Eating vegetarian in Peru isn’t as hard as you may have heard! From grains packed with protein, to inventive plant-based recreations of meat dishes, being vegetarian in Peru does not mean you need to sacrifice on flavor or gourmet experiences. Read on for vegan and vegetarian restaurant and dish recommendations, tips, and a glossary of Spanish words you’re likely to spot on menus.
How difficult is to be a vegetarian in Peru?
Peruvian cuisine is famous for meat-based dishes like ceviche (fish) or lomo saltado (beef stirfry) but you won’t have any problems finding delicious vegetarian and vegan food options in Peru. With staples like rice, lentils, and potatoes on practically every plate, alongside local vegetables and vibrant jungle fruits the options are many!
What is it like being vegan in Peru?
More and more vegan options have been sprouting up around Peru, especially in Lima and Cusco, meaning it gets easier and easier to find vegan food in Peru. There are vegan food options to be found almost everywhere, but we recommend making a stop at a grocery store or market. Pick up harder to find staples like nuts, protein bars, and soy milk to have easily on hand.
Some destinations are easier to cater to veganism than others, though all regions in Peru do. You will be surprised by how many vegan options Cusco has within walking distance of your hotel! You’ll also be impressed by how lodge chefs can cook up delicious vegan options while in the Amazon, or how on the Inca Trail you won’t want for food!
What is it like being vegetarian in Peru when other members of my travel group aren’t?
If you’re traveling in a group where some are vegetarian while others are not, don’t sweat it! There are plenty of restaurants all over Peru that have vegetarian options alongside classic meat dishes. Some menu items too can be adjusted to suit your dietary preferences. If your group is craving ceviche, try out mushroom ceviche with fried yuca. Most of the hotels we recommend have onsite restaurants that will offer vegetarian and vegan options to suit all types of palates and dietary needs.
“Desayuno” or breakfast is often a simple spread of bread with various jams, cereals, and eggs. Or it is a breakfast buffet that includes American style breakfast options with Peruvian fruits, juices, and cheeses. If getting a boxed-lunch before Machu Picchu, be sure to let your Travel Advisor or the reception of your hotel know about your dietary needs beforehand.
“Almuerzo” or lunch is often enjoyed by Peruvians around 1pm. It’s the perfect time to spot hard working Limenos enjoy what Peruvians love most – fantastic food! Vegetarian options vary depending on the restaurant. But, don’t be shy to ask your server for modifications to any meat dishes, as most chefs love the challenge.
“Cena” or dinner is enjoyed by Peruvians around 8pm. Hungry travelers may find some establishments closed if they get peckish around 5pm. Not to worry, there are always lots of great alternative options nearby! Keep reading for our vegetarian restaurant list below for vegan and vegetarian food options in the destinations of your choice.
Traditional Vegetarian Peruvian Dishes
- Sopa de quinoa (quinoa soup) – Quinoa is a grain that’s packed with protein.
- Locro de zapallo – A creamy criollo dish with potatoes, onions, pumpkin, cheese, and aji peppers that’s often served over rice.
- Tallarines en salsa huancaina – Pasta served with huancaina sauce made of mild aji peppers, cheese, and breadcrumbs).
- Restaurants can sometimes tweak Peruvian dishes to accommodate vegetarians.
- Ceviche is a seafood dish. Vegetarians in Peru can order ceviche de champinoñes (mushroom ceviche) to enjoy the classic lime flavor without the fish.
Check out our blog post with 20 traditional Peruvian foods you can adjust to be vegetarian friendly.
Glossary of Common Words You’ll Find on a Menu:
Here are some words in English and Spanish to look out for and use when in doubt of what’s vegetarian-friendly on the menu:
Tip: Download Google Translate before your trip. Simply use the app to take pictures of the menu and have it translated on your phone.
- I’m vegetarian – Soy vegetariano/a
- Meat (red meat) – carne
- I’m vegan – Soy vegana/o
- Tofu – tofu / carne de soya
- I’m raw vegan – Soy crudivegano/a
- Chicken – Pollo / gallina
- Bacon – Tocino
- Cecina – dried beef or pork.
- Sausage – salchicha
- Pork – Cerdo
- Duck – Pato
- Fish – Pescado
- Shrimp – langostino
- Crab – cangrejo
- Octopus – Pulpo
- Without meat* – sin carne
- On the side – aparte
- Without fish – sin pescado
- Salad – ensalada
- Vegetables – Verduras
- Fruit – fruta
- Cheese – queso
- Egg – Huevo
- Dairy – lactose
*Note that while in English “without meat” specifies all varieties of meat, in Spanish “sin carne” can mean both “without meat” or specifically “without red meat”. For full clarity, you can say “sin carne por favor, soy vegetariano/a” (without meat please, I am vegetarian).
Best Veggie Restaurants in Peru (by destination):
“Yes, I am vegetarian. No, I don’t just eat salad.”
As most vegetarians know, it is not always easy traveling and finding places that align with your dietary preferences. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Peru that specialize in vegetarian and vegan food. Enjoy!
El Jardin de Jazmin
Artsy vibes and tasty vegan food unite at El Jardin de Jazmin, a small restaurant in the city’s modern Miraflores district and walking distance from Parque Kennedy. You will feel the peace and love the moment you enter into the colorful space, and you’ll taste it too once you bite into their fully plant-based menu items.
The menu features Peruvian finger food with a vegan twist, like veggiepapas—a play on traditional salchipapas, which is french fries topped with chopped up hot dogs and condiments. Plus, find a variety of house-made hamburgers, sandwiches, nuggets with different toppings, pastas, pizzas, desserts, and a variety of artisanal beers. My personal favorite is the BBQ cauliflower wing wrap followed by a slice of their unbelievably decadent chocolate cake – they make it easy being a vegetarian in Peru!
Em. Vegan Sweets & Salty
Is there a thing as love at first sight? Because that’s what I felt when I first saw the cookie dough cake at Em. Vegan Sweets & Salty. Two luscious layers of vanilla cake with an actual layer of chocolate chip cookie dough in between them, topped with vanilla frosting and another heavenly round of cookie dough on top. Other offerings include a variety tiramisu, cheesecakes, ice cream, cookies, crumb cake, brownies, and more. Savory selections include sandwiches, such as 3 cheez tocino (soy-based bacon) and empanadas, such as the creamy corn and cheez.
The setting is welcoming and modern, with vibrant blue walls and wooden tables with books that you can leaf through while you sip your coffee and delight in your delectable postre (dessert in spanish).
If a vegetarian meal and a cup of organic coffee is what you crave, look no further than Las Vecinas. The cozy decor, fresh plantlife, and chalkboard menus at this local eatery housed in a colonial building truly encompass the bohemian feel of Lima’s Barranco district. The food is really delicious too!
Las Vecinas is ideal for breakfast, lunch, or a light dinner. Sandwiches are prepared with artisan bread (like sunflower seed), salads are loaded with fresh greens, and there are a few hearty pasta and soup options as well. Ask for the beverage menu for listing of seasonal refreshments, Peruvian brewed beer, and coffee drinks. There is also a nice variety of juices, such as one that is a blend of cactus fruit, banana, and coconut milk.
Raw Cafe is a 100 percent vegan restaurant with laid-back vibes. Stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and prepare to be nurtured. There are many raw items on the menu for those raw vegans in your party, but also an equally wide selection of cooked meals.
From tall glasses of fresh juice and other beverages, like Tonica that’s a tea infused with maracuya, ginger, garlic, and turmeric, to a selection of salads, wraps, bowls, pizzas and vegan sandwiches, the extensive menu impresses even a carnivorous skeptic. Save room for dessert too—the variety of cheesecakes, truffles, cookies, and ice cream are the perfect sweet ending to a scrumptious meal.
This restaurant offers a fresh, trendy atmosphere while the kitchen lovingly prepares 100% vegan and gluten-free meals. An excellent menu pick is palta rellena (avocado filled with veggies and vegan mayo) to start, followed by traditional lomo saltado or comforting beet ravioles. My personal favorite is their pizzas—so flavorful and satisfying, and their house-made vegan cheese is delicious! Finally, don’t forget to finish up with a dessert, like maracuya cheesecake. The best part? It contains 0 refined sugars.
Peru for Less’ Rachel Walker visited this locale as well, and tried their Aji de Gallina Feliz—a play on the traditional Peruvian chicken dish, prepared instead with a mung bean protein and mushrooms topped with a creamy cashew, yellow pepper, and almond milk sauce. “It has a pretty and comfy terrace with a cool bamboo structure and hanging plants too,” Walker shares.
I went to this restaurant twice in the short 2 days that I spent in Paracas in October, 2019. I was absolutely amazed by the food, the ambiance, and the view! The portions were huge and the flavors were absolutely delicious. I had fried ceviche the first day, which featured a veggie fish, housemade from pallares, plus sweet potato, corn, red onion, and leche de tigre (traditional citrus-based sauce that gives signature flavor to classic Peruvian ceviche). The second day I started with vegan tequeños—a savory, deep fried pastry filled with vegan meat and complemented by an ocopa sauce. For my main dish, I had the lomo saltado, featuring a kidney bean-based meat.
The only thing as exquisite as the food itself was the view! I spent both meals on the balcony overlooking Paracas bay. The interior ambiance was relaxing, spacious, and adorable with colorful walls, tables, and couches to relax. There is also a performance space for live music acts on select occasions.
Pukasoncco Arte y Restaurante
This hidden gem looks like an art gallery from outside, but rest assured delicious veggie-friendly plates await beyond the eclectic and inspiring sculptures and paintings. Though not exclusively plant-based, there are many dishes to delight in for resident and traveling vegetarians in Peru. For this reason, it is a great spot to dine if you’re the only veggie-based person in your group, but still want a substantial meal. If you are pescatarian, visitors rave about their fish dishes as well.
The friendly chef is actually also an artist, so the art studio and restaurant are side by side in the same building. His passion seems to flow seamlessly from his creative to his culinary expressions, and the generous portions ensure you won’t leave hungry. Some veg options include a delicious veggie arroz chaufa (Peruvian fried rice), noodles with veggies, veggie saltado, and plentiful salads. Pair it with a handmade cocktail served by a warm and welcoming waitstaff and you’re set.
Locals and travelers alike gather for the delicious and economical meals served up by Loving Hut in Lake Titicaca. You can order the “menú” to enjoy the daily salad, soup, main, desert, and refreshment on offer. Visitors can try veganized traditional Peruvian meals, veggie burgers, and other mains along with a variety of snacks, cookies, cakes, soups, and drinks. Waitstaff is very accommodating and friendly.
This is not an exclusively vegetarian restaurant, but there are some nice, affordable options to satisfy your appetite during your time in Puno. The simple and artistic atmosphere makes it a great spot to relax, gather with friends, and enjoy some yummy veggie fare alongside some national or Peruvian craft beers, or a chicha morada (traditional purple corn refreshment) if you prefer.
The menu features Andean ingredients in both traditional and modern presentations. Vegans can enjoy the classic quinoa soup with vegetables and yellow potato or a quinoa burger oven baked with squash, carrots, zucchini, and onion. Additionally, vegetarians can delight in the yellow potato cream soup, or a hearty quinoa salad with corn, beans, tomato, cheese, and a house dressing. French fries are a nice accompaniment to any meal.
El Buda Profano
El Buda Profano is a vegan restaurant in Arequipa that serves plant-based cuisine with a Japanese twist. Open daily, this is a great place to enjoy an evening meal of sushi in a relaxed and uplifting environment. The restaurant itself is located in a historic building made of the white volcanic stone that the city is famous for. The stonework continues onto the walls and arches of the interior, with wood, plantlife, and buddha sculptures completing the scene.
The menu features a diverse and delicious list of starters and rolls made with fresh ingredients like avocado, mango, eggplant, and tofu. You can start your meal with a warming bowl of veggie ramen or a scrumptious plate of tempura veggies. Next, sample some creative rolls, like the beet, spinach, and avocado, or fried tofu, eggplant, and japanese cucumber. Don’t forget to pair with wine or sake and finish up with a chocolate maki or sweet mochi dessert.
Mi Kcao Chocolates y Cafe
No list can be complete without a spot to get your (vegan) chocolate fix. This chocolate shop and cafe is beloved for it’s super relaxed vibes, its decedent organic, artisanal, fair-trade chocolate, and the inspiring two Peruvian brothers who own it. Located in a relaxed back patio less than 3 blocks from the Plaza, it’s worth stopping in to this sweet 100% vegetarian haven.
The menu features chocolates handmade with almond, soy, and coconut milk—more than 20 varieties without milk. There are also fruit bowls, smoothies, desserts, ice cream, a variety of sandwiches, including one with vegan cheese, avocado, and tomato, and an intriguing selection of coffee drinks that can be made with non-dairy milk. Coffee beans come from the owners’ very own family farm in Cusco.
Omphalos features a healthy, vegetarian take on classic Peruvian food. Most vegan and vegetarians in Peru find themselves returning here again and again during their time in Arequipa, to try all the amazing menu items or delight in their daily menú (a set selection of starter, soup, entree, and dessert for just 10 soles).
The restaurant is set in a pretty stone courtyard just a block from the Plaza de Armas, with cozy interior seating as well. The menu features veggie burgers topped with fresh sprouts and tomato, grilled vegetable and seitain plate, vegan lomo saltado, traditional vegetarian rocoto relleno (Arequipeñan stuffed pepper), and more. A variety of delicious vegan cakes are also served daily. To give an idea of what their daily set menú might consist of, on October 27, 2019 the starter was lentil salad, the soup was cream of vegetables, the entree was a choice between sauteed eggplant, vegetable lasagna, and pesto or bolognesa pasta,and the dessert was a creamy rice pudding.
Chia Vegan Kitchen
This unassuming vegan spot just a block and a half from the Plaza de Armas is bursting with plant-based goodness. The vibrant, creative dishes are 100% vegan and feature organic, local ingredients. Not only are the meals hearty and satisfying, the presentation is absolutely beautiful. Some menu favorites include quinoa chaufa with generous pieces of seitan, quinoa burger with roasted potatoes and creamy sauces, lasagna, massaman curry, mushroom ceviche, paella, and more.
In addition to the main plates, the desserts, cocktails, and even herbal teas are little marvels of their own—delicate and wholesome from the ingredients to the garnishes. Come in to enjoy a nurturing breakfast, lunch, or dinner, while admiring the laid back atmosphere with artistic touches.
This place is all about spreading the goodness of vegetarian food at an affordable rate. With a menu showcasing the rich nutrition and health benefits of a veggie-based diet, the food is not only delicious, but healthy as well! Stop in for one of their breakfast combos—eight options to choose from. For example, The Vegano comes with juice, fruit salad with cereal, tofu, toast, marmalade, and tea. Or just stick with a delicious stack of pancakes, if you prefer.
For lunch and dinner you can select from a variety of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Or, order a hot plate, like the bistek apanado, featuring rice, breaded seitan, salad, and french fries; or the Delicia de Brocoli, which is essentially a vegetable and tofu stir fry accompanied by rice. You can also opt for the rotating daily menu. Super cheap, tasty, and satisfying, it includes soup, entree, and salad bar. Plus, the environment is charming and welcoming, with wood finishes and artistic touches.
Peru for Less’ Product and Account Manager Alexandra Aguinaga, visited Green Point in October 2019:
“This restaurant is located in San Blas near hotels Casa San Blas or Casa Andina San Blas. It’s a hidden restaurant—you would think it is small from the outside, but it was quite spacious, like going into a secret garden. It has seating inside and also on the patio, which is covered by a white tent; it also has a couple of trees that give shade from those sunny Cusco afternoons.
To start, they gave us complimentary homemade bread with a creamy pepper sauce and sundried tomatoes with olives and olive oil—a great way to calm the hunger until the food arrived. A cold strawberry, mango and passion fruit juice was just the trick to keep me cool on a warm day. My boyfriend was suffering from altitude sickness so he had a squash cream (vegan-almond milk) decorated with dried pepper and chives. Our mains were grilled veggies topped with vegan cheese on a bed of arugula. As well as stir-fried vegetables marinated with soy sauce accompanied by french fries and whole rice.”
Prasada The Vegan Temple
The relaxed, spiritual vibe of this charming little vegan restaurant is paired with an exciting variety of wholesome dishes. You can try a curry plate (red, green, caribbean, and more), pizza finished with vegan cheese and veggies, a plant-based spin on Peruvian traditional tacu tacu, or one of their super hearty veggie burgers loaded with toppings.
Visitors also celebrate the huge and flavorful smoothies, lassis, and green juices the kitchen whips up. Some options include the “Bear,” featuring banana, cocoa, chia, algarrobina, and almond milk; and the “Summer,” comprised of strawberry, oats, avocado, chia, and almond milk. You can also try some yummy desserts, like the artisanal ice cream sundae or the mango ravioli.
Vida Vegan Bistro
The comforting, homestyle food at this small, artsy restaurant is a vegan’s dream. With both Italian and Peruvian food on the menu, there are familiar and adventurous options to delight in. Try their pizza, loaded with toppings and vegan cheese, or maybe some vegan cheese ravioli covered in a creamy pesto sauce. To go the local route, indulge in the mushroom ceviche or vegetarian lomo saltado.
Finish off your meal with a vegan pisco sour, a maca banana smoothie, or a delicious dessert of rice pudding. These culinary treasures are awaiting just three blocks from the main Plaza. The service is excellent and the portions are big—so you will be sure to leave uplifted and satisfied.
Alma Amor is a cozy and uplifting wellness center and restaurant located in the majestic Sacred Valley. It is also the first and only vegan restaurant of Ollantaytambo. The dishes are regionally-inspired, and made of local and organic ingredients wherever possible.
The menu has a range of delectable plant-based fare. Start off with a creamy carrot and pumpkin soup finished with ginger and cumin. Then, continue on to the traditional tacu tacu, comprised of a bean and rice patty with spicy tomato salsa and salad. Don’t forget to pair your meal with passionfruit juice or maca latte. Finish off with a dessert of mazamorra morada, a local favorite made of purple corn.
Garden of Vegan
Who would have thought you can find vegan buffalo wings, mac and cheese, nachos, and meatball subs in the middle of the Andes mountains? Well, at Garden of Vegan, you can! Enjoy these American comfort foods and so much more at this amazing 100% plant-based restaurant in the quaint valley town of Urubamba.
All plates come with a soup or salad. Some other menu favorites include tacos, filled with vegan meat, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and sour cream, with Mexican rice and beans on the side; and eggplant parmesan, a satisfying dish of breaded eggplant, marinara, and parmesan over a bed of spaghetti. There is also a rotating daily menu, which includes soup, entree, and a drink. Pair your meal with one of their amazing elixirs, smoothies, teas, wellness shots, or maybe just a good ol’ bottle of beer and enjoy the cozy and uplifting environment.
This chill, casual restaurant is the perfect place to crash with friends and enjoy a hearty vegetarian meal. Though not a 100% vegetarian establishment, you will not be at a loss for an excellent selection of regional dishes sin carne (without meat).
Located in the Sacred Valley town of Urubamba, the art, decor, and furniture inspires a strong sense of peace and love. Some menu favorites include the Hawaiian lentil burger, vegan purple corn tacos, macrobiotic salad, quinoa tabouli, artisanal pasta with mushrooms, and more. Don’t forget to ask your waiter about the daily desserts. You may just find yourself with a deliciously fudgy vegan brownie paired with a strawberry smoothie. The menu incorporates items from the chef’s own organic garden. There’s even a playground for kids, so it’s a great place for the whole family to dine in harmony.
This restaurant is set in a charming 3-star hotel conveniently located near the Ollantaytambo train station. It features beautiful gardens of vegetables, passion flowers, and avocado trees, frequented by hummingbirds. Peru Travel Advisor Adrienne shares “I recently went to El Albergue’s restaurant and they have a handful of dishes indicated as either veggie or vegan, with most ingredients coming straight from their huerto (garden)!”
These special and mindfully prepared meals feature such favorites as Locro de Zapallo, which is a pumpkin stew with diced cheese; a hefty plate of sauteed garden vegetables with local bread; or a pasta dish featuring handmade fettuccine and garden fresh tomatoes. Pair your meal with one of their celebrated cocktails. Their Caña Alta Azul (sugar cane rum) and Tonic garnished with molle leaf and peppercorn are particularly good.
This welcoming, vibrant restaurant in Urubamba is a vegan’s sanctuary. The cuisine is a blend of Andean with influence of other Latin cuisines, like Mexican and Venezuelan. Pachasara means “place of corn” in Quechua, and all the offerings on the menu are a tribute to the land and the abundance of vegetables it bears.
The gluten free and 100% vegan options include tacos, arepas, empanadas, tamales, soups, salads and more. The cooks incorporate fresh superfoods of the region in their dishes, like quinoa, chia, sacha inchi and native potatoes. Finish off with cake or a muffin and leave feeling nurtured and energized.
Traveling with dietary restrictions can sometimes be a challenge! But our Expert Travel Advisors are here to help with all of your travel arrangements. We’re masters at personalizing your trip. We’ll align it with your values because our goal is for you to enjoy the trip of lifetime with complete peace of mind! Let us make planning your Peru adventure as effortless as eating vegetarian in Peru!
Chat with one of our Travel Advisors today about how Peru for Less can help you to plan your dream Peru trip.
Originally from Canada, Michelle is a wanderer who has made Peru her home since 2018. In search of the best Red Velvet cupcake, she has been eating and travelling her way through Peru and South America ever since. Obsessed with glaciers, mountains, and french fries Peru has become her home away from home.