This past winter, we decided to spend five weeks living in an apartment in Buenos Aires. As we quickly found out, Argentina is known for a few things: tango, matte, wine and beef. A lot of beef. Before we arrived, almost everyone we talked to got excited telling us how amazing the beef was going to be. When they heard we were vegetarians, their smiles would collapse and they would say, “I’m not sure what you will be able to eat!” That made us a little nervous, but with some quick internet searches we were happy to discover that in fact there are a lot of vegetarian restaurants in Buenos Aires.
During our five weeks of exploring, we were able to try out quite a few restaurants that had great vegetarian and vegan options. If you want to visit Buenos Aries, don’t let people discourage you, there is plenty to eat! We were fortunate to be staying in the Palermo-Hollywood section of the city, which was walking distance to many of these restaurants. If you have a choice on somewhere to stay, we highly suggest this area!
This place is a delicious little hole in the wall type restaurant with really well priced food. If you are looking for a simple and satisfying meal, this is the place. The entrees were only 50-65 pesos each and filled us up nicely. Some of the food is already pre-made (but made that day) and on display so you can see what you are getting. It is open at lunch and dinner with different menus. Bonus if you speak Spanish. The menu was all in Spanish, thankfully there usually was one waiter that spoke English and could translate for us.
This was my (Annalisa) favorite place to eat in Buenos Aires, hands down. It’s another closed-door restaurant that requires reservations (only 14 people can fit) and is only on Thursday nights at 8:30pm. It is run by American Meghan and her Argentine friend Sonia. Each week they cook delicious, flavorful, innovative dishes that are all vegetarian (although they do use eggs). We went twice; one time we were served an Indian meal, the second time was South American. It was really fun to sit around the candlelit table and get to meet expats living in Buenos Aires and other fellow travelers. We unfortunately don’t have pictures of the food, but you get an idea of the atmosphere.
Pizza Vegana (Vegan)
This place served easily the best vegan pizza we have ever had. We know what you are thinking, but trust us, we are cheese lovers and pizza connoisseurs! With this pizza, you won’t even miss the cheese. They make the “cheese” in- house, and it is melt in your mouth delicious. They also have a wide range of toppings that you can try with their “all you can eat pizza” special on the weekends. We went here three times. Our only complaint (as Americans) is even though they say they open at 7:30pm, they really don’t start serving food until 9pm. One thing to note, it is a closed door restaurant*, which means there is no sign on the door. Go to the address and look for two white double doors. On the left, you will see a tiny pizza sticker and a doorbell. Ring the bell and they will let you in. Once inside you are in a really cool atmosphere. They have a courtyard seating area and inside they have tables set up and nice decorations. It feels just like a restaurant.
*Buenos Aires is big on closed door restaurants. Many of them are more like dinner clubs. You have to make reservations and the chef makes you a meal in their home or some space. It’s not as sketchy as it sounds!
Time to talk about ice-cream. Argentinians love their ice-cream and so does Aurelien. Buenos Aires has ice-cream stores on basically every corner. We tried a few places, but then got stuck on Tufic. You can get a 1/2 kilo container to go for 100 pesos, and the ice-cream seemed somewhat natural and wasn’t overly sweet like other places we tried. As much as Argentines like their ice-cream, they also love dulche de leche. At each shop they have around five different variations. Our top picks are Tufic were the dark chocolate and the super dulche de leche. Oh, did I mention most ice-cream places deliver? We didn’t take advantage of that option, but thought that was hilarious!
Buenos Aires Verde
One of our top picks. This is a 100% vegetarian restaurant with many options and delicious drinks. Over a course of a few visits we tried the vegetable risotto, vegetable lasagna, raw cannellonis, and some delicious drink combinations. The only con, for us, was it was open only at night (opens at 8pm) and is quite heavy food. They also had a lot of raw food, also heavy, that was very popular with the locals.
If you want to join the young hipsters of Buenos Aires, go here. While this is mainly a meat burger joint they also have one vegetarian chickpea burger, which was excellent. Their fries are also triple fried. Need we say more?
Buenos Aires is hot in the summer (Nov-March), so a refreshing, freshly squeezed juice is very welcome. This juice bar has many different combinations and they make it right in front of you, so you know it is fresh.
We came here after a long bike tour, tired and super hungry. It was around 3pm, so they didn’t have as much food left. We scarfed down a vegan pizza, a sandwich and some other item. I was so hungry, I didn’t really taste the food, so I would go back to again to try some other items. As you can see from the store-front, the place is rather cute.
If you hungry and hot after sightseeing downtown, this is an interesting option for vegetarian food. It is a massive cafeteria style dining hall with AC blasting. We had two plates full for 140 pesos. As you can see, I got a lentil dish, mashed potatoes, veggies and a small quiche. Bread rolls come with the meal. It wasn’t a meal I would write home about, but filled us up.
This is a nice, somewhat fancy place for brunch and working. This is actually a chain, so you can find Le Pan Quotidien’s all over the world. Get some pastries and coffee or tea, and relax. Bonus, the wifi was fast.
The Not So Good:
I feel bad putting this in the “not so good” section, I think it belongs in the “neutral section”. This is another vegetarian restaurant in Hollywood, Palermo. See, we told you there are tons of options! We only went once, and my salad was really bland (I guess the dressing was bland), but looked so beautiful I wanted to show you the picture! It seems to be a really popular place, I’m sure they had some good dishes.
I was really excited about this restaurant. It was two blocks from our place and a full vegetarian place! Unfortunately, both times we went, I was not impressed. I found the food way too salty and just bland. Service was really slow the first time we went. Kind of expensive considering the simplicity of the food. Lemonade was really good, although quite sweet. We did come here a few times to buy a loaf of bread from them. We had a toaster at our apartment and enjoyed toast a home!
Donkeys & Friends
Mediocre veggie burrito, go somewhere else. The burrito didn’t even have beans!
This restaurant is in a really great location downtown. The reason it didn’t get a high rating is because it is more of a vegan fast food place. The food was decent and reasonably priced, but I wouldn’t send someone here over the other places listed.
This is on the top of the list for most people, but as vegetarians we were not impressed.It seemed to me that the hummus had peanuts, the beet dip had ketchup and the falafels were dry. I imagine the meat dishes were better!
So there you have it! Ton of options, and we didn’t even list all of the places we tried. Lesson learned. Even if a country is known for it’s meat, there are always people who are serving vegetarian and vegan food. Of course, if you head out into the countryside, you will probably end up just eating salad for days…
Ciao! Buon appetite!