The Kilo restaurant, Brazil’s creative take on buffet dining, is well respected in Rio de Janeiro with options for all budgets and pallets. On almost every street you will encounter signs that say “comida por kilo” (food per kilogram) indicating that food is sold by the kilo, regardless of the kind. These restaurants arouse curiosity in many first time visitors more used to eating by the menu rather than weight. Here are some of the city’s best.
Opened in 1982, Celeiro is much more than a kilo restaurant; it’s a health food store, a meeting point and a reference point in Rio de Janeiro’s lifestyle. With white rice and red meat dishes being king in most Brazilian eateries, this spot provides a light alternative. The owners, the Herz sisters, started their business selling carrot croquettes on the beach. With nearly 50 kinds of salads, plus aromatic quiches, vegetarian dishes and healthy deserts, the Celeiro buffet is one of the healthiest, colourful and festive lunch experiences in town.
Address: Rua Dias Ferreira 199, Leblon
Having recently installed its new restaurant in Leblon, “per kilo” chain Frontera offers varied, healthy choices of consistently good food with five branches spotted around the city-with a cosy yet sophisticated atmosphere. Food options range from traditional Brazilian dishes such as feijao tropeiro to duck with ginger sauce and seafood stew.
Address: Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva, Leblon
630 Rua Visconde de Piraja 128, Ipanema
Aipo & Aipim
With restaurants in various locations in Rio, (Copacabana, Ipanema and Centro), the restaurant serves many hits of home style Brazil cooking, such as escondidinho (meat and cassava casserole). This one is great for sweet tooths; with choices such as walnut or chocolate pie as well as cakes and other sweets.
Address: Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, 391/ 605/ 920, Copacabana.
Rua Visdonde de Piraja, 145, Ipanema
Located near the tranquil Botanical Gardens, CouveFlor is re-known for introducing the concept of the Kilo restaurant to the ZonaSul area. Besides serving assorted food by the kilo, CouveFlor also has good feijoada (served on Fridays), as well as other tantalizing treats such as specializing in food from the state of Minas Gerais and Mexico.
It’s not just the food that draws customers in-the architecture in itself is captivating. The restaurant occupies a building which once was part of Companhia de Fiacao e Tecelagem Carioca, a textile mill which was founded in 1890.
Address: Rua Pacheco Leão 724, Jardim Botânico
A decent kilo joint will charge R$3.50-R$4.00 per 100 grams- which equates to around R$35 per kilo of food. As you enter the restaurant you are given a card or a ticket. Pick up a plate near the buffet and select what you want. An attendant will weight the food (minus the weight of the plate), and update your ticket. The deserts, churascos and sushi tend to be exceptions and often have their own price range. Por Kilo restaurants are very pleasant places to eat and relax, with many having the TV on showing a soccer game or Brazilian novela (soap opera).
Although per kilo restaurants in Rio are great places to get a quick and easy meal, however, if your stomach is really rumbling, a traditional Brazilian restaurant would be the best option, as these serve large portions and you may get more for your money.