Ten of the Best Veggie-Friendly Restaurants in Rio de Janeiro



Vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Rio have seen a surge in popularity over the last couple of years. Catering to body-conscious, health-conscious and eco-conscious locals and visitors, veggie eating establishments can now be found across the city, and range from simple lunch spots to chic bistro-style restaurants. And while the city has long held a reputation as a meat-lover's paradise, there are actually some long-standing restaurants that have been favorites with veggies and vegans for decades. Top spots include Green - providing tasty meat-free lunches downtown for well over 30 years, and enduringly popular Leblon hangout Vegetariana Social Clube. Many vegetarian restaurants are located downtown, and as such tend to be lunch-only, as they cater to local workers. More chic options can be found in the touristic heartland of the Zona Sul (Rio's picturesque South Zone), and while not all are entirely vegetarian, there are lots of veggie options here. The health conscious, body-worshipping types that frequent the beaches of Rio are increasingly demanding wholesome alternatives to the standard meat, rice and beans diet of many Brazilians, and as such there are many wholefood restaurants, with a largely vegetarian offering, cropping up across the city.




Creative organic vegan dishes are on the menu at this spick and span little Botafogo eatery, which also offers home-made vegan ice cream and other treats. There are two set menus each day - one of which is always gluten-free - with some daily...  Read More




Located just a few steps from Catete Palace, with its pleasant gardens and interesting museum, this unassuming spot is the only place in Rio to sample food from Macau - a region of Southern China settled by the Portuguese. The result is an...  Read More




The name - which translates as 'cauliflower' in English, may not sound hugely appetising for meat lovers, but this upmarket buffet restaurant is a real find for fussy eaters and groups with diverse culinary wants and needs - it offers over 20...  Read More


Cultivar Brazil
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson


This little gem of a lunchspot at the heart of Santa Teresa is a real treasure trove of tastiness for anybody with an aversion to gluten or a preference for natural, organic ingredients. Alongside a range of wholemeal sweet and savory tarts and...  Read More




Located a few blocks from Ipanema beach and right next door to the strip of backpacker lodgings dubbed 'Hostel Alley', this health food store, buffet restaurant and snack bar offers a huge range of wholesome ingredients for self caterers as well...  Read More




This downtown vegetarian lunch spot is slightly hidden above a backstreet store, but it's well worth seeking out. A popular choice with local workers - whether veggie or just looking for a healthy and budget-friendly lunch. Each day there's a...  Read More




Indian food is hard to come by in Rio, so this this little lunch spot downtown is a welcome addition to the city's gastronomic scene. The dishes are less than authentically 'Indian' - there's a vegan version of the classic Brazilian dish feijoda...  Read More




Creative organic vegan dishes are on the menu at this spick and span little Botafogo eatery, which also offers home-made vegan ice cream and other treats. There are two set menus each day - one of which is always gluten-free - with some daily...  Read More




This cozy little spot is renowned as one of Rio's best vegetarian joints, and has a plum location close to the train stations for rides up to the Christ statue. Along with delicious fresh juices and meat-free sandwiches and snacks, Prana has...  Read More




Whether you're a staunch vegetarian, a health-food enthusiast or even a carnivore who has tucked into one steak too many, this cosy corner restaurant in Leblon is just the ticket. Healthfood and organic eating is a growing sector of Rio's...  Read More


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Meet Lucy Bryson

Lucy is a British freelance writer living in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. While there are some things she misses about her home country, the lure of year-round sunshine has proved too powerful to resist.

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