I’m always surprised to find delicious vegetarian food in South America, a continent known for its love of meat. But times are a-changing and many a vegetarian restaurant we found, particularly in Cusco, more so than any other city in Peru, because of the large tourist market.
Green Point Vegan Food is known to be one of, if not, the best plant-based restaurants in Cusco and it came highly recommended by our chef friend from Arequipa.
We went for lunch on a Monday and arrived before midday as we had heard it fills up quickly. Having our pick of seats, we sat in the courtyard although there were lots of pockets to choose from as the outside area beautifully incorporated trees and plants, a bar and hanging lights into its design making a large area feel much cosier.
Our server was absolutely excellent. She introduced herself as soon as we were seated, walked us through the menu of the day and otherwise provided fantastic service from entry to exit.
The menu does not reflect a particular cuisine and instead includes iconic dishes (spring rolls, ramen, pad thai, korma, pizza, etc.) from a variety of international influences, including a few Peruvian favourites.
The menu states “Our vision here at Green Point is to eliminate the exploitation of animals for human benefit, and therefore eliminate its natural consequences of animal suffering, world hunger, environmental damage and health problems. It is a vision filled by compassion and hope.” True to their word, the menu is also free of faux-meats which was a big tick for me.
I fought the very strong urge to order pad thai and opted for the menu of the day instead which allowed me to try more things. There was a choice of two mains - one heavy, one light – so, dining as a pair, of course we ordered both and went halves.
As we waited we enjoyed free rein of the outdoor salad bar and sipped on a delightful apple, orange, cinnamon, clove and prickly pear seed tea.
A tasty broccoli soup preceded our main courses of papas rellenas (veggie stuffed potatoes) on a bed of lentils, making all of my hearty but healthy comfort food dreams come true, and a yakisoba noodle salad with vegetables in a teriyaki sauce – both of which were absolutely heavenly. Our glasses of watermelon juice were topped up throughout our meal which was finished off with a small mango and passionfruit sorbet.
This was one of my favourite dining experiences in all of South America. I truly would not have changed a thing and at only 18 soles (less than $5.50) it was amazing value for money.
Green Point also offers a full schedule of cooking classes from Mondays to Saturdays. Classes are three hours long and start at 9am, 1pm and 5pm. All bases are covered with options ranging from gluten-free baking/desserts, raw foods, sushi and typical Cusquenian.
Green Point is locally owned by chef Fabricio Durand whose passion for veganism blossomed when working internationally. He has a number of other businesses in Cusco, all sharing the same healthy philosophy, including the bakery across the road, The Green Stop and a yoga centre.