A buffet at Las Vegas used to be one of those things I looked forward to whenever we were in Vegas. It’s an institution like eating at In ‘n’ Out when people visit California (or Nevada). However, since I turned vegan eight years ago, the buffet has slipped from my mind, until I heard about the Wynn and its eponymous vegan founder. 

Before our recent road trip to Las Vegas with family, the main thing I hoped to accomplish was to experience the buffet at the Wynn resort. Steve Wynn, the founder, is famously vegan and I’ve read that all restaurants in the Wynn/Encore enterprise have solid vegan options. I searched extensively on vegan options at The Buffet (very original name for the buffet!) and I was led to blogs that were at least 2 years old. I had no clue if it would be worth the:

  • $50 (approximate, includes taxes) winter holiday price tag
  • hassle of getting to the Wynn with a 4 year old, elderly family in tow and dragging a bunch of non-vegans around for personal gain!

We eventually made it happen and it was a very positive experience overall!



Pedro Ruiz is a town in the mountains of Northern Peru. It’s a stop somewhere along the way from Chachapoyas to Iquitos, deep in the middle of the Amazon basin in Peru and we only ever saw it in the dark. My husband and I were slowly working down our way from Ecuador through Peru and we had stopped in this region to explore the beautiful Chachapoyas and were making our way towards Iquitos. This journey itself took us a few days. There would only be a bus a day and it would depart at its own leisure and on occasion, not show up at all! As a traveler, you prepare yourself to be stranded somewhere for a day or two. The route from Chacha to Iquitos looks somewhat like this:

  • Chacha to Pedro Ruiz in a collectivo/van – about 4-5 hours
  • Pedro Ruiz to Yurimaguas in an overnight bus
  • Yurimaguas to Iquitos via ferry where you sleep overnight in your own hammock

We took a detour to a national park along the way to spend 4 days in the Amazon forest through a guided tour we had booked back in Yurimaguas.

Now, back to vegan food! When we arrived at Pedro, it was dark and we had determined that we would have to wait for the bus for at least an hour – this was iffy and somewhat unreliable information, since it could also mean two hours or three or more! We were hungry and I was starting to feel hangry that I wouldnt find anything to eat. I was in the middle of nowhere and wouldnt have asked any questions about ingredients as long as it all looked like plants. My husband, ever the optimist, decided to ask a random chap sitting on the sidewalk with his friend if there was vegetarian food nearby. I nearly balked at this approach – what are the odds that the random person even knows veg food and this middle of nowhere town will actually turn up with something?

My pessimism turned to shock and then disbelief when the guy nodded his head and pointed us vaguely down the road. Just sort of waved his hand and said “that way”. I thought to myself, “no way this guy understood Swami’s spanish. He is probably thinking of something else”. But hope reluctantly bloomed and we walked and walked for a good 20 minutes. I was starting to get anxious that we were too far away from our bus stop when I nearly shrieked in delight on seeing this board ahead: “Restaurante Vegetariano, Monte Sinai in Pedro Ruiz, Peru”.

There is no way to describe this joy in words, but it was just a mad dash from then on. We ran in and ordered food, and were served up an excellent meat free lomo saltado, which I can still remember, to this day. I was sad to leave, knowing that I’d never be back this way, probably in my lifetime. I also have no other picture to share, but I guess some memories are just meant to be cherished in quiet contemplation!


From Vilcabamba, we made an incredibly long journey to Chachapoyas, Peru. It took us over 2 days to accomplish this journey and vegan food wasnt always easy to find during this journey. Our journey looked like this: Vilcabamba to Zumba, Ecuador – overnight bus journey, overly delayed due to landslide blocked roads!  Breakfast at Zumba. … Read moreVEGAN IN CHACHAPOYAS, PERU


Finding vegan food in Vilcambamba, Ecuador was not the only easy thing about the place. Vilcambamba felt like a balm to the harried soul and stripped away the layers of stress and anxiety caused by fast paced modern living. By the time we were done with Vilcabamba on our South America backpacking route, my husband … Read moreVEGAN IN VILCABAMBA ECUADOR


Cuenca is a beautiful, colonial town in southern Ecuador. Narrow cobblestoned lanes, shaded streets flanked by colonial buildings and dotted with little shops, only to be interspersed by a church or two, at least a few hundred years old. These interesting streets culminate in a central plaza called the zocalo where the locals hang out … Read moreVEGAN IN CUENCA, ECUADOR


Banos is one of our favorite destinations from South America. Just to give you an idea, its nestled in a beautiful green valley, surrounded on all sides by mountains, one of which happens to be an active volcano. Its also Ecuador’s adventure capital. The term Banos literally means baths – the town has a natural … Read moreVEGAN IN BANOS ECUADOR


One can always heave a sigh of relief when entering a capital city while looking for veg*n food. I combine vegetarian and vegan here as both are equally challenging. After a not so stellar experience in Otavalo, we headed down to Quito on New Years day and settled in a hostel. We’d eventually discover that … Read moreVEGAN IN OLD TOWN QUITO, ECUADOR