Puerto Vallarta may have been crowded at Christmas, but my boyfriend and I had a great time walking along the vibrant malecon, exploring nearby beaches by bus, and cafe-hopping. This was my first Puerto Vallarta vacation, but I have been to Mexico several times, slowly discovering more of the beauty and inexpensive travel not far from home.
Armed with my list researched on the web, I found a decent array of veggie options; I wish I could have made it to more of them. A favorite was Restaurante Vegetariano Mary (inside Hotel Paloma del Mar), where you are greeted by a lovely owner and a casual buffet that makes you feel like you are in someone’s home. Mary told us about her powerful change of heart – she went from owning a carniceria (butcher shop) to practically giving the shop away once she felt compelled to go vegetarian.
Another bright buffet in a peaceful setting is Planeta Vegetariano, conveniently close to the Lady of Guadalupe church and the ocean. Not fully vegetarian — but still a mainstay in the Zona Romantica — was Salud Super Food, a popular place owned by expats from the U.S which served up wraps, smoothies, and used health-conscious items such as chia seeds, quinoa, and alternative milks like almond milk.
At the Saturday farmer’s market in the Zona Romantica I caught not only some lovely local art but a vendor called Veggie Table that dished up veggie tacos, soy meats, burgers and such. They have a new shop in town too.
Even though I wasn’t eating as abundantly as I do in San Diego, I had many fine meals with a Mexican flair, and enjoyed the sunshine, ocean, and lively streets, as often happens in Latin America.