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 Brazilin 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.


Vegetariano Social Clube

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 dining scene, but this Leblon favorite was one of the first to open, and is still unarguably one of the best. At lunch, diners can load their plates high at a wholefood buffet including soups, salads, beans, rice, soya dishes and a range of healthy pies and pastries for a set price, while a-la-carte options are available in the evening. The vegan version of ‘feijaoda’, the usually-meaty national dish, made here with smoked tofu, is legendary. (0055 21 2294 5200)

Rua Conde da Bernadote 26
Rio de Janeiro,
Phone: 0055 21 2294 5200

Map / Directions Map / Directions


Brazilian, Latin, South American

Dining Options:
Smoking (outdoor area)

Cultivar Brazil

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 pies and some yummy sandwiches, there are gluten-free cakes, tarts (try the palm-heart and yogurt) and a mini-store stocked with a range of pastas, biscuits and other goodies to take away. In addition, Cultivar Brazil serves unarguably the best Pao de Queijo (little cheese breads made with manioc flour), here made with organic ingredients. It´s worth waiting until a batch comes fresh out of the oven – these little golden beauties are at their best served piping hot; ((21) 2505-9321)

Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 124
Rio de Janeiro, 20240-290
Phone: (21) 2505-9321

Map / Directions Map / Directions

Daily 10am-9pm

Brazilian, Latin, Local Specialty

Dining Options:
Family Friendly, Group Friendly

New Natural

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 as a range of eat-in dishes that are every bit as tasty as they are nutritious. While there is plenty of choice here for vegetarians, New Natural is not entirely meat-free, with low-fat chicken and fish putting in a few appearances on the menu. The buffet operates on a pay-by-weight system, and prices here, while on the high side, are reasonable for the neighborhood. There’s an air conditioned lounge upstairs and a couple of sidewalk tables and chairs, making New Natural a favourite spot among backpackers looking for a quick, healthy lunch. ((21) 2247-9363)

169 Rua Barao da Torre
Rio de Janeiro, 22411-001
Phone: (21) 2247-9363

Map / Directions Map / Directions

Brazilian, Latin, Local Specialty

Dining Options:
Group Friendly, Take Out

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