Category Archives: Vegan

Yeti Eats: Vegano Colombia

If you’re going to latin america, it’s really hard as a vegan,” they say. “You pretty much have to eat rice, beans and plantains every day.”

My reply: “Sign me up!

And I could pretty happily eat a vegan version of Bandeja Paisa every day. Every meal! Beans and rice and plantains and avocado is pretty much the best.

Now it is true that many meals in Colombia have the bizarre distinction of being super oily while simultaneously super bland.  When you use cheese as your main spice, food often lacks a lot of zest and flavor.

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But actually the vegan offerings in Colombia were surprisingly great! According to Happycow, there are 10 fully vegan restaurants in Medellin and 29 in Bogota. There are approximately 7 million people in Bogota, so to put that in perspective here ( again according to Happy Cow) the amount of fully vegan restaurants similar sized cities have.

Bogota: 29                                                           Madrid: 43

Miami: 24                                                           Hong Kong: 30

Yangon: 2                                                            Taipei: 62

Kuala Lumpur: 13                                             Dallas, USA: 16

Two take-aways there. First of all, I really need to get to Taipei. But secondly you can see that Bogota compares favorably with other similar sized cities. I was there during some political unrest and only visited one place. But it was a super good place, especially the tamales.

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Even in small towns, there is always amazing fruit to be had, obviously. Even new fruits that I had never seen, like maracuyá and uchuva and pitaya and borojó  Likewise, cheap juices are everywhere, and you can always choose water or milk as a base. My favorite juice was probably guarapo, fresh sugarcane with lots of lime. My second favorite though was coconut lemonade, which is maybe more awesome than it sounds.

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Maybe you don’t want to live on fruit alone. No problem. Empanadas are super cheap and tasty and several places offer vegan versions of them. And Colombia has some of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had.

Most meals I had were fairly cheap, I never had to walk super far to find them, and almost all included Champignon mushrooms. Most importantly, most people (even in small towns) knew what the term vegano meant even if they didn’t have options for it.

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But without much effort it’s quite easy to find awesome food. Dried and sugary coconut, quinoa bowls, roasted cauliflower, falafel, and of course arepas are all part of the awesome vegan scene there.

I would say that a vegan planning on traveling to Colombia would probably be best served bring salt, yeast and hot sauce as most of the meals would benefit from all three of those.

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Vegan (near) Lopburi: Episode 5

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This one comes with an asterix, because it’s as close to Saraburi as it is to Lopburi. It’s 20 k / 30 minutes away, but it’s right next to Wat Phraphutthabat, one of the biggest and coolest temples in the area. (See the end of the post for more there.)

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Plus it’s Loving Hut. This one is run by two smiley ladies and it has a huge menu. The culty propaganda isn’t as upfront and center as some of the other locations I’ve been to. Prices aren’t the cheapest by Thai standards but each meal is about $1.5-2.50

As always, my only camera is an old phone so sorry for the potato quality photos. But there’s a whole range of vegan ice creams and sorbets as well.

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Now I have to say of the two dishes I ordered, I didn’t love either one of them. But they weren’t terrible and with 100 other options I’m sure there’s something there I’ll like.

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Wat Phraphutthabat

One of the oldest temples in Thailand, it is one of many places in SE Asia that claims to have a footprint of Buddha. It’s name actually means something like “Buddha’sfootprinttemple.”

Buddha might be bigger than you have always thought because the footprint is massive, about 21 inches wide, 5 feet long, and 11 inches deep.

The original temple, like so much in this area, was sacked by the Burmese in the same attack that destroyed Ayutthaya. But the current temple is ornate and ancient.

Here are a few pictures of the temple.

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