Pura Vida Juice Bar is among a small group of healthy, natural food spots that have popped up across Buenos Aires in the last few years. After reading about their smoothies, vegan sandwiches and muffins, we decided to put on our sneakers, grab a map, and make an adventure out of walking half way across the city to try them out.
Pura Vida offers a large variety of liquid concoctions, priced $10.50-$17 Argentinian pesos ($2.75-$4.50 USD). The liquid menu includes fruit, milk, wheat grass and power smoothies, as well as freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices. We decided on Pura Energia, a blend of banana, pineapple, coconut milk and carrot juice, and Berry Berry Good, chocked full of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and orange juice. Just like the smoothies we have fond memories of making at home, they were very comforting to sip on. The only downside being they came in Styrofoam cups.
Pura Vida has several vegan options on their salad and sandwich menu, reasonably priced $17-$24 pesos ($4.50-$6.50 USD). We went for the Mediterraneo. Packed with hummus, quinoa tabouli, organic mixed greens, avocado, and carrots, this was definitely the right choice. All of the ingredients came together to make a very delicious Mediterranean inspired wrap. The fresh organic greens were a real treat considering most of the greens we’ve come across in Buenos Aires look awfully sad as they rot in the supermarkets. The pita chips on the side were a nice idea but John thought they could have been twice as good with the addition of some spices or dip.
Pura Vida won our hearts with their vegan berry muffin. We liked our smoothies and sandwich, but we loved our muffin. It had just the right amount of sweetness, a perfect muffin top and moist insides. John and I attempted to figure out what was in the muffin, closing our eyes, chewing slowly and giggling as we talked about tasting the obvious berries and subtle hints of coconut, banana and bran. I know it’s silly but we were just really, really happy to have a vegan muffin. It had been too long. Our muffin was only $6 pesos ($1.60 USD).
I have to note the insane speed at which food is prepared here. Our sandwich was ready in two minutes flat. When it was delivered, we had a brief OMG moment. Pushing out orders at that pace, you can’t help but think the sandwiches are made in advance. But no, we altered ours slightly by asking for no olives. Pura Vida is incredibly speedy.
Pura Vida has two locations. There is one in the Recoleta neighbourhood, where many tourists go to check out the Recoleta Cemetery and the big metal flower sculpture, Floralis Genérica. The Recoleta location is extremely small. With 10 seats or less, you should plan to go with a small group or get takeout. The second location is in Micro Centro, which is close to the waterfront, Puerto Madero. If you’re visiting BA, you’ll probably check these places out and can drop by for a snack or quick lunch. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Spanish, just ask to see the English version of their menu.
I have to give credit to the beyond empanadas blog. It was their review that prompted our visit. You can check out their vegetarian and organic section for reviews of other veg-friendly places in Buenos Aires.
Uriburu 1489 (between French y Pena) *Address can not be located on Google Maps
Hours: Monday to Saturday 9:30 – 21:00
Micro Centro Location
Reconquista 516 (between Tucuman and Lavalle)
Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 – 19:00
Hours of Delivery: 11:00 – 17:00