Tips for Vegetarians Traveling To Mexico

Life as a vegetarian can be challenging, and traveling can add an additional element of stress when it comes to figuring out what to eat. Traveling as a vegetarian in Mexico can be a delightful experience, as Mexican cuisine offers a variety of flavorful vegetarian options. We have been to Mexico several times, and been on several road trips throughout the Yucatan.

Here are some tips to help you navigate vegetarian eating while traveling in Mexico.

Learn relevant Spanish phrases

Familiarize yourself with basic Spanish phrases related to vegetarianism, such as:

“Soy vegetariano/a” (I am vegetarian)
“Sin carne” (Without meat)
“No como carne” (I don’t eat meat).

This will help you communicate your dietary preferences to restaurant staff and locals.

Research Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants

Before your trip, research vegetarian-friendly restaurants or eateries in the areas you plan to visit.

If you are staying at a resort, you can opt for a buffet to explore, or you can look at online menus to figure out what works for your meals.

Look for places that offer vegetarian or vegan options on their menus, or specialize in traditional Mexican dishes that are naturally vegetarian.

Street corn, Valladolid, Mexico (main square)

Opt for Traditional Vegetarian Dishes

Mexican cuisine boasts several vegetarian-friendly dishes that are delicious and satisfying.

Some popular meal options include:

  • Enchiladas verdes (enchiladas with green sauce and cheese)
  • Chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers, often with cheese or vegetables)
  • Tacos de frijoles (bean tacos)
  • Quesadillas (cheese-filled tortillas)
  • Guacamole and chips
  • Vegetarian pozole (a hearty soup made with hominy and vegetables)
  • Chilaquiles (tortilla chips simmered with salsa, topped with cheese)

Guacamole at Carolinda Beach Club, Isla Holbox.

Communicate Your Dietary Restrictions

When dining out, don’t hesitate to inform restaurant staff about your vegetarian dietary preferences. Politely ask if they can accommodate your needs or suggest vegetarian options available on their menu. Many restaurants in tourist areas are accustomed to catering to vegetarians and will be happy to help.

Customize Your Order

Be prepared to customize your order to make it vegetarian-friendly. You can request dishes to be made without meat or ask for substitutions like extra vegetables or beans instead of meat.

A food vendor from our trip to Valladolid, Mexico.

Explore Local Markets and Street Food

Visit local markets and street food stalls, where you can find an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and vegetarian snacks. Enjoy fresh fruit juices, grilled corn (elote), fruit salads (ensalada de frutas), and other vegetarian-friendly snacks sold by street vendors.

Here is one of our favorites – a cup of pineapple slices with tajin seasoning, purchased from a vendor at the beach in Isla Holbox.

Be Mindful of Ingredients

Keep in mind that some Mexican dishes may contain animal products or lard, so it’s essential to inquire about ingredients, especially in sauces, soups, and beans. Ask if dishes are prepared with vegetable oil instead of animal fat. For example, refried beans usually contain animal fats.

Pack Snacks

Carry some vegetarian snacks with you, such as nuts, dried fruits, energy bars, or crackers, to enjoy between meals or in case vegetarian options are limited. Eating at restaurants while traveling can add up quickly, so this will also help to cut down on costs.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water, especially in hot and humid climates, to stay hydrated while exploring Mexico. You can also try refreshing beverages like agua fresca (fruit-infused water) or horchata (a sweet rice milk drink).

By following these tips and maintaining an open-minded attitude, you can enjoy a memorable and delicious vegetarian culinary experience while traveling in Mexico.

What do you think?

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  • Jose
    March 5, 2024

    Great list of options. Those foods look delicious!

  • Amber Myers
    March 5, 2024

    Ooo all of the food you posted looks so good. I am not a vegetarian but I love my fruits and guac! I’m glad there are plenty of options.

  • Kathy
    March 5, 2024

    I’m not a vegetarian, but this is still great to know. Everything looks really good. I do enjoy some vegetarian food though, it’s delicious!

  • Beautiful Touches
    March 6, 2024

    Thank you for the helpful tips on vegetarian options when traveling to Mexico. Your advice will make it easier for people to enjoy their trip while sticking to their dietary preferences!

  • vidya
    March 6, 2024

    thanks for these tips.. we do plan to visit Mexico sometime in the future.. and i love that there are so many vegetarian dishes. in fact, that is one of our fav cuisines for the flavors and veg options it has

  • Catalina
    March 6, 2024

    Traveling as a vegetarian has its set of challenges, but your post has highlighted how it can also be an opportunity to explore and enjoy local cuisines in new ways. I’m particularly grateful for the practical tips you’ve provided for navigating vegetarian eating in Mexico.

  • Christy G
    March 7, 2024

    I think that it would be hard to travel with any type of dietary restrictions. But I’m glad you found some great vegetarian options in Mexico.

  • Melissa Cushing
    March 7, 2024

    These are great tips to stick too when traveling to Mexico and when eating a vegetarian diet. That pineapple looks incredible!

  • Tammy
    March 8, 2024

    I’m not a vegetarian but I would eat all of these! Especially a cup full of sliced pineapples.

  • Yeah Lifestyle
    March 8, 2024

    Great tips – it certainly sounds worth doing your research as to vegetarian restaurants first. Great to learn those Spanish phrases too. I am sure Mexico has so much delicious veggie food on offer!

  • Samantha Donnelly
    March 8, 2024

    I wish `i had not read this post at this time, the food looks amazing and made me even more hungry. I will have to memorise these phrases

  • Beth
    March 8, 2024

    One of my favorite things about Mexican food is that it’s so vegan and vegetarian-friendly. So many of the dishes can be made with beans and get all the great flavor.

  • Karen
    March 8, 2024

    omg the food looks soooo good!!! I had pineapple with Tajin seasoning a few years ago but had no idea what the seasoning was and have been looking for it forever, THANK YOU SO MUCH….

  • Tammy
    March 8, 2024

    It’s so nice also because there’s so many fresh ingredients in Mexico too! Great suggestions here…all looks yummy!

  • Lisa
    March 8, 2024

    These are useful tips for vegetarians. I don’t remember much veggie food when I was there so it’s good to know there are some options here.

  • Siennylovesdrawing
    March 9, 2024

    Thanks for this useful info for all vegetarian when travel to Mexico. It’s easy now for vegetarian to travel & enjoy exploring mexico. Cheers SiennyLovesDrawing

  • Luna S
    March 9, 2024

    Fantastic tips! It is always great to know tips like this before traveling. Thanks for sharing this.