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Vegetarians and vegan restaurants are sprouting up across Mérida

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Claire Tyrpak
Claire Tyrpak retired to Mérida in 2021 after a career managing programs for nonprofits, government and a university in the United States. She has been a world traveler since the 1980s and Mexico is the fifth country in which she has lived.

Vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking for a more plant-based diet in Mérida have more options than ever. We sampled reasonably priced restaurants all around the city. Here is what we found.

Avocado Vegetariano, just off the Periférico north of Mérida. Photo: Claire Tyrpak / Yucatán Magazine

Avocado Vegetariano 

In the north of the city, just off the Periferico on the frontage road, this charming restaurant is a must for vegetarians and vegans. Its lovely garden setting is comfortable and relaxing. They have a varied menu with breakfast and lunch options including pizzas, lasagna, and “veganachos.” I chose vegetarian chilaquiles (there is a vegan option with avocado) with a meatless pastor and my lunchmate chose the Popeye Bowl, filled with fresh avocado and other colorful vegetables. We enjoyed their delicious and refreshing smoothies. The service is friendly and attentive. Beware upon exit as the road runs right in front of the restaurant and the traffic is swift. Periferico Norte km 28, 325. facebook.com/avocadovegetariano

La Cocina Vegana in Mérida, Yucatán, is strictly vegan. Photo: Claire Tyrpak / Yucatán Magazine

La Cocina Vegana 

This all-vegan fast food-style restaurant serves burgers, hot dogs, pizza, tortas, and nachos. Everything is made from a vegetable base. Tucked away in a residential side street in Col. José María Iturralde, it is run out of a house with a charming garden as you enter and three tables on the open patio with a colorful mural depicting a tropical scene with animals. I enjoyed the nonmeat pepperoni, mushroom, and tomato pizza and a refreshing agua de tamarindo. The service was friendly and quick. Their menu even states that they will play your favorite music via Bluetooth, a nice touch. Calle 12 324, Col. José María Iturralde. facebook.com/lacocinavegana.mx

Organico is not too far south of the Plaza Grande on Calle 62. Photo: Courtesy

Orgánico

This Centro restaurant describes itself as “a coffee bar created to offer a variety of Mexican coffees of agroecological or organic production and healthy cuisine.” Orgánico offers breakfast and lunch featuring such items as hotcakes, omelets, hummus, salads, and pasta. In the back is a good-sized patio with a large tree that offers some shade. I enjoyed one of the pastas and one of my favorite drinks, agua de sandía (watermelon). They are in a good location not too far south of Plaza Grande. Calle 62, 582, between 71 and 73, Col. San Juan. facebook.com/Organico.bardecafe

A vegan dish of mushrooms stir-fried in with Morelos rice and black bean at El Apapacho. Photo: Courtesy

El Apapacho

Technically not a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, it offers a vegetarian and vegan menu in addition to omnivore options. There are gluten-free items, too. Drinks include fresh juices, smoothies, chai, tea and coffee drinks along with some alcoholic beverages. Self-described as “Comida nada gourmet y arte” (Not gourmet food and art), it has a bookstore at the front with some seating and a nice patio in the back with an overall relaxed casual atmosphere. My favorite is the vegetarian enchiladas with an excellent mole. Calle 62, 354, between 41 and 43, Centro. facebook.com/ElApapacho

El Arbol

Described on their Facebook page as a “Restaurant dedicated for more than 30 years to healthy, vegetarian and vegan food at a fair price with friendly treatment,” El Arbol offers local dishes with a daily set menu. The meal of the day includes dessert and a beverage. Calle 25 182, between 12 and 14, García Ginerés, Merida. facebook.com/elarbol.restaurantevegetariano

Café Orgánico

A vegetarian, organic coffee shop offering vegan options, natural and organic products, chocolate, and much more. Calle 32D 498, Dpto. 1 by Avenida Reforma, Centro. facebook.com/cafeorganicomid

Changomango

An all-vegan restaurant/juice bar that serves a wide variety of food and beverages, such as burgers, wraps, avocado toast, smoothie bowls, smoothies, and desserts. Avenida 9 369, Campestre. facebook.com/Changomango-2286290108083149

Fitorade Daily Meal Plan

A home delivery service featuring dishes made with fresh, local, and organic produce. They also offer food pickup. facebook.com/fitorade.

Flexible menu: Pita Mediterranean Cuisine & Bar

This well-loved Middle Eastern casual restaurant in Santa Lucia isn’t strictly vegetarian but has many plant-based choices. Also serves wine and beer. It has interior seating along with a nice patio. Calle 55 496, near Calle 60, between 58 and 60, Santa Lucia. facebook.com/PitaMediterraneanMerida

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