People constantly ask us how we coped as vegetarians in meat-loving Buenos Aires and the truth is, it was one of the best cities we have ever been in for veggie restaurants. This is a list of our top 10 favourite vegetarian restaurants in Buenos Aires. Not all are 100 per cent vegetarian but instead have great vegetarian options. You can find more in our posts on vegetarian puerta cerradas, Palermo’s best cafes and cheap, vegetarian fast food in Buenos Aires.
Gorriti 5657, Palermo Hollywood
We were surprised to find a raw food restaurant in Rio, but even more so in Buenos Aires, land of beef. It’s a little brightly lit for our liking but the food more than makes up for that. Most of the menu is raw (or ‘life food’ as they call it) and includes delicious raw crepes with cashew cheese and a Thai vegetarian curry. It wasn’t cheap otherwise we’d have eaten there every day! There’s also a shop with a selection of health foods and raw chocolate treats.
Gurruchaga 1450, Palermo Soho
This was the first place we ate in Buenos Aires and it was a wonderful introduction to the city’s vegetarian scene. Lunch came with breads and pumpkin dip, which we learnt is common to BA dining. The gnocchi with mushrooms is something we went back for twice, and there are other great options including risotto, salad and sandwiches. The setting is bustling, with an attractive leafy roof terrace and a bright and airy inside. It’s open until the evening and is a fantastic option, so long as you’re not looking for alcohol which isn’t on the menu.
3. Artemisia (NOW CLOSED)
Gorriti 5996, Palermo Hollywood or Cabrera 3877, Palermo Soho
Buenos Aires seems to have a gift for creating inviting, stylish restaurants that feel like the home of an artist. Artemisia is a fine example with homely wooden tables, menus on brown paper bags, mismatched crockery and colourful glass lampshades. There’s an interior courtyard for summer days, and pavement tables that are great for brunch. The pescatarian menu is delicious, with filled raviolis, polenta lasagne, a variety of salads and daily specials. We recommend the Picada Vegetariana, which offers a selection of the day’s dishes. Also recommended is the ginger lemonade and the Artmemisia salad with tasty roast garlic. There’s a second branch on Cabrera.
Av.Caseros 454, San Telmo
We discovered Hierbabuena when exploring San Telmo market. The charming cafe/restaurant is a hodgepodge of styles that blend together to make a cosy, inviting place for a spot of lunch, tea or dinner.
There’s an old-fashioned mirrored bar stocked with liquor; a hand-painted wall full of eco and self-motivating quotes; pretty checkered tablecloths; and a comfy sofa area at the front. The food is delicious, including a yummy tofu curry, cheesy enchiladas and a hearty mushroom burger. We loved the goji lemonade.
5. Pan y Teatro
Las Casas 4095, Boedo (Pan y Arte is at Boedo 878)
Far off the beaten path, in deepest Boedo, Pan y Teatro is a restaurant worth the trip. We went while staying with a couchsurfer on the same road. It has a homey, charming atmosphere with vines overtaking the ceiling and an exquisite, although not strictly vegetarian, menu. The night we went, on a Friday, there was live tango music by three men who enchanted us with their old-world, Argentine charm. There are plenty of vegetarian options including stuffed pumpkin, pizza and inventive salads. There’s a second branch, called Pan y Arte, nearby on Boedo, which displays local art. Pan y Teatro is the more intimate of the two but both are delicious and inviting.
El Salvador 5783, Palermo Hollywood
We went to Kensho to celebrate my birthday and it’s definitely a place for occasions rather than the everyday. There’s an a la carte menu as well as a five-course tasting menu. the emphasis is on health, quality and taste, and much of the food is raw. Inside is a zen-like space, and there is also seating outside, looking out onto one of Palermo’s pretty tree-lined streets. We recommend the mushroom cerviche (pictured at the top) and the dessert taster selection – delicious!
1100 Thames, Villa Crespo
Armenian food is popular in Buenos Aires and this seems to be the restaurant of choice, The night we went there was a queue outside before it opened at 8 and many of the diners had per-ordered their food so it came out immediately. The menu is in Armenian so we asked for vegetarian recommendations and were given an amazing selection of falafel, tabbouleh, stuffed vine leaves, fruity rice and dumplings in a creamy sauce. It was one of the best meals we had in the city and we loved the restaurant’s local, friendly atmosphere. After dinner, if you walk up a few blocks on the same road, there is a small hidden bar called 878 (Thames, 878), which serves amazing cocktails – just ring the doorbell and they’ll let you in. It also has a pretty good food menu. The night we went a famous TV chef was sitting at the next table, which can only be a good sign!
Costa Rica 5886, Palermo Hollywood
We weren’t fans of the thick-crust Argentine pizzas so were delighted to find Siamo nel Forno, which serves perfect Italian-style pizzas. We had a take-away but the inside is warm and cosy, with a huge wood fired over taking centre stage. We had a simple margarita, which was one of the best pizzas we’ve ever eaten, with perfect squishy sourdough. Yum.
9. Natural Deli
Gorostiaga 1776, Las Cañitas and Laprida 1672, Recoleta
Natural Deli reminded us of Whole Foods in terms of look and feel, as well as its range of artisan food delights. There’s a shop at the back and seating at the front. We enjoyed the veggie burger, and a huge cheesy mushroom sandwich. There’s a good selection of juices as well as perfectly frothy cappuccinos. There’s a second branch in Recoleta, which is equally as good.
Arévalo 1478, Palermo Hollywood
This tiny little cafe with a homemade feel has four daily dishes that change from lunch to dinner. I opted for an aubergine tart which tasted far better than it looked. Other options included a risotto and a salad packed with goodness.
And one more…
We also liked Bio (Humboldt 2192, Palermo Hollywood), which despite looking a bit too vegetarian (the kind of place that loses sight of taste) served a good lentil burger and unusual tofu in mustard sauce. It’s not very pretty in the day, with bare walls, but gets cosier at night.