Cancun is often overlooked by vegans traveling to Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.
However, Cancun has a few vegan gems of its own. I spent some time eating my way through Cancun's best vegan restaurants, plant-based street eats, and learned there's more to Cancun than what first meets the eye.
Best area for vegans to stay
Most of Cancun's vegan restaurants are located in the downtown area. While there's no ideal location, I found staying around the Mercando 28 area is a good base.
It's about A 10-minute drive to get from downtown to the Hotel Zone beaches. A taxi costs about 150 pesos and an Uber cheaper.
If you're staying in Cancun for longer, I highly recommend Airbnb. If you don't have an Airbnb account, sign up here to get $35 off your first booking.
I also wrote this comprehensive guide of where to stay in Cancun for all budgets.
Cost of vegan food in Cancun
There is low competition for vegan food in Cancun, therefore you're going to pay more for vegan options than local non-vegan food.
However, this is Mexico, and food is naturally affordable vegan or not. Even at the top vegan restaurants, you're only paying between 90-150 pesos ($4-$6.50 USD) per meal. I paid as low as 70 pesos for a vegan quesadilla at Bao Vegan.
Remember, tipping is common practice in Mexico.
Vegan 'must-knows' for visiting Cancun
If you're headed to Cancun, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Veganism isn't common in Cancun. You'll generally have to head to the vegan restaurants named in this article to eat quality food.
- The Spanish word for vegan is easily translated to vegano
- The majority of vegan food and restaurants are located downtown
- Some vegan restaurants are located 10 minutes out of town, but Uber and Taxis are relatively affordable in Cancun
- Most food menus are in Spanish. If you can't read Spanish, use Google Translate or ask staff for advice.
Best vegan eats in Cancun, Mexico
No visit to Cancun is complete without eating at Vegan Planet.
The 100% vegan restaurant sets the standard for vegan food in Cancun. The impressive menu is jam-packed full of Mexican and western plant-based meals and it seems you can't go wrong.
The restaurant itself is clean, the staff friendly (and English speaking), and there is a small shop attached where you can buy a range of vegan products.
While not located in the center of downtown, an Uber to Vegan Planet from the Mercado 28 area only costs about 40 pesos.
While I spent most of my time in Downtown Cancun, I did venture into the Hotel Zone to visit Natura and I'm glad I did.
Natura is the perfect spot to grab a coffee or lunch and just chill out. The menu isn't completely vegan but there are two pages of vegetarian options, most of which are either vegan, or easily veganized.
I personally had the best tacos in Cancun at Natura, which were made with soya bean fajitas, soya bean sprouts, spinach, sweet and sour dressing, and guacamole.
Bao Vegan is one of the newest vegan restaurants in Cancun.
The small, but cozy, restaurant is a short walk from Mercado 28 and here you'll find local and western meals - all 100% vegan. Their quesadillas have tasty melted vegan cheese and come with freshly made guacamole, meaning you don't have to miss out on the cheesy Mexican favorite.
They also have a small bakery where you can get delicious vegan polorvones, a Mexican dessert.
Sirena Morena is one of Cancun's most iconic vegan restaurants - and for good reason.
This almost fully vegan restaurant serves up some of the highest quality plant-based dishes in Cancun.
I ordered the jackfruit tostadas, which were super fresh and delicious. I followed with their vegan nuggets, which I highly recommend. The nuggets reminded of Dal Vada, which is a popular Sri Lankan snack made from lentils. However, Sirena Morena's nuggets were soft and creamy in the center.
The earthy outdoor seating is a relaxing and breathable change to the bustling Cancun streets and worth a stop, even if only for a fresh juice.
You can view the Sirena Morena menu online here.
No vegan destination is complete without a decent Indian restaurant and Cancun has it.
Taste of India nails authentic Indian food and is reasonably priced too. I ordered the Chana Masala with naan bread. The Indian spices and flavors took me back to India.
A must-visit for Indian food lovers in Cancun!
Gopal's is one of my favorite vegan restaurants in Cancun.
There is nothing fancy about the restaurant, the Hindu-Mexican owners don't speak much English, and you won't find a menu.
But the food is incredible.
There is nothing fancy or fake about Gopal's, which makes it an unmissable vegan eat in Cancun.
Taqueria Coapenitos is a typical Mexican food joint.
They offer a small range of vegan tacos. You can choose from these 3 ingredients per taco: onion, green pepper, cactus, pineapple and avocado.
The restaurant is open between 3pm-11pm. Overall, the tacos were very basic and I was slightly disappointed at the lack of imagination involved in their vegan range. If you want to visit Coapenitos, it might work better as a late-night snack rather than dinner.
I felt a little deceived by search results upon entering 100% Natural.
When searching for vegan restaurants in Cancun, 100% Natural kept popping up. However, while the restaurant has lots of choices for vegetarians, the vegan options are limited.
In fact, the only non-fruit or juice vegan option was the Rollo tofu, which is basically a scrambled tofu breakfast burrito. It was tasty, however, if you have limited time in Cancun, I'd consider going somewhere more vegan-friendly.
Antojito Con Amor translates to English as Treat With Care. And that's exactly what you get here.
The vegan restaurant is another excellent choice for vegans searching for a wide range of quality plant-based eats.
Its a little ways from the Downtown Cancun center, but only a short trip via Uber or taxi is well worth it.
Caribe Vegano gives you a taste of Mexico with some of the best vegan tacos in Cancun. You can also get plant-based burgers and hotdogs here too.
It's the perfect option for weekends, as it's closed on weekdays.
If you're looking for some middle-eastern food, Sahara is a Lebanese restaurant that will satisfy your cravings.
The menu is very meat-heavy, but with falafel and hummus as vegan options.
You can also have hookah, if you're into that.
They are closed on Mondays.
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I recommend World Nomads as my favorite travel insurance provider.