After visiting so many small towns in Northern Argentina, it was a real treat to arrive in Salta, a metropolitan city with European flair. We spent two days there and couldn’t help but splurge and eat at both of the city’s two vegetarian restaurants. For casual meals and quick lunches, there’s Bios Diet, a vegetarian and macrobiotic restaurant with a pay by weight salad bar and daily lunch specials. For fancier meals, there’s Entre Indyas, which has a daily menu and offers Indian and Peruvian inspired dishes made with fresh, local produce.
After leaving Rio de Janeiro, we flew to Iguazu Falls, one of South America’s best known natural attractions. Since leaving Brazil, we’ve been traveling through a series of small towns in Northern Argentina as we make our way up to Bolivia. So far, we’ve stopped in San Ignacio Mini, Posadas, Colonia Carlos Pellegrini, Tafi de Valle and Cafayate. Some of these towns are very, very small. Some are even too small to support a supermarket, which makes finding decent vegan food a challenge. However, there’s nothing like a string of boring food days to make you appreciate interesting culinary finds like Vegemite, artisan chocolate bars, and wine flavoured ice cream.
We arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with just enough time to catch the end of the carnival celebrations. We packed a lot of activities into our five-day visit. Time zoomed by and before we knew it, we were leaving Rio having only eaten at one vegetarian restaurant. Initially, we’d planned to eat at Universo Organico. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it there before closing. Instead, we headed over to the nearby Vegetariano Social Clube, an all vegan restaurant with a diverse menu.
Pay per kilo restaurants are everywhere in Brazil. They’re very popular and well known for being cheap and quick. We ate at four pay per kilo buffets while visiting Rio de Janeiro and Florianópolis. We found there was always a lot of variety and enough vegan options to keep us happy.
The last time I had hummus I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It wasn’t homemade or freshly prepared. It was hummus in a jar. I only needed to try one bite to confirm my suspicion that hummus in a jar isn’t a good idea. Tahini is expensive in South America and not readily available, making fresh hummus hard to come by. In Florianópolis, we found Chårütü’s, a restaurant that serves up Indian, Arabic, Caribbean, Mexican and vegetarian food. They’re not a vegetarian restaurant but their menu includes vegan-friendly samosas, falafel, salads and a variety of delicious dips.
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.
Fainá and Fugazza are two popular items you’ll find on menus at almost every pizza shop in Buenos Aires. Traditionally, they’re made without cheese and are vegan friendly. Heck, Fainá is even gluten free. It’s not everyday that a local favourite just happens to be vegan. When I learn of such a dish, I can’t help but make a point of seeking it out.
Buenos Aires Verde is an organic vegetarian restaurant and one of few places where you’ll find raw food in the city. Conveniently located just a few blocks from our apartment in Palermo Hollywood, it was only a matter of time before we strolled over for a lunch date.
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.
bBlue is a natural deli and juice bar located in the heart of the Palermo Soho neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. We came across bBlue while exploring the area and were immediately drawn in. We didn’t know we were hungry or thirsty until we saw people through the window sipping on big, brightly coloured smoothies and enjoying plates with generous side salads.