You absolutely don’t have to be vegan to enjoy vegan food. Personally, I’m always excited to find new and interesting dining options in Mérida and have loved exploring the city’s burgeoning vegan scene with my family. I can confirm, with the authority that I vested in myself, that vegan visitors to our city will find plenty of great dining options, including vegan versions of traditional meals and interesting and experimental cuisine. From chilled out Manik Bal to the casually elegant Nümen, Mérida’s vegan scene is one to be taken seriously. “Buen provecho!”
Lo Que Hay Café
Lo Que Hay Café. In English, “What There Is.” And that’s part of the concept in this stunningly beautiful courtyard vegan restaurant: you eat what there is, as if you were at home. When I went with a group of friends, we didn’t find that concept to be at all limiting. Every day offers a menu based on a different country’s cuisine. We went on Indian food day and enjoyed checking out both the set menu and the individual dishes. I was a big fan of the yellow curry and being served a Thali style meal was pretty exciting for this Indian-food obsessed writer. A set-meal is a very reasonable $200 pesos.
Calle 55 #555 x 64 y 66, Centro
Tel. (999) 924 5472
FB: Lo Que Hay Café
Summer hours: Tue. – Sat. 8 am – 11 am, 12 pm – 4 pm, 7 pm – 10 pm; Sun. 8 am – 12 pm
Monique’s Bakery y Cafeteria de Alta Nutrición
There’s nowhere else like Monique’s in Mérida. In this perfectly unpretentious and chilled out cafe, you can find a good vegan section on the menu. It includes some of the most delicious vegan pizza ever, and a great selection of vegan desserts. I had a fabulous plate of vegan hotcakes recently that were so fluffy and delicious that I’d have been annoyed at myself had I shared them! It was also here that I was converted to the goodness of kombucha as part of a healthy diet. Monique’s is particularly well-known for its outstanding services to bread in Mérida so when you visit, don’t be shy about helping yourself from the bread table and definitely buy an extra loaf to take home with you!
Calle 79 #191-A x 36 y 38, Montes de Amé
Tel. (999) 195 6389
FB: Monique’s Bakery y Cafetería de Alta Nutrición
Tue. – Sat. 9 am – 4 pm
Nümen is a modern, and fresh-feeling, small restaurant with a lovely garden and an extensive vegan menu that will leave you struggling to know what to try; and eventually, with an overcrowded table and a happy smile. While we left feeling absolutely stuffed, I was sad to leave as there was still so much more I wanted to try. Everything was delicious and I would highly recommend the vegan tacos al pastor and the lentil burger. My kids commented on how friendly our waitress was, which is high praise from self-absorbed small children!
Calle 1-H #138 x 8 y 10, Col. México Norte
Tel. (999) 406 0694
Mon. – Sat. 8 am – 10 pm, Sun. 9 am – 5 pm
Rincón Vegana (Riot Food)
Since Rincón Vegana is known for its delivery service, I decided to take them up on their kind offer to allow me to be lazy. So, from the comfort of my own home I was able to scarf down absolutely delicious vegan hot dogs (truthfully the best I’ve ever tried), a portobello mushroom fajita salad, and a portobello burger. If you do order a delivery, I hope you’ll be pleased to know that there is a small additional price for decomposable boxes. There is also the option of eating in their restaurant should you prefer.
Calle 19 #278 x 22 y 24, Col. Miguel Alemán
Tel. (999) 459 4691
FB: Rincón Vegana/ Vegan Búnker by riotfood
Tue. – Fri. 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm, Sat. 1.30 pm – 8 pm
On one side of Parque de Las Americas you’ll find Manik Bal, a laid-back, chilled out vegan restaurant that also hosts a regular vegan market. Because Manik Bal is small, the food options are dictated by what’s available on the day you visit. We happened to show up on “menú del día” day, which meant we ate soup followed by a plate that consisted of two Sopes (thick tortillas) heaped high with healthy deliciousness, a simple yet tasty salad, and rice. The Sopes were the best we have ever tasted, they were fresh, covered in a generous portion of beans and topping.
Calle 22 #199-J x 19 y 21, Col. García Ginerés
Tel. (999) 926 0717
Tue. – Sat. 8 am – 6 pm
Editorial by Cassie Pearse
Photography by Cassie Pearse for use in Yucatán Today
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