Opening a cool vegetarian restaruant in Arequipa

Know anyone who would like to work with us?

It will be a fun place with delicious food. We are going to have live music as well.

I have 15 years of experience travelling and dining in Latin America, 30 years of being vegetarian. I've developed a great sense of what works, from the perspective of a client! While vegetarians don't starve to death in these parts as many places have a default vegi option on the menu, they also don't often find something exciting. Let's change that!

I hate to be the one to rain on your parade, but all of South America is known for meat. It isn't just by chance that restaurants in South American countries like Peru only have a "default" vegetarian item or two on the menu and that they're not very interesting. It's because that vegetarianism is not extremely popular among the local residents of all of these countries, not even here in Brazil which is the largest country and driving ecomomy of the entire continent.

I really think that by limiting yourself to opening a purely vegetarian restaurant you're going to also be limiting yourself to an almost exclusively expat clientele and thus seriously restricting the profits and continued viability of your business in a truly carnivorous continent.

I don't know exactly how much of that 15 years of travelling and dining in Latin America you've actually spent here all at one go, but until you've lived anywhere for at least 6 months you can't possibly have a clear picture of what the country is really like in any aspect. I've lived in Brazil for 13 years now and I can tell you this from experience. Living in a country and visiting it on a short vacation is like comparing apples and oranges, you just can't do it.

While vegetarianism is popular in North America, the EU, UK and many other countries it is NOT nearly as popular and universally accepted in South America. What works well in Vancouver,Toronto or Montreal is not necessarily going to work anywhere in South America because the cultures are so radically different.

Just Google "Vegetarianism in South America" and you'll immediately see that almost everything on the internet will clearly state that while a vegetarian isn't going to starve to death anywhere here, they also make it quite clear that it's not going to be easy. I really think you might want to have another good long look at your business plan with a view to considering the local culture, customs and traditions a little bit more that you've obviously done.

Oh, and take it from a fellow Canuck... our homeland is a veritable infant in terms of history; only 150 years old. We also have a population that for the most part comes from every corner of the globe, Canada is a cultural melting pot so we're used to diversity in everything including gastronomy. South America has cultures that are 5 centuries old and even have a longer history than that, they do not have the ethnic and cultural diversity that we are used to. Do you really think that you're going to be able to change that?

William James Woodward, Expat-blog Experts Team

As well as being customer focused, I have the competitive advantage of being able to see a market that most others have missed. I have not been to Brazil, but the statistics I have seen say that 8% of Brazilians are vegetarian.

I ran a vegetarian restaurant in Nicaragua for a year with great success. Here in Arequipa I personally know of at least 6 or 8 vegetarian restaurants, all of which are full at lunchtime. I've lived in various cities of Latin America for more then 5 years and am quite familiar with local variations. I am 100% sure that the clients for my cool vegetarian restaurant exist.


Good luck to you... restaurants are extremely competitive ventures without any complicating factors. I certainly hope you're going to consider some non-vegetarian items on the menu too, just to satisfy other customers too.

In what area of Arequipa is your new restaurant?

Right in the center. We are looking at a couple of places, all within a block or two of the Plaza de Armas.

I have always wondered............ if a cow is raised on grass and corn  if meat from that cow is Vegetarian Beef??

also,, you said you were going to have music..... I have never heard and Vegetarian music and would really be interested and eager to listen !


Wow, dude. You need to go back to comedy school. This time actually try to learn something instead of just buying your diploma. A few classes at grammer school wouldn't hurt either.

pistachio wrote:

I have always wondered............ if a cow is raised on grass and corn  if meat from that cow is Vegetarian Beef??

also,, you said you were going to have music..... I have never heard and Vegetarian music and would really be interested and eager to listen !


Post the address when you get opened.  Would love to try your food.  My hubby in the Cayma area and I am heading to Peru soon.  Good luck with your venture.  And take it easy on the ESL folks!  :-)


well,,,,,, as to the grammar,,,, consider it internet text license.........

of course,,, I was joking,,,

I don't see the need for insults....

for a Vegan / herbivore, your pretty hostile and aggressive.......

I would suggest seeking help,,, but just as there is a short supply of vegetarian restaurants,,, there may also be a limited availability of Vegan Shrinks......

happy veggies,,,,,,


ps: A dental expert would be able to check your dentition for newly erupting fangs...........

[Moderated: Off topic.]

You must of heard of "Green green grass of home" and "Desert Rose",  - vegetarian music.

ah yes.............

Tom Jones..........

and my All time Favorite / Sting.........

never thought of them as Veg~n... wao!..... I am a closet veg~n

try this grammy nominees:

of course!  not ever to forget...PeanutButterJelly TIME ! ! ! !

Ha!... I just realized your named after a mushroom............ morelle !  [ may I call you morchella !  LoL ! ]


Kids, please open a new caveman comedy thread. It's rather impolite to hijack this one.

listen def........... not hijacking anything,, simply replying to posts,,

if not for these.......... really,, no activity here.......

but fine... I won't contribute further but I someone replies to me Certainly,, I can respond.....

and,, "Caveman" what do you mean by that,, I think it is a bit inflammatory........maybe your attitude it being directed by poor digestion.... I suggest an enema !

from the first I made only innocent remarks,, rather than laughing you Poisoned your own thread...........

I think you ought to start fresh.......... as fresh as a lettuce !

and here in Peru for a few years I have eaten out many many Many times........ It is typical to see two or sometimes three starches on a plate.........rice / potato and yucca......... and never less than two.

Along with that is a small portion of some kind of meat......

I have seen this at s/.4 menu out in the countryside and in the most expensive restaurants....

On occasion there is and accompanying salad...........

In general / although Peru produces a lot of vegetables.. I have never seen one on a plate of served food.
On the menus there is not one choice of even a vegetable side dish.

Here in Trujillo we have an Asparagus farm and a processing plant that cleans / dresses and pack Asparagus 24/7.
I have my doubts that any worker there has not even tasted asparagus....

Out in the country side I know for sure in the more remote little villages,, as a source of food the folks will eat cats, dogs, road kill but more usually fast growing meats to supplement their diets / cuy. rabbit and chicken.

Coastal Peru is primarily desert and there are many places where little lizards thrive......... these are caught and eaten as well.....

I can add that I have not lived in the south where you have your restaurant plans,,,,

In Trujillo - the fastest growing urban area in Peru and only second to Lima in population there seems to be an overpopulation of Restaurants.......... many go out of business and are then replaced by yet another restaurant........

I have to agree with the person who wrote ' he doesn't want to rain on your parade ' and then wrote a hurricane....

pistachio … a_libertad

re: your list of Veg Restaurants.........

and that is exactly what I mean.....veg dining is not popular.......

I looked them over.......

I can say that there are THOUSANDS of places to eat in Trujillo and HUNDREDS in Huanchaco.......

and there are in the links you posted very few and some are duplicates and I bet some are already closed......

I you believe you can reinvent the concept and make a hit of it fine... but statistics and logistics are not in you favor.....

I had a lunch at a Veg restaurant and ordered chicharone.. ha! is was a breaded fried soy cake.....

had no taste, texture or flavor.....

Why it would be named after a meat is beyond me.... I mean,,, don't try to tell me it is a realistic substitute / tell me what it is and I will enjoy it or not. To make it sound that it is similar in Any Way to the authentic original is not only an insult to my palate but it assaults vegetarianism as well.......

If you believe you can push against the wind and make progress with your veg concepts then take your best shot... in the end you will know more than we all know now about the outcome.....

I have no probs with veg's or vegetarians..... it is not Life and Death like the battle between Pro Life and Pro Choice.

I enjoy cooking and eating vegetables and veg dishes though never found in the restaurants........

all I can say is that Peruvians have had a long time romance and love affair with Chickens... and that is an inclination that in not easily broken,,, or cutleted.........

Here in Huanchaco they have fished for their livelihoods for generations for thousands of years / nothing much has changed......
if you take the fish off of the plate,, all you have is yucca and rice........

Hi all,

It's been nice to crack some jokes on this thread, think it's time to get back to the topic, there are much more information that still need to be shared.



Sure Dave,
I'd be happy to sit with anyone over double bacon cheeseburgers and Cokes to discuss!

I am married to a Peruvian and have an extended family here in Lima and also in Arequipa. There are 5 confirmed vegetarians and most of us like to eat vegetarian food rather than red meat all the time. Most of our friends have a similar feeling towards vegetarian food and restaurants. Thankfully I have never visited Trujillo and, following the descriptions on here, probably never will! I would suggest checking the prices of the smaller restaurants and see what their 'Menu' has and what they charge. Thankfully, Peru is not only a leading economy in South America, it is also one of the leading gastronomic countries in the Americas - let us all know when you are up and running please.

This sounds great I hope you opened because I'm coming down there from Trujillo very soon and love vegetarian cuisine, cooking it, eating it, message me if you have work available!

I´m visiting your restaurant when I´m going to your cities.


I know this is an old thread, but I just read it and I have to defend Pistachio. I met Mr. Pistachio in Dec 2016. I couldn't have met a nicer person. He went completely out of his way to take me and my wife, total strangers, around Huanchaco showing us the sites and sounds. He explained all about the city and the pros and cons of neighboring Trujillo. He was a gentleman and funny as all get out.

Defuera, take a chill pill buddy.

I got your back Pistachio!

Yo - Gilbert


Things in Trujillo and Huanchaco have returned to normal...

Trujillo needs some road repair and there is still a lot of dust and dirt in Trujillo but not so much here in Huanchaco.....
The flooding was an amazing and a very disconcerting event..... glad that it is over...

So,, when are you and your enamorada returning,,,, we will venture again !!


I can recommend NAYLAMP as a good place to stay.... very reasonable pricing  and comfortable....

You can find info about this place and Huanchaco on www    TripAdvisor

Yes, an old thread. I neglected to update it earlier, what with being busy at the restaurant and all.

Glad to hear that things in Trujillo and Huanchaco have returned to normal. Things were looking pretty extreme for a while there.

The restaurant, "el buda profano" is a great success. We serve delicious vegan sushi to wide variety of clients, with as many locales as foreigners coming through the door. Our menu was designed by Peruvian Master Chef Jimbo Echevarria. You can read the reviews and comments on TripAdvisor, on Facebook, on Google.

Biggest challenge has been keeping up with demand as we have line ups out the door during high season. We would love to expand, but I think we need partners for that, as it is already a full time job keeping our one small location running.

And see you soon in Arequipa!

Hello I am Ricardo originally from Arequipa and just move back here from Thailand. Would love to visit  your place and try the menu there. Kindly provide me with the name and address.

Hola Ricardo

el buda profano
Calle Bolivar 425
Cercado, Arequipa

See you soon!

Thanks for the information. Will stop by very soon

Hello defuera,

I will be visiting Arequipa in August and I would like to pass by your restaurant. My wife and I are considering a move to Peru from Miami, FL. Maybe I can pick your brain on living in Arequipa. My choices are between Huanchaco and Arequipa.

Glad to hear your restaurant is doing well.


Looks like your restaurant is doing amazing! Great Tripadvisor reviews and they are a tough crowd. I would have NEVER thought of vegan sushi but now I can't wait to try it.

Yeah, who would have thought?  But our customers come from a wide range of niches, many are not even close to being vegan or vegetarian. Lot's of locals, nationals, people from neighbouring countries. At the end of the day, it's just good food.

It's been a busy 18 months and I feel like the time has come to take things to the next level. I'm talking to investors and partners and seriously working on expanding.

Coming to a town near you? Stay tuned ...

New topic