Vegetarian and vegan restaurants may not have a strong foothold in meat-heavy Brazil, but there are some that stand out for their wide range of options and innovative menus. Rio also has per-kilo restaurants in all corners of town and these tend to serve a vast variety of salads and vegetarian options, providing a great choice for those searching a vegetarian or vegan meal.
Verdin is based on Leblon and generates a lot of business from its delivery service that takes vegan options to call-outs from businesses, local residents and hotels. The concept of Verdin grew from the desire to have healthy, vegan food that was at the same time practical. Food options are created from locally-produced, seasonal and organic products, and include sandwiches, salads, proteins, juices and desserts.
A truly vegan restuarant is hard to come by in Rio, yet Refeitório Orgânico fills the gap. Set in a Buddhist-themed environment, the restaurant is centered around a large vegetarian buffet that is filled with innovative combinations of salads and fresh, organic ingredients. The menu changes daily to incorporate a selection of local and seasonal products and also includes wonderful desserts and sweets.
This restaurant is truly 100% vegan and has an extensive menu that shows just how wide vegan food options can be. Vegetariano Social Clube is set in a warm, cozy restaurant that provides a vegan buffet every day as well as lunch and dinner dishes, and pizzas on a Thursday. Usually laden with dairy or meat products, boteco petiscos (snacks) tend to be off the vegan menu, yet every Friday and Saturday, Vegetariano Social Clube provides a menu of vegan boteco food.
Bardana is one of the most traditional vegetarian restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, with options of hot vegetarian dishes, salads and lactose-free desserts. The restaurant aims to bring the healthiest and freshest produce to create a daily menu that reflects seasonal changes and regional availability. They also offer courses such as a workshop that teaches you how to make a totally vegan and healthy Christmas dinner.
Org Bistro is an adorable restaurant that is defined by its values of forward-thinking for future generations, promoting nutritious, healthy food for everyone and engaging in sustainable practices. It meets these values by offering organic and locally-produced foods in its cozy, modern restaurant that also does deliveries. All the food comes beautifully presented and reflects the chef’s passion.
Prana is a chilled-out restaurant serving creative vegetarian and vegan food that combines wonderful flavors and fresh products. Chef Marcos Freitas spent years working in various vegetarian restaurants before heading back to Rio to channel his accumulated knowledge and experience into his own restaurant. The menu includes daily smoothies, vegan desserts and daily specials such as lentil hamburgers with organic salads.
Vegan Vegan Espaço Vegetariano was one of Rio’s first places to open that offered vegan food. It offers vegan and vegetarian lunches and dinners, workshops, a shop that sells organic and vegan products and provides a delivery service. The dishes are carefully considered to create a balanced harmony of nutritions and vitamins, not to mention a blend of rich, diverse flavors.
Vegecoop is a vegetarian buffet-style restaurant that was founded back in 1962 in a two-storey townhouse that also includes a health store inside. The restaurant aims to serve wholesome, homely foods such as vegetarian ‘meat’ balls and a variety of salads. One of the most popular items on the menu are the wide range of fresh juices that use locally-produced fruits and no additional sugars.
Reino Vegetal provides an extensive menu of vegetarian and vegan takes on Brazilian classic dishes feijoada, palm heart bobó and vegan acarajé. The restaurant is warm and cozy, with architecture from the start of the last century and a menu that tries to serve organic and locally-produced products whenever possible.
Dona Vegana is an eco-friendly restaurant that serves vegan breakfast options, lunch options, snacks and pastries that are all free from animal products. The meal options are balanced with proteins made from beans and other plant-based products, and are complemented by a variety of delicious and fresh salad options. There is also an incredibly wide range of cakes available, such as passionfruit, strawberry and coconut cakes.