The term ‘vegetarian’ has a pretty loose definition in Colombia. Ask if there is a vegetarian option on the menu and you will probably be greeted with beaming smiles and the response, Si, claro! We have chicken! Finding a meat-free lunch in Barranquilla can be a constant struggle that often ends in defeat and yet another empanada de queso. To make the lives of non-meat-eating barranquilleros a little easier, here is a list of the best vegetarian-friendly lunch spots in Barranquilla.
1. Restaurante el Huerto, Carrera 52 #70-130
A real, live, vegetarian restaurant, smack in the middle of town, El Huerto is a welcome retreat from the rest of hot, meat-laden Barranquilla. The menu of the day is well-priced, reliably delicious, and takes the stress out of deciding what to eat, leaving you with more time to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere in the leafy courtyard. www.instagram.com/elhuertobarranquilla/
2. Clorofila Vegetarian Restaurant, Calle 93 #42H-60
Hard to find, harder to forget, Clorofila is a homey (and more importantly air-conditioned) vegetarian restaurant, serving up tasty vegetarian meals with a Colombian twist. Think rice, plantains, and beans, with soup and a drink included in the daily 10,000 pesos lunch menu. www.instagram.com/restaurante_clorofila/
3. Crepes & Waffles, Carrera 51 #7647
Ice cream qualifies as a meal, right? At Crepes & Waffles it definitely does, with two huge scoops piled into a cone for only 4,500 pesos. Of course, there are actual vegetarian meals available here, but let’s be honest; we only go for the ice-cream. It is best enjoyed in the shady, peaceful, interior courtyard. www.facebook.com/CrepesyWafflesOficial?fref=ts
4. Shawarma House Gourmet, Carrera 51 #82-264
Barranquilleros are proud of their falafels, and claim they are the best to be found outside of the Middle East. This is questionable, but lunch at Shawarma House Gourmet is not. Although the opening hours are fairly limited, this is one of the most popular shawarma (and falafel) places in Barranquilla.
5. Benito Juarez, Calle 85 #47-12
Fast food, Barranquilla style. With all of the plastic tables and chairs, the ambiance might not seem all that cozy, but there is a wide selection of vegetarian options. The Tex-Mex flavors make a welcome variation from typical Colombian fare. www.facebook.com/benitojuarezcm/
6. Casa Jharikanda, Carrera 47 #79-178
Vegetarian restaurant number three. Yes, you read that right. Barranquilla is full of surprises and Casa Jharikanda is one of the best. If you don’t believe that Colombians can turn out delicious, healthy, vegetarian food, just check out Casa Jharikanda’s Instagram feed for evidence that will make you drool. www.instagram.com/casajharikanda/
7. Gokela, Carrera 52 #76-122
Stylish, modern Gokela lives up to its tagline of healthy, fast, fresh. You can expect to find goodies like chia seeds, quinoa, and freshly extracted juices here, which must be a similar feeling to finding water in the desert. Gokela’s wraps, sandwiches, salads, and juices make for great lunchtime alternatives to arepas and empanadas. www.instagram.com/gokelainfo/
8. Terraza Libanesa, Calle 93 #43-73
Thanks to Lebanese migrants, Lebanese eateries are part of the fabric of Barranquilla, which is great news for vegetarians. While a little on the pricier side, Terraza Libanesa knows how to put together a fantastic vegetarian plate. If you need some hummus in your life, make time in your schedule for a leisurely lunch here. www.facebook.com/Restaurante-Terraza-Libanesa-146410258872601/
9. Salvatore’s Pizza, Calle 84 #47-60
Pizza is a universal go-to for cheese-eating vegetarians. There is always refuge to be found in a classic Margherita pizza. Salvatore’s goes a step farther and includes several vegetarian options in its extensive menu. As one of the best pizza joints in the city, lunch here is always a safe bet. www.facebook.com/SalvatorsPizza/
What do you think about these restaurants? Can you think of any others? Let us know by leaving a comment below.