Among the all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbecues, cheese-laden pizzarias and hordes of national sugary sweets, there are plenty of restaurants in Rio de Janeiro that use fresh and organic ingredients to create healthy and delicious meals. We round up our favorite healthy restaurants in the city, many of which are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those with food intolerances or allergies.
Buddhist art and wooden details give a zen vibe to this organic restaurant that serves a vast array of vegetarian food through its buffet or a la carte options. Each food option has been carefully considered so that ingredients complement each other not only in taste, but to help absorb the protein from the plant extracts.
Delirio Tropical is a popular healthy restaurant, evidenced by the long lines that trail outside every lunchtime. But don’t let the queues put you off – it’s simply due to the style of service. Diners move quickly along the food options selecting what they want from the choices of vegetables, fruits, bean salads, fish and meat that the staff then serve. The food is all fresh and organic, and works on a daily rotation to keep the menu varied and appealing.
This pay by weight restaurant offers a varied vegetarian buffet that is oozing with delicious options with a diverse range of salads, soups and sushi. There is also a health food shop inside the restaurant which sells items otherwise hard to get in Rio, including various gluten-free products.
Of all the healthy restaurants in Rio, Bio Carioca is one of the most complete with lactose-free, egg-free and gluten-free options available making it widely accessible. There are also homemade vegan options, too, that shatter the illusion that vegan food is tasteless. Guests can feel inspired to rustle up their own vegan food by the chefs that prepare orders in full-sight of the restaurant.
Veggie Govinda serves fresh, vegetarian food that is inspired by the flavors of India, most notably through its liberal spicy seasoning. The incense-fused air and rose petal covered floor creates a wonderful dining experience, completed by the atmospheric oriental music in the background. Here you can find vegetarian feijoada, a meat-free version of Brazil’s national bean dish.
A cozy, modern restaurant with an upbeat and lively atmosphere is the perfect setting for this restaurant’s light, vegetarian food. The ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible and are organic. Its juices are a speciality with options such as the refreshing, palate-cleansing ginger juice.
Aprazível skillfully maintains enduring Brazilian classics with modern day influences of French cooking. The dishes are made with locally-sourced ingredients before being served in a wooden-decked environment, offering views across Rio from charming neighborhood Santa Teresa. Leaning on the pricey side, it is not an everyday eating option for the majority of travelers, but it’s worth a one-time treat during any stay in Rio.
As one of the first vegan restaurants in Rio, it has served to inspire the dozens of new vegan restaurants popping up across the city. Its rotating menu keeps its food choices fresh and exciting, and it makes a point of using only organic ingredients. There are also spontaneous workshops that inspire vegan cooking and an internal shop that sells health foods.
Its simple exterior and understated setting is the exact opposite to its diverse and complex choices of vegetarian food. Green Restaurante in downtown attracts large crowds everyday who come to enjoy the vast buffet salad options and homemade soups.
The chilled out setting brings an easy environment to enjoy the delicious vegetarian and organic food on the menu. Food options include specialities such as smoked ricotta with palm of hearts, and leek and brie quiche. The staff are multilingual and the English menu helps get through the maze of Portuguese culinary vocabulary. It is one of the few restaurants in Rio that serves free, filtered water.