Going vegetarian in South America

Dear vegetarian friends, I’m trying an experiment on my second South America trip…

… to go all-vegetarian for at least one of my daily meals.

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On the surface, it seems like a really tough thing to achieve in the land of ‘carne’, yes.

But when you explore a little deeper, it’s easier than you’d imagine.

Here are some ideas and what has worked for me so far:

1. Snack: Pandebonos (cheese filled bread), pastels (fried dumplings), mani (peanuts), arepas con queiso, chocolate

2. Crepes, pizza and sandwiches (‘con verduras‘ / ‘sin carne‘)

3. Burritos, nachos and tacos – most Mexican food is veg friendly. Top it up with lots of avocado for a filling meal.

4. Arroz con frijoles (Spanish) / Arroz com feijao (Portuguese) – literally: rajma chawal! The staple diet for most parts of LatAm.

5. Ensalata (de frutas) – (fruit) salad. When you want to specifically mention “no meat” say “no como carne, solo verduras“.

That’s it. This should sort you out in most parts of South America. I’ll keep adding more ideas here, and do share yours too!

Finally, here’s a GREAT resourceful website to find vegetarian restaurants in cities around the world: HappyCow


Exotic Gringo (Kaushal Karkhanis)

Leading an experimental life as a digital nomad, I started traveling in 2007 while choosing to shuttle between Goa and Mumbai as 'home'. An epic life-changing trip to South America an year later gave birth to this blog, Exotic Gringo.

Blog Comments

Interesting I wondered how difficult it would be for a vegetarian there!

[…] Step 4: When you’re traveling, budget is a constraint. I turned this into an opportunity to have a fixed diet (while going vegetarian once a day) […]

I’ve only been in Bogota for a couple days and it’s actually been really easy to be a vegetarian here! I thought it would be virtually impossible to find a vegetarian meal, so I’m pleasantly surprised!