I like airports. If I’m in an airport, it means I’m going somewhere. I like going places. I also like airport food. Whenever I’m in a new airport, I check out all of the little stores and restaurants, searching for vegan options. Even if I’m not hungry or have no money to spend, I just like to see what’s available. When I find something vegan, especially something cool that’s vegan, I get so excited. Beyond vegetable sushi, cheeseless pizza and Starbuck’s soy lattes, I’ve found Alternative Banking Company cookies (San Fransisco) and NuGo Bars (Miami).
Our last day in South America came faster than we ever thought it would. Before we knew it, we were having our last smoothie. It was a good one though, with pineapple, mango, maracuya (passion fruit), banana and lucuma powder. Yum!
Our time in Lima, Peru was limited. We only had three days and two nights in the city. With our travel funds for the month running low, we decided to only eat at one restaurant. We didn’t take this choice lightly. For advice, we turned to the trusty internet and read some reviews. After eating at AlmaZen, I can tell you it’s no surprise they’re the fan favourite in Lima. Thanks to them, our last restaurant meal in South America was the best yet
I’ve posted about eating at Pita, Prasada and Comedor Vegetariano in Cusco, Peru, but haven’t shared any news about the goods we consumed between meals. One of our favourite finds was the Coca Shop, where they make artisan chocolate that, like all good chocolate should be, is free of dairy. They have an amazing variety of flavours, and are very generous with their free samples. Some of our favourite kinds where lúcuma, maca and, the classic, coca. They were so good, we couldn’t resist bringing some back for our family.
In South America, wherever fruit and vegetables are in abundance, juice ladies are lining the streets and markets. We recognized this phenomenon in Brazil and Bolivia, making sure to take advantage of the cheap and delicious liquid meals whenever we had a chance. When we arrived in Cusco, Peru, we were happy to see the rows of juice ladies, peaking out from behind their towers of fruit. They were calling out to us and waving newspapers in our direction. All of them vying for our juice dollars. When the juice ladies see a new customer, the battle is on. They know they only have once chance. Once you choose your juice lady, you’ll always be true to her blender.
We were one of the first groups to see Machu Picchu after it reopened to the public at the beginning of April. It had been closed since January due to floods that wiped out the train link from Cusco. We were lucky our South America backpacking route ended in Peru, leaving us with just enough time to see the ancient mountaintop city.
I love vegan potlucks. It’s always a lot of fun to get together with friends and community members to share food, recipes and ideas. For the first time since leaving our apartment in Buenos Aires, we had access to a well equipped kitchen and enough ingredients to make some interesting dishes for a potluck. All credit goes to our friends and travel mates, Dan and Calina, authors of the Flock Together blog, who had the idea and hosted the potluck. It turned out to be a great success, attracting 10 people and lots of great food.
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.
Too many restaurants in South America have gigantic menus with no apparent theme. The worst part is, half the time they’re out of everything and serving solo pizzas (only pizzas). Pita, a small takeout shop next to the popular Loki Hostel in Cusco, Peru, is different. They have two options on their menu: falafel or sabih. We all know falafels, the deep fried chickpea delights. Sabih is another popular middle-eastern sandwich, consisting of pita stuffed with fried eggplant and hard boiled eggs. Sabih sandwiches aren’t vegan but the friendly staff at Pita are more than willing to leave out the eggs or combine the eggplant and falafel.
We arrived in Cusco, Peru, ready to settle down and enjoy the last few weeks of our time in South America. Rather than stay in a hostel, we decided to find an apartment for our two week visit. While searching for yoga classes online, I came across a website with an ad for space in a yoga guest house. The stars aligned and we found a nice family with a room for rent. One of the best things about staying with a local vegetarian family was that they were able to give us some great advice on where to find cheap and delicious vegan food in Cusco. The first place they brought us was the Comedor Vegetariano in San Blas market.