A Veggie In… Brazil
While vegetarianism may not be common in Brazil, veggies and even vegans won’t find yourself short of things to eat (though prepare for an overdose of rice and beans).
Breakfast in Brazil usually consists of bread, cheese, ham, fruit, juice, coffee, and, surprisingly, cake and biscuits! In hotels and hostels, you can usually pick and choose what you want, so vegetarians, as well as vegans, should have no problems.
The street food in Brazil is largely meat-based, with grills of sausage and meat skewers on almost every corner. Cheese on a stick (which tastes a bit like halloumi) is also available, though it will be cooked on the same grill as the meat.
Other veggie street snacks include churros (long doughnuts filled with chocolate or dulce de leche- if you haven’t had one yet, you’re in for a treat) and popcorn. Some stalls sell mini pizzas- a welcome hit of fat and salt during a street party.
You’ll never be short of snacks on the beach, where vendors wander up and down shouting what they have to offer, including ice creams, fruit, and perhaps my favourite Brazilian snack, Açai, a frozen berry slush topped with your choice of granola, syrup, and fruit.
Lunch and Dinner
The great thing about many Brazilian restaurants is that food is usually served buffet-style, allowing vegetarians to pick and choose what to eat. And it’s usually pretty tasty, too.
These buffets are called And are charged by the weight (around R$20-50 per kilo). Rice is always available, as is mashed potatoes, chips, and/or noodles. Black beans are another staple, sometimes with some cheese to sprinkle on top. There’ll usually be a salad bar, and a platter or two of vegetables that may have been sitting untouched for some time (Brazilians aren’t big fans of their greens, sticking instead to rice, beans and meat).
There’s also a wide range of foreign restaurants, particularly in large cities (though, when I was hit with a sudden craving, I couldn’t find an Indian restaurant anywhere in Rio).
My favourite foreign food experience in Brazil was in Liberdade, the Japan district of Sao Paulo. While most of the sushi joints here serve exclusively fish, I did find one that serves an incredible veggie platter.
In short, while Brazilians may not share your views on vegetarianism, you’ll be well catered for. So enjoy exploring this wonderful country knowing you’ll be well fed!