Visiting the driest nonpolar desert of the world is a fantastic experience. After your early wake-up call to visit hidden gems of Atacama, I am sure that a delicious lunch sounds nice! Vegan eating could be tricky in the small town that you just arrived, so if you are a vegan foodie, this article is for you! Be aware that since the town is too small, finding fully vegan restaurants is definitely hard. So I will tell you the best places with vegan options so that you can eat your way through San Pedro de Atacama.
This is a French bakery at the end of the world, in the middle of Atacama´s Desert with vegan options! Some say it is the best bakery in town; it has a variety of tasty quality bread and pastries. They are all prepared by Arthur Becker, a French expert baker who owns the place; he has an amazing story on how he got from France to owning a bakery in San Pedro de Atacama. Disclaimer: La Franchuteria is not fully vegan but has many options; if you are vegan, I recommend you ask beforehand. I highly recommend their baguette; most of them are vegetarian and vegan, delicious, and inexpensive!
Maybe as a dessert or a way to cope with the northern heat, these ice creams are a must if you are in town. They are loved and recommended by locals and tourists alike. Once again, keep in mind that Babalu is not entirely vegan, but it has plenty of vegan options to pick from. The store is very popular because it offers non-traditional ice cream flavors; regarding this, my recommendation is not to 'play safe' with them! There are many “exotic” ice creams made of native trees to the zone or mixtures of fruit. Just ask for the ones with no milk on them and no cone because those are not vegan! Also, if you are not sure what flavor to pick, just ask for a spoon sample!
Based on I-tal healthy nutrition, Estrella Negra is focused on offering organic food. Nothing comes from cans or is made with chemically processed ingredients. This restaurant’s menu is vegetarian and vegan, but yet, with a twist. A lot of plates are made with typical ingredients of the zone, such as “Rica- Rica” (herb of the area, considered to have significant benefits for health) or “Arrope de Chañar” (a syrup made of Bathe tree fruit). Also, it is worth mentioning that every ingredient that is left is given to the community of San Pedro, so nothing goes to waste!
As you have read, there are plenty of options to keep your vegan lifestyle while traveling. A lot of other restaurants in San Pedro de Atacama have vegan options or are willing to "veganize" your food by taking off their dishes the products that come from animals. Do not be shy and ask for vegan choices!
Most morning tours offer vegan breakfast for you to eat before starting the adventures of the day! The breakfast usually consists of bread from "La Franchuteria," avocado, marmalades, among other vegan options, some even have vegetal kinds of milk, like atawallpa.tourism.
Buying vegan food in the nearest city (Calama) is also an option. Make sure you have food, water, and snacks on your trips. Also, some hostels allow you to cook in there, so you can bring your own ingredients and prepare your food yourself.
Being on an adventure in the north of Chile does not mean compromising your diet, lifestyle, and ethical choices. There are savory, surprising options to eat vegan on your trip, even in a small town in the driest nonpolar desert of the world!
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