I am not 100% fluent in Spanish despite taking IB Spanish classes in high school, I am catching up with Spanish. So you may find some grammatical errors in Spanish, correct me if you may! So this is my first time to be in a Spanish-speaking country as well as Mexico (Distrito Federal). But here I am, in Mexico City, and I believe it is a bit challenging to be a VEGAN, but it is worth a challenge to LIVE as a VEGAN in Mexico regardless!
Yug Vegetariano was the first Mexican vegetarian restaurant I went to because it was within a short walking distance from my apartment in Zona Rosa. I found the restaurant name through a few vegan blogs plus Happy Cow. My first impression on this restaurant was clean, a bit overstaffed and very retro-looking since it was built in the early 1960s. It was the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Mexico City. I was a bit nervous with Spanish-speaking restaurants.
Location & Hours & Notes
- Varsovia 3-b Col. Juarez México D.F. . A block from Angel de la Independencia, and corner of Paseo de la Reforma.
- Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm | Saturday & Sunday from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm
- Buffet from Monday to Saturday from 1pm to 5pm. I have not tried it yet! It serves a variety of salads, 3 stews, 2 soups, appetizers and desserts as well as a complimentary beverage.
- Be prepared to speak Spanish as much as you can since the staff speak Spanish.
- They do lunch & dinner combo meals.
- Most beverages, small meals and main plates vary from $2 to $7, which is slightly cheaper than the American meals
All the staff spoke 100% Spanish (Español) and they spoke very quickly. The vegetarian restaurant serves complimentary bread slices with real butter, which I couldn’t eat. We had to ask which vegetarian plates come without cheese (queso) or eggs (huevos), as vegan plates. The waiter understood us, and pointed out the lunch combo meal (salad, soup, main plate and dessert) and there was always one vegan option for each part.
We started with the lunch combo specials which was not included in the general menu. You will need to choose one appetizer, one soup, one main course and one dessert to fulfill a lunch or dinner combo meal. I shared it with my partner because I wanted to see if it was any good. I have not tried the Mexican enchiladas, mushroom steamed in foil or corn cake yet because I didn’t think they would be vegan at all, but I will ask next time.
Here’s the translation from the lunch/dinner combo as pictured above:
Appetizer ( All are 100% vegan):
Aztec (Aztec soup can be made vegan without cheese.)
Mexican Enchiladas ($ 85)
Tacos al pastor or marinated vegetarian meat tacos ($ 77) ( Can be vegan without cheese)
Funghi Mushroom steamed in a foil, usually with LOADS of cheese ($ 77)
Corn cake ($ 67)
Jello ( Vegan)
Amaranth Pudding (NOT VEGAN)
Mango and Mint ($ 9) ( Vegan)
Apple ($ 24) ( Vegan)
Dishes I’ve Tried
It is cheaper to get a lunch-dinner combo instead of the general menu because you can try most different dishes at least. I’m not sure when the combo thing starts and ends, but I will find it out later when I return again. So for the lunch-dinner combo, it costs $77 (pesos) for oriental salad, Aztec soup, tacos al pastor and finally a jello dessert. It also came with freshly made salsa verde (Green Salsa), which tasted a bit tart due to lime. The jello dessert was orange-flavoured, and I thought it was okay, at least it’s both vegetarian and vegan!
Complimentary Salsa Verde: This is a great, flavourful green salsa and you could taste the fresh lime juice in it.
Oriental Salad: It came with soy sauce condiment, which I found it odd. I never had a fresh salad with soy sauce and I thought it tasted a bit bland. I usually like my soy sauce in cooked vegetables. I think I will just go with the other choices such as steamed vegetables or tropical fruit salad.
Azteca Sopa or Aztec Soup: The soup was made without the usual cheese on top. It reminded me of a light tortilla soup, but came with the creamiest avocado slices, onions, peppers and lastly, the very awesome vegan fried pork rinds (chicharrón fat). That was my first time to attempt a vegan fried pork rind (chicharrón fat). This is probably my favourite dish so far at Yug Vegetariano!
Tacos Al Pastor: That main dish was my partner Doni’s favourite. I’m not quite a fan of small, dry corn tortillas (I’m a flour type). The vegan shredded and marinated seitan tasted sweet and not too spicy at all, but with the fresh cilantro and chopped red onions, it tasted great! It also came with a small dish of flavoured black beans (not refried). I really like that black beans dish! I feel that these small tacos needs guacamole or avocado. If you dress them with the complimentary salsa verde, you are good to go!
Dish #2: Carnitas vegetarianas con guacamole y frijolitos refritos ($63)
That main plate was from the general menu. I was dying for guacamole because of the Aztec soup I had with the creamiest avocado slices. I wanted to try more of their avocados! So I ended up with this dish: Soy Meat with refried beans and guacamole with freshly made corn tortillas (they were slightly bigger than the lunch combo’s main plate). The plate was huge and I could see why the lunch combo’s portion size was 25% smaller.
I’ve tried a lot of soy meat before, but this one was so different! The soy meat tasted very greasy and super salty, but it was supposed to be that way since real meat was salty. I sort of liked the flavour and it did really present a good version of an actual Mexican meat taco!