Vegans and vegetarians won’t have problems with eating out in Rio
One of the concerns we have when travelling abroad is food. How different are the typical dishes? Do I have options of comfort food? This might be especially tricky if you are a vegetarian or – even worse – a vegan or anyone allergic to any food like milk or nuts. Well, if that is your case, don’t worry. We are here to keep things easy for you.
It’s true, Rio is the land of feijoada, the rich black beans stew with sausage and dried meat, or fried codfish croquettes usually sided by lots of beer in some bar. But people in Rio are also almost obsessive with their physical appearance. Afterall you have to strip on the beach and big bellies are hard to hide. People run and train at the gyms and also eat healthy. So, veggies don’t have a tough life finding options around town. If meat is not your thing, you might want to go to one of these places.
Cozy restaurant at Cosme Velho district nearby the station where tourists embark to the monument of Christ the Redeemer and it has recently gained a branch near the Botanic Garden. From the kitchen of chef Marcos Freitas come delicacies like the mushroom creamy stew with crunchy Brazilian nuts, heart of palm hamburger with sweet chili or pumpikin and quinoa kibbeh. On Fridays you can have feijoada but with Adzuki beans and smoked tofu. In the afternoon the house serves sandwiches and smoothies. Try not arriving near the end of service, food is always fresh and might be subject to availability. Lunch time: 12PM-3PM. Snack time: 4PM-7PM. In the Botanic Garden branch service is non-stop. Address: Rua Ererê 11D, Praça São Judas Tadeu (Cosme Velho); Rua Lopes Quintas, 37G, Jardim Botânico.
- Refeitório Orgânico
Place for veggetarian activists with a Buddha statue right in the middle of the dining room. The buffet costs around US$ 10 on weekdays and US$ 15 on weekends or you can ask for the daily special that varies from US$ 5 to US$ 7.50 depending on the amount of ingredients you choose. Among the main courses are Brazilian nuts risotto sided by vegetable rolls, pastries made of fresh heart of palm, burdok roots, leek pie, ratatouille and the list goes on and on. It’s in Botafogo district, at rua 19 de Fevereiro, 120. Open Mon-Sat 11AM-4PM.
Tasty option located at Copacabana district. Chef Bruno Moliné prepares daily specials like pumpkin cream with heart of pupunha palm (on Mondays) or mushed parsnip with ricotta cheese and spinach (on Wednesdays). There is also a regular menu of pasta and risottos like the zucchini spaghetti with pesto sauce or quinoa risotto with curcuma. As dessert, what about a Mango mousse with coconut milk? Address: r. Xavier da Silveira, 28. Open 11:30PM-6PM (Sun and Mon) and until 11PM on the other days.
- Gouranga Veggie
A bistrot that is convenient for those in Downtown Rio. The kitchen is inspired in ayurvedan Indian medicine. Restaurant offers two options of menu per day and the dishes change according to the season. Until October you might try beet croquettes with rice penne topped by sauteed mixed mushrooms with basil pesto sauce or a leek crepe stuffed with Gorgonzola and ricotta cheeses, nuts, spinach, zucchini and tomato. On the dessert side there is creamy banana jam, peanut pavê (a sort of cold cake made of cream and ladyfingers cookies) and organic fruit icecream. Open 11:30PM-4PM Mon-Fri at Avenida Gomes Freire, 625 – 2nd floor – Lapa
- Celeiro Culinária
The only one in the list that is not exclusively vegetarian. However there are plenty of options in the menu in one the most traditional fitness, healthy food addresses in town. Roasted Vegetables with Thyme quiche; rice and lentils onions yogurt sauce and zucchini soufflé or taglerini with roasted pepper and saffron are some of the options alongside with a dozen salads, most of them without any meat. The food is in a display and you pay by weight. But don’t get too carried away since the price is salty (US$ 55 / kilogram). It’s located at ellegant Leblon district at Dias Ferreira, 199. Open Mon-Sat, 9:30AM-5PM.