Here is a rundown on the vegan food we ate in Mexico City. Since I have so much more information, I have decided to split the information according to city.
1. Vegetarian Madero (Madero 56, 1St floor, Col Centro)
Veg Madero is conveniently located a short 5-minute walk away from the Zocalo. After a tiring day of sight seeing in the zocalo, start walking down Madero Street towards Parque Alameda. Veg Madero is on the top floor of an unassuming building on Madero 56. It leads to a surprisingly charming interior featuring live music and a steady local clientele. Check out the daily special at the entrance – usually there are vegan options right here. Dont miss out on the agua, which is an unlimited supply of fruit juice mixed with water, a great way to beat the midway heat. Closes early by US standards (by 7 or 8 pm), so dont plan for dinner without knowing the timings.
2. Vegetariano Yug (Varsovia 3-B S/N, Col. Juarez, Mexico City, DF 06600)
This restaurant is in the Zona Rosa area, just off Paseo De La Reforma, near the Bosque De Chapultapec and the American Embassy. Its convenient if you are visiting the Museum of Anthropology and nearby areas; or if you are staying in the Zona Rosa/Condesa/Roma Norte (which you should certainly consider). It closes early. There is a vegetarian buffet for $92 pesos (as of April 2011). There is soup, different types of salad, bread, fruits and at least 3-4 entrees, rice and a variety of sauces. While the food was good, we still felt the price was a little steep at 92 pesos per buffet. They also have a small store which sells soy milk, soy milk powder and other natural foods.
3. Nirvana Restaurant (Puebla 120, Colonia Roma, Mexico City, DF)
This was hands down the best meal we had in Mexico. It was and to date, remains unforgettable. The way I go on, you’d think I had a gourmet meal in a fine dining establishment. Nothing could be farther than that picture. We walked down a highly residential block, and our hungry stomachs thanked us when we finally stumbled upon Nirvana’s storefront. There is a two car garage outside the store front and door at the side which looks like it leads into a house. So imagine our surprise when we walked in to a cool and tranquil space filled with plants and a little garden out in the back. There is a yoga studio on the top floor and members of the yoga studio drop by for lunch. We paid for our food upfront and got two plates, a bowl and a glass, to be reused for subsequent helpings. Here is a list of what we ate:
- Salads: Lettuce, Grated carrots, bean sprouts, alfaalfa sprouts, wheat berries, fresh watermelon, fresh papaya
- Soup: mushroom + barley soup
- Entrees: flavored rice, spinach stirfry, seitan + red pepper stirfry, pinto beans
- Aqua fresca: guava, mango
- Sauces + Dips: red chilli paste in oil, green salsa, a very deliciously creamy coconut chutney, green chutney
Needless to say, my husband and I drowned into a food coma after this meal, the sheer simplicity of which blew us away.
4. Vege Taco (Carillo Puerto 65 at Alberto Zamora; Coyoacan, Mexico, D.F)
This inexpensive, unassuming hole-in-the-wall taco stop has an extensive taco menu, with dishes of varying sizes. I had about 4 single tacos here and they were all really tasty. The menu is all vegetarian, so ask to hold the cheese and cream. I had been wanting to try these bite sized tacos ever since I got to Mexico, but would tend to hold off on it if there was a mountain of meat next to it. I am happy that my wish was fulfilled. I highly recommend a trip to Coyoacan, check out the artisan’s market there and have some tacos while you are at it.
Even if you are not close to any of these restaurants, there are some fun things to eat. Fresh fruit platter at a late night restaurant, Los Morales on Amberres Street:
Freshly squeezed orange juice on Calle Genova, right next to the Insurgentes Metro Station:
Coconut paleta (ice pop made with water) from a crowded ice cream stand in Coyoacan:
And of course, the failsafe alternative, a veggie sandwich (minus the cheese and mayo)
For many many more options, check out vegetarian restaurants in Mexico City found on HappyCow and VegGuide. Some of the restaurants in the VegGuide listing are closed – Gaia, Govinda, Vegetariano Karl etc. come to mind. However, 100% natural is an excellent alternative and can be relied upon.