Tempeh offers a lovely variety of fresh and freshly prepared organic vegan items in a deconstructed historic colonial sobrado (two-storey house) in the "old city" region. Load up your plate as desired and pay by weight. With a fresh squeezed juice from their delightful drink menu, the average price is about BR$30.
The food selection at this buffet shows the African influence on the typical local diet. African and Black women in the city were often enslaved as domestics, with food preparation as central to their work. These women, of all the enslaved in Rio, were the most able to gain their freedom and were then able to make their living by preparing and selling foodstuffs in the street. It's due to this history that we can see a strong African influence in the typical foods of Rio de Janeiro. The buffet at Tempeh offers legumes, pounded roots, steamed greens, and chunky stews that confirm the African heritage of the city.
Tempeh is open from 11:00am to 3:30pm on weekdays. The best time to get there is between 1:00pm and 2:00pm, as you'll miss the lunch crowd but the buffet is still full.
Note: If vegan food is not your thing and you need to sink your teeth into some juicy meat, there are many nearby options on the street level to choose from.