Vegans and vegetarians alike will have no problem finding something to meet their demands. It is easier to be vegetarian than vegan, so if you are one of those flexible-vegans, it's well worth it to experience the local flavor.
El Gourmet is an award-winning Trip Advisor favorite. I stumbled across this place as my dad and I met a newly-wed American couple who said this is one of the best rated restaurants on Trip Advisor. And damn. They were right. The caprese sandwich is a vegetarian favorite and the slight drizzle of olive oil and italian herbs takes an old recipe to a whole new level. The baguette, soft yet firm and chewy, is the best you'll ever experience outside of Europe. Visitors can choose from a variety of European delicatessens and cheeses. I recommend the soy chai latte.
Located off the main drag, El Vegetariano is the perfect place for a healthy meal. Even if you love meat, don't skip this restaurant just because of the name. In fact, my dad (meat guy) loved the hearty vegetarian pasta so much that we ate here twice. The vibe is exactly what you'd expect from a vegetarian restaurant. Part indoor, part outdoor, free-flowing tree huggers wearing bohemian pants hang here morning, day and night. Every meal comes with chips and SPICY salsa. Buyer's beware for those who can't handle spice.
Mateo's is a Mexican bar and grill located near the shore. Most seating is on the main level, but there is an upper level deck where guests enjoy the sunset. Surrounded by graffiti and tiled walls, the vibe suits anyone looking to relax with a drink or some tacos. The portions are hearty and I recommend the pineapple coconut smoothie. It's literally paradise in a cup, and the "coolest" drink in Tulum. It's so amazing that I recreated it without honey to put in my cookbook. Don't be shy and try the vegetarian burger or burrito. The portions require you to unbuckle your bathing suit, but it's well worth it.
This local favorite is one of the most popular restaurants in downtown Tulum. This is a place where you find true locals. The tacos are so cheap, I think a vegetarian taco cost around 7 pesos or 50-ish cents. And for seven pesos don't expect luxury but the furnishings that would supply your college balcony. The lines can be long, but the staff are quick. In the front, you'll notice a pork-turning spit topped with a pineapple, that a guy carves and plays tricks with the pieces of pineapple. Once you get your tacos, you can fix it up with various types of salsas and dressings.
In downtown Tulum, you'll find several fruit and vegetable stands. Some stands are small that smell minimal items like bananas and tomatoes, where others are actual markets. You'll find a stand on the opposite side of the street of, and nearby Antojitos la Chiapaneca.
La Hoja Verde
Formally known as Pachelle, this vegetarian restaurant serves a combination of western, middle eastern and Mexican cuisine. Whether you want a light fare such as hummus with a green juice or something dense like a veggie burger, there are plenty of selections for a feast or famine appetite.
This small little bakery is one that I recommend for baguettes, bread and chocolate croissants. I visited here often for baked goods for next morning's breakfast. For a slice of Paris, try one of the sweet, chocolate crepes.
Now, this is not the most epic Thai food you'll ever eat in your life, but for Mexico it's pretty good. When you stay in the RM for three weeks, there are only so many bean burritos and pico de gallo cups one can eat. Trick your palate with eastern fusion for a good, hearty alternative to carbo-load for tomorrow's day at the beach. It's tasty, affordable and simple, like it's decor.
If you love spicy pico, pickled vegetables and live music, head downtown to Don Cafeto. This restaurant is open from breakfast to late-night dinner. They offer various vegetarian options, but is certainly a meat-dominated restaurant. I LOVED the flan. Nothing quit fits the local vibe more than a slice of flan accompanied by local musicians. Arriba!
Mezzanine is a deck bar and restaurant inside of a luxury boutique hotel that overlooks the ocean and the beach. The cool views and chic vibes make it an ideal mid-afternoon coffee (or margarita) pause (as the Germans say). The ambient music inspires the sunny atmosphere, and if you're lucky a live DJ will play some down-tempo beats. The overpriced menu mainly serves Thai along with some local favorites like tacos, guacamole and plenty of meat options like cerviche. Like anywhere in the world, you get what you pay for, and here, you definitely pay for the view.
What's your favorite spot in Tulum? There are so many vegan and veg-friendly places in Tulum that you'll have no problem finding food that suits your palate.
This Lemon Tree article is now featured on GPSmyCity. To download this article for offline reading or travel directions to the attractions highlighted in this article, go to 10 Foodie Spots for Vegetarians in Tulum, Mexico.