A Vegan Visits Cancun, Mexico (& eats lots of good food!)

Hi all,

As I indicated with my last post, I’ve been a little MIA lately. Work has been extremely busy, I am looking for a house, and I just  took a vacation to Cancun, Mexico! And the latter, is exactly what this post is about!

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Cancun is amazing. Clear blue skies, white sands, warm weather, aqua blue water, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and spectacular cuisine. Now you might be thinking – can Mexico really be vegan-friendly? You bet it is! I ate like royalty the whole week! Most resorts include non-dairy soy or almond milk options for breakfast items/ instead of coffee creamer. I was also able to eat a variety of items like the seasonal fruit bowl (which included fresh figs!!!) and toast.

Here’s the view from my breakfast table:

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But I didn’t travel to Mexico to stay cooped up at a resort. I visited small towns and toured four Mayan ruin sites, and I am here to say that I was able to eat amazing food everywhere I went, and I didn’t get sick from fruits/ vegetables! One thing I learned – salsa is a TexMex concept, so salsa as we know it is a rare find in the Yucatan peninsula!

Here are a few photos from the trip, followed by my favorite four restaurants around Cancun.

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Chichen Itza
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Coba
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Coba
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Sea turtles (tortugas) at La Isla Mujeres

Now onto the food!


Vegan Planet

Cancun actually has a 100% vegan restaurant called “Vegan Planet.” The food is priced very similar to that of a vegan restaurant in the states, but the food is worth it!  Also, if you don’t know some Spanish, this may not be the best option for you. It’s not in the hotel zone, and the wait staff are not exactly fluent in English. I ended up dining in at Vegan Planet twice while in Cancun. I highly recommend the Enmoladas which are basically enchiladas with a vegan mole (chocolate) sauce. It’s a perfect mix of sweet and savory. Additionally, do not leave this restaurant without having dessert! My sister ordered the chocolate crepas, and I had cheesecake. Both were so, so good. The cheesecake rivaled some of the best I’ve ever had!

On our second visit we happened to be there on a day when they had fresh made tamales. Hands down, they were the best tamales I’ve ever tasted in my life!

Leaf Cancun

I cannot recommend heading to Leaf at least once during your trip strongly enough! The atmosphere is relaxing, with open brick, high ceilings, and natural light. The space is small and cozy, and the wait staff are excellent. The plates were simply stunning, and the food that was on them was delicious—all for a fraction of the cost of something similar in the states!

We were hoping to order guacamole as an appetizer, but they were sold out. The waitress convinced us to give their bruschetta a try. Being Italian, I can be picky about bruschetta so I was a little hesitant. Boy, am I glad I listened to her! The bruschetta was made out of an olive puree with tomato puree and sesame seeds on top. It tasted so good, and so very different from any other bruschetta I’ve eaten.  For our entrees, we ordered the jicama (root vegetable) wraps and a vegan taco trio. Both meals were delicious.  You can tell the chefs use only the best, fresh ingredients. You have to give Leaf a try!

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Charley’s Vegan Tacos, Tulum

If you head to see the ancient ruins in Tulum, do not – I repeat – do not leave without going to Charley’s Vegan Tacos for lunch or dinner. These tacos are simply amazing. They are by far, the best vegan tacos I’ve ever had! Charley’s also used a lot of ‘faux’ meat which was honestly a rare find around Cancun/ Yucatan peninsula. If you’re craving some seitan, this taco shop will not let you down. Last but not least, the taco shop offered a floral iced tea. I have no idea what it was, but it tasted heavenly and was so refreshing on a hot day! What are you waiting for? Go get some five star vegan tacos!

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The Surfin’ Burrito

This one is for all the late night vegans who might find themselves sitting around the hotel at midnight saying, “I want a burrito as big as my head!” Well, if that sounds like you, add The Surfin’ Burrito to your must have visit list. This little burrito shop is in the hotel zone, open 24/7, and pretty cheap. However, it’s an outdoor/ open air restaurant with two tables. If you show up at a popular time, you’ll have to take your food to go or sit on the curb. The place is convenient, the atmosphere is cool, and the food is OK. Why not give it a try?

Cheers & safe travels!

Jocelyn

3 thoughts on “A Vegan Visits Cancun, Mexico (& eats lots of good food!)

    1. Thank you! We stayed at the Westin Resort and Spa. It was on the far south end of the strip which meant it was a little less crowded/ noisy too.

  1. Thank you for visiting and mentioning our vegan restaurant Charly´s Vegan Tacos, we have just launched a brand new menu which includes “fried plantain banana with tofu, garlic cream, roasted pumpkin seeds and agave syrup”, and also our signature tacos like our popular “Roasted mushrooms marinated in annatte seeds, pine apples and local peppers”. Next time you are in Tulum we would love to have you visit us again.

    Keep up the good work,

    Charly

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