If you're the type of diner that likes to sample a little of everything, Rio's hugely popular buffet restaurants are sure to appeal.
At lunch time, many locals head to one of the ubiquitous 'por kilo' buffet restaurants in the city, which allow diners to take their pick from a staggering array of salads, pasta dishes, meaty main courses, fruits and vegetables in all manner of guises, cheeses and even sushi.
These buffet restaurants range from cheap and cheerful to luxurious, and even the most humble spots offer such a vast range of dishes that they are perfect for every type of foodie, from the staunchest of carnivores to the strictest of vegetarians. Some, such as New Natural in Ipanema, are specialist health food spots, with an emphasis on wholesome, organic ingredients.
Meanwhile, the legendary meat feasts at Porcao are accompanied by a salads, sides and sushi buffet that would keep even the hungriest vegetarian happy.
Some por kilo restaurants have a meat grill in addition to the buffet, while all have separate dessert buffets- check pricing as these are often more expensive than the main section. While the pay-by-weight buffets of upscale Ipanema and Leblon are often expensive (head to an Ipanema por kilo restaurant with a raging hunger only if you have a substantial budget), those of Centro are generally very affordable, and it is worth noting that many of these restaurants are cheaper before 11pm and after 2pm.