How to Eat Vegan in Mexico
Hello my loves! I’m fresh off vacation and my newly-bronzed skin still smells like coconuts as I snuggle in bed at my LA home. I’m snacking on a bowl filled with kiwi and banana, which made me think of tropical fruit – leading to the creation of this blog! I wanted to give you guys a quick guide to vegan dining in Tulum and Playa Del Carmen, both in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Every vegan restaurant we visited in Mexico had a sign up somewhere that said something along the lines of, “Let your food be your medicine.” This quote that is derived from the bible pretty much sums up our culinary experience in the Estados Unidos Mexicanos.
Now, I was only in Tulum for two days, but I got to try three very different restaurants. In Playa Del Carmen, I visited two fully vegan restaurants and had some animal-free eating experiences in “regular” restaurants as well.
And when all else failed, corn tortillas, guacamole and pico de gallo always hit the spot!
Without further ado, let’s get right into the yums!
Dios mio! This restaurant was a delight from start to finish. It is styled in the typical Tulum jungle fare, with lots of wood, eclectic décor, and fairy lights. The people there were outstandingly hospitable and gracious, and the food was remarkable.
They are not swapping vegetables for meat here; they do something very special with their dishes. My experience with my two best friends was so pleasant that I forgot to take photos of my food – but just take my word here, and visit Restaurare.
Starting with drinks, we had to go for mescal while in Mexico. Sarit and I got a refreshing cucumber cocktail while Sayeh opted for a turmeric concoction. We all enjoyed them so much we got seconds.
For appetizer, we got an arugula salad because on this vacation we were all craving veggies. Following the salad was an oyster mushroom ceviche with yucca chips – and it was to die for.
The name of our main dish escapes me, but I will explain it to you so that you can get it because it is a must, to say the least. When I read the description of the dish, I wasn’t so keen on it. However, I let my friends choose because they were being good sports by joining me at an exclusively vegan restaurant.
I can tell you I am so glad I did – the cooked vegetables atop a beet and sweet potato puree changed my life. Yes, that’s right. I am a changed woman because of this decadent, all-vegetable meal. Go there. Tell them what I said. They will serve you with this pile of veggie heaven.
We also had a brown rice and curry type of dish, which was also very good – it boasted notes of peanuts – but next time I would probably just get the aforementioned dish and hoard it for myself. No touchie.
I cannot recommend this adorable mid-jungle breakfast and lunch café enough.
We visited Raw Love, located in the picturesque Ahua Tulum hotel, twice during my two-day stay, but you can bet your bottom dollar I begged and pleaded to visit it a third time.
The first time, I ordered a frappuccino and a ‘Healthy Belly Bowl.’ This fruity smoothie bowl is comprised of bananas, passion fruit, papaya, mango, turmeric, ginger and more.
The second time, I ordered a raw pizza, which was definitely different from any vegan pizza I’ve ever had. My recommendation is to go for their smoothies, bowls, and feel-good concoctions rather than the raw foods. I would, however, have liked to try their pad Thai. Hopefully, there will be a next time!
Right next door to my hotel was Charly’s Vegan Tacos.
I don’t know how I managed to forget, but I never got to try this cute little taco place. If you are staring on the hotel strip in Tulum, I recommend checking it out. Also, if you are 18 and over, visit Batey Mojito & Guarapo Bar (sometimes called Mojito Bar) for a Corona and lime and a sugar cane stick.
Playa Del Carmen
Just 45 minutes away by cab, Playa Del Carmen is worlds apart from Tulum. We traded in our hippie jungle and beach walks for dancing shoes and nights out at Mandala.
La Senda Vegana
La Senda is a mostly raw, tiny little spot that boasts only three walls, giving it an outdoor-eating vibe. Our super sweet server – who was vegan since he was 16 – recommended the jackfruit tacos. These are a must. I also enjoyed the ‘vegadillas,’ but would probably skip the pasta and meatballs and the salad next time. We came here twice, it was really good and right next to our hotel Thompson and Coco Bongo.
The Pitted Date
You cannot pass up the chance to eat here. The girls and I came for breakfast twice during our four-day stay. The paninis are great, but I recommend going for an omelette here, which is definitely their specialty. I have never had such a unique vegan omelette, and apparently I’m not the only one who loves it. The super sweet owner sat and talked with us for a while and mentioned that they will be selling their omelette at Whole Foods very soon, so keep an eye out for that.
Catch Playa Del Carmen
In Los Angeles, Catch boasts its own vegan menu. In Mexico, they’re not quite there yet, but they do have plenty vegans can choose from. I found the vegan tacos delicious. I also ordered the truffle pasta. The chef omitted the cream sauce originally found in the pasta, and added extra truffle oil – it was lit. I said lit. It happened.
They also have a veggie sushi roll, which I did not get the chance to try. I ordered a side of asparagus and mushrooms which were both great.
For a sweet treat, visit Artik Pop right underneath the Thompson Hotel and Amorino Gelato. They both have several vegan options. Artik Pop was refreshing while my chocolate gelato from Amorino was decadent.
If you do visit any of these amazing places and happen to post on social media about them, make sure to tag me! I want to re-live all the foodie goodness through you guys. Hope this was helpful, can’t wait to add to it in future Mexico trips!