The colors, smells, and hustle and bustle of the fruit and vegetable markets in Rio offer an exciting glimpse into Brazil’s exotic food resources. The sounds of street vendors calling out prices and names of unknown fruits become a fast-paced mantra, and there’s a whiff of nostalgia when browsing the traditional trading stalls. Here are some of the top fruit and vegetable markets in Rio de Janeiro.
Praça General Osorio
This Ipanema market starts first thing in the morning every Tuesday at the subway entrance of Praça General Osorio and winds around the square. The large market seems to sell every kind of fruit and vegetable imaginable, plus several that are native to Brazil and can cause English-speakers bewilderment. Vendors will offer slices of fresh mango, juicy watermelons, and whatever else is in season for you to try under no obligation. Take a large bag with you—it’s easy to be led into temptation and buy things by the sackful.
Professor Ortiz Monteiro
This market based in Laranjeiras on a closed off road is complete with plenty of sweet potatoes, cassava, varieties of oranges, as well as cheeses, meats, herbs, and spices. Early morning has the most options, yet around 11 a.m. is a good time for some great bargains as vendors lower their prices to sell the last of their goods.
Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz
Based in Ipanema, this market sprawls out to repurpose the square every Friday morning. In addition to a range of fresh fruits and vegetables—including guava, soursop, and jack fruit—stalls sell a wide variety of locally produced cheeses (look out for Canastra, a typical Serra cheese), herbs, spices, and fresh meat. The meat stalls are not for those with a sensitive stomach; every part of the animal is sold, from traditional prime cuts to lungs and intestines to other hard-to-identify organs.
Rua Felicio dos Santos
This market in Santa Teresa sells almost everything: the fruits and vegetables tick all the boxes when it comes to diversity—look out for jabuticaba, cashew nut fruit, umbu, and pinion fruit—and vendors are keen for market-goers to try their samples; stalls also sell fish with catches of the day proudly laid out that, showing just how rich the marine life is off the coast of Rio. There are also herbs, spices, cheese, and meat for sale, as well as locally produced handicrafts.
Praça da Igreja São José da Lagoa
In addition to its wonderful produce, what’s great about this organic fair is the location. The fair takes place in the calm and nature-rich neighborhood of Jardim Botanico, where the peace of the Tijuca forest lingers in the air. The fair sells a diverse range of locally produced fruits and vegetables—be sure to check out the bananas. The number of different types is eye-opening, and the tastes and smells are a giddy treat for the senses. There are also breads, biscuits, herbs, spices, cheese, and dried meat for sale.
This market offers an array of certified organic fruits and vegetables, wonderful options for those looking to eat organically. They may not have the shine and perfection of supermarket produce, but they have an incomparable fresh, rich flavor. Other produce for sale there includes such as bread, biscuits, locally produced honey, coffee, herbs, and grains.