I’ve travelled to quite a few spots around the globe since I started hot for food! From Italy to Tulum, I always love to share my experiences with y’all. This post will be recapping my solo trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands!
Usually it isn’t overly difficult to find vegan options while I’m abroad. A lot of restaurants at least offer a vegetarian option that can be made vegan. And in places like L.A. and New York, there’s so many vegan-specific restaurants that I can barely fit them all into one trip! It would be great if there were vegan restaurants all over the world, but sadly that isn’t the case. Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands weren’t exactly a breeze to eat vegan in. But nevertheless, I managed to eat vegan for the entire trip. I also learned some helpful tips and tricks along the way that saved my butt!
First up of on my trip was Ecuador! I spent 5 days and 4 nights in San Pablo de Lago at the eco-hotel called My Sacha Ji, and one night in the capital city, Quito. Luck was on my side upon arriving because there was a vegan chef on-site, who was fabulous and excited to feed me all week! That was unexpected, but I did plan my trip to this beautiful location based on the fact that they could provide vegetarian/vegan meals. My highlight meal here was a veggie bowl with white beans, shredded carrots, cucumbers, greens, red onion, tomato, sprouts, and a berry parfait.
While in the capital city, I found a vegan/vegetarian restaurant called Elmaple! This was another one of the only meals I had without having special requests. I got a philly cheesesteak made from homemade seitan, and it was super cheesy and delicious. I topped it off with a slice of chocolate cake and an almond latte. Like I say in the vlog, this food was basically on par with Canada – aka a huge compliment!
I also met up with one of my followers, Judith, who reached out to me on Instagram! This was my first time meeting up with someone from IG and I was a lil’ bit apprehensive, but my fears vanished as soon as we met! We went to Santa Roza Cervesa Artseianel Craft Brewery and got drinks, and it was amazing to meet such a lovely follower in Quito!
For the second half of my trip in the Galapagos Islands, I didn’t have as many options. The first spot I tried was fairly expensive… especially for what I ordered! It was beans, rice, and fries with some cabbage slaw on the side. On their own these are good, but definitely very carb-heavy and side dish-y when you have them all together.
For breakfasts in the Galapagos, I usually had some combination of fruits (typically banana, apple, kiwi, grapes, cantaloupe). Along with that I had dry toast and coffee. This was what I ate at the hotel because it was convenient, covered in the price, and realistically the same food I’d find at a breakfast spot elsewhere!
I was surprised and really glad to find soy meat on the menu at Lemon & Coffee! This is where my creativity kicked in: I made my own burritos! All I ordered was the soy meat, veggies, and tortillas, and presto! Easy secret vegan burritos at your service. They also had bomb lemonade that had me feelin’ goooood.
A common restaurant was fast-food type joints that served wraps. A few times, I grabbed the falafel wraps with lettuce and tomato in them. In all honesty, though, they were a little lacklustre! Eating this was pretty tiring, if I’m being honest. But sometimes it’s necessary, especially if you’re a travelling vegan!
Sometimes during my adventures in Galapagos, I just laughed at the things that came out of the kitchen. This usually happened when I ordered things without cheese, butter, or milk. Some pasta dishes came out with a few mushroom slices, carrots, and no sauce. Nothing to swoon over, but at least they filled me up when I needed something to eat. Looking on the bright side always helps, right?!
Luckily, I had one particularly good vegan meal towards the end of my time in the Galapagos! It was from El Cafetal Buenvenidos and was fairly expensive. But at that point, I was down to pay anything to eat something that wasn’t sauceless pasta or fries. Out of the vegan options on the menu I chose the coconut curry with vegetables, which was saucy and fresh! Bonus points because I got to eat veggies I hadn’t been able to find during the trip, like cauliflower and zukes! I also had bananas with rum and cinnamon for dinner. Once again, this was a nice lil’ treat unlike what I’d eaten most of the trip.
Well hot for foodies, there’s a lot I learned on my trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands! There’s certainly a lot of realizations and thoughts I had throughout about the human impact on these environments. You can hear me talk about that more in each video. But regarding food, my biggest takeaway was probably that eating vegan in places like this is doable, but can be challenging and hardly exciting. Eating multiple side dishes as a “meal” or the same foods for multiple days in a row isn’t always easy. It can also be frustrating when prices are super high for food that’s far from impressive.
But like I showed ya, it’s totally doable and you can make quite a few meals on the fly if you use your noggin. Make sure to watch the vlogs to see all the activities I did, animals I met, and a few bonus drunk Lauren rants that’ll definitely entertain you. Until next time!