If you’re plant-based you’ll know how hard it is to find good, plant-based food in some corners of the world. This is especially the case in South America, although things are slowly changing. I can’t remember how many times I was offered just a plate of rice, corn and tomato because they had nothing else (in remote areas). Apart from Lima, Cusco is one of the best places to be plant-based in Peru and has so many options that for once, you’ll have to actually have to make a choice.
Keep in mind that lunchtime is often the best and cheapest time to eat. Many restaurants do a daily menu where for about $5 you get an entré, a main, salad and dessert. It’s great value for money, the food is freshly prepared daily and it’s a great opportunity to try local food.
Visiting Cusco? Check out the 7 Unmissable things to do and see in Cusco here.
Here are my favourite 5 vegan places to eat in Cusco. Hopefully, this makes your decision a lot easier. Bon appetit!
Green Point Vegan
This place is an institution and not just with vegans. Many meat eaters come here too and love it. For just a few soles the set lunch here is delicious and great value for money. I’d recommend you don’t leave lunch too late though. It’s so popular that these guys sell out fast. If the set lunch doesn’t interest you or you come for dinner, I’d lightly recommend trying their ceviche and causa, two Peruvian dishes that will be difficult to try plant-based anywhere else. The price quality ratio at Green Point is exceptional. You may be paying a little more than the average local eatery but the food is out of this world. It’s well worth it and is the number 1 plant-based restaurant in Cusco for many.
Where: Carmen Bajo 243, San Blas, Cusco
Price Range: $-$$ Mains from 30-35 soles
Chia Vegan kitchen
Everything here is natural, organic and health orientated. For 15 soles ($5) they also do a great lunch menu. If you need a Thai food fix then you have to try the massaman curry which is delicious. The veggie stir fry is also a great option. For dessert, I was highly impressed with the quinoa pudding which was local and so creamy it just melts in your mouth. The service too was attentive and the staff really friendly.
Where: Calle Techsecocha 466, Cusco
Price Range: $, Mains from 20-28 soles
Vida Vegan Bistro
This little restaurant was so welcoming I just loved its charm (and food of course). Located in the funky San Blas neighbourhood it’s small but has a large vegan menu and the food is simple but delicious. The menu has a wide variety of both Peruvian and European favourites. I was in the mood for a pizza and I was really impressed that the plant-based cheese really tasted like cheese and not cardboard (we’ve all been there). I also loved it’s sustainability ethics and all its efforts in recycling and minimalizing wastage. If you’re travelling long-term they sell bamboo toothbrushes, reusable straws and ethical cutlery sets so it’s a great opportunity to stock up on your own utensils. Another exceptional choice for a meal in Cusco.
Where: Tambo de Montero 508, Cuzco
Price Range: $, Mains from 16-25 soles
This restaurant is part of the Shaman Vegan Raw Centre which offers a more spiritual introduction to the Andes and Peru including visiting ancient Power places, energy centres and temples combined with rituals and meditations. They support a 100% plant-based lifestyle, dedicated to shamanic food practises and the restaurant reflects that. It’s decorated beautifully, and it’s really a place to come, eat slowly and relax. They celebrate the idea of community- there are no individual tables, just two large tables encouraging you to take a seat, put away your phone and talk to the people around you. They offer raw and vegan options. I opted for the power salad and it was delicious. Their juices were pretty great too.
Where: Santa Catalina Ancha 366 B
Price Range: $-$$, but they have a great lunch deal.
Prasada The Vegan Temple
This is the place to go for burgers. While most of the above options also have burgers on their menu, I found that this little restaurant was the place to go for burgers. Definitely one of the best burgers I have had in a long time. The restaurant itself has good vibes, chilled air about it and the owner is really lovely. Seating is on cushions at low tables. Highly recommended for your burger fix.
Where: Choquechaca 425, Cuzco
Price Range: $, Mains from 15-15 soles
Unfortunately, these are all the restaurants I could physically visit during my stay in Cusco and I have to say they were all brilliant and highly recommendable. If you’ve been to any others and would like to recommend it, let me know, comment below.