The rule of thumb, in Mexico City, is that you can’t go more than 10 paces without stumbling upon a thing to eat.
Mexico’s capital city is dripping in history, culture, and street eats. Say nothing for its incredible restaurant scene.
With two weeks to eat my way around Mexico City, I thought of it as a ‘challenge accepted’ situation.
CDMX gets a bad rep for vegetarian eats- mostly because, it can be hard to find vegetarian street food. But, there are plenty of sidewalk restaurants, and beautiful cafes with absolutely delicious vegetarian eats.
In fact, after two weeks in CDMX, I was raving about it to my vegetarian friends, and already planning my return.
A Guide to the Best Vegetarian Spots in CDMX: Everything You Must Eat, From Guava Rolls to Street Tacos
- Clara y Ema: Great egg sandos, served up on fluffy brioche rolls
- Blend Station: A fantastic cafe with a great brunch menu
- Lalo!: Hipster brunch, but worth the crowds and inflated price, because the chilaquiles are incredible
- Fonda Margarita: The CDMX version of the Breakfast Club
- Lardo: The lunch menu looked good, but we came specifically for brunch (guava rolls + iced lattes) in a beautiful space
- Panaderia Rosetta: A fantastic bakery with the best guava rolls. Come early, they sell out mid-morning, and don’t miss their classic hot chocolate
- Ojo de Agua: With locations across CDMX, Ojo is great for a fresh juice fix or healthy brunch
- Por Siempre Vegana Taqueria: Quite possibly, the best spot for vegetarian tacos in CDMX. Don’t miss trying the El Pastor lookalikes- it’s the flavour of Mexico without the meat. Excellent value too- $1 USD for each taco
- Taco Gus: Revered for its ever-changing array of vegetarian tacos
- La Pitahaya Vegana: Famed for their Instagrammable pink tortillas, the vegetarian tacos are pretty good, too. Especially liked the cauliflower one and tofu scramble one, although the flavours could have been kicked up a notch
- Los Especiales: Lunch for $1.60 USD? Yes, please! This taco shop used to be a street food stall, but was so popular, they opened a storefront. Incredibly, they’re still selling tacos for the same price. The potato and bean ones were delicious, loaded up with avocado salsa, pickled veg and other salsas. Wash it all down with a Coke, and revel in the local scene. If you come during lunch, it’ll be crowded, but the line is a token system and moves quickly
More Great Eats
- Churreria El Moro: Fresh churros, plus over eight types of hot chocolate with locations across the city
- Los Loosers: Vegan, Mexican-Japanese fusion eats
- Orale Arepa: Thankfully there are a few vegetarian options on the menu here, because the arepas are insane. Loved the queso and plantain one, so flavourful and filling
- Yug Vegetariano: One of CDMX’s original vegetarian restaurants, in operation since 1963, and popular for good reason
- Vege de Mexico: Tried huitlacoche for the first time here in a quesadilla oozing cheese, while being serenaded by a man strumming the guitar. Actual perfection, and even better since it was only $1.50 for the quesadilla
- Pasteleria Ideal: An old school, historic Mexican bakery with traditional, delicious cookies. You’ll see people carrying their blue and white boxes all around the historic center
- Nomada Heladeria: Great ice cream
- Figcelle: CDMX has it all, even amazing French bakeries
- Two great food halls: Mercado Roma (the guava ginger juice is a must try!) and Mercado de Coyoacan
- Fresh mango with chili salt: You’ll see street vendors selling it all over the city, and it’s a spicy, sweet, salty must eat
One more thing- most taco carts don’t cater to vegetarians. Initially, I found this devastating, but luckily, we were able to seek out a number of spots with great vegan options.
Instead of tacos, look out for carts featuring masa (dough made from ground corn). Some will have giant, colorful buckets with toppings you can add to your order. So, you could order fried masa with beans, and load it up with nopal, queso, tomatoes and pickled vegetables.
Tips for Eating Out as a Vegetarian in CDMX
As with any city, there are customs you should be aware of- especially if it’s your first time in CDMX.
- CDMX is a big lunch town, with dinner being a lighter meal, usually served around 9/10 pm
- Most employees (wait staff) at sit-down restaurants will speak at least conversational English, and may even have an English menu available
- At street stalls or small restaurants, don’t expect anything beyond Spanish. If your Spanish isn’t great, come armed with Google Translate. The feature that allows you to take a photo of a menu/sign and auto translate words is brilliant
- 15-20% tips are customary, but have to be added before you pay with card (if you’re at an upmarket place). Get used to saying, ‘con quince’ or ‘con veinte’ when you ask for the bill
- Mexico City’s high altitude can be quite taxing. Even I underestimated how much we’d feel it. Stay hydrated and take it easy on the alcohol until you’ve acclimated
- If you’re ordering vegetarian food, be specific. Instead of just saying that you’re a vegetarian, say ‘no carne, pollo, pescado y mariscos’. You’ll find the understanding of vegetarian can vary, thus, being as specific as possible helps
Have you visited Mexico City? What would you add to this guide to the best vegetarian spots in CDMX?
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