Travel log: Vegan food in Sayulita, Mexico
It’s been over 5 months since my retreat in Sayulita where we survived the worst hurricane to hit Mexico (it didn’t hit our area thankfully!). I was going through my phone and realized I wrote a piece about the vegan food I found there and didn’t even post it here on the blog! Now I realize that I didn’t write a blog about the retreat at all. Shame on me.
The retreat was amazing, besides the hurricane scare. We stayed at Hotelito Los Suenos whose staff took great care of us and provided delicious breakfast and dinner each day. I worked with the 2 chefs on the menu to make sure all our bases were covered and we had variety. Pictured right is my favorite raw tacos! On the day the hurricane raced toward the coast, they prepared for the worse, made us a beautiful dinner and even made us margaritas since we were staying in and couldn’t use the yoga shala or the pool. We ended up playing games and having a ball!
We ate many of our meals at our hotel, but ventured out for lunches in town. Keep in mind when you are traveling in another country you do your best to ask the right questions and hope to get truthful answers. Normally when I travel I seek out purely vegetarian restaurants but in a small place like Sayulita that isn’t going to happen. So you do your best to ask if the beans are vegetarian with no lard and that the rice is cooked with agua not chicken stock. These are the places I discovered in 4 days that have decent vegan options.
On our first night before the retreat started we stumbled upon Carmelita in the main square. They had veggie fajitas for a measly 50 pesos and that included guacamole! It was the cheapest, most filling meal in town. I’m guessing you can have veggie fajitas made for you anywhere so that is a nice fall back when it comes to Mexican food. 2 for 1 margaritas aren’t bad either.
This was my spot every morning to get a soy latte and have a nice chat with the expats who call Sayulita home. They open at 6am and have both soy and almond milk. I was still jet lagged from my trip to India and waking up at 4 every morning so I was so thankful they opened early. I had to walk there in the dark but didn’t care! Their coffee was just alright, but beggars can’t be choosy right. They do have a few menu items that are vegan as well. A basic veggie bowl with mixed veggies, rice, with tostadas and ranchero sauce (or teriyaki) pictured to the left with an iced soy latte. You can get rice and beans topped with avocado and ranchero sauce, just hold the cheese. Nothing too exciting or gourmet, but it does the trick.
I had the best meal of my stay here. Veggie skewers perfectly grilled with rice and beans will set you back 125 pesos. They have a mango salsa that is to live for! Why I don’t have a photo of this amazing meal I’m not sure. This is off the beaten path a 5 minute walk from the main square and it’s totally worth it (just happened to be right near our hotel so I went twice!). Also damn good margaritas.
This was the only place I found that has the actual vegan symbol on their menu, but it’s a bit pricier. The coconut quinoa dish was good, but tiny, and they didn’t have vegetarian beans to add so I was missing a protein boost. However, it was nice to have something that wasn’t Mexican food for a change. This was the most creative meal we had. Pina Coladas were 2 for 1 and were magnificent.
Are you seeing a pattern here? There are drink specials everywhere and are used to entice you to come eat there. I rarely drink, but when it Mexico it’s hard to resist! Sayulita is a very cute town, home to many expats, with colorful buildings and less tourists than Puerto Vallarta.
It’s also the home to Campamento Tortuguero, a volunteer project that relocates the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle nests the mothers lay all over the beaches into a safe protected home that prevents them from losing their lives to poaching. Once they are hatched they are released back into the oceans. We got to participate in that and it was glorious! They are as cute as you can imagine.
I definitely recommend checking out Sayulita next time you are in the area or make a go for a longer stay if you want a more peaceful environment!
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