Buenos Aires is slowly becoming Vegetarian Friendly
By Stina Persen – Buenos Aires April 27 – 2016
When deciding to come to Argentina for a year my biggest concern became what would I eat? Being vegetarian in a country infamous for it’s meat consumption seemed daunting. Would I end up having to survive on bananas and rice? I began learning the essential phrases, ¨soy vegetariana¨ (I´m vegetarian) and ¨no como carne¨ (I don´t eat meat) as well as keys words to arm myself with the skills to navigate a menu. I was warned vegetarianism would be a foreign concept to the average Argentinian.
You might want to read:
Being Vegetarian or Trying to be on in Buenos Aires
The reality however has been quite the opposite. Time and time again I have been surprised and certainly well fed with plenty of options. Restaurants and cafes always seem to have at least some vege sandwiches, salads and/or burgers. There seems to be a general embrace of the healthy clean eating movement which lends itself well to vegetarianism.
Here are some tips to: maneuvering your way through Argentine gastronomy and surviving as a veggie!
Highlights so far include the amazing lentil burger by Tierra de Nada located in Caballito. This burger joint has a great vibe, pumping music and friendly staff who were patient in the face of my broken Spanish. Cachito Premium is another place worth tracking down in one of its three locations across the city for its grilled vege and provolone sandwich. Totally delicious and the beer is cheap too. For a more sophisticated menu there is Jueves a la Mesa a close door restaurant. For a great taco head to La Fabrica del Taco in Palermo. They have other vege options as well and some seriously good guacamole. It´s a mexican restaurant that delivers, great food, lively vibe with quintessential Mexican decor.
Here are more great Vegetarian Restaurants in Buenos Aires
Of course there is the not so healthy but always tasty classic Latin American fast food snack – Empanadas are extremely common in Buenos Aires and they are delicious.
Throw a rock and you will hit an empanada store. Best described as a handheld pie these tasty bundles of joy can be sweet or savoury, baked or fried. Naturally quality and variety vary from place to place with literally thousands of eateries, cafes and bakeries selling them, with that said however my experiences so far range from ok to mind-blowing cheesey heaven. Flavour combos to spot on the menu include ¨cautro queso¨(four cheeses) ¨caprese¨ (cheese and marinara sauce) ¨queso y espincia¨ (cheese and spinach) and ¨verdura¨ (veges, herbs and of course cheese!). Caprese has to be my personal favourite, it´s like a mini pocket pizza for one. Beaware it´s best check if they have been fried in äciete¨ (oil) or ¨grasa¨ (fat) for peace of mind.
If you like Argentina Empanadas, check this blog about their history and recipes
Argentina has even taught this long time vegetarian a new trick or too. Special mention here goes to my new favourite discovery, Fainá. It is a kind of nutty, kind of peppery flatbread made with chickpea flour. Fainá is super common in Argentina and Uruguay and can be found certainly wherever pizza is found. They can be greasy and not for everyone but I´m obsessed. Great by itself, hot or cold, but even better on top of your slice of pizza. Paired this way its called ¨pizza a caballo¨ (horseback pizza) and its certainly a great Argentinian food experience. In fact I have been informed by a credible Argentinian source that pizza and fainá are truly the best of friends.
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