The Buenos Aires Vegetarian Dilemma: What to eat in Argentina?

As a former vegetarian for many years, once I moved to Buenos Aires I quickly put a halt to my plant-eating ways and succumbed to the carnivorous lure of the beef.  For those strong-willed who have yet to cross over to the dark side, make sure to not fall victim of the endless cheese and humita based empanadas, pizzas napoletanas, and lettuce-onion-tomato salads. There never used to be many vegetarian restaurants in Buenos Aires, but organic. vegan and vegetarian eaters wet-dreams can now come true, here is a guide to the most solid vegetarian-ish restaurant options that will debunk the common misconception that Argentina is the land of beef.

Arevalito
Arévalo 1478, Palermo Hollywood_MG_9315
Cocina sin carne, con aromas del mundo.”  That’s one of the mission statements at this 100% vegetarian eatery.  From the makers of the former La Providencia (one of my favorite spots in the city circa 2008), bring you Arevalito, a small friendly restaurant that focuses on fresh, in-season ingredients.  The menu changes daily, but generally will always offer a plato caliente, sandwich, salad and some treats to picar.

Artemísia
Cabrera 3877 and Gorriti 5996, Palermo
_MG_9362

Not strictly vegetarian, Artemisia has proven to be the go-to spot for the more adventurous eater.  With unique dishes, organic wines and a small bakery filled with homemade goods, take advantage of both the lunch and dinner offerings.  Unlike most vegetarian restaurants in the city, each location has a comfortable, warm atmosphere – filled with beautiful fresh flowers – making it a more *upscale* veggie dining experience.

Artesano
Mansilla 2748, Recoleta

Back in the day, during my UBA attending years, I used to frequent this restaurant / health food store almost on a daily basis for lunch.  Strictly vegetarian, with some vegan options, the small bright and yellow spot on a quiet corner is a delightful haven to fill up on whole grains and vegetables. Photo credz: Guiaoleo.

Bio
2199 Humbolt, Palermo Hollywood
A pioneer in the vegetarian food movement in Buenos Aires, Bio has been a green powerhouse serving up organic food for years.  Open all day from 9am – 1am, Monday thru Sunday, Bio cooks a healthy alternative in a lovely, bright bistro/café atmosphere.  Just because it’s vegetarian doesn’t make it cheap, this is one of the more expensive vegetarian restaurants in Buenos Aires.  Photo credz: San Telmo Loft.

Buenos Aires Verde
Gorriti 5657, Palermo Hollywood
Three things you wouldn’t normally associate with Buenos Aires: raw food, organic, vegetarian.  Open for lunch and dinner, this spot offers a huge range of dishes like pizza, pasta, stir fry, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, juices, organic wines and desserts. They even deliver to the neighborhood.

Casa Felix
By reservation only, ChacaritaOne of the first puertas cerradas to reach internationally acclaimed fame, Chef Diego Felix led the way in the Buenos Aires closed-door restaurant movement by opening his home and inviting guests to experience a five-course, Latin American inspired tasting menu.  Generally strictly a pescetarian menu, the chef can prepare vegan or vegetarian meals upon request.  Open Thursday – Saturday at 9:30pm. Average price per person: AR$180 (plus wine).   Photo credz: The Urban Grocer.

Hierbabuena
Caseros 454, San Telmo
hierbabuena

Vegetarian and vegan friendly, this absolutely adorable café on lovely Caseros street makes for the ideal San Telmo spot for vegan and vegetarian eating. Mushroom burgers, natural juices by the jugs, vegan salads, not only is the atmosphere ever-so pleasant, but the food is pretty solid too.

Juana M
Carlos Pellegrini 1535, Retiro

Sure, Juana M is known as a parrilla, but the large salad bar makes it a vegetarian destination as well.  Ideal for an inter-culinary group, the token vege-head is able to choose from a larger offering than just a plate of papas fritas and lame-ass lettuce and tomato salad. Photo credz: Ricos Lugarcitos.

La Casa de Ohsawa
Ciudad de la Paz 415, Colegiales

Macrobiotically magnificent, get your fixing of some health food favorites like alga kombu, mijo, miso, seitan and tofu. Health food store and organic restaurant all rolled up into one, La Casa de Ohsawa has been a neighborhood favorite for many years.  Every Saturday from 4:30pm – 7:00pm they offer a macrobiotic cooking class so healthy amateur cooks can learn the basics of healthy cooking. Average price per person: AR$28-38.

Los Sabios
Corrientes 3733, Almagro

At one point in time my favorite restaurant in Buenos Aires (because it was dirt cheap and a block away from my apartment), this Taiwanese owned tenedor libre (all you can eat buffet) not only serves Asian influenced dishes, but also has a wide selection of Argentine food and a full salad bar.  Don’t let the fried rice with french fries scare you off, there are plenty of other winning dishes: stick with the marinated seitan and tofu salads, potato and corn croquettes, legumes and green peppers, and brown rice with vegetables.  Just don’t be fooled by the non-alcoholic beer. Average price per person: AR$28-40.

Marfa
Delivery Only, Palermo Hollywood

It is hard to order the wrong thing at Marfa.  This Palermo lunch and dinner delivery service has bomb ass food. No joke. I’ve tried almost everything on the menu and rarely is there something I don’t like.  While there are options for chicken, fish, and beef eaters, those who restrain from an animal diet have plenty of options to choose from as well.  The veggie burger can’t be missed and out of the five different flavors on the menu, the Broccoli and Red Pepper is the winner for me. Made with yamaní rice, oats and sesame topped with mozzarella, lettuce, tomato and a red and green pesto, this is simply a patty of delicity. Quesadillas, wraps, sandwiches, soups and salads are off da chain tambien.

Quimbobó
Costa Rica 4562, Palermo Soho
Located in the heart of Palermo Soho crazyland, escape to a culinary haven where the ambiance enhances the naturally focused menu. Relax on the patio while sipping a freshly made licuado and vegetable packed salad, while creepily people watching the crowd below.

*Sarkis
Thames 1101, Villa Crespo
sarkis

Voted the most popular restaurant on Guiaoleo, everyone and their mother has been to Sarkis.  Specializing in Armenian and Middle Eastern cuisine, there’s a reason why this place is always packed: good food and cheap prices.  While the beef and lamb dishes are quite the tasty delights (mmm a LONG SHLONG of carne picada smothered in a greasy yogurt sauce), vegetarians can find plenty of dishes to order.  Go with the puré de garbonzos, puré de berenjena, , tabule, morrones asados, ensalada con feta, puff pastry goodness stuffed with spinach and ricotta and my personal favorite, the ENSALADA BELÉN.

In a close second place, Al-Zein in Las Cañitas may not have such an extensive menu, but make a mean falafel (order it with extra yogurt sauce), babaganoush and thin pita bread.  It’s also Kosher. BOOM.

Sattva
Montevideo 446, Centro

Look at that healthiness on a plate – I’d like a big, fat, juicy, bloody tofu steak please.  Put on your hemp necklace and Plaza Francia pants, and order one of the platos equilibrados, where you can pick and mix of a choice of grains (quinoa, brown rice or bulgur wheat), vegetables (wok or raw), and protein (tofu or seitan).

Spring Restaurante Vegetariano
Guatemala 4452 & Bulnes 2577, PalermoBOMB ass vegetarian tenedor libre that is not only cheap, it’s also delicious.  Unlike other “rotiserías chinas” where you just pile on your plate any of the crap that is there, not really noticing one stand out dish, Spring is made with fresh ingredients that doesn’t make you feel naush after eating. Photo credz: The Lost Asian.

Veggie’s Deli
Baez 504, Las Cañitas

One of the only vegetarian restaurants in the city that delivers for both lunch and dinner, Veggie’s Deli offers a veg-head packed menu of tartas, salads, sandwiches and main dishes. Average price per person: AR$25-38.

Do you have a great Buenos Aires vegetarian restaurant? Share the food knowledge.

For a complete guide to vegetarian restaurants in Buenos Aires read: Vegetarian Food in Buenos Aires – 50 unmissable spots.

**DISCLAIMER: If you don’t eat red meat in Buenos Aires, you should really just go home.**

EAT IT:

Comments

Comments

  1. Martin Jorge O says

    I really love reading about all of the veggie choices you can get in Baires now. I, being a NYC born (Manhattan), but raised in Buenos Aires (Florida, Vte. Lopez, Olivos Prov . . . ) person, I always found such a challenge to enjoy food there. If not for the yummy Argentine style pizza and endless empanada varieties, I would be out of luck. As a kid (80’s), I remember that you could always go to Carrefour (before the Chinese invasion) and get Supremas (milanesas) de Soja. They stunk, but whatcha gonna do. Now, when I’m there, I always fill up at several of the Chinatown shops in Belgrano and get my veggie meats and assorted goodies that you are not gonna be able to buy outside of there. As a tip, I also highly recommend buying from the lovely Bolivian ladies that sell produce, their fine assortment of fresh and spicy chilies is so necessary, especially if you want things to have a bit of a kick. The most heat an Argentine has ever really had in their food is the Puta Pario chile, which is weak compared to most things out there. In closing, I do say please be careful, the Baires of now, is NOT the one I grew up in.

  2. Lluvia says

    I’m a vegetarian and find it hard to find good places, I’ll definitely be checking out this list.

  3. says

    Hey,
    You should add “La Huella” to this list. It’s a new cafe/espacio de arte also open in the evenings. It sells organic veggie food, I recommend the tablas they are absolutely delicious. The address is Guadria Vieja 3802 (y Bulnes)
    Love the blog by the way!
    Suerte
    Rosie

  4. says

    Love your blog. This post was really helpful! Too bad there aren’t more veg options outside of Palermo y centro, but oh well. Whadaya gonna do? Also- I ate at Bio once and I found it horrendous. I used to work down the street from the cafe and stopped in for lunch and everything was not tasty and overpriced. It wouldn’t have been so bad had it been cheaper, but the curry/rice dish I had was terribly oversalted (and I love me some salt) but I couldn’t even finish it. Not worth it IMO. Your list is still cool, sarkis is still the ish, just a warning for all those trying to try out bio.

    • says

      Thanks for the warning about Bio, overpriced bad food is my nightmare. I’m always on the lookout for good veggie options in San Telmo and other more obscure neighborhoods, so keep on the lookout for those!

  5. says

    I enjoyed your article. When I lived in BA 06 to 08, i was a card holding vegetarian. the choices were limited. The veg scene was evolving in BA. I love Pura Vida. Is Natural Deli still around? Its great to see so many options and food delievery! The NOLA picadas sound delish!!! Saludos

  6. Anonymous says

    I enjoyed your article. I lived in BA for 2 years until 2008. The vegetarian scene was just starting. I loved Pura Vida and I see many new options. IS Natural Deli still around? I wish there had been this many choices when I lived there. Saludos!

Trackbacks

  1. […] And if you are a vegetarian visiting Buenos Aires, don’t despair. There have long been a handful of delicious vegetarian restaurants and in most restaurants there is always something on the menu that doesn’t have meat. Nowadays, there are even more places for vegetarians to choose from. […]

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