Kilo restaurants are ubiquitous in Brazil and are a hassle free way of trying local delicacies without knowing the names. You take your plate and help yourself to whatever you like in the colourful serving trays. At the checkout it is then weighed and you pay the price.
Favorite Dish: plantains and Brazilian sausage
This place became a favourite of mine whilst staying in Rio. It's a buffet where you help yourself. What happens is that you get given a slip of paper when you enter which you need to take with you when you pay. Next, move down towards where all the food is and pick up a plate. The choice is outstanding: multiple types of salads, soups, breads, cheese & ham for starters; all kinds of main dishes and then the best bit if you're a carnivore fan - all kinds of different barbecue meats like steak, pork steaks, sausages, different types of meats cut from skewers, all cooked in front of you. Then go to the 'weighing person' who will put your plate down on a scale to weigh the food. Then give her the slip of paper you got given when you walked in. She'll note down the how much the food will cost based on a set price per kilo (hence the name). Then sit down, order a drink from a waiter who will write it down on the same piece of paper and eat! Easy! If you fancy more just go up and do the same again. Deserts are particular good as you can have a little bit of everything! After you're full, take your piece of paper to the cashier who will add everything up and then you pay. I never went over R$20 which included a beer or 2 so it's well priced.
Kilograma has a few more outlets in Rio. Check out their website below to find their location. There are other places that have the same setup. In one I went to, a local was having a birthday party with a cake and everything so they are popular with the locals as well.
Favorite Dish: Everything but especially the bbq meats.
The buffet was great at the Kilograma on Nossa Senhora, a block from Atlantica in Copacabana, but getting cheated at the cashier left a bad taste in my mouth. This may be a lesson that applies to other por-kilo eateries; the places have elaborate systems to keep the hired help from cheating the company, but not to protect the consumer. I handed the cashier an R50 note, and it wasn't until I returned to my apartment that I noticed on the faintly-printed receipt that I had been given credit for only R46.83. The R3.17 difference also happened to duplicate the 10% amount of "service" added to my bill. Other por-kilos don't charge for "service." Kilograma also has a "rodizio" of pizza, where the servers bring around pizzas regularly and let you select or reject a slice of each variety. I can see paying a service charge for this, but not R3.17 for the guy whose only effort is to bring you an R2.80 bottle of water. The service charge is optional but if you ask the cashier to omit it, she has to call a manager. In any case, I went back the next day and showed the manager my receipt; he said he could not explain it, but his attitude seemed to be that since it happened yesterday, it was not a problem today. A couple blocks up the street is Expresso Grill, where the food is not as fancy but the price is much lower, there is no service charge and the staff are friendly and, in my experience, honest.
This a great place for lunch. It's your standard Rio buffet, where you grab a plate, load it with as much food as you possibly can, have it weighed and then sit down, wondering how the hell you're going to fit all of that in your stomach.
Inexpensive and a good variety will have you leaving with a smile on your face thinking "I'm so glad I chose to vacation in Rio. I'm going now going to place my fat bum on the beach and soak up some rays!"