Since 2020, we felt it was time to change our lifestyle as well. At home we hardly ate meat, but on the trip it was often quite a search for vegetarian food so we usually failed to eat meat, poultry or fish. We will change that in 2020 and we started immediately in Peru! Read our findings on vegetarian food in Peru here. Is it possible? You can read it here!
In general, you can say that South America is a carnivorous continent. Especially chicken there is very popular because of the cheap price. In Mexico (a bit similar to South American countries) we have already noticed that. There you can very difficult vegetarian food if you go outside the tourist zones. Think tacos or burritos. They are always filled with meat and in exceptional cases with fish. We thought it was going to be difficult in Peru to be able to eat vegetarian.
The first few days was the search for restaurants that also serve vegetarian dishes. Most of the places we found the first few days were fast food restaurants with only chicken or beef on the menu. Or llama or guinea pig, because these are real traditional dishes in Peru. Even at the local McDonalds they only served meat. There were no salads or even fish dishes to be found. So it was a bit of a search. Also because we had only just started our new lifestyle. Then it’s definitely quite a search. Especially if the menu is in a different language. Of the Spanish menus we could not make much out of it, but the waiters in the restaurants are very helpful and can show you the vegetarian options(platos vegetarianos)right away. That makes it a lot easier.
Vegetarian food in Peru
So we obviously had some prejudices before we went to Peru. We thought there were no or hardly any vegetarian choices but we turned out to be wrong. Certainly in the tourist zones, the city centres and the modern neighborhoods there were plenty of options. For example, we found the San Blas neighborhood in Cusco extremely surprising in terms of food. It is a paradise for (vegetarian) foodies. Be sure to stop by Ethnika restaurant for the vegetarian risotto. It’s delicious! And on the Plaza de Armas in Cusco you will find all kinds of restaurants with vegetarian pastas, pizzas and salads. Also fish, a especially the dish ceviche, is widely eaten in Peru and is an option if you would like to make an exception to the vegetarian diet.
The same goes for the capital Lima. Sometimes it takes a while to find, but you can go to quite a few restaurants as a vegetarian. It is also an option to choose a dish on the menu without having to make meat or, for example, to make a salad yourself. The Peruvian population is usually open to this. Many restaurants in Peru also serve free salads or soup at a main meal. The dishes are always great so you are also satisfied with a salad and a soup. We have varied vegetarian food in different things and of course were not just dependent on soup and salads. We could enjoy a diverse kitchen with a lot of taste. So we were especially impressed with Raw Cafe where they serve delicious vegan food. So you certainly don’t have to be afraid to find enough vegetarian and vegan options in Peru!