Healthy eating can be a challenge in South America, especially in Bolivia where the concept is yet to take off. While most restaurants in La Paz still serve up fat-laden fried chicken and salchipapas, there are a few health orientated options to be found throughout the city. Here are the best in town.
Springboarding off the success of gourmet rival Gustu, Ali Pacha has brought an all-vegan menu to La Paz’ fine dining scene with creativity and flair. Meaning “Universe of Plants” in the native Aymara, this restaurant delivers with an eclectic array of mouthwatering plant-based combinations sourced from all corners of the country.
A relative newcomer, Cafe Vida has become a hit with the gringo crowd due to its health-focused philosophy and convenient location in the heart of the tourist district. What’s on the menu? Expect to find an excellent selection of quinoa patties, salads, and satisfying Mexican bowls plus amazing freshly squeezed smoothies from a variety of local produce.
A brand new addition to downtown La Paz, The Carrot Tree has been proving popular with health-conscious backpackers since opening its doors just a few months ago. A delicious selection of nutrient-rich, low-fat dishes such as pasta, salads, and sandwiches adorn the menu, while an unusual collection of funky Bolivian inspired artwork gives the place a bit of character. One to keep an eye on, The Carrot Tree could well become the next big thing in the city center.
More than just a cafe, MagicK is a thriving cultural center that seeks to promote the arts through live performances and events. The menu is pretty good too, featuring a rotating selection of mostly vegetarian dishes that are both ethical and easy on the waistline. Feeling mischievous? Be sure to drop by in the evening to down a few drinks and boogie.
This longtime La Paz favorite continues to deliver despite being located away from the main tourist congregations. The friendly hippy owners serve up a super cheap set lunch each day, while each vegetarian menu item also represents excellent value for the quality involved. Our tip? Try the couscous falafel.
Health conscious travelers exploring the southern sections of La Paz should drop into Epico, a trendy little cyclist cafe which specializes in wholesome food. Each menu item has been carefully curated by the fitness fanatic owner himself to ensure the maximum amount of nutrients can be obtained for that next epic ride. Decadent travelers need worry not, for there is a selection of delicious homebrewed beers to indulge in as well.
A newcomer to the Sopocachi healthy eating scene, Flor de Loto offers a pay per kilo buffet that has become a hit with weight-watching office workers. Their dozen or so buffet options have all been lovingly prepared, although it’s worth saving room for their scrumptious gluten-free desserts. An adjacent vegan grocery store is one of the few places in the city to pick up specialty goods for self-caterers.
Go Green is another popular health-focused restaurant to open recently in Sopocachi, testament to the fact the movement is finally beginning to bloom in the upper echelons of Bolivian society. This funky locale markets itself as vegetarian fast food takeaway, offering a range of soya and quinoa burgers, paninis, and some amazingly tasty chickpea nuggets. All menu items can be made vegan on request.