Vegetarian Latin food to survive in South America if you don’t eat meat

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South America is a place where a lot of meat is produced and therefore, many of its typical dishes always include meat. In fact, they have gastronomy that can be exotic. We can say that vegetarian travelers do not have an easy life there. To make your trip easier and to satisfy your taste buds, we have prepared a guide with vegetarian Latin food that will allow you to survive your trip. We hope you find it useful!

We can assure you that you can find plenty of vegetarian options. But this is a vegetarian list, not a vegan one! You will find Latin dishes with ingredients of animal origin. If you like the guide, we promise to create a vegan list! 🤞🏻 For now and for vegetarians, here we go!

Vegetarian food in Argentina

Argentina may be one of the most difficult places to find vegetarian dishes. We could say that Argentina is the king of meat and you can find veal in every corner. But don’t worry, there are always solutions!

Vegetarian Empanadas

There is a vegetarian version of their famous empanadas. They are usually made of meat, but you can also find them with cheese, spinach, onion, and sauces, which gives them an interesting flavor. This is a good snack if you are traveling to Argentina, you can have empanadas on any road or break! A true delight of Latin vegetarian food.

vegetarian empanadas argentina


Another specialty in Argentina that you might like if you are vegetarian is Humita – a traditional dish made of corn, cheese and onion, seasoned with regional spices and cooked in a corn husk. It usually contains meat and you’ll have to look for a vegetarian option, but once you find one, you won’t be disappointed!

The vegetarian humita can also contain beans and various vegetables, perfect for dinner!

vegetarian humitas in argentina

Argentina has a strong Italian influence, so you will also find vegetarian pasta and pizza dishes – this is always a great option, especially in Buenos Aires.

Platos vegetarianos de Chile

Chile is probably the best place to find vegetarian Latin food. Many dishes in this country do not contain meat, there is a lot to choose from! As in Argentina you can also find empanadas and humitas here, but Chile has much more variety.

Porotos Granados

The most traditional and famous dish is Porotos Granados, a Chilean stew with beans, pumpkin, corn and cumin. It is so delicious that you will surely want to prepare it at home once you return from your trip to Chile.

vegetarian porotos granados in chile


In the street you will often find sopaipillas stands. They are fried round wheat pancakes. They are always sold with some sauces or spreads such as pebre, ketchup or avocado paste.

chilean sopaipillas

Mote with Huesillo

If you want to try something sweet and refreshing, you’ll love Mote with Huesillo! It is a traditional Chilean non-alcoholic beverage that resembles sweet iced tea in flavor. It contains dried peaches or plums and shelled wheat kernels.

Vegetarian food from Peru

Peruvian gastronomy is very wide, but especially, Peruvians use potatoes in cooking very often because there are more than a thousand varieties in the Andes. So if you are a fan of potatoes, it is going to be a paradise for you.

Huancaina Potatoes

The first vegetarian dish we want to show you is papas a la huancaina, a Peruvian appetizer of yellow potatoes boiled in a spicy and creamy sauce called huancaína.

It is usually served cold with lettuce leaves, black olives, white corn kernels and boiled eggs.

huancaina potatoes

Tacu Tacu

Another dish that vegetarians should enjoy is Tacu Tacu, which is prepared with leftovers from the previous day and becomes a very consistent dish served for breakfast. It is made with boiled rice and beans or lentils, which are mixed to produce a homogeneous mass. The beans are usually fried to make them crispy.

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Vegetarian Dishes in Colombia

There are many international vegetarian options in large Colombian cities such as Bogotá, Medellín and Cartagena. However, there are also tasty regional vegetarian options that you can find everywhere.


A highly recommended vegetarian dish is the arepa, a kind of small tortilla made of corn flour. It is round, flattened and 10 to 20 cm in diameter. It is mainly served as a complement to the main course, but it is incredibly delicious. It usually has meat in it, but you can fill it with whatever you want, so it’s great for us.

It is also very typical in Venezuela, but in Colombia you will find many places where to try them.👌🏼

arepas in colombia


Patacones are pancakes made from fried bananas in oil. They can accompany, for example, fish or meat or be a dish in itself, so perfect for our list. They are a great appetizer, and you can also dip them in salsa to enhance their taste.


If you’re a big fan of soups, you’ll love this dish. For breakfast, Colombians eat Changua, a type of soup that is made with milk, eggs, onions and cilantro. It is often served with bread and hot chocolate – very curious and really tasty!

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Vegetarian food in Brazil

Brazilians also love meat dishes, but you can find a lot of vegetarian food there.

Pao de Queijo

One of the most popular dishes is Pao de Queijo, a mini cheese bun made of tapioca and white cheese. Crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside, Brazilians usually serve it for breakfast.

pao queijo brazil

Panqueca com tapioca

A very famous snack also in Brazil is also the “Panqueca com tapioca”, a totally gluten-free option. The most popular fillings include meat, but you can always ask for a vegetarian option (with cheese or vegetables) or simply choose a sweet one.

The sweet ones are served with guava jam, fruit and chocolate. All these vegetarian snacks can be found in street stalls or in cheap bars.

pamqueca com tapioca

Okay, as a vegetarian, you probably won’t be able to try the most popular Latin American dishes at times. Often you will have to search longer than usual to find vegetarian options or choose something from the menu that is not exactly typical.

However, there are always solutions for everything and we are sure you will find authentic delicacies. We hope our guide to vegetarian Latin food will help you on your adventure, so let us know! Have you tried any of these dishes?


Lily is happy with a backpack on her back. Every year she travels through one country in Latin America and has repeated several times, especially Peru where she says she feels at home (although she says the same about Argentina, Chile and Bolivia).

She loves ceviche, hiking and Sunday picnics with her friends, although whenever you ask her, she's always planning her next destination.

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