When we arrived in Montevideo, Uruguay at 6:00 a.m., we decided to grab some breakfast at the bus station. Settling for what was available, we split a fruit cup and some toast, which we smeared with peanut butter we carried with us from Buenos Aires. When traveling in South America, you may see people spreading what looks like peanut butter on toast but don’t be fooled. It’s dulce de letche, the super popular caramel-like spread that’s made from sweetened milk. I’ve heard rumours that there’s a soy milk version out there somewhere and am keeping an eye out for it. In the meantime, we will be carrying our sacred jar of peanut butter with us.
Lunch was much more successful than breakfast. Initially, we were torn about where to eat. There were two options just a few blocks from our hostel. La Vegetariana, an all you can eat vegetarian buffet where two people can eat for the price of one during lunch, and Bambu, an Asian vegetarian grocery store with a takeout section. We decided on Bambu after reading the reviews on HappyCow.
At Bambu, we scored enough food to get us through lunch and dinner. From their generous selection of vegan options, John picked a vegetable egg roll, Moroccan empanada, and vegetable tart stuffed with carrot, zucchini, tofu and soy cheese. A giant corner piece of an eggplant, zucchini and sesame seed tart grabbed my attention. We shared everything, including some brown rice with carrots and peas. All this food and three pastries cost $181 Uruguayan pesos ($9.25 USD). Sweet deal! Almost…
The lady working at Bambu seemed to be familiar with the concept of a vegan diet and was able to show us which items we could eat. It helped that most items had ingredient lists. However, I figured out the pastries we bought had butter in them. Stupid manteca. I should know this Spanish word by now. Be sure to ask twice if something is vegano and confirm it doesn’t include butter, milk, cheese or egg.
In their takeout area, Bambu also sells sushi, noodle dishes and dumplings. The grocery store has lots of dried fruit, crackers, granola bars, nuts and seeds, spices and condiments. It’s probably the best and cheapest place to find vegan and vegetarian food in Montevideo. That’s if you can find it…
Bambu doesn’t have a sign, we were only able to recognized it by the address. Be sure to write it down before heading there.
San Jose 1290