Breathtaking scenery, fresh air, friendly people, relaxed vibe, and an abundance of great vegan food. One of those things does not usually enter the conversation when discussing small towns in South America but in Guatape, Colombia there are a variety of yummy cruelty-free vegan options hiding amid the colorful buildings and cobblestone streets.
Hecho Con Amor Deli
Run by British ex-pat, Bernice Dawes, Hecho Con Amor Deli is a mostly vegetarian restaurant serving handmade food to hungry residents and travelers. The restaurant is only open on the weekends and during holidays so plan your visit accordingly.
The restaurant offers a set menu and daily creations. When I dined at Hecho Con Amor Bernice created a two course vegan menu for me that included a roasted, pureed tomato soup as a starter and a plate chocked full of fresh salad, roasted veggies, hummus, babaganouj, avocado, and quinoa salad as the main. Paired with alfresco dining under the sunny skies of Guatape, it was a refreshing meal with a huge dose of flavor, energy, and vitamins.
I set out for Hecho Con Amour Deli on my first day in Guatape only to learn dining there was limited to the weekends. My worries of not finding an alternative in the tiny town were quickly abolished when I stumbled upon Namaste, a newly opened cafe run and owned by Adriana Milena Ardila, a friendly and welcoming Colombian girl. She serves a healthy and delicious open-faced sandwich piled high with local fresh ingredients she creations called Breadzza. The toppings change weekly to ensure each ingredient is perfectly ripe. My favorite was the avocado, with roasted eggplant, onions, and bell pepper on wheat bread. The Breadzza is perfect for lunch when paired with one of Andrea’s healthy smoothie concoctions.
After your first visit to Namaste you’ll want to return as often as possible for these little gems.
I’ve had pizza all of the world. I’ve eaten it in NYC for years, had it in Italy, and have even made it myself at home. So I consider myself pretty well versed when it comes to spotting a good pie. The Pizza at D’Luigi in Guatape is among the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting my lips to.
On the advice of Andrea from Namaste, Michael and I visited D’Luigi on a rainy and wet night in Guatape. We were welcomed by the golden glow of candlelight, warmth from a roaring pizza oven, and a big smile from one of the owners.
The cheese-less mushroom pizza I ordered was artistically prepared. Homemade dough was stretched out into a thin layer, topped with tomato sauce, onions, garlic, and meaty slices of mushroom, slid into the blazing oven and baked to perfection. The resulting pizza’s base was crispy yet chewy, the ingredients were noticeably fresh and naturally flavorful, the sauce was tangy but not overwhelming. It was accompanied by a bottle of homemade spicy olive oil, a perfect addition. From the moment the creation arrived at our table moans and grunts were the only form of communication used to express our feelings about the culinary delight that temporarily lay in front of us.
Every direction you wander in Guatape holds new delights to be discovered and vegan food isn’t an exception in this small Colombian town.