I’m a creature of habit, and when I’m traveling I love when I get a chance to spend at least a week in a location just “living” there. I quickly find my favorite places and routine, and it is hard for me to break those. My time in Cusco, Peru followed this exact pattern, and I ended up having lunch at the same place at least five times, along with two dinners, one being the meal of the trip.

I’ve dabbled in vegan and vegetarian diets here and there, but I usually allow myself plenty of exceptions. While in Cusco, I stumbled on an entirely vegan restaurant that had some of the best food I’ve ever had. It was presented beautifully and was truly more flavorful than any of its non-vegan competition. This is somewhere you’d want to eat, even if you weren’t vegetarian or vegan.

I found Green Point in the San Blas neighborhood of Cusco on my first night in town. The restaurant was listed in Lonely Planet, and was one of the closest places to where I was staying, so I thought I’d try it out.

My first dinner there was a raw sandwich, decorated with flowers. The bread was made with raw flax seed, and it was filled with guacamole, sun dried tomato spheres, hummus, and topped with flowers. It also came with sweet potato fries, so that alone sold me on the menu item.


Raw sandwich garnished with flower, sweet potatoe fries, and a Pisco sour.


The next day I returned for lunch and discovered that they had an amazing set lunch menu that included fresh juice, salad bar, soup, entrée, and dessert for about $4. To buy this much vegan, organic food at Whole Foods back home would have required a bank loan.

I’ll describe my first lunch there, but beware; just reading this might make you healthier. The juice was a cold presses apple juice that had so much pulp in it, you almost had to chew through it. The salad bar had stringed zucchini, samosas, quartered tomatoes, just fried sweet potato chips, arugula, and an assortment of raw dressings made from pumpkin, chili, tomato, and blended cashews. There was also a basket of fresh baked whole grain bread. A soup was served that had carrots, celery, sprouted grains, potatoes, corn, all in a vegetable broth decorated with arugula and edible flowers.

The main course was a plate of spaghetti with red and yellow pepper sauce. Place on top of the spaghetti were two skewers of lightly fried and salted broccoli, peppers, gourds, onions, tomatoes, and pineapple. The broccoli pieces were the two best pieces of broccoli I’ve ever had in my life. The meal was finished off with a perfectly sized piece of vegan chocolate cake covered in strawberry puree.

I was hooked and continued to visit for lunch five more times. Over the course of the five lunches, I had an assortment of soups, salads, and enjoyed the main courses that included a Chinese cauliflower dish, sweet potato stew, and a ravioli dish in spicy tomato sauce. Desserts ranged from sweet apples soaked in wine, chocolate cake, and passion fruit truffles.

During a late lunch, I’d also seen couples of people getting the Peruvian grill platter to share, and had so much envy that they had someone to share the platter with, and I was alone. The platter was giant and gorgeous, sizzling, and aromatic. So many savory veggies grilled to perfection along with chorizo, salad, avocado, and grilled bananas.

It soon became my goal to find a friend and come back for dinner. I’m quite content to explore on my own, and I don’t think I have ever had a time in my travels where I’ve been so eagerly intent on finding a friend.  I’d met a few people, and messaged them with dinner invites, but it never worked out because our schedules never matched. I’d almost lost all hope, and my time in Cusco was running low. The last day in Cusco I’d met another solo traveler at my hotel and invited her to dinner. I told her I’d been dreaming about this dinner since near after my arrival a few weeks ago in Cusco. She was in! She’d been traveling with a group of friends, and they’d left to go to Lake Titicaca for a few days, but she stayed and chilled in Cusco not wanting to take a ten-hour bus ride each way, for a few hours at the lake. I ensured her this meal would be better than any old lake.

Our dinner date was set, my last night in Cusco, and the meal that I’d been dreaming about eating. A clause in the dinner invite I extended to her was that I knew what we were getting, I had it planned out, so if she wanted to come, I got to order.

We ordered the Peruvian grilled platter for two, and vegan Pisco sours. Pisco was a brandy like alcohol made in Peru, and the Pisco sour was a mix of Pisco with lemon juice, sugar, and furiously shaken with egg whites until frothy.  After being poured into a glass the egg white foam would separate to the top, and the cocktail would be garnished with a splash of bitters or a sprinkling of cinnamon on top of the foam. I really liked the drink, but couldn’t quite wrap my head around the egg white foam, or the smell of egg that would sometimes accompany a poorly made Pisco sour. The great thing about the vegan Pisco sours that this restaurant made is that it was egg free, but still had the same rich foam on top. Of all the Pisco sours I tried, this was by far my favorite in Cusco.

We ordered the Pisco sours and grilled platter. Our first course was soon delivered, some of the homemade bread, with olives, and pureed tomato sauce. This was followed by a luscious salad topped with avocado, tomato, a side of perfectly chopped salsa fresca, and a creamy cashew milk dressing.

Before we could finish the salad and bread, our main course arrived, and I swear there was music and angels singing as the waiter delivered it. We’ll start with the size, it was about two feet long, and a foot wide. A sizzling hot skillet filled with all kinds of treasures. The platter had been roasted and broiled to perfection with an assortment of spices.

The platter was filled with halved tomatoes, two bananas, vegan chorizo sausages, mushrooms, grilled onions, zucchini, eggplant, Peruvian potatoes, a cob of large kernel corn that is famous in Peru,  a halved orange, skewers of broccoli, onion, peppers, and squash,  and it was all topped with arugula. Everything was cooked to perfection, the eggplant and zucchini dissolved in your mouth, the tomatoes were juicy on the inside, not soggy, and just with just the right amount of crisp on the outside. The broccoli was crunchy, yet soft and the fruit from the inside of the oranges was like eating a warm, sweet orange dessert.

We lingered over the platter of perfection and conversation for about two hours and finally had to admit defeat, and come to terms that we weren’t able to finish the entire meal. We walked back to the hotel after getting a couple of chocolate truffles for dessert. This was the meal of a lifetime, and I’ll remember it forever, it was also the perfect finish to my time in Cusco. Thank you, Julie, from Long Beach, for being my dinner friend.

Green Point Vegan Restaurant