For avid travelers, sampling a new culture’s cuisine is one of the most exciting aspects of experiencing a new country. UNESCO has awarded Mexican food as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, so if you’re not already a fan – you should be. However for environmentally conscious consumers, eating on the road can often cause difficulty.
Luckily, this isn’t a problem in Cancún. Cafes and restaurants specializing in vegan and vegetarian food have sprung up all over this popular tourist destination, making it even more welcoming for travelers with restricted diets.
Hours: Mon-Sat: 8am-10pm, Sun: 8am-9pm
Address: Av. Andrés Quintana Roo, Mz. 1, L. 4.4, Sm. 45 Cancún, Quintana Roo, 77506.
Phone: (998) 251-7531
Vegan Planet is possibly one of the only 100% vegan restaurants in Cancun and is a one-stop shop for all of your vegan needs. It is located outside of the hotel zone just opposite Las Plazas Outlet. If you find that it’s too far out of your way – they deliver!
The location appears like more of a diner than a bohemian vegan hangout, but the food more than makes up for it. Freshly made Mexican dishes are served up daily, such as refreshing Coconut Ceviche and sweet but savory Enmoladas (enchiladas with vegan mole sauce). The desserts are second-to-none and have developed a reputation within the vegan community. Their cheesecake is not to be missed.
Hours: 7:30am-11pm Daily
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 9.5 Zona Hotelera, Cancún México
Phone: (998) 883-0585 / (998) 252-6799
Natura is a restaurant located in the heart of the hotel zone with a dedicated vegetarian menu. The restaurant is inviting with fresh green foliage, stained-glass signage, and wrought iron tables and chairs. The terrace is reminiscent of a Parisian cafe. They’re well-known for being child-friendly and allowing pets. Their menu includes Soya Hamburgers, hearty tofu and vegetable soups and pasta as well as vegetarian takes on Mexican classics.
A spot on the terrace is recommended to fully enjoy the experience, but if you don’t feel like getting out, they deliver to anywhere in the hotel district.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am-11pm, Sat-Sun: 9am-6pm
Address: Blvd. Luis Donaldo Colosio, Plaza Cumbres Local 13, Cancun 77500, Mexico.
Phone: (998) 882-0720
Leaf styles itself as an ‘organic market and vintage bar’, which should tell you straight away that this is a hipster hangout. Beautifully finished with clean, elegant furnishings, exposed brick walls, and quirky decor, Leaf is an inviting dining experience regardless of its niche market. Though it markets itself as an organic restaurant, they do offer extensive vegan and vegetarian options that are presented beautifully and are a testament to the quality of the ingredients used. Live music is a regular occurrence during the evenings and they even have their own detox program.
The Surfin’ Burrito
Hours: Open 24 Hours, Every Day
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 9.5, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Phone: +52 (998) 883-0083
For those times when you just need a burrito (read: on your way home from Coco Bongo), The Surfin’ Burrito is a surf-shack- cum-burrito-stand that is open 24/7 for all your 3 am veggie cravings. The name says all you need to know: neon graffiti, fake palms, and surf paraphernalia decorate this late-night food haven. Cheap and cheerful, The Surfin’ Burrito consists of the food ‘shack’ and a few tables and chairs, but don’t worry, you won’t be the only one eating on the curb on your pitstop home after the club.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:30am-9:30pm, Sat: 9am-5pm
Address: Piña 11 SM 25, Cancun, Mexico, 77509
Phone: (998) 897-4231
Dharma Cafe is a tiny slice of bohemia found in downtown Cancun. Offering a set menu daily (including a vegetarian menu) for as little as 100 pesos, they offer fresh juices, soups, and traditional Mexican dishes. The service is very welcoming and the atmosphere is relaxed and cheerful.
Hours: 7am-10pm Daily
Address: Av. Sunyaxchen 63 77509 Cancún, Quintana Roo Mexico Supermanzana 25
Phone: +52 (998) 898-1000
Though they do serve meat products, 100% Natural is 100% inclusive of all dietary restrictions. They have a ton of vegetarian and vegan options. Try one of their soups, a protein smoothie or mole to stay nourished while you travel. The atmosphere is also fantastic, with great servers and a beautiful inner patio that leaves you feeling like you’ve spent an hour or two in a natural oasis in central Cancun.
Food Truck Park
Hours: 6pm to Midnight Daily
Address: Avenida Nichupté 20 Sm19 entre Pabellón Caribe y Galerías Infinity Cancún, Quintana Roo
Food Truck Park was started when a group of food truck owners decided to converge in an empty lot in downtown Cancun. The result? A street food market with a celebratory atmosphere. Strings of lights, colorful lanterns, painted trucks, and tables and chairs pushed together give the feeling of a large family get together. The food itself is delicious with a myriad of cuisines coming together with vegetarian options aplenty. Lebanese, Italian, Thai, and Mexican can all be found in this foodie heaven.
Hours: 6pm-11:30pm Daily
Address: Blvd. kukulcán Km. 12.5 La Isla Shopping Village Zona Hotelera, Cancún, México
Phone: +52 (998) 176 8070
If, somehow, you find yourself tiring of Mexican food while in Cancun, then check out Elefanta. This restaurant sits on the Nichupte Lagoon which sandwiches the hotel zone with the Caribbean sea on the other side. An open air restaurant with traditional thatched roofing and tasteful Indian decor in jewel colors, you can be seated in private verandas bathed in subtle lighting that makes this a perfect romantic dinner destination. Specializing in Indian cuisine, there is a vast array of vegetarian options that leave the palate pleasantly satisfied.
Hours: Mon-Sat: 8am-11:30pm
Address: Ave. Acanceh SM 15, MZ 3, Lote 3 Cancún, 77500
Phone: (998) 887-9556
La Troje is not to be judged by its name (meaning ‘The Shed). A cute little cafe in a nice area of downtown Cancun, La Troje is a great spot for lunch. They have an indoor/outdoor seating area with large glass windows, lots of greenery and healthy, home-made dishes. Due to the natural produce used, there are a lot of vegetarian options available at affordable prices.
Hours: Tue-Sun: 11am – Late
Address: Av Coba 81, 26, 77505 Cancún, Q.R.
Phone: +52 (33) 3468 0820
Ran by a Mexican-Hindu family, don’t expect to be eating Indian food when you go to Gopal’s. A small but welcoming place that fits the family ran set-up, they serve traditional but strictly vegetarian Mexican food in-line with their beliefs. The hospitality of the family is impressive, even by Mexican standards and the prices are low. A great place to sample Mexican hospitality and tacos!