CocinArte, León, Nicaragua
Finding vegan food in Leon was a bit of a daunting task.
There is not one vegan restaurant in the colonial city, and only a few veg friendly options; but in 37 celsius heat, we didn’t feel like trying to communicate to people that we would like a plate of rice ( not cooked in chicken broth), salad, and vegetables with no cheese por favor only to be charged the same price for a meat dish.
We are always appreciative for those sole restaurants that serve predominately vegetarian and vegan meals.
In Leon, this restaurant was Cocinarte.
Although they claim to be a vegetarian restaurant, they do have a few chicken options on their menu.
The menu offers a variety of dishes from around the globe, including Indio Viejo, a typical Nicaraguan dish.
A corn based stew usually made with chicken, or beef, but at Cocinarte they use textured ground soy instead. Indio Viejo is served with rice, salad, and fried plantain.
This is probably the only restaurant that vegans and vegetarians are able to try this traditional dish in an animal free style, so I highly recommend giving it a go. It was a delicious hearty meal.
Another great dish at Cocinarte is the Moroccan tagine. A beautiful dish of cinnamon spiced vegetables with raisins, served with rice, salad, and corn torts.
The falafel plate was also a welcome change to our daily diet of corn and beans, but we definitely recommend you try the Nicaraguan stew, and Tagine.
The prices are not exactly budget, but the portions are large, so $10 isn’t too shabby for a meal that will keep you full throughout the day.
Cocinarte has a nice peaceful ambiance, and the directions are pretty straight forward, although it is away from the main square.