With its white-sand beaches, turquoise water and relaxed pace of life, Playa del Carmen on Mexico’s Riviera Maya has been attracting visitors for years. It’s a great place to visit for just relaxing on the beach, doing some shopping, sipping on coconuts at beach clubs and of course feasting on all the delicious Mexican food. While it is a little too ‘Americanised’ for some, nearby Tulum being a more shall we say, stylish option, this small beachside city still attracts several travellers and now more than ever, digital nomads.
Due to this, Playa del Carmen has a well-established, high-quality restaurant scene that encompasses so many different types of cuisine. The same goes for plant-based options- there are so many in the city that you won’t come close to running out of great places to eat. Here are the best vegan restaurants in Playa del Carmen and what you need to know to plan your visit.
Wondering how to get to Playa Del Carmen? Read How To Get From Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen
THE BEST VEGAN RESTAURANTS IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN:
THE PITTED DATE
Located in the northern part of central Playa del Carmen, just a stone’s throw away from the beach, The Pitted Date is definitely a digital nomad and vegan favourite. The unique cafe vibe is perfect for a breakfast or lunch stop during your stay in Playa del Carmen. Their focus is on healthy, nutritious foods and the menu features a wide range of huge salad bowls, smoothies and juices, Mexican classics and burgers, paninis and buddha bowls. Come for breakfast and you’ll have to make a choice between pancakes and waffles, breakfast burritos and sandwiches, acai bowls, oatmeal and of course Mexican breakfast items like vegan huevos rancheros and chilaquiles. Everything here is fresh, nutritious and delicious. It’s an absolute must at least once during your stay in Playa del Carmen.
Where: Avenida CTM, between 1a Norte and Cozumel
Hours: 9am-7pm, everyday
With a prime location in the centre just behind La Quinta Alegria shopping mall, Bio Natural is a definite winner when it comes to plant-based food and atmosphere. It’s actually a restaurant/cafe and organic food store, so if you’re staying in Playa del Carmen for a while and you plan on preparing some meals at your Airbnb this is the perfect place to come to pick up some organic products, plant-based meats, tofu, yoghurt, snacks, supplements, superfoods etc. In their restaurant, they focus on international, natural, healthy foods with everything being vegetarian and most of it vegan.
You’ll find many different breakfast items like eggs, yoghurt, smoothie bowls and pancakes as well as curries, buddha bowls, soups, nachos, tacos and salads for lunch and dinner. Everything we have ever tried here is great and they also have delivery if you’re not quite up to leaving your accommodation- just check their website here for more details.
Where: 10 Avenida Norte (between Constituyentes & 16 Norte)
Hours: 8 am -11 pm (Covid-19 might affect these hours)
Another restaurant/organic foods store much like Bio Natural, Bio-Organicos has a lovely chilled out atmosphere and plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy some delicious local food and Caribbean sea air. Their menu is based on natural, healthy and organic food and they have a range of delicious homemade dishes for every meal.
Start your day here with some seasonal fruit, pancakes and fresh coffee or come and sample some of the most popular Mexican dishes around like tacos, enfrijoladas, chilaquiles and gorditas for lunch. They also serve a variety of delicious salads and their tacos really are next level- don’t miss the Pastor ones! If you fancy a break from Mexican cuisine there are also juicy plant-based burgers, noodles and buddha bowls.
On your way out make sure to check out their store which has some great local, healthy products and meat substitutes- perfect for preparing your own tacos at home. This is definitely the best vegan restaurant in Playa del Carmen for me for tacos.
Where: Calle 26, between La Quinta (5th Avenue) and 10 Avenue
Hours: 8am-10pm (Covid-19 might affect these hours)
Tucked away discreetly in the centre of the city, Falafel Nessya is the perfect place to head for, you guessed it, falafel and middle eastern fare. If you’re craving just a short break from tacos or looking for something quick and cheap this is it. There are only a few items on the menu here but each of them is divine, affordable and pretty authentic. If you’re hungry go for the full plate which includes falafel, hummus, salad, pita and fries or just go for the classic falafel pita. Also worth trying is their tasty hummus and Israeli Salad, a refreshing mix of tomato, cucumber and parsley.
Where: Calle 6 Norte, between Avenida 10 and 15.
Hours: 11.30 am-10.30 pm (Covid-19 might affect these hours)
ALOHA RAW BAR
Got a smoothie bowl or waffle craving? Head straight here to Aloha Raw Bar in Zazil-Ha for the best smoothie bowls in town. This beautiful, stylish raw bar has a small but amazing menu full of bright and vibrant dishes packed with vitamins and nutrients. Their specialities are smoothie bowls, smoothies, pancakes and waffles and you can choose from many different flavour combinations from matcha waffles to acai bowls topped with fresh fruit. It’s a must for breakfast especially if you’re staying nearby.
Where: 20 Avenida between calles 38 and 40, Zazil-ha
Hours: 9am- 2pm – Tues-Friday, 10am-2pm- Weekends. Closed on Mondays.
Located just a stone’s throw away from the beach, this is the perfect brunch stop before you hit the beach for the day. Choose from a range of different smoothie bowls, avocado toast, overnight oats, waffles or buddha bowls and fill your body with nutrients and energy for the day. At Fresco Hábito you can also make your own buddha bowl from a long list of natural and healthy ingredients. They also have a great list of juices, cold infusions (agua fresca) coffee and plant-milk based smoothies.
Where: Avenida 1 between Calle 20 and Av Constituyentes
Hours: 8am-6.30pm Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm- Sunday
LA CUEVA DEL CHANGO
While this isn’t a 100% plant-based restaurant, it is an authentic natural Mexican place where you can really taste the flavours and diversity of Mexican cuisine. For plant-based eaters, they have many vegan options and even their own vegan and vegetarian menu from which you can select a variety of delicious plant-based Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, Chile Relleno, nachos, sweet potato fries, Mexican style salads, gorditas and more. Their salsas and mole are to die for- definitely some of the best I’ve tasted in any one of the vegan restaurants in Playa del Carmen.
La Cueva del Chango is located on one of the most beautiful streets in Playa del Carmen and that reflects in the setting. Sit outside among the jungle foliage and running water or chose the cave setting inside and enjoy your meal around a pond of fish and terapins. It’s best visited at lunch or dinner time where you can grab a drink at one of the bars in the area and then head here to eat.
Where: Calle 38 between 5th Avenue and the Sea
Hours: 8am-10.30pm Mon-Sat, 8am-2pm Sundays
One of the best vegan restaurants in Playa del Carmen for many, Plantivoros serves all the Mexican favourites in a lovely, open-air setting of a residential neighbourhood a little north of the centre. Their speciality is plant-based Mexican food and you’ll find classics like sopes, guacamole, tamales and gorditas to start or share as well as Chile Relleno, casuela, tacos and tortas (sandwiches) for mains. Everything is so tasty and it’s a great way to get to know a little more about Mexican food, especially if you’re plant-based.
Where: On the corner of Calle 32 and Avenida 40
Hours: 1pm-8pm Mon- Sat. Closed on Sundays.
For the ultimate vegan comfort food head straight to Na-Na which specializes in delicious dishes like pasta, vegan pizza, vegan mozzarella sticks and salads. Relax in their lovely outdoor seating area out front and enjoy one of the best vegan pizzas in Playa del Carmen. If you fancy something lighter then opt for some of their delicious salads, sandwiches or sushi dishes. It’s located in the perfect spot for a quick lunch break while shopping on La Quinta.
Where: Avenida Constituyentes, between 20 Avenida and 15 Avenida Norte
PEACE & BOWL
For a vegan restaurant in Playa del Carmen, which’s a great option for breakfast, Peace & Bowl is a tiny little cafe surrounded by other cafes and businesses and a plunge pool- just make sure to walk to the back as you enter to find it! Specialising in smoothie bowls, toast, salads and even pita pizzas, this small cafe is the perfect place to start the day in the best way possible before you begin exploring. The smoothie bowls are simply delicious with so many varieties such as acai, chlorophyll or berries and they also have a great juice list too.
Where: Calle 30 Between Av 25 y Av 30
Hours: 8.30am-10pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-5pm Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
If you’re in the mood for some junk food, then you simply have to check out this 100% plant-based 1950s American style dinner. Dishes here include burgers, cheese fries and regular fries, hot dogs and delicious malts- everything you might expect from a 50s diner, just plant-based. Their tasty house burger is made from a mix of legumes but you can also order a Beyond Meat burger instead. Gluten-free buns are also available. Eat-in, takeaway and delivery available too if you prefer it all delivered to you on the beach.
Where: Calle 8, Between Avenida 20 and 25.
Hours: 1 pm-9 pm, Mon-Sat. Closed on Sundays
Located right on the famous La Quinta, shopping street, 100% natural makes a good lunch spot between shopping and beach time. While the menu isn’t vegetarian or vegan although there are a good few plant-based options and they focus on wholesome natural ingredients in their dishes. For brunch, you can choose between Mexican dishes like enchiladas, sandwiches or pancakes and later on in the day you can opt for salads, tacos, plates of pasta and soups. They also have a great juice list. While this isn’t my personal preferred option as there aren’t that many vegan options, this is a good place if you’re travelling with someone who isn’t plant-based or you need a quick lunch on fifth avenue.
Where: Quinta Avenida, Between Calle 10 and Calle 12 Norte
Hours: 8 am-9 pm daily
Places to Visit in Mexico during your Stay in Playa del Carmen:
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How did you get on finding the best vegan restaurants in Playa del Carmen? Did you find any that aren’t listed here? Let me know in the comments below.
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