Sunday 1 February 2015

Being vegetarian in Brazil

Like the Argentinians, the Brazilians do like their meat, meaning that for our just over two weeks in the country, we found that Brazil was not a particularly vegetarian friendly place.

As in Argentina, we found that 'by weight' self- service restaurants, where you are charged by the kilo for the amount of food you put on your plate, are a good option (particularly if you like beans and rice!).

In Rio and Sao Paulo, as you might expect, there was plenty of tasty international food choices, including the usual pizzas, pasta and some good Mexican options too. And there were frequently vegetarian pasta options on the menus of traditional Brazilian eateries.

For pescatarian sushi lovers, Sao Paulo is the place for you! Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan and in Sao Paulo in particular you'll find hundreds of sushi restaurants.

If you do want to try something a bit more authentic and local, tuck in to some acaí at breakfast time. Served up as a thick smoothie, this 'superfood' berry apparently combats premature ageing. We tried it with granola at Tacaca do Norte in Flamengo, where we enjoyed a very generous helping.

For even more 'authenticity', in restaurants in Santa Teresa in Rio, we also found vegetarian versions of the north-east dish escondidinho, which is usually made with beef or chicken. It's a bit like shepherd's pie except that cassava is used instead of potatoes for the topping. Mine came with some tasty veggies inside!

Finally, if you're looking for a quick snack in Brazil, bakeries and kiosks sell pão de queijo or cheese bread. Its not particularly exciting, but tasty enough and useful if you're looking to find something quick to fill a hole!

Have you been to Brazil? Do you have any tips for vegetarians travelling in the country?

Related links:
Being vegetarian in Peru
Being vegetarian in Bolivia
Being vegetarian in Chile
Being vegetarian in Argentina
South American Top Tipples

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