Andrew Zimmern Goes to Rio

Ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Andrew Zimmern gets a tour of everything Rio de Janeiro has to offer from the city’s best sources – its cab drivers. Get a sneak peek of the premiere of "Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food", here.

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Photo By: Haber Vision

Rio for the Locals

Andrew Zimmern’s driver Pericles takes him to Vidigal, the neighborhood, or "favela," he grew up in. In the premiere of Andrew Zimmern's Driven by Food, Pericles gives Andrew a tour of Vidigal and other lesser known spots considered to be the real spirit of Rio de Janeiro.

Rio’s Coastal Beauty

The Brazilian coastal city of Rio de Janeiro is surrounded by the beautiful waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is also the 2016 host of the Summer Olympics, the first South American and Portuguese-speaking country to do so.

”Favela E Vida” (“Favela is Life”)

While Rio’s favelas were once known to be hostile and somewhat dangerous, many have become tourist destinations over the past decade as visitors want to experience the city like the locals. This artist mural in Vidigal is sprinkled with sayings and depictions that represent the locals’ love for their evolving neighborhood.

The Rooftops of Vidigal

The view is also a main attraction for visitors making their way up through the difficult to navigate neighborhood.

Vidigal’s Most Famous Chef

Having life-long local Pericles as his tour guide also comes in handy when planning dinner. Pericles gets Andrew the most exclusive reservation in town, at Tia Lea’s private in-home restaurant in Vidigal.

The Menu

At Tia Lea’s, Chef Tia Lea chooses the menu for you. Braised oxtail stew with watercress is served up for Andrew and Pericles, here.

Intimate Meal

Andrew’s meal with Chef Tia Lea has been a long time coming, as a meal with Tia has been on his wish list for years.

The Art of Rowing

Rowing in the lagoon filled with water runoff from surrounding mountains is one of the more popular outdoor activities in Rio.

Bianca

Andrew’s second cab driver and tour guide, Bianca Dos Santos Araujo, is one of a growing number of female drivers in Rio whom she says are needed for ensuring safety for women traveling in the city.

Appetizing Appetizers

Boteco Belmonte is a favorite among both visitors and locals in Rio.

Dinner in Rio

Andrew digs in at Boteca Belmonte.

Snack Time

Servers at Boteco Belmonte in Rio walk around with trays of small dishes like this shrimp and cheese spread.

Christ the Redeemer

The 125-foot statue at the peak of Corcovado Mountain is one of the Rio’s main attractions and offers an incredible view of the city below.

Tourist Gazing

Even after an intense climb up the mountain and through heavy fog, the massive Christ the Redeemer statue is an incredible sight to behold.

Samba Practice

Pericles plays and dances along with members of the local Samba school. Most neighborhoods throughout Rio have their own school, and Samba is more of a way of life than a style of dance.

Costume Change

Andrew tries on a handmade Carnival costume during a visit to one of the local Samba schools.

Samba Sparkle

Residents all across Rio take their Carnival costumes very seriously, some spending a large portion of their incomes on handcrafting elaborate headpieces like these.

Lapa, Rio

Located in the center of Rio, the Lapa neighborhood is renowned for its architecture, nightlife and street performers like these.

Hands Down, Party Central

A performance with handstands in the middle of the street is a common occurrence in Lapa.