Playa del Carmen in Mexico’s lovely state of Quintana Roo has become a travel favorite for us. Even with the humid heat, mosquitos, and occasional sargassum (thick seaweed in the ocean), it is an attractive and fun place to visit. While the pandemic was slowly improving, the bustling city had mostly returned to its usual state, with hundreds of businesses to explore. I had fun discovering various new veggie-friendly restaurants and stores, along with relocations and changes to existing favorites.
Vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians alike can have a blast taking a tour of the several health-conscious places all within walking distance of each other. Basic Foodie, which makes delicious sandwiches and vegan pastries, moved to a nice indoor/outdoor space on Avenida 25. If you are seeking soy products and dairy-free cheeses, a new store called Diosa Vegana is steps away.
Bio-Organicos, a tasty Playa hangout, added a bright second location with the “Bio-Organicos Light” store on Avenida 25, offering nutritious products and a scaled-down version of their restaurant menu. A few doors away in the cute Mercado 30 building, vegans rejoicing at both Peace and Bowl and Bajo Café can also cool down from the tropical heat with a drink from Diosa Organics Kombucha. An additional highlight on Calle 30 is Naia Gourmet, selling bread, almond butter, chia seeds, cacao nibs, and the like. Farmers Market Playa (on Avenida 30 across from DAC, another good site for healthy groceries) also offers fresh produce and vegan cheeses and burgers. Dessert lovers must not miss Panneria on Calle 34 for an excellent array of vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free cakes, cookies, and other treats.
When in the north part of Playa del Carmen, Olio Mercado Vegano on Calle 38 is a worthwhile stop to purchase desserts, protein powder, snacks, and such. Not far from the beach are some great eateries for herbivores, such as La Cueva del Chango on Calle 38, which not only has a vegan portion of the menu but a beautifully dreamy tree-filled ambiance. For high-quality plant-based burgers, omelets, soups, cookies (pictured), and beyond, The Pitted Date on nearby Calle CTM is a must. When on Calle CTM, look for Aryan, a newer Indian restaurant dishing up flavorful foods.
Be sure to use Happycow.net and Google to find veggie favorites, and ask other travelers and locals about additional places. There are many more eateries than what I have listed here!