Vegan Food in Peru

Food & Drink

A Vegetarian Traveler's Guide to Peru

by

22-12-2023

Despite Peru being recognized as the foremost global culinary destination for more than ten years, vegetarianism has only recently become a socially acceptable and comprehended way of life in the country. Major cities such as Cusco and Lima offer vegetarian and vegan cuisine, and specific dietary needs can be readily accommodated when preparing meals at home using the abundance of local ingredients.

IS PERU VEGETARIAN/VEGAN-FRIENDLY?

Culinary tours are among the most sought-after activities for tourists visiting the Andean country, commonly they are fascinated with the variety of local products, sauces, and local customs. Since 2012, the World Travel Awards have ranked it as the preeminent culinary destination for nearly every consecutive year, with the exception of Italy in 2020. In spite of the fact that Peru is renowned for its ceviche (traditionally fish-based), lomo saltado (stir-fried beef), and aji de gallina (a creamy yet slightly spicy shredded poultry), what do vegans and vegetarians living in or visiting the country have to celebrate?

 

Alternative lifestyles and diets have gained considerable traction in Peru, as evidenced by the emergence of new generations of chefs and business owners who specialize in vegetarian and vegan cuisine, particularly these restaurant are located in Cusco and Lima; at this time, local chefs offers a culinary experience. A significant portion of the nation's population follows a vegetarian or vegan diet, and an equivalent number of dining establishments are accommodating. 

 

While it may not be possible to locate plant-based restaurants everywhere or easily accessible in rural regions, major metropolitan areas such as Lima and Cusco are demonstrating to the rest of the nation that it is not only feasible but also commonplace to prepare meals without using meat or animal products. Peru is also the origin of an innumerable variety of nutrients that are beneficial to plant-based diets. 

 

Along the coast, jungle, and highlands of Peru, a rainbow of the healthiest foods is cultivated, including goldenberries, avocados, purple maize, and blueberries. Not to mention energizing roots such as maca, protein-rich pseudo-grains like quinoa and kiwicha, and the Inca seed Sacha Inchi. Consult the waiter prior to dining in a restaurant that does not rigorously adhere to vegetarian or vegan standards to ensure that your dietary restrictions are being accommodated. A few helpful phrases have been appended to the conclusion of this article in order to prevent you from compromising your health or way of life.

WHERE IN PERU SHOULD A VEGETARIAN EAT?

Thankfully, vegetarianism and veganism are now increasingly recognized in Peru's most popular tourist destinations, and restaurants that accommodate to those who abstain from eating animals and animal products have proliferated, particularly in Cusco and the capital city, Lima.

LIMA VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS

Raw Dining

Raw Cafe, one of the first plant-based restaurants in Peru, has emerged as a fashionable destination for vegan Peruvian fare (it even offers an assortment of raw vegan dishes!). From breakfast to dinner, nutrient-dense salads, smoothies, and wraps are available to satisfy your hunger. The location of Raw Cafe is in Miraflores. 

Veda Dining Establishment

Veda Restaurant, situated in the center of Miraflores, is a gastronomic paradise for those who watch out for allergens such as gluten, animal products, and added sugars. Notable offerings include causa (a veganized Peruvian potato dish), tofu stir fry, mushroom ceviche, and vegan paella; however, be sure to reserve space for the luscious chocolate cake. In contrast to Raw Cafe, Veda emits a marginally elevated ambiance. 

Veggie Dining at Highly Recommended Restaurants in Lima

Numerous restaurants with Michelin stars are located in Lima, including Central, Kjolle, and Maido. We can assist you in requesting a tasting menu that accommodates your dietary restrictions in an effort to ensure that you continue to have an unforgettable dining experience.

CUSCO VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS

The greens

Presently, a number of Cusco restaurants offer vegan and vegetarian options, including Greens, which is part of the renowned Cusco Restaurant franchise. Located within a two-minute stroll from the Plaza de Armas, the wood-paneled dining room of the organic restaurant serves breakfast and dinner to patrons. In addition to offering stir-fries, curries, and plant-based stews that contain animal protein, Greens is an optimal choice for travel groups with diverse dietary preferences. 

Green Point

Green Point serves exceptional vegan Peruvian cuisine. Located in the San Blas neighborhood, this intimate establishment features an all-plant menu and outdoor seating. Commence your day with a selection of banana pancakes accompanied by passion fruit juice. For lunch, savor a substantial vegan tacu tacu, a traditional Peruvian dish consisting of rice and legumes. A variety of additional healthy products are available at the on-site market, including seeded breads, nut butters, organic coconut oil, and an assortment of smoothies and fruit juices.

PERUVIAN OPEN-AIR MARKETS

Peru's outdoor markets, such as the Surquillo Market in Lima and the San Pedro Market in Cusco, offer an abundance of exotic fruits, vegetables, and juice stalls. Indulge in a diverse array of Peruvian produce sourced from various regions, such as cumca, cherimoya, aguaymanto, and camu camu, among others. Although it is widely recognized that the potato originated in Peru, it may come as a surprise to learn that this tuber has more than 4000 distinct varieties. 

 

Weekend farmers and artisan food markets, referred to as bioferias, are observed in various Limaneighborhoods including Magdalena del Mar, Surquillo, Miraflores, San Isidro, and Barranco, on both Saturday and Sunday. Goat cheese and butter, vegan snacks and desserts, milk and yogurt from "happy" cows, organic chocolate, and heritage Peruvian cereals including quinoa, kiwicha, and an extensive variety of potatoes are available in addition to organic produce.

 

As a matter of fact, every major city and town has its own local market or a significant local market in close proximity to its main square. A customized culinary excursion in Peru should include a visit to these markets so that visitors can become immersed in the local culture, observe how they procure ingredients, and gain a deeper understanding of the country's vast array of products.

As a matter of fact, every major city and town has its own local market or a significant local market in close proximity to its main square. A customized culinary excursion in Peru should include a visit to these markets so that visitors can become immersed in the local culture, observe how they procure ingredients, and gain a deeper understanding of the country's vast array of products.


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