Known as the steak capital of the world, Buenos Aires has a reputation for choice cuts – but there’s more to the city than meaty menus. A new wave of Buenos Aires vegetarian restaurants are opening alongside the traditional parrillas (barbecues), carving a new culinary identity for the city. Many restaurants will provide a vegetarian option, but the trendy barrio of Palermo is where you’ll find the biggest batch of plant-based options. Between the street art and the French-style architecture, there’s everything from New York-style bagels to seasonal small plates. So whether you’re craving some vegan ice cream or want to sample the local sourdough, here’s our guide to the best Buenos Aires vegetarian and vegan restaurants.
Aside from rock music, bread is the main ingredient at Salvaje Bakery, the old garage-turned-bakery where the vinyl is as important as the flour. Choose from a selection of Ottolenghi-style small plates –like baba ganoush, tabouleh and scrambled eggs – to curate your own DIY brunch. The cakes are worth exploring too, with vegan options often available. And of course, it’d be a crime to leave without a loaf of bread.
Location: Av. Dorrego 1829
Buenos Aires Verde
This small but perfectly formed Buenos Aires vegetarian restaurant is flying the flag for a healthy, organic, meat-free lifestyle, serving plant-based dishes from morning ‘till the evening. Start the day with vegan homemade granola with almond milk, fresh fruit and raw cookies, tuck into superfood bowls in the afternoon, or share a selection of small plates in the evening. Their cake selection also includes vegan options, which come served in whopping great portions with a side of vegan ice cream.
Location: Gorriti 5657
Bucking the bohemian trend and embracing a more refined mid-century decor, Sacro is a sophisticated take on green dining decked out with velvet booth seating and sexy dimmed lighting. The kitchen boasts excellent plant-based recipes, with dishes that feature left-field ingredients. The vegan burger comes served with cashew nut cheese, tomato, and a beetroot salsa, while their veggie take on the empanada is made with activated charcoal.
Location: Costa Rica 6038
There’s an amazing range of Armenian fare to explore in Buenos Aires, and Sarkis is leading the pack. It’s the best kind of old-skool restaurant, where white tablecloths are still a thing and prices are rock bottom. Locals and tourists alike love this place, which is why there’s often a queue at weekends. Their falafel – while not the most photogenic food in the world – is among the most delicious, and comes served with warm flatbread and a gently spiced salad. Sides include fried aubergine in with garlic and parsley, veggie moussaka with mozzarella, and homemade hummus. Arrive early to bag a table.
Location: Thames 1101
Ol’ Days Coffee
Puerto Madero has been transformed recently, with a strip of slick restaurants now lining the waterfront. Set just behind the main stretch, Ol’ Days Coffee might not have the prime location, but the chilled cafe serves up some of the best plant-based fare in this area. The menu reads like a foodstagrammers dream, with picture-perfect quinoa salads, matcha smoothies and vegan kale smoothie bowls.
Location: Olga Cossettini 1182
From pizza and burgers to brunch and craft beer – you’ll find a range of American imports in Argentina, and bagels are one of the newest food trends to take off. For an authentic New York style bite, head to Sheikob’s Bagels. Owner Jacob sold from his pop-up bike stall around the city for four years before he set up his first bricks and mortar diner in Palermo. There’s a range of vegetarian buns on offer, and staff are more than happy to make tweaks to suit vegan diets. Choose from tomato, coriander and pickled beetroot, or baba ganoush with cream cheese, grilled onions, tomato, chili and lettuce. You’ll even see Jacob serenading diners with jazz on the piano, if you’re lucky.
Location: Uriarte 1386
Vibrant flavors and laid-back dining join forces in Gran Dabbang to create a must-visit restaurant in Buenos Aires. The crowds that visit every night are a testament to the quality of the food in this inspired pan-Asian influenced kitchen – the majority of which is vegetarian. Crispy swiss chard pakoras are served with a sweet carrot chutney and sriracha, yellow corn and butter rolls come with dressed curry leaves and quince chutney. The wine list is small but well-curated, or bring your own bottle for a small corkage fee.
Location: Raúl Scalabrini Ortíz 1543
Food fans make a beeline for this relaxed industrial-style restaurant, currently number 44 on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Based in a converted old garage, Proper is by no means a vegetarian joint, but the chefs serve innovative vegetable-led small plates, most of which are cooked by open flame in their hand-built wood-fired oven. A cool crowd will fill up this space in minutes, so head to Proper early – or very late – to get a seat.
Location: Aráoz 1676
Buenos Aires does ice cream incredibly well, and thanks to Roberto Scannapieco, vegans needn’t miss out. The Heladeria Scannapieco has been serving artisan scoops since 1938, and recently released a selection of vegan treats including toasted coconut, chocolate, dulce de leche, and a line-up of fruity sorbets. Choose from a cone, or fill a half kilo tub with up to three different flavors – we won’t judge.
Location: Coronel Niceto Vega 4983
Source: Lonely Planet