So due to my illness, I’m constantly trying new diets and trying to eat as clean as possible. Whichever diet I’m on, the general rule seems to be; no dairy, gluten, sugar and NO FUN! However, when you are able to find restaurants that specialises in this kind of food, you tend to find they are as good or better than normal restaurants but it’s just find these places that’s the challenge! After a lot of research by Sophie (this blog is written by her), she managed find find the below 5 restaurants:
We stumbled across this place by chance when on Rue de Ferrari which is a really nice street in Leblon with lots of restaurants, it’s not cheap though! Celeiro is a kilo restaurant, something we learnt was very common in Brazil. It’s essentially a buffet and then you pay according to the weight of our meal. We were starving and went big! Which is easy at CELEIRO as there’s so much choice and everything looks amazinnng. There were little filo pastry parcels and quiches which may not have been so healthy but the rest of the salad bar is largely organic and vegetable-based. They didn’t speak English and my Portuguese is so checking for gluten/dairy was a little tricky but as most of it seemed fresh and non-processed it was easy enough and the choice was huge. The one catch? The price. Each of our meals came to approx £30 a meal (with watermelon juices and waters etc, and maybe we just eat a lot!) 😬 Despite the price tag, the food was so good we found ourselves going back a few days later for more 🐷 It does close early, around 5pm each day, so it is more of a lunch than dinner place.
VEGETARIAN SOCIAL CUBE LEBLON
This had good reviews online but we were a little underwhelmed. The buffet of salads was relatively small and not that appealing so we went off the menu. I went for the quinoa salad with vegetables and Sophie went for the green salad with courgettes and aubergine. Generally they were quite plain and my one especially was essentially just a load of quinoa with tiny little chopped vegetables, so it didn’t seem that substantial. However the saving grace of the açai smoothie I had which was amazing – so thick it was almost like a yoghurt, it did taste too good to be good for you and I later learnt that they sweeten them with sugar so maybe the meal wasn’t as healthy as hoped! But it was worth it. And you’ve gotta try açai when in Brazil of course 💁🏼♀️Worth stopping by for a drink and perhaps try the buffet rather than ordering off-menu if you go.
We had high hopes for this one as again the reviews were good, and it very much delivered. The salad bar wasn’t as plentiful as Celeiro and it had more hot food (which didn’t appeal so much in the Rio heat!) However, once we chose our food and sat down it was surprisingly nice and we ended up going back for seconds! Which is another great plus of the kilo-pay-by-weight popular Rio-style restaurant. It’s also connected to a little health food shop with lots of gluten free vegan snacks etc so we could stock up on them.
We initially visited the one in Ipanema but there’s also one at Rio airport. Here you can choose up to three components for your meal from the salad bar and hot food. There is a good array of salad choices and the hot food included a chicken casserole and spicy salmon dishes which tasted great. The portions were good and the food tasted fresh and healthy. They also had banana bread which was dairy and gluten free! (Possibly not sugar free though…) It was SO good we had a slice each there and then got another two to go. Don’t judge us – dairy and gluten free treats are hard to find!
This restaurant did gluten free pasta which was something we’d been seeking so that was a treat! It came with grilled vegetables and although simple, tasted great. We also had a starter of aubergine and courgettes and a desert of apple- all of which were great! It came with a slightly hefty price tag but nothing too awful considering it’s smack bang in Rio just off Copacabana Beach. The juices too were 👌🏼