Vegan / Vegetarian Dining Options in Cozumel

Many Cozumel visitors and residents alike are changing the way they eat and are headed toward a vegetarian or vegan diet in Cozumel.

Cozumel has earned it’s reputation as an “island of pirates,” and tends to be very accepting, even curious, about different lifestyles, so dining out vegan or vegetarian isn’t hard at all. In fact, if there’s not a suitable option on the menu, every single Cozumel Chef I’ve ever explained the issue to has had more of a “challenge accepted” attitude, and has come back with some really delicious and creative options.

Below is a list of some of my favorite Cozumel vegan friendly places for both lunch and dinner.   Let me just confess that I am, in fact, not vegan, or even vegetarian myself. I did grow up in a vegetarian household, have several vegan friends, and one of my dearest friends has a severe dairy allergy which has made me very conscious as to what goes into the dishes we are served.

 Some Vegan / Vegetarian Cozumel options:

La Cuisine – Located on Calle 11 between Av. 5 y 10, just below Ego Gym. Run by nutritionist/yoga instructor, Gabriela Camera, La Cuisine features “slow food.” In addition to an extensive list of smoothies, wraps and salads, they offer a daily menu including a fresh soup, main courses such as “grilled fish in Jamaica sauce.” Additionally, you can find hemp protein, wheatgrass shots, chia seeds, and even freshly baked cookies and muffins all with a healthy good-for-you twist. The restaurant itself is bright and lively and the staff is very accommodating. Hours –  7:30 am – 7:30 pm, Monday – Saturday. For more information, check out their page.

Rock N Java – Located right downtown on the waterfront, Rock N Java has made a reputation for American-style homemade food. Lisa Ramirez, moved from Texas to Cozumel over 20 years ago and has been serving waffles, salads and fish tacos ever since. Open from 7 am – 10 pm, Rock N Java serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their menu is extensive and even offers a children’s menu and a full bar, including margaritas and adult cappuccinos. While you’re there, you can browse their library, check your email, and even purchase Humane Society of Cozumel Island T-shirts and souvenirs. For more information, check out their page.

Cha Cha’s Kitchen – located on Calle Francisco Mujica between Xel-ha and Av. 17 sur, this innovative new restaurant offers a small weekly menu that is prepared daily. Although Kristina Rodriguez has made her stellar reputation on her homemade desserts, there is almost always a vegetarian-friendly option on the menu, or a substitution that can be made. Take out, delivery or eat in their adorable garden area. Open for lunch, coffee and cake from 12 – 4 pm Monday – Friday. For more information check out their page.

La Deli by Guido’s – located right on the corner of Av. 15 and Calle 10, in a historic building, La Tienda de Guido’s offers both eat-in as well as take home options. Their enclosed garden area is a great place to enjoy a meal and a chat with friends.They offer daily 3 course specials as well as a full breakfast and lunch menu. Since they are the offshoot of Guido’s Restaurant, you’ll find their deli cases stocked with homemade pastas, olive salads, homemade tahini and other yummy items for take home. Open from 8:30 am – 5 pm Monday – Saturday. For more information, check out their page.

Buccanos Beach Club – Buccanos at Night – Located in the northern hotel zone, this beach club offers a separate vegetarian menu for both the beach club and Buccano’s at Night.  Buccano’s at Night is open on Friday and Saturday nights.   The Beach Club is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm, and features a modern Mexican Caribbean menu plus all your regular beach favorites.    Their Night menu features fresh fish & premium quality ingredients that change with the season.  For more information, check out the facebook pages for Buccanos and Buccano’s at Night.

La Cocay – located on Calle 8 between Av. 10 and 15, La Cocay offers both air-conditioned indoor dining as well as a beautiful outdoor garden setting. Their menu is Mediterranean, and offers several salads and tapas options and they’ve even recently added an entire New York-style pizza menu. There are vegetarian/vegan options on the menu, however their Chef can also create something not on the menu using available fresh produce. Open Monday – Saturday from 5:30 – 11pm. For more information, check out their page.

Kinta – located on Av. 5 between Calles 2 and 4, Kinta is just a stroll away from downtown. Billed as a contemporary Mexican Bistro their menu is unique and different from the standard Mexican fare. Be sure and pay close attention to the specials since they change daily depending upon market availability. The outdoor garden dining area has a hip vibe, and the staff is very accommodating to dietary restrictions. For more information, check out their page.

New Especias Italian Restaurant – located right in downtown San Miguel – on Calle 3 between Av. 5 and 10.  Featuring homemade pastas and sauces, pizzas and seafood specialties.  They also have a delightful cantina downstairs that offers live music on select nights.  For more information, check out their facebook page.

While the above list of restaurants is far from complete, it provides a good overview of what is available and what to expect here on the island. Dining out vegan/vegetarian in Cozumel can be super easy, especially since all of the food is prepared fresh and to order. In fact, almost every restaurant, the small taquerias, will work to make sure their customers are satisfied. Take a second and check out Vegan Crunk, and her french fry fajitas she had custom prepared.

For more great Cozumel Information

This story originally appeared in the weekly Cozumel 4 You NEWS – the island’s number one source of positive information about our island!  Be sure and subscribe to the weekly NEWS to find out all the island events!

Laura Wilkinson
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