We investigated the role of diet in the etiology of renal cell cancer (RCC) in a multi-center, population-based case-control study conducted in Australia, Denmark, Sweden and the United States, using a shared protocol. A total of 1,185 incident histopathologically confirmed cases (698 men, 487 women) and 1,526 controls (915 men, 611 women) frequency-matched to cases by sex and age were included in the analyses. The association between RCC and diet was estimated by relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for age, sex, study center, body mass index and smoking. A statistically significant positive association was observed for total energy intake (RR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.4-2.2 for the highest vs. lowest quartile, p value for trend < 0.00001), while the hypothesis that protein and fat are risk factors independent of energy was not supported. Fried meats were associated with increased RCC risk, while vegetables and fruits were protective, with the strongest effect observed for the highest quartile of consumption of orange/dark green vegetables but not vitamin C or beta carotene. Increased risk was associated with low intake (lowest decile) of vitamin E and magnesium. We observed an apparent protective effect of alcohol confined to women and probably due to chance. Our findings indicate an important role of nutrition in the development of RCC. The apparent positive association of energy intake with risk of RCC needs further investigation in a prospective cohort study to exclude the possible impact of differences in recall between cases and controls.