Wheat-free pancakes with banana, strawberry & cacao, date & papaya smoothies, cauliflower pizzas, cashew milk iced lattes, and “Gotta Have More Than One” Peanut Butter Cookies….
Playa Del Carmen has it all.
I’ve gotta admit, when I first arrived in PDC, I was fairly new to the veggie scene. So while I knew I didn’t want to eat meat, I thought it might be hard to find nice veggie food out. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Yes there are a lot of American style meat & fish restaurants too… but if you’re looking for some healthier, superfood-style vegan cafes in Playa Del Carmen, here are my 4 favourite:
La Senda is my favourite cafe in PDC. The menu is banging, it’s not too expensive, and the staff are relaxed – so it’s a good spot to do some work.
The whole menu is vegan and their portions are MASSIVE!
Like this wheat-free pancake with banana, strawberry and cacao sauce…
I’m a sucker for a pancake, but beware – this guy is pretty sickly (maybe because he’s just so big). But if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you might love it.
My favourite smoothie was the “despertar”, which literally means “to wake up”. It’s made of papaya, cacao, dates and dairy-free milk, so has heaps of antioxidants & vitamins which are meant to give your body an energy boost. Plus, the papaya will mostly give your digestive system a wake up. Especially when there’s this much of it…
So you really do get your bang for your buck at La Senda, as they’re certainly not stingy with their portion sizes!
2. Pitted Date
Now, this is a huge claim… but The Pitted Date might be my favourite vegan bakery in the world. Honestly the selection of dairy-free snacks is ridiculous. And they even cashew milk on offer (in my opinion, the yummiest, creamiest nut milk around- but they do have almond & coconut milk if you prefer).
It is bit more expensive than other coffee shops – but it’s so good to go as a special treat.
I couldn’t resist the “Everyone’s Favourite” Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Macadamia Cream Cup.
The only disappointing thing was that it disappeared in about 2 bites. The outside was like soft ganache chocolate, and the inside was a peanutty crumb.
Then I went back for more. This one was the “Almost Famous” Mocha Caramel Bar. I wish I could tell you what it was made of but I just have no idea. (It was good though – especially the “caramel” centre that really did taste like caramel)
Named after Chlorophyl – what gives the green plants their colour, it couldn’t really be much greener if it tried.
They have a super exotic menu – like a beetroot, quinoa & tamarind burger, or a cauliflower-base pizza with courgette, avocado & caramelised onions.
And they have another jazzy smoothie menu. The photo below is the “Mandragora” which is strawberry, coconut, cacao & yacon (slightly ironic the autocorrect of this goes to “bacon” – no it’s not a strawberry, coconut, cacao & bacon smoothie. If you’re wondering what yacon is, apparently it’s a Colombian plant which looks like a potato & tastes a bit like a pear).
4. Choux Choux
(Disclaimer: Choux Choux isn’t full-on vegan, but they’ve got a vegan section on the menu.)
For me, Playa Del Carmen is a bit too touristy and lacks the friendly, authentic Mexican culture – but Choux Choux is different, and that’s why I like it.
They describe themselves as having “an eco-friendly vibe, a feeling of love and responsibility for the environment”, so while it may not be authentic Mexican – it feels less Miami, which is what I was looking for. They’ve got heaps of indoors plants, which is quite refreshing.
I love the flavoured coconut waters here – and my favourite is one I request specially (yes I’m that annoying person who always orders off the menu). I go for the pineapple coconut water, with fresh mint. It’s super refreshing so is amazing to cool down from the sometimes overpowering heat of Playa!
So if you’re heading to PDC and are looking for a healthy, vegan spot for lunch – I hope you like one of the above cafes.
If you have found any other vegan cafes in Playa Del Carmen which rival the list, please drop me a comment below!
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