Peruvian cuisine has a lot of delicious dishes and fortunately not all of them contain meat or fish. There are actually many really good vegetarian options with maiz like ‘pastel de choclo’, or tamales, yucca, sweet potatoes, tallarin al horno, starters with avocados, ‘sopa de zapallo’ (squash soup), or locro de zapallo. And of course we have the recently discovered super-food, the Peruvian quinoa, which can be used in soups, salads, instead of rice, and even in sweet dishes and desserts. Most Spanish students staying with a local host family in Cusco during their Spanish courses, are pleasently surprised by the variety of vegetarian options Peruvian cuisine and their host mums offers. Also our chef cook at the student residence provides excellent vegetarian options.
Two restaurants in Cusco are specifically popular among AMAUTA Spanish students in Cusco – and it’s not only vegetarian but also non-vegetarians that visit those places regularly. The food is good and it is not too expensive and for sure you’ll meet some fellow AMAUTA students.
This is a “chain” of small restaurants, as there are several “Encuentro´s” in Cusco. There is one really close to AMAUTA Spanish School, located just one block away. And there is another one that is just a 5 minute walk from the school, and only one block from the main square, the Plaza de Armas. The menu of the day is really cheap, costing only 5 soles. You can have a meal and a drink for about 10 soles and the best thing is that it is so good! One of my favorites is the pancake with cheese, it is absolutely delicious. However, there are so many other great dishes to choose from, as well. The quality of the food can be noted by the amount of people that are in the restaurant, it is almost always crowded inside. It is an excellent place for both Peruvians and foreigners to eat a good, low-budget vegetarian meal.
This restaurant is situated in the neighborhood of San Blas and is a little bit more difficult to find as it is hidden behind a big gate. In contrast to El Encuentro, it is more expensive, but it’s also a different category. The food here is amazing and they present it in a beautiful way. You almost dare not to eat it because you do not want to ruin the beautiful creation they made out of the food. You can eat here for around 20 soles, which is a little more pricey, but definitely worth it. It is actually a vegan restaurant, but you do not have to be a vegan to come here.
Greenpoint has their own website: www.greenpointveganrestaurant.com