Ten of the Best Restaurants with Healthy Menus in Rio de Janeiro

Restaurants with healthy menus are in ample supply in Rio de Janeiro. Although the traditional local meal is a heavy medley of meat, rice and beans, there´s a growing emphasis on restaurants catering to the body-conscious types that frequent the famous sands of Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon. After all, Rio's's social scene revolves around the beaches, and the year-round toasty temperatures mean less is definitely more when it comes to clothing.

Along with a wealth of ´natural' restaurants (to use the local term for health-food joints) such asNew Natural in Ipanema, Vegetariano Social Clube in Leblon and Cultivar Brazil in Santa Teresa, the city´s many buffet restaurants are excellent places to load up on colorful salads. Kilograma, in Centro, is an inexpensive place to load up on veggies as well as more calorie-dense options.

There's a growing number of vegatarian and vegan restaurants in Rio, too, with Prana our pick of the bunch for its delicious, energising dishes. 

Sushi is also hugely popular among Rio´s middle and upper classes, and the sophisticated Sushi Leblon is the best of an impressive range of sushi restaurants. 

Located high on a jungle-clad hillside in Santa Teresa, Aprazivel is worth a visit for the views alone. Wisely making the most of the sweeping vistas over downtown Rio, the owners have made al-fresco dining the order of the day, here, with...  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

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

Among countless Rio de Janeiro sushi restaurants, Sushi Leblon is the sophisticated standout. The restaurant is perfectly suited to the slender, elegant souls that frequent it - forget the all-you-can eat sushi 'rodizios' served by the majority...  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

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

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

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 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.