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Vegetarian in Cozumel?


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#1 alk

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 08:20 PM

Does anyone know if it is possible to get vegetarian/vegan food in Cozumel? I really want to travel to Cozumel but want to make sure I will be able to find something to eat. I don't eat meat, chicken, fish, seafood, milk, cheese, dairy, eggs, lard, fish sauce, chicken broth, etc. Are there restaurants that will be able to make me something to eat?

Thanks for any thoughts!
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#2 Carey

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 08:41 PM

Only places I can think of off the top of my head are some of the tacquerias where you can choose your filling and having it piled on a flour or corn tortilla. Mushroom, poblano peppers, onions, potatoes and nopales (cactus) all come to mind. From 9 until 11 you'll find stands for this in el mercado, the municipal market. In the evening, Chilangos taqueria on 30 between Morelos and Ave 5.
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#3 nauticab

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 11:05 PM

rock n java has a nice selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes. also, the rest/bar at barracuda (no name bar) has some dishes as well that will fall into these categories. some black bean dishes are made with lard....gotta ask. la mission's taco bar is a great option as there are many veggies on the bar with great spices....again, gotta ask about the lard usage.

also, chi, our chinese restaurant, has a good veggie selection and the chef will make it to your standards. for example, their rice is not made with chicken stock. lots of tofu dishes. i think the thai rest (associated with rock n java) has several dishes for you too. their dishes are delish.

i suggest going to www.cozumelconcierge.com and contacting kelly. she is a vegetarian and has been happily eating and living here for almost 10 years. i know she is a frequent rock n java customer (they have a killer veggie burger) and can give you some more info.

lots of the veggies cooked and prepared locally may be made with some lard....so you have to ask if manteca (mahn-tay-ka) has been used.

and a head's up....not unlike some folks in the states, when you say you are a vegetarian, some people just assume you don't eat beef but chicken and fish are fine. they don't understand that vegetarian or vegan is just that. you may have to say you don't eat anything that has a face or that comes from something that does. :)
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#4 MexFan2

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 07:43 AM

While more upscale than those mentioned, my favorite restaurant, LaCocay, always has vegetarian items available.
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#5 Coz2wonder

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 12:50 PM

ah, Vegan is a completely different category...

A true Vegan will not eat anything made with animal fats or used in cooking. Must be PURE veggie oil, and nothing else fried in it Like chicken, sea food, or beef dishes or pastas.

Nor will they eat anything with egg product...so pasta is out if made with eggs.

Nor Milk, or items make with milk products.

Otherwise, any product that has an ingredient that came from a living organism, or cooked from an organism that was a living thing is OUT.

Lard is out (pig fat).

I used to work with a women who was a Vegan, and it was MOST difficult for her to go out to lunch (she always choose the same Chinese Restaurant, which always failed the animal test) so, she ate fresh veggies, while we chowed down.

Difficult lifestyle, but certainly a choice.
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#6 Carey

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:16 PM

yah. I was thinking the same thing. Removing eggs and all dairy products from the equation really makes it difficult. and I'm wondering about what they fry the tortillas in and am thinking it's lard. The handmade ones Josefina shows people in her class certainly don't have much oil and I wasn't paying that much attention, actually. Might have been 123 oil which would be okay. Lard a no no.
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#7 Kim loves Cozumel

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 03:59 PM

You may also consider going to the grocery store...there are lots of them on the island also fruit stand where you could buy fresh fruit! yummmmmmm!
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#8 Guest_pecosgirl_*

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 08:51 PM

read this girl's travel blog. seems she's vegetarian rather than vegan...but it might give you some ideas.
www.sassyduotravels.blogspot.com
you might have to end up going to the grocery store and buying fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement whatever else you can find in restaurants.
another idea is that you could go by a restaurant the day before eating there...say Kinta or Especias and ask what they can prepare for you for the next day.
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#9 Coz2wonder

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:37 PM

my reading skills are pretty good "Does anyone know if it is possible to get vegetarian/vegan food in Cozumel"

therefore the comments in regards to Vegan food.
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#10 pato52

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 06:06 PM

My wife is vegetarian and she gets lots of veggie fajitas when she is in Mexico. Every restaurant on the island can make those, but she loves the ones at La Choza.
RJ Thai Noodle House can do vegan.
Pancho's Backyard has a great Walnut and Plantain stuffed chile relleno...just leave off the cream sauce.
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#11 Emma S.

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 12:52 PM

I know this is an old post but for those of you traveling to Cozumel in the future I'll post what I've found. I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian meaning I eat honey, eggs, and dairy but nothing else from an animal including carmine or cochineal extract and geletin. While I've been here I've noticed that vegetarian means something completely different. Many people here consider vegetarian to mean you eat anything but pork, beef, or sometimes chicken yet fish, lard, animal stock, geletin, and carmine are okay. If you're not into carmine, try to avoid products containing red dye unless you speak Spanish fluently enough to ensure it's not made from beetles/carmine. Lard is a big issue for me because when I've tried to say no manteca or no lard, many people didn't know what I was talking about. I've stayed away from refried beans since the only vegetarian refried beans I know of in the US are at Taco Bell. I asked friends on Facebook if they could help me convey what I can't eat in Spanish and these were the responses, which you can write down and show to your server:

No fish or lard = No como pescado o manteca.

Do you have without chicken, meat, fish, or lard = Podria tenere esto sin pollo, carne, pescado, o manteca? and, if you're really serious about the fish and lard, including fish sauces, my friend wrote this...

"Tengo alergia al pescado y la manteca. Si me los como, me puedo enfermar gravemente. (I'm allergic to fish and lard. If I eat them, I could become seriously ill-- you have to explain the reasons or they still might bring you lard)."


If you have a kitchen where you stay, you can go to Mega. I asked for carne vegetariana and was directed to a product called, "guten." Although this product is mostly vegetarian, I believe it contains chicken stock. The man then directed me to carne vegetariana light in the cheese section. This product is similar to Boca ground crumbles. I found silken tofu buried under the cheeses and polenta in the Asian section.
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#12 ccannon707

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 01:56 PM

Although I didn't make it back to eat, I walked by a new vegetarian restaurant called El Perro Verde on 5 between 3&5 sur when I was there in July. They are open Tues-Sat 1-10pm. Their sign mentioned a nice backyard garden/patio area.
Maybe someone local or another visitor who has been there can comment further?

I wanted to reply to this topic a while ago but didn't remember complete info on the location. Just saw them mentioned on another site and it prompted me.
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#13 nauticab

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 08:01 PM

el perro verde is an excellent vegetarian food option. completely forgot about them. they are no located on 5 ave between 3 and 5, on the right hand side if you are driving.
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#14 ljohnson

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 07:37 AM

I give a big thumbs up to El Perro Verde! They definately have good vegetarian food. Chef and owner Eva is vegetarian herself and does not use lard in anything she cooks. She offers over 20 varieties of sandwiches, almost 10 different salads, and even specialty dishes like Veggie Burgers, and Cochinita Pibil Tacos made from Soy meat instead of pork. Some of her dishes do have egg or cheese products, but you can always order them without those items and substitute others (like soy). She speaks very good English so explaining what you need is not a problem. Eva's idea with Perro Verde is much more than just a Vegetarian Restaurant. It's a whole creative space. They often give workshops and classes on things such as drawing, painting, dance, crafts, and even have Movie Night once a week. Recently they changed their schedule and as said above, are now open for lunch and dinner.
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#15 cyana

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 04:18 AM

you can buy your own fresh fruits and vegetables from all grocery stores and you can also go to Lacocay store for some veg food.
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#16 Daniel Paul

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 12:44 PM

Perro Verde is the best for vegan , they will make a vegan version of most of the menu . I know because I am vegan . They also have fresh juices , open from 1 pm to 10 pm tue thru Saturday .
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