I am going on a week trip and am nervous I am not going to be able to eat anywhere. What should I do?
Colombian cuisine is as diverse as the country’s geography and tends toward hearty fare with not too much spice. As you might expect, decent-sized cities have a good range of restaurants and these include pure vegan ones as well as restaurants with vegan options. Outside these centres you will need to pick through the menus and check for vegan items. Usually you have a great chance of finding rice, beans, avocado, potatoes, salad and sometimes vegetable soups. As Colombia has many climate zones the range of fresh, locally-grown produce is quite extensive and you will find both tropical delights as well as fruit and vegetables more typical of temperate regions. If you have the opportunity to cook yourself or need to stock up on snacks for a trip, you’ll find plenty to eat.
Local specialties and dishes that vegans can eat include:
arepas – flattish cornbreads topped with beans (but the thick arepas have a cheese filling and are not vegan).
patacones – fried plantain chips, a decadent treat.
hogao – a cooked tomato salsa that goes well with patacones.
guacamole – a little chunkier than Mexican guacamole, avocado and lime is always delicious.
frijolada – a hearty bean soup; check that it doesn’t have ham in it.
chuyaco – a salad of oranges from the Valle de Cauca region.
cubios – a kind of tuber very popular in the Boyaca area, served steamed or boiled as a side dish.
mazorca – grilled corn cob; hold the butter!
aguardiente – an aniseed liquor that is popular around the country.
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