Buenos Aires isn’t well known as a vegan destination - yet. I explored vegan Buenos Aires and found a vibrant, exciting and delicious scene that’s growing every week. Here I share some of my favourite places to visit and give you my top tips for surviving as a vegan in Buenos Aires - the meat capital of the world.
Tell most people that you’re a vegan planning to visit Buenos Aires and chances are they’ll laugh. Well that’s what happened to me anyway.
Argentina is well known as the capital of beef. And not only that but there is plenty of egg pasta, cheesy pizzas and buttery pastries as well.
However, things are changing fast and veganism is taking hold in Argentina just as it is in many other places in the world.
Since my last visit, in 2014, a huge number of vegan restaurants and businesses have opened in the capital Buenos Aires, and elsewhere. On top of that many cafes and restaurants have vegan options too.
During our visit we also went to Mendoza, in the north west of the country. I was surprised and delighted to find many vegan options there too.
Here are some of the restaurants in Buenos Aires that we visited. Some of these are exclusively vegan - others have a good vegan options so are worth mentioning - I have specified below.
Vegan food in Buenos Aires
We loved this place so much that we went twice, even though we were only in Buenos Aires for 10 days. This incredible restaurant does vegan versions of the Argentine BBQ classics like choripan, milanesa and vacio. Most dishes are made with seitan but there are a few other options. My favourite was the vaciopan - seitan steak served in bread with grilled peppers. It was just divine. With lots of fries on the side of course. They also do delicious desserts. The kids were blown away by the copita marroc. I can’t really tell you what it was but it was a creamy pot of deliciousness that we all loved. R said it was the best dessert he’d ever had. The vegan empanadas are a must try too.
Gral. Juan Domingo Perón 1319
Gorriti 4939, Palermo
We visited the branch on Gorriti in Palermo. This place does vegan versions of Argentine classics as well as burgers, nuggets, hot dogs etc. They also do incredible vegan milkshakes and have an impressive display of cakes in the window. We got take away from here twice and also visited their in-house shop to pick up some vegan dulce de leche (caramel) and vegan alfajores (chocolate coated biscuits filled with dulce de leche).
Scalibrini Ortiz 2018, Palermo
Casa Munay is a vegetarian restaurant with plenty of vegan choices. I was sorely tempted to order their veggie burger but ended up opting for a stir fry rice dish. Ideal if you’re missing veggies. English menu available.
Fitz Roy 1962, Palermo
Billinghurst 1436, Recoleta
Iberá 2802, Belgrano
Tomás Le Bretón 4799, Villa Urquiza
Chile 882, San Telmo
Puán 662, Caballito
Av. Del Libertador 1522, Vicente Lopez
A whole range of vegan pizzas and a few other dishes eg faina and canastitas (little pies), which can be delivered to your apartment.
Conde 2399, Belgrano
This is a little way out of town but it’s well worth a visit for their range of vegan baked goods. We loved their pastries, dulce de leche filled alfajores and chocolates (it was Easter when we visited). We didn’t have time to try their gorgeous looking cakes or their savoury dishes. Next time…
Lafinur 3275, Palermo
This isn’t a vegan restaurant but they do have a vegan pizza on the menu. It’s quite simple, just tomato sauce and herbs but unusually for Buenos Aires it’s a thin crust pizza and is really good.
They also do a lovely courgette dish on the starter menu, which I ate with my pizza. It’s very vinegary though and best shared!
Sarkis is not a vegan restaurant but it does have a lot of delicious vegetable based dishes. It’s an Armenian restaurant and sells dishes that most vegans will recognise such as falafel, hummus, baba ghanoush or tabbouleh. Vegan dishes aren’t marked on the menu so check if you’re not sure.
At present this restaurant, which serves traditional food, only has one vegan option. But it’s well worth trying it out as this is a rare opportunity to try something really traditional. La Aguada have made a vegan humita - a sweetcorn and tofu filled dish steamed in corn leaves. Highly recommended.
What to ask for in non-vegan restaurants in Buenos Aires
Despite appearances it’s not impossible to eat vegan in traditional restaurants in Argentina. Here are some examples of vegan meals I ordered:
- Pizza napolitana sin queso - There’s a really famous pizzeria called Las Cuartetas, on Avenida Corrientes. It’s reputed to be Maradona’s favourite pizza restaurant and it oozes tradition, complete with colossal pizzas and aged surly waiters. They have a pizza napolitana without cheese (sin queso) on the menu and you can order by the slice. I ordered two slices and a slice of faina (a thick pancake made of chickpea flour) and it made a perfect lunch.
- Ñoqui (gnocchi) - most restaurants do gnocchi with tomato sauce (salsa filetto). You will need to check however that the ñoqui is made without eggs “sin huevos” as it can vary.
- Ensalada - large salads are popular in many Argentine restaurants. Often they’ll contain eggs, chicken or cheese but most restaurants will be able to make something for you - this will be easier if you can speak a little Spanish!
- Fugazzeta sin queso - if you like onions this one is for you. A fugazza is a popular Argentine pizza with no tomato sauce, onions and cheese. In some places you can find a fugazzeta, which is the same but without the cheese. You might have to order a whole pizza however, in which case ask for “individual” and definitely don’t opt for “grande” unless there are a huge crowd of you.
- Parrillada de verduras - frustratingly this is a little bit hard to find but it’s well worth looking out for restaurants with this on the menu. Parillada de verduras is basically grilled vegetables and I am always so happy when I find it on a menu! The best one I had on this visit was when we visited the Estancia Los Dos Hermanos for a day of horse riding. They were extremely accommodating in catering for me and made three or four vegan salads as well. They also catered for my vegetarian child by cooking something separate for him as he’s not very keen on vegetables or salad (see my other blog, Sneaky Veg for more on that!)
Other tips for vegans in Buenos Aires
Order your vegan food to be delivered to your door
We found the delivery service called PedidosYa to be a godsend in ordering in vegan food from the other side of the city. It works in the same way as Deliveroo or Uber Eats in the UK. Order from an app on your phone, pay by card or in cash to the driver and voila! Vegan food delivered to your door.
Eat Middle Eastern food
We passed a lot of restaurants that sell middle eastern food (medio oriente). You can find dishes such as hummus, falafel, tabbouleh and baba ghanoush on the menu.
Cook for yourself
If you have an Air BNB or similar with cooking facilities then you will find that Buenos Aires has amazing produce for you. Most streets have at least one greengrocer with amazing fresh produce.
In supermarkets you might find choices a bit limited but you will be able to buy vegan gnocchi (ñoqui), lentils, tins of tomatoes etc.
There are also many shops called “dietéticas” which often sell organic and/or vegan produce. I found veggie burgers, dried goods, soya yoghurt and best of all a vegan provoleta - cheese which can be BBQd - in one of these near our Air BNB.
Other restaurants with vegan options in Buenos Aires
These restaurants were all recommended to us to try but we didn’t have time to fit them all in.
Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre 664, Belgrano
Not vegan but lots of vegetable-centric dishes on the menu
Branches in Belgrano, Palermo and the centre
Malabia, 1833, Palermo
Vegetarian restaurant with vegan options
Jorge Newbery 4081 Chacarita
Gorriti 5657, Palermo
Vidal 2226, Belgrano
Costa Rica 5893, Palermo
Vegetarian and vegan
Liniers 1756, Tigre
Juan Ramírez de Velazco 701, Villa Crespo
Vegetarian with vegan options
San Martin 545
Vegetarian middle eastern food
El Salvador 4701, Palermo
Non vegan with vegan options
If you like this you might like to read about my pilates retreat at Domaine du Pignoulet, France, where I also ate incredible vegan food.