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When you think about Peruvian food, you probably think of ceviche or one of the country’s world-class restaurants featured on TV. You may be familiar with Peru’s abundance of seafood and the oddity of Andean people eating guinea pig (cuy), but did you know it also has great vegan and vegetarian options? With so many vegetables and fruits and over 3,000 different types of potato, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from. Here is our guide to the best towns for vegan and vegetarian cuisine in Peru.
Lima’s colorful bohemian district, as you’d expect, has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. The neighborhood by the sea has little vegetarian menu de dias scattered throughout the town, often located off side streets and in shopping centers. One of the smallest, but definitely one of the most delicious, is a no-named spot in a small market across from the Feria Barranco. Meals are cheap here and include two plates and a drink. Another delicious Barranco option is Las Vecinas Eco Bar, which is more expensive but has delicious options and is also a great place to grab a coffee.
This might be one of the best towns in Peru for vegetarian and vegan options. While it’s best known for its reed boats called caballitos de totora, it’s quickly gaining a reputation as a foodie destination. The vegetarian and vegan restaurants here use Peruvian ingredients to create mouthwatering dishes as well as putting twists on traditional classics. Moksha Yoga and Surf Hostel offers vegan ceviche, which is delicious and tastes almost exactly like the real thing. Moksha also offers an all-you-can-eat Sunday vegan brunch and hosts weekly organic farmers markets. Oltra Cosa, located along the beach front, is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant offering customers a large all-day menu – their felafels are definitely worth a try.
Cusco has exploded as a vegetarian and vegan hotspot in Peru. The influx of tourism and expats, along with lots of healing centers, has resulted in a seemingly endless amount of options throughout the city. Green Point My Vegan Restaurant is a favorite among locals and travelers, so popular that they have opened up another location within Cusco. Their lunch options includes a salad buffet, soup, choice from two main courses, a dessert and a drink, all for around $4.
The beautiful colonial town of Arequipa is not short on vegan options. One of the best is Manadala Vegetarian Restaurant, just a short walk form La Plaza de Armas, which is most likely where you’ll be staying.
Lima’s most upscale district is a hotspot for Lima’s world-class restaurants, also offering the most vegan and vegetarian options in the city. Some of the best options are Madre Natura, El Vegetariano and El Paraiso Bio Leben. No matter where you go in Miraflores, you’re bound to come across a suitable spot.
Once an important trading town, outside influence and diversity are still evident in its food. There are all types of vegetable and fruits available to the people of Cajamarca, making this highland town a perfect spot for vegan restaurants. Around La Plaza de Armas there are a decent amount of restaurants catering to vegetarians and the plaza is also a great place to sightsee after a meal.
If you miss your juicer from home, don’t worry – Trujillo has a juice bar called El Paititi Natural that may just be a little bit of home for you. Peru has a wide selection of fruits and vegetables, so you can come up with some unique concoctions. If you’ve exhausted Trujillo’s options, Huanchaco is only a short bus ride away.