We found Namás Té (aka Namaste) on our second last day in La Paz, Bolivia. We were so impressed with their four course lunch menu, we couldn’t resist eating there two days in a row. It’s a beautiful restaurant, with friendly staff, great food and walls full of cool, local art.
As soon as we sat down, the server brought over a plate of fresh bread and spicy salsa.
There was a set four course menu but only the soup and dessert were vegan. To substitute my main course, I ordered a large vegan empanada, which was actually listed on the menu as being a “vegan empanada”. So cool! It was made fresh, and packed with all kind of veggies, including broccoli, red peppers, onions and carrots. There was also some chewy and well seasoned textured vegetable protein (TVP) inside, South America’s answer to mock meat. This crispy delight was only $5.00 Bolivian Bolivianos ($0.71 USD).
The soup of the day was Chairo, a traditional Bolivian soup made from popular Andean ingredients, including pealed wheat, white corn, chuño (dried potato), whole potato, beans, tomato, onion, garlic, salt, and spices. Our version was made with barley and topped with fresh mint. It was hearty and filling, like any great soup. Chairo is often made with lama meat but, of course, this version was veg-friendly.
Dessert was a neat surprise: a pear and fig compote, a stewed fruit dessert. The fruit and sauce were warm, making for a very sensual dessert. Figs are sexy.
The next day, we returned to Namaste for lunch. This time, three out of the four courses on the lunch menu were vegan. We started with a Chinese salad, which consisted of small soba noodles and greens mixed with TVP. Before eating at Namaste, I didn’t know I liked TVP. They got the seasoning just right.
The soup of the day was a vegetable blend with a flavourful broth. I prefer thick, hearty soups but light soups with lots of broth and seasonal vegetables are very common in Bolivia.
The main was a black bean and sweet potato burrito. As simple as it sounds and looks, it tasted amazing.
The dessert of the day was a banana pancake that couldn’t be veganized. Instead, they served us a small dish of peeled apples. Fruit isn’t my favourite dessert but we were pretty full and satisfied at this point so we didn’t mind the light alternative.
John was extra impressed with Namaste because they had soy milk on hand and he we able to order a coffee. They served it in an interesting way, presenting him with a full cup of warm soy milk and a small shot of coffee to add in.
I can’t recommend Namaste enough. It was a beautiful oasis with amazing food and free, fast internet. We hung out there for hours on our last day. I really didn’t want to leave.
The owner of Namaste rents rooms in the building. If you’re planning to be in La Paz for awhile, this would be an amazing place to stay.
There lunch menu changes daily, as well as weekly, so you’ll never get bored of the amazing food. The price is set at $15.00 Bolivianos ($2.14 USD). They also clearly indicate all of the vegan options with a *. How nice!
Zoila Flores 1334 (at Colombia and Almirante Grau)
La Paz, Bolivia