El Paraiso De Salud Restaurante Vegetariano Integral

Lima, Peru

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This surprisingly large restaurant feels like a hole-in-the-wall at first glance. Like many restaurants in Central Lima, it's completely open in the front, which means that lots of people wander in from the street trying to sell items or perform traditional Andean music for tips. If you can get past the frequent harassment and signs on the walls warning customers that the restaurant is not responsible for stolen personal items, the restaurant is actually quite good. Truth be told, you probably won't find a better option for vegetarians in Central Lima (all of the restaurants in the area seemed to have these problems).

The food was amazingly cheap and quite good! For less than $6 US, we were able to get 2 pitchers of fresh cantaloupe juice, a heaping plate of vegetarian lomo saltado (seitan, rice, french fries, bell peppers and onions, covered in a delicious sauce), an appetizer of fried yucca plant, a cup of coffee and a fresh, homemade applesauce dessert that came with the meal.

One caveat: The menu changes daily and is completely in Spanish. The servers did not appear to speak any English. However, all of the items on the menu are 100% vegetarian and most of them appeared to be vegan. If you're vegan, look for words like "queso" and "leche" in the titles so that you know what to avoid.

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