A Vegetarian’s Guide To La Paz: Our 6 Favorites

BY JAMIE
 Coming from lovely Lima, with all of the amazing food options there, we had high expectations of La Paz. The hostel we had booked didn’t have a kitchen for the backpackers as it was advertised so eating out was our only option. Did you ever eat out for three weeks straight? It feels kind of weird, doesn’t it?? I can’t really put my finger on it but there is something strange about constantly having other people prepare your food. At least for me, it is quite strange. Lucky for us, even Bolivia had a lot of vegetarian food to offer. It is a lot different from Peru though so the choices were much more limited and I was excited when I was able to order a salad. But if you are fine with eating veggie burgers and soups a lot you will be totally fine! We put together a list of 6 great places that you should totally visit in La Paz — even if you are not a vegetarian. It’s only 6 because we only want to recommend the places we actually liked a lot. And for a top ten list there just weren’t enough great places in the highest capital on earth ;-)

1. Namas Te: Indian And Great Teas

Vegetarian Food: Namas Te

Peanuts at Namas Te

From Sagarnaga Namas Te is fairly well reachable. If you are in Sopocachi it is too far to walk and you might want to take a cab. It is worth it to pass by there though! Especially if you are a bit tired of Bolivian food/pizza :D The owner is American and very very nice. We only made it there once but regretted that we didn’t get a chance to try more dishes. The selection is pretty much Indian with some Bolivian influence. We had an amazing peanut dish, burritos, and refreshing Chai tea. The place itself is also really cute — in the front, it is more like a fast food stop over but in the back, it is an actual restaurant with very nice decor.


2. Banais: Strong Internet And Cheap Food

Vegetarian Food: Coca

Coca Tea

Banais was our little office — which made it even sadder that the staff didn’t seem to remember us even once. We had really bad internet in our hostel so we had to move every morning to get to a good work spot. Banais was this spot for us. They have enough space so no one minded that we stayed there for hours. The menu was really cheap and the internet steady and reliable. Only downside: after two hours you need to get a new access code from a staff member — they made us feel a bit weird about it. But we always ordered some teas etc. when we got a new code ;-) About the food: in the mornings they have a huge breakfast buffet. For lunch, you can either chose from the lunch menu or you can go all out and order á la carte. Either way: lots of veggie dishes.


3. MagicK Cafe: Amazing Burgers And Amazing Coffee

Vegetarian Food: MagicK

Mexican Wall Burger

This place is amazing! It just has two problems: 1. It is in Sopocachi and most tourists are around the Sagarnaga area. 2. It only opens at 4 pm — so too late for lunch. We wanted to make it our office after we moved to Sopocachi for week three, but the opening hours were just not working for us. Instead, we went there two times for dinner and were amazed by how delicious the dishes were. I’ll just say this: Mexican Wall Burger! Try it! They have a big selection of vegetarian dishes and also some vegan options. The staff is super friendly and the ambiance homey and welcoming. I’m actually sad that we can’t go there anymore. Prices: A bit more expensive for Bolivian standards but still fine if compared to Europe.


4. Kalakitas Food & Drinks: Quirky Mexican Place

Vegetarian Food: Mexican

Mexican Salad

What a quirky but stylish place :D We came to Kalakitas on our first night with our friend Leliah — that we picked up in the hostel entrance ;-) The waiter was funny and highly praised us on every choice we made — I guess he loves all the dishes on the menu. It is a very small place and kind of hidden on the second floor of another restaurant. But if you know what you are looking for you will spot the Mexican style skeleton on the side of the house. Inside the decoration is the same: colorful, a bit morbid, Mexican. They serve a bunch of Mexican dishes and also have a big selection of vegetarian options.


5. Pub 1700: Hidden Gem With Woodcarvings

Vegetarian Food: Soup

Zucchini Soup

Another place that is not easy to find. It is best to look out for the Coca museum — the pub is in the same courtyard and you just need to follow the right staircase. Inside you will find a cool surprise: the whole restaurant is decorated with wood carvings — and some weird devil and demon figures. It makes for a funny and cool ambiance and you can truly feel like a king, sitting on one of their huge wooden thrones. The meals we had were delicious and the service over the top friendly. Another plus was that it was really quiet and calm there. You don’t expect that, coming from the touristy street downstairs.


6. Anticafe Chukuta: Flatrate Coffee And Healthy Salads

Vegetarian Food: Hummus

Arabic Plate With Hummus!

When we discovered Anticafe, Banais was immediately out. So I need to explain this a bit more detailed: Anticafe is, as the name suggests, not a traditional cafe. You come in and Hernan, the owner, will come to you and explain the concept. The menu doesn’t hold a lot of dishes but you can order salads or wraps — and dictate everything that goes into the dish. You can choose from a wide selection of veggies, proteins, and dips. And for the wrap, you can even choose a side. But that’s not all. The Anticafe actually invites you to use it as a working space. They offer a hot beverage flat-rate — and you can even book it for a week. It was so ridiculously cheap that we went for it right away. So every day we came, they had a big can of tea and one of coffee set aside for us and we could just get as much as we wanted. But on top of that, the owner and his brother are amazing. They are really helpful and warm and welcoming. When we moved to Sopocachi we decided that it is too far to go there every day by bus. But we were really sad that we couldn’t go back to the Anticafe. Must see in La Paz, no kidding!


Originally published at Two Sundowners.