Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Restaurants: Eating Vegetarian in Rio de Janeiro

Below, find three places that make up the hip scene of the vegetarian (as well as non-vegetarian) crowd.
Deliciously fresh coconuts by the beach

1. "Balada Mix": with 8 restaurants in several areas of Rio de Janeiro, you can spot some famous Brazilian people having dinner at this cool eatery (the last time I was there on a Wednesday night, I spotted 2 soccer players and a well-known comedian having dinner), as well as fashionable people and athletes having a bite after working out. The menu offers grilled and fat free meat choices and an amazing variety of salads and fresh juices and fruits, as well as delicious desserts. One of my favorites is the fig salad, a mix of wild greens with fresh fig slices and nuts in a zesty honey flavored sauce, a very vegetarian meal, accompanied with a glass of healthy, cool and hydrating coconut milk.

2. "Delírio Tropical": this is my favorite place, with also 8 locations spread throughout town. The lines during lunch time can be long, especially at the Ipanema location. The chain has their own produce plantation and distributes it to their restaurants, ensuring the food served daily is fresh and organic in all locations. The mango salad, a mix of greens and fruits with a tangy mango sauce is amazing, and the quinoa cake with nuts and passion fruit sauce is also worth trying! If you´re really hungry, get the 3 salad plate and choose from a variety of delicious options. "Delírio" also bottles their own coconut milk and offers fresh juices and other natural alternatives.

3. "New Natural": this is another vegetarian´s delight. There is only one location in the posh neighborhood of Ipanema, but the price is very affordable and you pay by weight of your plate. Lots of different empanadas, cakes, soy food, hot and cold entrees are offered in this self-service buffet restaurant. Fresh juices and coconut milk (also served fresh on the coconut, not bottled) complete the abundant variety of delicacies found at this cool spot, where you will find an interesting crowd, including those who are stopping for a bite after a nice morning sunbathing in Ipanema beach.

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