Top 15 Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | 2016 Olympics
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Top 15 Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | 2016 Olympics

With the 2016 Olympics, the world's biggest sporting event being hosted in Rio, comes many challenges. From crime and safety, to viruses and health, there are many things that Brazil will have to overcome.

Being there with family I watched on TV as a series of tragic events unfolded. From the bike lane crash ing into the ocean, to the olympic athlete getting shot as thieves attempted to steal her car, it felt like one bad event after another... not to mention the daily (almost hourly) crimes on tv.

So if you are going to Brazil, you must know some basic rules (which many tourists don't follow):

  • Don't walk around holding your iPhone too often.
  • Don't wear flashy jewelry or gold watches around town.
  • Wear your backpack on the front of your body (unless you have a theft resistant backpack).
  • Ideally, carry a dummy wallet with some money, in addition to a hidden wallet.

But beyond these basics, vegans will also have other challenges in Brazil, like: Where do I find some good food?

  • Problem #1 was: The flight itself was tricky since they offer vegetarian meals by request, but not vegan meals. So if flying to Brazil make sure to bring some nuts and snacks. I didn't know, and landed very hungry!

So, after landing at the airport, my first thought was to find a nutritious vegan smoothie (in Portuguese, smoothies are actually called "Vitaminas").

On "The Vegan Survival Guide" I talk about the importance of combining ingredients, getting your protein, and optimizing nutrition (which you can do with our nutrient charts).


So as soon as I got home, my mom, sister, and niece greeted me with some yummy local foods! Fruits, granola, and some tea.


Now let's take a look at some vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Rio.

Vegan restraurants in Rio are actually something super new! When I was a kid, let me tell you... as I share on the VSG, there were no vegan restaurants at all! This cuisine gained its force around 2005 to 2010. I then saw local university students hosting vegan cooking events, as well as families hosting vegan cooking courses. Everyone starting to combine fresh local ingredients into tasty and nutritional recipes.

On "The Vegan Survival Guide" we included detailed nutrient charts, so you can get the most from each and every meal.

Did you know? Before the vegan movement in Brazil started, vegetarians often got food from local Buddhist groups and events. This was their only choice since no vegetarians or vegan menus were available at local restaurants in Rio back then.

But things have changed... So here are 15 Awesome Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

  • Verdin: Local produce, seasonal, organic when possible, made fresh! Vegan and vegetarian salads, sandwiches, soups and juices. Also vegetarian corn, chocolate and banana cakes.
  • LovSaude: More than just juice... Love. Functional, organic juices, using the process of cold pressing, and without preservatives for you! Vegetarian and some vegan options.
  • Refeitório Orgânico: Vegetarian spot with charming wooden décor & Buddhist art, offering buffet or à-la-carte options.
  • Vegetariano Social Clube: Vegetarian light, organic food served at a cozy, modern restaurant with an upbeat atmosphere.
  • Bardana: Large dining area where you can eat your food by the pound (kilo actually), with hot vegetarian dishes, salads & lactose-free desserts.
  • Org Bistrô: Organic modern, vegetarian & organic dishes in a cozy space with a shop that sells natural products.
  • Gaia Art & Café: Vegetarian trendy café with healthy dishes
  • Prana Cozinha Vegetariana: Chilled-out spot for vegetarian food, with smoked ricotta & hearts of palm, plus leek & brie quiche.
  • Vegan Vegan Espaço Vegetariano: One of Rio's first vegan spots, with vegan & organic lunches, a shop, workshops & delivery service.
  • Gouranga Veggie: Vegetarian & vegan restaurant serving varied à la carte lunch & desserts, with modern Indian decor.
  • Restaurante Vegetariano Tempeh: A rustic townhouse offering self-service lunch, with vegetarian & vegan organic dishes.
  • Vegecoop: Vegetarian buffet restaurant founded in 1962 in a 2-story townhouse, with on-site health-food store.
  • Dona Vegana: Vegan breakfast, snacks, lunch & pastries, all without any animal products, at an eco-friendly restaurant.
  • Green: A laid-back eatery with an array of dishes, including vegetarian fare & juices.
  • Reino Vegetal: This spot serves a vegetarian & vegan menu featuring soy versions of traditional Brazilian dishes like feijoada, palm heart bobó & vegan acarajé.

Also look for Indian, Japanese and Chinese restaurants around town as they often have great vegan dishes too. :)

Plus... while the number of locations in Rio are constantly growing, if visiting São Paulo you will find many more delicious vegan restaurants!

How about some vegan desserts?

Well, ask my sister and she can make you a beautiful artistic cake! lol. She is a cake designer! You can check out her work here:

Are her cakes vegan though? Please note, her delicious cakes are usually vegetarian... NOT vegan. But just ask and she will make a special one for you.

Even the USA staff from the Rio 2016 Olympics have already asked my sister to design some cakes for them. So you will see the athletes, their medals, plus "Bonita Bolos" Beautiful Cakes on TV. ;)


[Aug 6, 2016 update] Did u guys watch the Rio 2016 opening ceremony last night? :) As I mentioned above my sister in Rio is making everyone some cakes. Here are some behind the scene photos:

How about you...? Have you visited Brazil? What's your favorite Brazilian vegan recipe?

Be sure to share with all of us below!


Let us know what you think...

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