Have you ever been somewhere and it’s just felt immediately like home?
After the heavy traffic of large thundering buses emitting black smoke, the chickens cooking on spits in the street and the shoe-shiners sitting on the side of the road with bandannas over their faces, it was almost a relief to find a place I seemed familiar with in La Paz.
Atmosphere at Namas Te
Walking into Namas Te, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant located in the centre of La Paz, I was immediately taken over by how Western it felt.
Everything was clean, books lined the walls, music tinkled in the background and we were given a menu written in both English and Spanish.
Don’t get me wrong – I love coming to a country and being overwhelmed by the different culture, language and food. But sometimes it can be a little too overwhelming and it’s nice to take a break and relax in a place you’re more comfortable with. This was what it was like for me eating at Namas Te.
Namas Te is a little creative hub – not just a restaurant – and I could imagine myself whiling away long afternoons writing in the café because the setting is very artistic.
Murals are painted on the walls and as you walk through the café at the front and through a wooden Hobbit-like door, you come into a colourful hallway that leads into a bright courtyard lit by skylights.
In here you’ll find a little bar (that I expect is used for functions), a few tables, a water feature and brightly painted sculptures.
To your left is the back part of the restaurant which, although sparsely furnished, has walls covered in art, vintage propaganda posters and pictures of Che Guevara.
Service at Namas Te
Both times we were at Namas Te the service was great. I think the waiter was the owner and he was dedicated to making sure we enjoyed our time there.
Speaking in both English and Spanish he was always on hand if we had any questions.
On the menu it says that each meal is cooked fresh from scratch and so you can expect to wait around 20 minutes for your food.
Sometimes I see this and I grown a little inwardly because although I love eating fresh food, sometimes these 20 minutes can drag on to forty minutes or more.
However at Namas Te this isn’t the case and both times we ate at the restaurant our food was brought to us within the 20 minutes estimate.
Food at Namas Te
The first time we went to Namas Te I had to drag Dave there because he thought it sounded a little wanky. He was suitably impressed as we ate our breakfast and the next day it was he who suggested we go again but for lunch.
It was the first breakfast we’d had in Bolivia where eggs were on the menu. Our server said he could cook them any way we wanted and this had me more excited than the average person because my favourite food is egg.
(Mum and dad say I’ve been this way since I could talk. When I was little I used to ask for my eggs cooked in different ways by saying, “eggie in a shell” or “beated up eggie”.)
I ordered the Grand Mix of French toast, two eggs, hash browns and a mango juice. Dave ordered similarly but also had yoghurt and granola with fresh fruit.
Normally I’m not really a fan of French toast (I once stuffed my face with it as a little kid at Sizzler and threw up everywhere) but this French toast wasn’t too greasy and the maple syrup that came with it tasted like proper maple syrup, although unlike in America it was probably free of corn syrup – delicious!
The hash browns weren’t greasy either and you could tell they’d been made from scratch, from potatoes, that morning.
The scrambled eggs were nearly as good as Dave’s – and that’s saying something because Dave’s scrambled eggs are awesome.
When we went to Namas Te for lunch, we enjoyed their set menu, which was simple but satisfying. For 30 bolivianos we had soup, salad, vegetable stirfry and a granola bar. Once again, all the ingredients were fresh and although a minimal menu, the flavours worked well together.
Drinks at Namas Te
Thank goodness for the coffee at Namas Te! We had really struggled to find good coffee in La Paz and so when we came across the delicious cappuccino at Namas Te we were delighted.
The other drinks we had at the café were freshly squeezed juices and these were full of flavour without any added sugar. The mango was my favourite.
Overall thoughts on Namas Te
I really recommend you visit Namas Te if you’re in La Paz. Even if you’re not a vegetarian or a vegan, you’re bound to find something on the menu that satisfies you.
It’s not just the food that’s delightful – it’s the whole experience. The service is great and your surroundings will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into an artistic fairy tale.
Namas Te certainly deserves the number one rating for La Paz on Tripadvisor that it has – a rating I’m sure not that many vegetarian restaurants around the world receive.
What you need to know
Cost: Both times we ate at Namas Te it cost us 70 bolivianos for the two of us, plus tips.
How to get there: Namas Te is located at C.Zoilo Flores #1334 casi esq. Almirante Grau (San Pedro), La Paz, Bolivia.
When to go: Namas Te is open Monday – Friday 8am-7pm, and Saturday 8am-4pm.