Playa del Carmen has grown into an unmissable destination for vegans traveling Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
The bustling beach town is flooded with tourists all year round so it's no wonder the vegan scene here has started to bloom.
Vegans can find everything from plant-based burgers, vegan pizzas, Mexican food, and more in Playa del Carmen.
We visited Playa del Carmen and Cozumel in 2020 amid the Coronavirus pandemic and hurricane season.
While most vegan restaurants were open, some were temporarily closed down.
However, I have included those restaurants at the end of the article, even though I did not personally visit them.
For the Cozumel section of this guide, skip to the end.
Best areas stay in Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a simple town to navigate.
The most popular tourist street is 5th Avenue, which is where a lot of vegan restaurants and cafes are located on or close to.
The closer you are to 5th Avenue, the more expensive the accommodation, and the further away the cheaper it gets.
I found the perfect balance is to stay between 10th and 30th Avenues. This location allows you to get more affordable accommodation, but still within walking distance to restaurants and attractions.
I used both Bookings and Airbnb during my time in Playa del Carmen.
I generally use Bookings for shorter stays and Airbnb for 1 month plus stays. If you're new to Airbnb you can get $35 off your first stay by signing up with this link.
You can view available accommodations through Bookings here.
Food delivery in Playa del Carmen
There are two main ways to get food delivered in Playa del Carmen.
The first is through the local app called Rappi. The app has a bunch of options and a few good vegan ones too. Use this code jaseq21 when signing up to receive $1000 in RappiCredits for delivery. Not a bad deal.
The second way is through UberEATS. I've found both apps offer different options, so I recommend getting both. However, Rappi tends to be a bit more affordable and has more food options.
Cost of vegan food in Playa del Carmen
Unfortunately, I found eating vegan in Playa del Carmen was more expensive than I'd planned.
Eating out at vegan restaurants costs anywhere between $100-$200 pesos (approximately $5-$10USD). There are some exceptions, but generally, it isn't cheap.
To cut costs, I shopped at nearby groceries stores and ate at my Airbnb. However, grocery stores in Mexico aren't ideal for vegans, either. But you can get the basics.
Playa del Carmen vegan food
Plantivoros is a hidden gem in Playa del Carmen and a must-visit for vegans.
The hidden-away restaurant is located just far enough from the beach to feel more local than gringo. It's located upstairs through an unmarked gate - so you definitely won't stumble across this place by accident.
The 100% vegan restaurant whips up the best vegan Mexican food in Playa del Carmen in my opinion - and it's also affordable.
I highly recommend the 'Kentucky' tacos, which are Oyster Mushroom tacos with KFC-like crispiness to them. They have a wide variety of chickpea, potato, cauliflower, and mushroom tacos - all to die for. You can also get tortas, soups, and lots of Mexican Especials.
If you like vegan eats slightly off the beaten path - don't miss Plantivoros.
The Pitted Date is a 100% vegan restaurant where you can get vegan 'comfort' meals with ingredients generally difficult to find in Mexico.
The staff speak great English and are friendly. They are also on Uber Eats, so you can order their delicious food directly to your room.
I ate here numerous times while in Playa del Carmen and my favorites were the breakfast burrito (pictured) and the Italian Stallion.
The Pitted Date is my favorite brunch spot in Playa as their vegan egg omelets are out of the world.
Comet 984 is a quirky restaurant a few blocks away from the famous 5th avenue.
The small 100% plant-based restaurant is themed as a 1950s American diner. You can get iconic American diner food here like burgers, hotdogs, and even soy-based milkshakes. I tried the snickers milkshake and it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
The food really hits the spot if you have junk food cravings.
Fresh and healthy is what you get at Fresco.
Their bowls are tasty, filling, and full of flavor. They also serve up incredible vegan smoothies and fresh juices. A little pricey, but worth it for the cool vibes and atmosphere.
You can't go wrong at Fresco. I ordered their tofu bowl and it was perfect.
The restaurant is not far from 5th Avenue and is easily walkable.
Fritxs is where you'll find the best burritos in Playa del Carmen. No, not the best vegan burritos - the best burritos in general. They are really that good.
The fully vegan Mexican joint is located outside of town, which makes it a little less known by tourists - but you can't miss it.
Their meaty soy burritos will even win your carnivore friends and family over.
Due to COVID, Fritxs are only operating by delivery and pickup orders.
UPDATE 2021: Unfortunately Fritxs is closed. I spoke with the owner and he hopes to have it reopened sometime in the future, but for now, the doors are indefinitely closed. This is a saddening hit to Playa's vegan scene.
There are two Bio Organics in Playa del Carmen.
The main cafe is located on Calle 26 and this is where you’ll find a wide range of vegan options including burgers, lentil stews, smoothie bowls and, of course, Mexican food.
It’s a nice cafe with a good vibe. I also worked from here as they have “okay” wifi, which can be hard to find in Playa del Carmen.
The second Bio Organics is located at the northern end of 5th avenue and is only a juice bar and organic shop. It’s still worth a visit if you’re nearby.
Location: Av CTM, Av. 20 &, 77710 Playa del Carmen.
Playa del Carmen is limited when it comes to Indian food. However, Aryan, a small homey restaurant is a saving grace.
While the Indian food isn't quite 'perfect', it sure does hit the spot when you have Indian food cravings.
The family owners are wonderful and extremely welcoming.
A must visit if you want a little slice of India on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Choux is one of the best cafes for remote workers, as they have reliable wifi, good coffee. They just so happen to have some delicious vegan breakfast options too.
The Fresh-style cafe has vegan waffles, smoothie bowls, and pancakes.
It has a great cafe vibe and friendly staff.
A must-visit while in Playa.
The great thing about Playa del Carmen is there is a variety of vegan options for those times you're tuckered out of tacos.
Sushi-Itto is located close to the Playa Car resort area. Make sure to look at their online menu (there are QR codes on the tables) for their selection of vegan sushi.
Captain Sandwich is a bustling brunch hangout frequented by locals and tourists.
It's not a vegan cafe, but it does have a couple of good vegan options, which makes it worthwhile if you're at the northern end of 5th avenue.
The avo tostadas were incredibly filling and I highly recommend.
I was a little hesitant to visit another 100% Natural restaurant after an underwhelming experience in Cancun. However, I couldn't have had a more opposite experience in Playa del Carmen.
The vegan options at Playa del Carmen's 100% Natural far outweigh Cancun and their crispy zucchini tacos are the best tacos in Playa del Carmen. I loved them so much, I went back the next night and ordered the exact same thing.
You can't miss this restaurant as it's located on the iconic 5th Avenue stretch.
If you have a craving from a Beyond Burger, you can get one at this local grill.
The grill offers up a vegan burger and vegan bratwurst. The brat wasn't available the couple of times I visited here, but the Beyond Burger (called Veggie Burger) was. I double-checked with staff and the queso is vegan too.
It's definitely not the place to go if you're worried about any cross-contamination.
This small vegan joint in Playa del Carmen is often overlooked.
There's nothing too flashy or fancy about Na-Na, but their food is delicious.
They are known for their vegan pizza - so it you have that pizza craving, give Na-Na a try!
Falafel Nessya is a falafel lover's dream. You can get pita falafel, falafel plates, falafel burgers - you name it.
The not too pricey restaurant is a great choice for vegans on a budget in Playa del Carmen too.
I was disappointed to miss out on La Senda due to its temporary closure.
The fully vegan restaurant has been one of Playa del Carmen's leading plant-based restaurants serving up a wide range of eats including insanely stacked nachos.
I'll be back to visit La Senda when it reopens.
Clorofila is another vegan restaurant I unfortunately missed out on due to its temporary closure.
However, the vibe of this place speaks for itself. You can get fresh juices, melty vegan pizza and, of course, plant-based Mexican comfort food.
Cozumel vegan food
Cozumel is an island located 45 minutes from Playa del Carmen and is a popular tourist destination.
The island definitely lacks when it comes to vegan food, but that doesn't mean there are some tasty vegan options when you know where to look.
If you're heading to Cozumel, also check out our Best Things to do in Cozumel, Mexico.
There is a serious lack of Indian food in the Playa del Carmen area, so when we stumbled upon Bombay Delights in Cozumel we were over the moon.
This place doesn't look like much from the outside, but their food is incredible. And being Indian, they serve up a number of tasty vegan options.
Their samosas, chana masala, and daal were all top-notch.
Cozumel is not the most vegan-friendly island, so it's refreshing to stumble across somewhere that understands and adapts meals for vegans.
Rock and Java is a cool cafe that has vegan options. It's probably the best breakfast and brunch spot for vegans visiting Cozumel as they serve up a great scrambled tofu brekky.
If you've got burrito cravings, Crazy King Burrito will whip up a big vegan burrito.
Unfortunately, as our visit was over a weekend, the restaurant was closed and we were unable to try one.
But this is definitely a must for our next visit.
Vegan Playa Festival
The event features:
- Live music
- Vegan cooking classes
- Ecstatic dance
- Group meditation
- Live talks
For dates of upcoming festivals, visit their Facebook page.