It was really hard to leave Cusco, Peru. We’d got into a daily routine, found our favourite lunch spots, were taking classes at a great yoga studio, and making new friends. Lunch was often a highlight of the day. John would take a break from work and we’d meet up with friends for a chat and enjoy some delicious food. We usually found ourselves choosing between two nearby options: Comedor Vegetariano or Prasada, a small vegetarian takeout joint with yummy food, low prices and friendly staff.
Our level of hunger was usually the deciding factor when choosing a lunch spot. At the Comedor Vegetariano, the portions are huge, almost too much, but Prasada serves up just the right amount for midday. Their menu is short, but you can’t go wrong with any of the vegan options.
On more than one occasion, we had Prasada’s falafel sandwiches for lunch. Before arriving in Peru, we’d spent three months in South America and only found one restaurant with falafels, which was Charutu’s in Florianopolis, Brazil. We had to make up for lost time. Their falafels were awesome. Not quite as jam packed as the falafels we found at Pita, but still awesome. Made-to-order crispy falafel balls were layered with tomato and lettuce, and wedged between two slices of fresh baguette. They didn’t have hummus but did have a great spicy sauce.
For a light and healthy lunch option, they have a vegetarian taco, made with refried black beans, avocado, tomato, onion and greens. Just ask for no cheese.
They have several pizza options, which they serve on homemade crusts. They’re all made with cheese but, if you ask nicely, they might just do you up a special vegan version. I had one with carrots, tomatoes, onions, greens, olives and dried herbs.
Prasada has several regular dessert options but also carries vegan cakes made by the local vegan cake man, whose name we never learned. Apparently, he lives and hour outside of Cusco, makes vegan cakes at home, and supplies to several restaurants and bakeries. We had a chance to try two of his creations, a chocolate & ginger cake and a carrot cake. I admit the cake looks kind of weird and crumbly, and it was. The texture wasn’t very cake like, and there was no icing, but it was still good. We were in Cusco, Peru. We felt spoiled and grateful to have any vegan dessert option. For $3.00 Peruvian Nuevo Soles ($1.05 USD), it was hard to resist a slice of cake whenever it was available. We heard rumors that sometimes he makes a vegan pineapple upside down cake, but weren’t able to confirm its existence.
Prasada is usually open from 10:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m., making it a strong contender for any meal of the day. In addition to sandwiches and desserts, they also have fruit juices, smoothies and teas. Their menu is priced for locals, with most items costing around $4.00 Soles ($1.40 USD). If you’re in Cusco, drop by anytime of the day, pull up one of their five stools, and enjoy a conversation with one of the owners or lucky vegetarians who found this delightful hole in the wall (quite literally).
Barrio San Blas