Eating Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian or Organic in Peru: Cusco (Part 2) : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Wednesday Jun 1 | BY |
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A beautiful day in the Plaza de San Blas.

Yesterday, I spoke about the great options you have for eating in Lima, Peru…

Remember, these are only some of the many. I hope that if you travel to Peru, you come back and add your suggestions to these two pages.

Today, I’m going to talk about the options here in Cusco.

Keep in mind, there are many advertised healthy places here in Cusco. We’ve tried many of them.

The ones that are the best are listed here. You may find something cheaper that is healthy, but it may not taste so good. Believe me… it’s best to go with what you (or we know!)

So here we go, in no particular order…

Greens – Cusco, Peru

This is our designated lunch spot.

Just about every other day, we come here for a tea, eat a great salad and spend some time connected to the Internet.

This is the best place for a salad here in Cusco.

If you need your green fix, Greens is the place to go.

What’s surprising – or maybe not – is that it’s never that crowded.

I hope this isn’t a sign that it may not be here for long. Let’s hope it sticks around.

Things to try here:

Fresh Jugos – Any of the fresh juices are great.

Side Dishes – They have many side dishes that you can mix and match to make a full meal. Just be sure to ask if they can so them without milk, cheese or butter if you’re sensitive to these items or don’t eat them.

Salads – They have a great honey mustard dressing that they put on many of their salads. You’ll love it.

Price: This is a relatively inexpensive place. Two teas and two salads yesterday cost us s/55 which is about $19.00.


Tandapata 700, Cuzco 243820

Pukara – Cusco, Peru

This is an authentic Peruvian restaurant that Dr. Williams brought us to the second time we were here. I love it because you’ll actually see Peruvians eating there – this must mean something!

Anyway, at Pukara, you need to navigate the menu if you’re vegan or vegetarian. If you’re raw, forget it (you can pretty much only order guacamole, which they serve with a piece of bread.)

The best choices for vegans and vegetarians are the soups. You can get a few traditional soups here that are delicious, just be sure to as for them “vegetariano” and they’ll give you vegetable stock. Also be sure to ask them without fideos de trigo or huevo (wheat noodles or egg) if you don’t eat those either.

For those who are more adventurous or lenient in their diet, you can order just about anything here and know that the quality is top notch. For vegans and vegetarians, there’s also a Saltado de Verduras – which is a half Chinese, half Peruvian dish that will fill you for sure.

(Please Note: They don’t have brown rice, so you’ll have to stomach white.)

Almost every dish is also served with traditional beans (make sure you peel the skin, they’ll taste better), potatoes, an olive and carrots. This makes it a very authentic experience.

Things to try here:

Guacamole: It’s really good!

Sopa De Verduras: This veggie soup will warm you up on the cold Cusco nights.

Saltado de Verduras: Not the absolute healthiest thing around, but it’s tasty.

For those who eat meat, try the Anticucho Mixto, our friend had it the other night and by my account it looked like a real, authentic Peruvian experience. She also said it tasted amazing. Pukara is her favorite place in Cusco and she’s a native.

Price: This is cheaper than Greens for sure. When we were there last week with our friend, the total check was less than $30.00 U.S. and we had two appetizers, 3 meals, and 2 glasses of vino caliente.


There’s no listing anywhere for the address online, so click here for map!

Granja Heidi – Cusco, Peru

This place is right along the steep street up to the San Blas neighborhood. It’s owned by a man that I believe is German, but he might be Dutch – I haven’t asked.

Granja means “farm” in Spanish (Nope, it’s not a Peruvian word for marijuana) and the theme of this place is farm fresh – and it lives up to the name… everything is fresh and good.

They have crepes, if you’re vegetarian, a few vegan options and plenty of farm raised meats if you eat them. They can also make smoothies for you if you ask.

At Granja Heidi, you can go any time and get fresh yogurt to bring back to your hotel or apartment for the mornings.

Things to get here:

Olive Appetizer: It’s amazing that something so small can taste so good.

Rocoto Relleno: These stuffed peppers are the best vegan option on the menu. They’re just spicy enough to need a little water, but Annmarie loves the flavor of the sauce.

Crepe de Verduras: I know they use a little butter with this one, but they’re amazing. I tried a little of Annmarie’s the last time we were in Cusco and it was so delicious.

If you eat meat or cheese, you can get many of the other items on the menu with confidence. The owner bragged about his Seco de Cordero the last time we were there. I’m sure it’s delicious.

Price: You’ll pay just as much here as you will at Greens. Keep in mind, there are other places around that are cheaper if you eat meat or animal stock. For those who are vegetarian or vegan, you might want to stick to these places mentioned here, because they’ve checked out with us.


Cuesta San Blas 525, Cusco, Peru
(084) 23 8383

(NOTE: There is a vegetarian place called Govinda that we sat down at the last time we were here. It took the waitress a long time to get to us, and before she did, she was putting together someone’s order and put something in the microwave. We left. So again, if you want to go on the cheap, know that you’re risking quality as well!)

San Pedro Market / Wanchaq Market / On the Street

Like I mentioned in this 7 Things article, there are plenty of items you can get at the Markets for all types of eaters.

Here is where you do need to worry a little about getting a little stomach sick, so be sure to wash your veggies before you eat ’em.

At the markets, you can get juices, smoothies, soups, tamales, stews and fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, stick to the juices, smoothies and produce. If you’re not, they you can explore a little more.

Price: Super, super cheap.


Just ask anyone around and they’ll help you out!

I hope you find this useful. Even if you aren’t planning on traveling anytime soon, I know this can be helpful to (1) show you that you don’t have to always stay in and eat in your room, and (2) be a future reference when you do travel.

I want to know your thoughts: What is the best street food you’ve ever eaten?

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. When I visited Israel back in 1992, I really loved the falafels. Of course that was a long time ago. My eating habits have changed since then. I don’t know how they would taste to me now. I do, however, have a raw recipe for falafels and it is delicious!

  2. Purna says:

    Would love to see some pictures! Thanks for the tips – I’ll bookmark this in case I ever find myself in Peru. = )

  3. Rebecca Cody says:

    In Ensenada, Mexico I loved tamarinda and horchata, sold by a street vendor. Tamarinda is made with tamarind seed pods, sugar and water and tastes tangy,sweet and sour. Horchata is some sort of ground rice, sugar, cinnamon and water. Very tasty. I also loved my first taste of watermelon juice. I no longer eat sugar, so I’d have to find a new favorite now.

  4. oreganol says:

    I agree with Purna. How about some pictture so that we can see all the great food and places that you’re talking about.

  5. eyla says:

    Pad Thai in Bangkok, amazing!
    Any fresh fruit from street vendors in Thailand, Malaysia..

  6. Beth says:

    Fantastic post. I love getting recommendations.

    Fresh fruit from street vendors in Barbados, rice dish from street vendor in Malaysia, and macaroni pie also from street vendors in Barbados – that was before I found out I had an issue with gluten.

  7. peruano4life says:

    Piccarones and anticuchos in jiron de union, around the main plaza de armas, lima peru. Reminded me of my grannies food. Also Aguaje ice cream in iquitos peru was the best all natural ice cream i’ve ever had.

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