Mexico City Vegan Food Guide: is it easy to be vegan in this pastor-loving city?
Thank you so much for reaching out! I have not written a Mexico City Vegan food guide – muchas gracias for the idea. Yes, that’s correct – I stayed in Mexico City for a few months and loved it! It is actually my current favourite city in the world. Being vegan in Mexico City is not that difficult but there are things you need to know. In this post, I will discuss that. Glad you decided to move to Mexico and welcome home!
When we talk about Mexican food, taco is the first thing that comes in mind and meat will always be in the picture. Pastor, a street food staple in Mexico brought by the Lebanese is pork marinated in a combination of dried chilies, spices and pineapple. Carnitas, dates back to the Aztects, is also pork braised and simmered in oil until tender. Asada, grilled meat or roast beef not only popular in Mexico but all over Latin America. Mexico is all about meat, meat, and meat.
But if you look closely and get to know the main ingredients that Mexican food has, you will find a lot of vegan options and ingredients that do not involve meat. Avocado, beans, cilantro – these things are always in a Mexican plate. It doesn’t mean that you have to eat these all the time but in a very meat-eating country like Mexico, a surprising vegan food scene is taking place, particularly in Mexico City. In today’s Mexico, veganism is not just about avocado, pineapple, and tomato dishes but most restaurants already offer a delicious vegan menu. And mind you, they are equally as tasty as meat.
According to Mexico News, 20% of Mexicans have reduced or completely eliminated the consumption of meat or animal-derived foods as part of the vegetarian or vegan lifestyles that are growing at an accelerated rate among the country’s youngest citizens. Data gathered by the Gourmet Show, a huge gastronomic festival in Mexico shows that young people are the bulk of this percentage, especially women.
I am a conditional vegetarian which means I only practice it when I am not traveling. My line of work requires me to eat meat so, in the attempts of trying to be healthy, I practice vegetarianism and veganism when I am in my home in Mexico.
When I first moved to Mexico City, I found it so easy to find vegan food. Most restaurants offer them and when I cook at home, I can always call for vegan raw food delivery. One company that I trust is Vegan Label MX, a vegan store in Mexico City that serves meat you can cook at home. Some of my favourite products in this store include soy/lentil burger patties, vegan chorizo (made from soya), oatmeal milanesa, and peperoni sudevi. They also ‘veganized’ the famos Mexican taco meat such as carnitas, asadas, and pastor! Dairy replacements such as milk and cheese are available, too!
Mexico City Vegan Food Guide: get to know the prices
Most people are hesitant to practice veganism because they find it very expensive. I do believe this is the case because where I am from, the Philippines, another voracious pork-eating country, I discovered that vegan food is expensive because less people consume it. In Mexico City where the vegan food scene is thriving and prices are unbelievably cheap.
For example, in Vegan Label MX, a lentil burger patty costs $77 MXN ($3.85 USD). The pack contains 8 pieces. With this pack, I always host dinners and make sides like fries and coleslaw. If you come to think of it, $4 USD for 8 people is not a lot. I was really surprised by this vegan food pricing in Mexico City. I also lived in Israel, second most vegan country in the world (next to India). But the prices there are skyhigh.
Now let me tell you about the photo above: “El Jedi” breakfast set at Vegamo MX. This containsgluten-free pancake, wheat sausages, tofu scramble with pico de gallo, caramelized onions, guacamole, served with agave honey. You’ll be surprised to find that this costs $95 MXN ($4.75 USD) only. I mean, this is a vegan gem, right? It’s delicious and it’s filling – you don’t have to look anywhere else! Vegan food prices in Mexico City won’t break the bank. If you’re worried about your food budget in this city, I assure you it is nothing to worry about. In fact, I find meat to be more expensive in this country!
Mexico City Vegan Food Guide: some Spanish phrases for vegans
I have to be honest that I do not know how it is to not be able to explain that I don’t eat meat in Mexican restaurants because I am fluent in Spanish. However, I have vegan friends who had a hard time traveling by themselves and eating a perfectly vegan food. There is always something that goes wrong along the way. Fortunately, most vegan restaurants in Mexico City has a vegan crew so if you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll still survive. In other Mexican cities where English is not widely spoken, it could be a problem. So here are the most basic Spanish phrases that you need to know:
- “I am vegan.” – Yo soy vegana
- “No como huevos” – I don’t eat eggs.
- “No como carne.” – I don’t eat meat.
- “No como queso.” – I don’t eat cheese.
- “Sin leche, por favor.” – Without milk, please.
The Spanish word “sin” which means “without” is also very convenient. You just add it to sin huevo, sin queso, sin carne, sin leche. It’s short and very understandable. The word is also very easy to remember.
Mexico City Vegan Food Guide: where to find vegan restaurants in Mexico City
I know I said that vegan food in Mexico City is very popular but it doesn’t mean that you can find them in all corners of the city. The most popular place for veganism (and hispterism) are the neighborhoods of Condesa and Roma (yup, that Netflix series). These two neighborhoods are very hip and progressive, hence, the rise of veganism in Mexico City. These neighborhoods are very safe and very Instagrammable and most of the young Mexicans and expats live here.
For those who are lazy to go out and are sometimes too lazy to face the bustling CDMX, Ciudad de Mexico loves UberEats! My friends and I always do this in our houses – it’s cheap, fast, and it’s vegan!
Below are some of my favourite vegan restaurants in Mexico City. I will only list five because you can always find vegan food anywhere in the world with the app, HappyCow. It can even tell you what are the restaurants near you!
#1: Vegamo MX
On top of the list in this Mexico City Vegan food guide, Vegamo MX is my go-to place when I need to work outside my home. I’ve seen a varied menu in this restaurant than any other places – it’s really a haven for plant-based eaters! The breakfast sets are the best sellers and I often see people ordering waffles (which I only tried once). They also re-made famous Mexican dishes such as chilaquiles, a very popular Mexican breakfast.
#2: Forever Vegano
Oh my gosh – Forever Vegano’s menu is crazy long! From grilled cauliflower starters, tacos al pastor, roasted tomato soup, salads, vegan bowls, smoothies, and cheese cakes – this place has it all! Like Vegamo MX, Forever Vegano also put a nice vegan touch to the traditional Mexican breakfasts. They have one branch in Roma (where I’ve visited frequently) and one in Polanco. Not only that this restaurant has good vegan food but their space in Roma is also a good place for working. Outdoor and indoor seating areas are available.
#3: Akarma Vegan
Akarma Vegan’s menu has a more American-style touch. Hotdogs made from wheat, quino and lentil burgers, and vegan pizza are the bulk of the food they are serving. They also have sides like edamame, fries, and salads.
#4: Por Siempre Vegana Taqueria
This is the first ever vegan taqueria that I visited in Mexico City. When I came here, I actually got very confused because their vegan meat looks like meat – all the tacos looks (and tastes) like a real taco! Of course, the grease makes the difference but the taste is not that far from the meat tacos they are serving in Mexico City. Por Siempre Vegana Taqueria’s menu is 100% tacos so if you are not a meat-eater and wants to try an authentic Mexican plate, this place should be on your list!
Last but not the least, a very interesting Mexican, Japanese, and vegan fusion. V-Ramen calls themselves the first ever vegan Japanese restaurant not just in Mexico City but in the country. Their menu includes a lot of Japanese cuisine favourites like donburi, udon, tempura, ramen, sushi, etc. I bet you can’t imagine these meaty Japanese food in the form of a plant but come to V-Ramen and try it!
Are you vegan? Have you been to Mexico City?
How was your experience as a vegan in Mexico City? If you’re not vegan, are you willing to try these restaurants when you visit Mexico? I’d love to hear your suggestions and ideas! Leave them in the comment box below!