurt out something pitying like “You can’t eat avocado? Oh that’s terrible! How do you live?“.

Some ‘pre-chocolate’ (AKA a cocoa pod) on the tree.


I don’t think anyone would feel all that bad for someone with a genuine allergy to celery*, but take a moment to imagine being allergic to chocolate.

No more chocolate.


The allergy would be bad enough, but I suspect the shocked reactions, followed by sympathy, we be almost worse.

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Adding another list to the list of lists

Hi all! Well, my new regime of adding a new blog post every Friday has not exactly been a resounding success – I’ve already missed a few Fridays and, if I’m honest, today’s post is really more of a quick note so I can hi and not miss another week.

The good news though is that this lack of writing is a reflection of that the fact that we’re busy again! The recovery continues, bookings are up and it looks like August will be our best month in ages. Phew! What a relief! And it’s been so good – for whatever reason, we’ve had a succession of fantastic groups recently! We’ve had guests from locations are wide-ranging as Malawi, Sri Lanka, Russia, Australia and (rarest of all) Wales.

Happy Eat Rio Food Tour guests from around the world.



As well as running some of these tours, I’ve also been busy with Lonely Planet work (there are very few streets in Copacabana that I haven’t walked down this week). Here’s proof:

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Where can I find…?

The 12 months after the Olympics were tough for everyone working in tourism in Rio. It seemed like people just stopped coming here. I know plenty of businesses went under during that year and the rest of us suffered.

Everyone seemed to have a theory for this decline – perhaps it was because of the scare stories of crime and corruption published around the world while Rio ‘enjoyed’ the Olympic spotlight? Was it the woeful economy? Were people still worried about Zika? My money was on the more general idea that anyone who wanted to visit Rio probably did so between 2014 (when we hosted the World Cup) and 2016 – after that they went elsewhere. In any case, it was a tough time for tourism.

One thing that kept our spirits up during that lean period was that the people who did come to Rio were still absolutely loving the experience (both of Rio in general and of our food tours specifically).


O Rio de Janeiro continua lindo…


Well I’m delighted (and relieved) to report that things have been picking up over the last 6-12 months. Things are by no means back to their best, but here at Eat Rio Food Tours we’ve seen a noticeable and sustained improvement in visitor numbers. And despite the rampant Rio scare stories still doing the rounds, people are loving the tours and loving Rio in general. Here are the titles of our last 6 reviews on TripAdvisor:

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3 of the best beaches in Rio


Rio has long been a draw to South America for many visitors from across the world, what with its vibrant and accepting culture, energetic locals and, perhaps most importantly, its selection of beautiful beaches. Planning a trip to the Brazilian city? Here are just three of the best beaches to discover during your stay.

Praia Vermelha

Often said to be one of, if not the most tranquil beach in Rio, Praia Vermelha is where to go if you want a secluded escape. Also known as the Red Beach, this shoreline gets its name from the red flushes it sees at sunset, making the already gorgeous setting even more unmissable.

The deep blue waters lap calmly upon the soft white sands, and best of all, Praia Vermelha is rarely crowded – expect to see a mere handful of people sharing the beach with you. For such a bustling, energetic city, this spot is a welcome escape for anyone wanting to see the quieter side of Rio.

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