Brazil is a gluten free travelers dream! Not only is most of the staple food gluten free, but they label all their food products with allergen information as well. I even picked up a bottle of water and found it labeled “Sem Gluten” (without gluten). They also have many ‘health food’ stores with gluten free goods.
The main foods in Brazil are rice, beans, grilled meats and fresh fruits and vegetables – delicious and naturally gluten free! I was able to find several natural food stores which carried gluten free bread, crackers, cookies and other gluten free treats. The large chain of food stores called Mundo Verde was located in several of the Brazilian cities I visited and always had a good selection of gluten free products.
I typically ate fresh fruit, eggs, and meat for breakfast, supplemented with gluten free cereal or bread. Yogurt, fruit, nuts, chips and gluten free granola bars work well for snacks. Dinners were usually salads, rice, beans and grilled meats. Just make sure to show your language card when ordering food to make sure meats aren’t dusted in flour or have a sauce with gluten.
It’s a good idea to carry a language card, as Portuguese is somewhat tricky, and make sure to stock up on gluten free goods in larger cities before venturing into smaller towns, where the selection may be slim. What a joy to travel to a country as beautiful as Brazil, which makes it easy for people with food allergies by labeling products. Check out the following resources:
Gluten free goods in Rio de Janerio:
The best variety of gluten free goods I have found in Brazil
Fontes Organic Restaurant & Food Market
Rua Visconde de Pirajá 605, stores D, F and M (Ipanema)
Restaurant Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun noon-8pm
Food Market Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-10pm, Sat 9am-8pm
Restaurant offering GF foods – menus not available in English
Celiac Associations in Brazil
Associação dos Celíacos do Brasil – see Gluten Free Stores list
A good bet for someone who doesn’t speak Portuguese is to get a language card which explains your food needs. Here is a link to some free printable language cards:
Useful Words to Know
para celiacos………for celiacs
sem glúten………without gluten
com glúten………with gluten
doença celíaca………celiac disease
dieta sem glúten………gluten free diet
Enjoy your time in Brazil! Its an amazing country with lots of options for the Celiac/gluten free traveler. Please feel free to message me with any new resources and I’ll add them to this list. Safe Travels!