Vegetables Or Cows– Consuming Vegetarian In Argentina
Argentina: meat main, best? This is not always so anymore. As a dedicated vegetarian (that indicates I do eat dairy products) unlike vegans (no dairy or eggs) I feared relocating to Argentina and being deprived of vegetarian choices. I would be in predator paradise and starve, well maybe not. What could I eat except for deep fried cheese, pizza and be totally deprived of nutrients. (and about 25 pounds heavier)
I marvelled! There are lots of vegetarians in Buenos Aires (compared with the USA its not that high) and numerous vegetarian dining and cooking choices.
My leading restaurants for a guaranteed healthy and delicious meal include:
Pura Vida Restaurant on Uriburu 1489 and Pena (try to find the intense orange awning). This is a juice bar that likewise serves soup, sandwiches and salads. It has actually been open less then a year ago by two expats from the United States. One owner is a strict “raw foodist” (nothing baked) and the other is a vegan. At Pura Vida you will have tasty liquados (shakes) or jugos (juices). My favorite shake is the “Strawberry Fields Forever” which has banana, blueberry, raspberry, apple juice and I ask for spirulina to be added.
The other option although not solely vegetarian however carnivore friendly is California Burrito Company in Microcentro on Lavalle 441 and San Martin (4328-3056). This dining establishment was also opened by three expats from the United States. This restaurant has an assembly line system to ordering your meal. They declare 15,000 variations can be created for a fajita, burritio or taco. As a vegetarian, you pick from either pinto or black beans, various salsas, hot mole, guacamole, sour cream (non-vegan), and veggies. The burrito also includes a drink of your option all for under the price of $20 AR.
In the Collegiales area, you will find Verde Llama on Jorge Newbery 3623 (4554-7467). This is a raw foods restaurant run by Diego, an Argentine and staunch follower of the “life foods philosophy.” If vegetarianism is radical in Argentina then raw foodism is sacrelegous. At Verde Llama absolutely nothing is cooked. The base of the foods is made from cracker like food made from sprouts processed in a “dehydrator.”
The menu consists of salads, lasagna, coconut curry, and an extensive juice and wine list. They also have a mate mousse for dessert. Diego is extremely passionate about “life foods” and provides classes at the restaurants on preparing raw food dishes in the house. One of the chefs at Verde Llama is likewise a baker and offers his products for $10 AR at the restaurant in addition to some other ready made products.
As a vegetarian, its much easier to prepare meals from home then check exactly what I can and can not consume from a menu. (Its also more expense reliable to consume in!) The grocery store chain, Jumbo in Palermo (near the mosque) is a good resource for purchasing veggies, soy sauce and some other staples. For more extensive shopping its worth a journey to Barrio Chino in Belgrano.
Barrio Chino is comprised of about 2 or 3 blocks and there are numerous restaurants (some vegetarian) and stores packed into this little location. You can always discover soy milk in Barrio Chino. At Asia Oriental Market on Arribenos you will discover an extensive supply of baked tofu, silken tofu, ready foods such as vegetarian sushi, vegetables and fruits.
I have actually seen on expatriate sites in Buenos Aires people searchin for coconut oil, sesame milk and other products easily discovered at The Whole Foods market chain in the U.S.A. However, these products are challenging to discover here. The solution? Individuals are discovering how to make their own almond, and sesame milk. There is plainly a market for a Whole Foods market here in Buenos Aires. There is a growing market to accommodate vegetarians and with all these people opening restaurants and markets the demand will increase. Maybe, Argentina land of carnivores will become popular for vegetarian living too!