Best Buffet Restaurants in Rio: From Budget to Major Blowout

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. 


Based on the Italian concept of 'Stuzzichini' - small plates of light bites for sharing over drinks, similar to Spanish Tapas or Greek Mezze - Stuzzi brings together deliciously moreish finger foods and dangerously drinkable cocktails to create...  Read More

The Copacabana branch of this well-established 'comida a kilo' (pay-by-weight buffet) restaurant is handy for post-beach late lunches, and the vast array of meat dishes, sides, salads and desserts will keep even the fussiest of diners...  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

Graca da Vila
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

Located just steps away from the Museum of the Republic and Catete Palace, this spick and span buffet restaurant is popular with local business people as well as tourists visiting the nearby attractions. The popularity is deserved - it serves...  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

The down-town branch of Pampa Grill (the original branch, in Barra, has been in business some 30 years) is a popular choice among local business people, who head here for the excellent cuts of meat on offer, along with the vast range of hot and...  Read More

Budget travelers can feast on all manner of treats at this downtown lunch restaurant. The self-service buffet includes everything from sushi and rice noodles to hot meat, fish and chicken dishes, alongside staples like rice and beans, fries, and...  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

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

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


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.