By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Anyone living in Rio de Janeiro for a while is bound to have a favorite buffet a kilo restaurant. These are places, often catering exclusively to the lunch crowd, which follow a simple formula: the customer fills their plate from a buffet and then pays for their meal by weight.

Eating out is an important part of the carioca lifestyle, and every Rio local has at least one favorite buffet a kilo restaurant, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News,
Eating out is an important part of the carioca lifestyle, and almost every Rio local has at least one favorite buffet a kilo restaurant, photo courtesy of Alexandre Macieira/Riotur.

Buffet a kilo restaurants, both basic and sophisticated, can be found all over Rio de Janeiro. “My favorite buffet a kilo restaurant has to be Celeiro in Leblon.” comments Julia Michaels, writer. “It’s among the more expensive buffet a kilo restaurants but the food is delicious! You also get the added bonus of being able to spot the odd O Globo actor or local celebrity from time to time.”

Celeiro is a Leblon institution and perfect for someone looking for a healthy lunch in one of Rio’s most exclusive neighborhoods. They use a lot of organic ingredients and offer plenty of inventive and delicious salad options as well. Quiches, stews and other freshly prepared dishes are also complimented by a mouthwatering dessert menu.

“I like to go to the vegetarian and vegan buffet a kilo restaurants, such as Dona Vegana or Health’s, which are both located in the city center.” comments Lui Boniface, teacher. “I’m not a vegetarian myself, but it’s nice to try something a bit different, and I feel you get that with the buffet a kilos that are vegetarian.”

Dona Vegana has a reputation as one of the best buffet a kilos in the city center, vegan or otherwise. Their lunch buffet is often extremely popular with people who work nearby. Another classic buffet a kilo restaurant in Rio’s city center is Kilograma. The restaurant offers an amazing range of great quality food, including excellent sushi and oriental dishes too.

Buffet a kilo is a fun way to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, as well as a chance to try a little bit of everything, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News,
Buffet a kilo is a fun way to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, as well as a chance to try a little bit of everything, photo courtesy of Alexandre Macieira/Riotur.

For those staying in Copacabana, Cardamomo is the best kept secret among locals. This unassuming buffet a kilo restaurant – located just two blocks from the beach on the corner of Rua Barata Ribeiro and Rua Constante Ramos – offers a small but expertly-prepared buffet, with specialties like Mexican chicken and Chinese pork ribs. The staff are attentive and helpful, and they even offer a free jelly dessert with every meal.

“Sometimes you find a great buffet a kilo in the most unusual of places.” says Martina Farmbauer, journalist. “I remember I recently went on a Clarice Lispector tour, and they took us to a restaurant that she used to frequent: Restaurante Veneziana in Leme.”

She continues, “The pizza, which they are known for, I didn’t particularly like. But they had this amazing buffet a kilo. It was also quite memorable to imagine Clarice Lispector sitting there doing the same thing.”

For the party-goers and nearby workers in Lapa, many swear by the buffet a kilo at Bar Arco Íris on the lively thoroughfare of Avenida Mem de Sá. During lunch hours, and for a time after, the bar offers a tasty selection of Brazilian favorites such as feijoada and fried fish, alongside staples such as chips and grilled chicken.

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