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If you’re traveling to Mexico as a vegetarian, you’re in luck. Mexican food is not only flavorful, spicy at times, and delicious but also wholesome and healthy. Our Indian palates had no difficulty in adapting to their tangy salsas, hot jalapenos, and fulfilling quesadillas. And in Tulum, one of the most beautiful beachside towns in the Yucatan peninsula, we were spoilt for choice with some of the best vegetarian food in Mexico. We had read that Tulum is a hotspot for vegan and vegetarian food and were eager to sample meals at some of those restaurants. Here are our recommendations for some of the best places to eat in Tulum:
A tall glass of coffee shatters by my feet as we wait to step inside Burrito Amor. I frantically save the carry-on bag I’ve been dragging with me from Cancun airport. After two flights and one bus change, the early breakfast we treated ourselves to in Boston appears to be a thing of the past. Our server smiles as he lets us in after mopping the mess away. We’re starving, but I make it a point to comb through the entire menu. Fresh juice at modest prices. Pineapples, oranges, limes. Oh hey, tropics – I have missed you. We’re quick to order, only to realize that we have dinner reservations in three hours. Our language barriers cause some miscommunication and we end up with two huge vegetarian burritos instead of one. Looking at each other, Bharat and I proceed to top them with avocado and jalapeno sauces. What a burst of flavors! This was so good, and filling – we returned for the vegan burritos with cactus and chaya leaves (tree spinach). Definitely a great vegetarian-friendly restaurant in Tulum.
Location: Burrito Amor faces the street with open corners and casual seating. It has a few veggie / vegan burritos and burrito bowls and is good value for money located close to the Ado bus station in Tulum town.
Av. Tulum Pte. entre calle Sol Pte. y Calle Acuario, Mz. 3, Lt. 5. Col. Centro
(On the main avenue, heading out of town toward Chetumal)
Tulum, Quintana Roo
Burrito Amor Tulum Menu
I don’t know about others, but my first thought when I hear of farm to table restaurants is “will there be enough vegetarian options?” We were very excited while booking a table at Hartwood (founded by a New Yorker) two months before traveling to Tulum. Their menu is seasonal, all the ingredients are organic and the food was said to be oh so delicious. Turns out, we ended up stuffing ourselves with burritos just hours before making it to the restaurant (read above). Our frantic emails and calls to delay the reservation go unnoticed. So here we are, not quite hungry – but eager for a taste at one of Tulum’s most coveted restaurants. After all, we’re on holiday, and it’s okay to stuff ourselves. We take it slow, and start with appetizers, both of which were brimming with texture, and surprising tastes (think empanadas stuffed with papaya!). Not a bite goes wasted. We skip mains for the creamy dessert. Hartwood also has an array of cocktails on offer.
The restaurant is casual chic and the ambiance is lively too. During our visit, they had several vegetarian appetizers on offer, but only a couple of non meat / seafood options for mains. The portions for appetizers were wholesome though.
Location: Hartwood is located at the end of the most popular strip on Tulum Beach, but it does not face the beach.
Hartwood Tulum does not have a set menu. It changes depending on the produce available. Let them know in advance if you’re looking for vegetarian or vegan food and try to go with prior reservations. It is definitely a pick for one of the top restaurants in Tulum.
Carr. Tulum-Boca Paila 7, Tulum Beach, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
At times, a restaurant’s exteriors are enough to catch your fancy. But we wouldn’t have known about the carnivalesque La Coqueta had it not been for a friend’s recommendation. And even before we had settled in, we knew our meal here would be memorable. Their reasonably priced menu, creative cocktails (please order the tamarindo margarita) and helpful staff represented Mexico’s friendly and relaxed vibe. My favorite bit was definitely their complimentary make your own salsa plate!
This is the kind of place I’d visit straight from the beach, in my flip flops and hat except it’s near Tulum town, though right before the main streets. Vegetarian options? Many!
Location: La Coqueta is conveniently located on Avenida Tulum
Address: Av. Coba Mz 36, Tulum Centro, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
See their menu.
This vegan restaurant in Tulum was set in the middle of the jungle right across the eco hotel we stayed at in the beach area. A rocky path lit with lanterns and candles welcomed us into the cozy sitting area. I had read about Restaurare‘s vegan mole in LA Times and I wasn’t leaving Mexico until I had had my fill. Mole, an authentic Yucatan dish is traditionally made with over 52 ingredients, including cacao, peppers, and chicken broth, and is considered to be one of the most complex, rich sauces. This vegan version includes mushrooms, eggplants, and pumpkin seeds. As our server mentioned – “this one’s a typical grandma’s version – mean and rich, very non-Americanized.” I may not ever taste traditional mole, but I can assure you this one was as close and delicious as the meat version!
Unfortunately, a year ago, Restaurare closed down. The reason we’re continuing to link to them is because they mentioned on their Facebook page that they hope to open something new at some point. Fingers crossed, if you’re reading this and are about to visit Tulum, they would have opened something new.
Antojitos La Chiapaneca
A huge crowd, a bustling live kitchen, and a chalkboard menu – Antojitos reminded me of an Indian dhaba – a small roadside shack serving delicious food. I sat down and scanned the menu for vegetarian options. 7 pesos each for vegan tacos and 9 for a cheese empanada sounded like music to my ears. Fuss-free warm tortillas stuffed with shredded cabbage, carrots, and radish, served simply on plastic plates. What made it fun was the freedom to customize the toppings from their buffet-style counter. If you’re looking for street food, Antojitos Tulum would be our suggestion. Tip: Go easy on the red hot sauce. I’d recommend multiple visits including a stop at the nearby Panna e Cioccolato for gelato thereafter.
Location: Antojitos is also located on Avenida Tulum, very close to Burito Amor.
77760 Tulum, Quintana Roo
We stumbled across El Vegetariano while roaming the main streets of Tulum town. What a discovery this has been! Their menu features the usual Mexican fare (quesadillas, salads, soups) with genius vegetarian twists! Our enchilada arrived bathing in green tomato sauce and stuffed with hibiscus (I can’t even …!). This boho street-facing restaurant also has a live kitchen where we could see the two chefs prepare our meals right in front of us. El Vegetariano was easily one of the restaurants with the best Mexican food in Tulum that is also pocket friendly.
Address: Calle Sol Ote., Tulum Centro, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
A craving for wood-fire pizzas drove us to Coco Tulum’s Juanita Diavola. Their pocket-friendly Italian menu has several vegetarian dishes that are well portioned too! Good restaurants in Tulum are not hard to find, but a nice ambiance adds to the experience.
Address: Carr. Tulum-Boca Paila Km 7.5, Tulum Beach, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Map of best vegetarian restaurants in Tulum
PS: If you’re strictly vegan or vegetarian, it may be a good idea to read up further or try and make calls before you visit any restaurant. If you’re looking for vegan food in Tulum, we find Happy Cow to be quite helpful at times!
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