My repeated searches for vegan-friendly restaurants in Taxco often led me to Cafe Sasha [Juan Ruiz de Alarcon #1 (In front of the Hotel Los Arcos), www.cafesasha.com]. Unfortunately, upon arriving in Taxco, I discovered from the front desk of the hotel we stayed in that this restaurant had been closed. I was thoroughly disappointed, and resigned myself to a lack-lustre gastronomic experience for my stay there. This story has a happy ending, so please read ahead.
A typical street in Taxco:
A cheese-free pizza with vegetables, available easily in Taxco:
A fruit cart vendor:
The friendly receptionist at the front desk then told me this, which I somehow managed to understand as follows:
“Even though Sasha is closed, there is another restaurant now in its place…”
“Soy vegetariano! soy no como carne, queso, leche, huevos…” I claim with not a little distress, trying to impress upon her the gravity of the situation here. The only vegetarian restaurant I knew about was closed, and this was a grave scenario in my books. Not to mention that we were tired, hungry and ready for lunch, a recurring symptom in as many days.
At this point, I don’t blame you for thinking that I place too much importance on my food and that I am probably making a mountain out of mole hill. While I do confess to dramatizing a little bit and the reality is that I can content myself with fresh fruit juices, bread, jam and fruit if it boils down to that, the truth is that one soon tires of eating such fare. Of course, this was 8 days into our trip and I had been reasonably well fed so far; so I didn’t have much to complain about.
Anyway, back to our little conversation.
“The other restaurant Sotavento is just down the street, and they have vegetarian food” said the receptionist. She wrote down the name on a piece of paper, and I took it despite being skeptical about the availability of vegan food.
True to her words, Sotavento turned out to be on the first floor (US 2nd floor) right next door to our hotel Emilia Castillo. On the ground floor, they had a menu propped. On quickly scanning the menu, I lost interest upon spotting several cheesy-pasta items, not being in the mood for pasta with marinara sauce. But, we did return much later for a lovely dinner…
A little grocery store in the monstrously huge Taxco market (a must see!)
We walked further along Taxco’s steep and tiny streets and quickly arrived at the zocalo (the center). We zeroed in on a tiny pizza place located in the zocalo. You have to navigate through a building and a flight of stairs to get in here. Mario’s pizza has a patio area, a very friendly waiter who spoke a little English and was very helpful in putting together a pizza with cheese on one side and no cheese on the other side (my side:)). I later discovered that there are several pizzerias in Taxco, who are perfectly willing to make you a pizza with tons of vegetables with no cheese, and I found out, quite tasty ones at that.
Later that night, we decided to get sotavento another chance. Not only was the restaurant open late (until 11pm), but the owner spoke very good english and assured me that she can put together a meal for me with plenty of vegetables – these vegetables were not even on the menu! I asked her to include as many veggies was possible. What resulted was a plate of four enchilladas stuffed with rice and vegetables, smothered with green sauce, topped with lettuce and avocado. Accompanying this was some really awesome salsas and the best bread I’ve had till date in Mexico. It goes to show how easy it is to easily skip past something without truly knowing what lies beneath. I was so full, I brought back leftovers to the hotel room!
At Sotavento, the bread and the salsas (the little white stuff is not vegan)
You can barely see the enchiladas beneath all the lettuce, avocado and the salsa verde. I added pico de gallo on the top as well.
- Sotavento, Benito Juárez 12, Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico
- Mario’s pizza, zocalo, Taxco, Mexico