Written by Stephanie Carmon
This week MID CityBeat Team tried something new by checking out some of the Vegetarian and Vegan options in the city. We found some great places that are truly passionate about providing healthy food to their patrons. This city is growing before our eyes and every day we find more and more options to satisfy a diverse variety of tastes.
Cate de mi Corazon
There’s a definite buzz surrounding new veggie-friendly restaurant Cate de mi Corazon hidden away in the quiet corner of a small plaza in San Antonio Cucul towards the north of Merida. And the buzz is fully justified. Cate de mi Corazon is a new healthy food establishment specialising in one particular ingredient… you guessed it, the avocado. Hamburgers, salads, eggs, sandwiches, smoothies, pastas, even sushi… you name it, they have an avocado version of it. And it’s great!!
It can be risky to build your restaurant around such a specific concept but restaurant owner Oscar gets it absolutely spot on. Despite the fact that all there is avocado in (almost) everything, all the individual dishes are different. There is even avocado in the dessert, crème brulee! The food is prepared with the highest quality ingredients including homemade hummus and pesto, a special blend of coffee mixed with coffee beans from Oaxaca, Veracruz and Chiapas, and the most delicious bread, purchased fresh each morning from the baking gods of Merida at Escargot and Soco bakeries.
The amount of avocado in each dish is varied; you can go from slices of avocado which accompany a light pasta dish, to plates of whole avocados with different toppings. One of our favourites, the Falafel Burger is sandwiched between an entire avocado, smothered in hummus and accompanied by super cheesy nachos. The salads are also incredible. We found it hard to break into the beautifully presented Ensalada Verde which was a selection of salad ingredients served in a perfectly placed crown of avocado slices.
If you’re heading here with a meat lover, there are one or two items on the menu with meat ingredients. For example, a fantastic breakfast option is the Huevos Yucatecos which is comprised of 2 halves of an avocado stuffed to the brim with scrambled egg.
So when you’re craving some avocado inspired food, as we often are, come and get your ‘cate’ fix here at Cate de mi Corazon. There are also monthly specials so don’t forget to ask the waiting staff for the option – February’s special is an avocado pizza!
**Cate de mi Corazon does have some meat options as well, however a vegetarian has many choices here!
Need to know info:
Price range: $$
Opening hours: Everyday 08:00-17: 00
Address: Calle 49 x 26 x 28a, San Antonio Cucul
Contact: 999 970 0915
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Catedemicorazonmid/
Vegan food and health education center
Savia has been in existence since 2008, closing in 2016 and reopening in 2018. Owners Teté and Pedro promote not only their vegan kitchen but a vegan lifestyle, happiness, and conscious living. They give workshops, talks and promote campaigns such as Alimentacion Consciente -Bienestar Global (Conscious Nutrition- Global Well Being), Ayuda al Planeta en Cada Comida (Help the Planet with Every Meal) and others. They also form part of a non-profit organization Mundo y Conciencia (World and Awareness) which is also an organization committed to educating Yucatecans about healthy diets and incorporating more vegetables, fruits and grains into their daily diet.
As you walk in you get a very warm feeling and we were greeted by our friendly host Emily. In the dining area, you have access to a library of information about healthy living and there are many flyers about interesting wellness events happening in the area such as meditations, yoga, and vegan workshops. It is their goal to not only feed their customers a purely vegan diet but also give people free access to information about the vegan lifestyle. The kitchen staff, Angie an Gaby Montalvo, are all vegetarians and serve a small menu of purely vegan dishes. There are 3-4 staples on their menu and then they have daily specials depending on the fresh ingredients of the day. It is their goal to make the food similar to foods and tastes that are already familiar to the locals such as papadzules or cochinita. They use the same spices and just substitute any meat or dairy products with meat alternatives or vegan cheese.
All their products are made in house with exception to the bread, which is brought by Don Federico, that is specially ordered and delivered daily. Their babaganoush sauce is exquisite to put over any dish! When we visited we were given:
Papadzules made with tofu, a pumpkin seed sauce, and curry
Tortitas de Chaya: Chaya (a local leafy green superfood) patties made with cornmeal and a homemade tomato sauce
Soy Cochinita: soy tofu seasoned with achiote
Tortitas de Avena: Oatmeal patties with tomato and cilantro sauce
Hamburger with an oatmeal patty and all the veggies
Quinoa salad made with cranberry, quinoa, lettuce, sliced beet, sliced carrot, cucumber, choate, broccoli, alfalfa curry seasoning, and babaganoush.
They also offer hummus, pesto and sanué and have some very nice desserts including sorbet, cookies make in Uman and brownies made by Balabu Postres Saludables.
Everything was incredible and the prices are very reasonable. They use all biodegradable to-go containers and compost the leftovers. Their food is delicious, healthy and made with love. This is a great option for breakfast or lunch.
Need to know info:
Price range: $
Opening hours: Wed, Thursday, Friday 10am-4pm
Address: Calle 59 x 52 and 54
Contact: 999 928 6673
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/saviavegetariano/
El Rincón Vegana/Vegan Bunker by Riotfood
Rincon Vegana has an urban hipster youthful feel as you walk in. They pride themselves on an all-vegan menu and “riot food” which is a culinary revolution against “non-food” ingredients, false nutritional information and products that harm animals. It is a small, cool place and most of the meals are ordered for take-out; however, if you would like, they have one table and a bar inside where the diner is welcome to stay and eat.
The menu has quite a few options and they specialize in Mexican food from all over the Republic the only difference being all food is made with all vegan products. Chef Antonio makes everything from scratch. He is a trained chef and grew up as a regular meat eating Yucatecan; however, as he worked in various restaurants he realized that much of the food was made with very unhealthy ingredients. He started using organic products at home and learn about vegetarian options. Then he discovered the vegan lifestyle and it made perfect sense to him and he decided that this was the lifestyle for him. He has a passion for cooking and an even greater passion for feeding food to his clients that will nourish and enrich their bodies. He started experimenting with all types of Mexican dishes while using all vegan ingredients. He has done a fabulous job of creating unique and super good vegan cuisine! I was completely impressed by the similar tastes and textures of the foods we were served. The food was absolutely awesome–very flavorful and lots of vibrant colors.
On the menu, they serve pizzas, hot dogs, quesadillas all made with homemade vegan cheese and soy. Their pizza is wood fired and he also bakes all the bread.
When we visited we were served:
Mixed tacos; Salbutes made with grilled mushrooms and Salbutes with potato with soy chorizo, nopales, and mushrooms; carnitas made of mushrooms and hamburger made with portobello mushrooms.
Because they have a small kitchen and everything is made fresh to order, they suggest that if possible you order in advance (even a day in advance would be fine). They also cater and bake vegan or gluten-free food or cakes for parties. Even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, you would really love this place just to try something different. He says even a lot of kids come and eat the burgers,hot dogs and pizzas!
Need to know info:
Price range: $
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 1pm to 8pm Saturday 1pm to 9pm
Address: Calle 19 no.278 X 22 Y 24 Col. Alemán
Contact: 999 459 4691
Solara Mini Super Vegano and Casa del Sol Holistic Center
We went to check out the new mini-super vegan market Solara in Colonia Hidalgo last week. Many readers have been asking whether or not we can recommend any vegan stores and I thought this would be a great opportunity to find out if this market is worth trying. What I didn’t realize is that this vegan store is just one part of an illuminating holistic center based on the teachings of the Mayan Solar Wisdom and is owned by an internationally renowned spiritual leader the venerable Abuela Nah Kin. Her teachings of the enlightened woman and soul are sought out around Mexico and abroad.
Casa del Sol
Started by Abuela Nah Kin, this is a holistic center that promotes spiritual education and an integral living that combines mind, body, and spirit. Casa del Sol offers the possibility to understand different philosophies and ways to search for your true path while respecting each person’s personal experiences. At the center, you can participate in Hatha Yoga, therapeutic meditation, therapeutic healing and cleansing, workshops on Reiki, vegan cooking and holistic health, traditional Mayan calendar, and other spiritual practices. For those interested in Mayan spirituality and holistic health, this is an enchanting place to be. We are lucky to live here in Yucatan where we have access to such an accomplished and admired spiritual leader. Much of the year Abuela Nah Kin is traveling giving talks and workshops around the world. When she is in town it is a real treat to hear her speak.
This is the latest project of the Center. Here there are several vegan products for sale such as grains, flours, seeds, vegan meats and cheese, honey, spices, and other goods to create a vegan feast. They are also planning on having a “mercadito” each month with fresh veggies and fruit and other vegan products. Also, Solara has a spiritual section where you can find incense, books about the Mayan Solar Wisdom written by Abuela Nah Kin as well as dreamcatchers and natural medicine. There is a kitchen and they hope to give courses on how to cook vegan food.
This is a gem of spiritual and physical healing. We would highly recommend visiting if you would like to experience this holistic center in Merida. They speak both Spanish and English.
Need to know info:
Price range: $
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-7:30pm
Address: Calle 39a #159 and corner of 42 Colonia Hidalgo
Contact: 01 999 471 4733