Cozumel is one of my all-time favorite beach destinations in the world. It’s a gorgeously lush, tropical island off the Mexican Mayan Riviera. The island’s calm, crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkeling and wading. Cozumel’s main city, San Miguel, is a relaxed, safe, well-developed town with incredible vegan restaurants and affordable accommodations.
Cozumel is completely different from other beach towns and islands I’ve visited in Mexico. The beaches are uncrowded, and the island is incredibly diverse—with turquoise waters, rugged undeveloped jungles, world-class scuba diving, ancient Mayan ruins, and warm, welcoming locals.
Keep reading for my insider’s tips on the best Cozumel vegan restaurants from a vegan foodie!
Vegan sushi at Nutty Treesome in Cozumel
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Overview of Vegan Options in Cozumel
There is an abundance of incredible vegan food on the island and plenty of ways to explore the island’s natural beauty and wildlife ethically. Although the island is large, most businesses are located in the main town, San Miguel, where you can easily walk or drive to each vegan spot in a few minutes.
Cozumel has fewer vegan restaurants than other Mexican destinations like Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, or Cancun. However, it has enough places to enjoy during a week-long vacation without getting bored.
Best Vegan Restaurants in Cozumel (Visited in 2023)
Cozumel has several fully-vegan restaurants and many restaurants with plant-based and vegetarian options. I never felt like I was missing out while eating vegan on Cozumel. In fact, I had some of the best vegan food I’ve ever tried—like the vegan mozzarella sticks pictured below. So good!
Delicious vegan oat banana waffles with fresh fruit and syrup from La Cusine
Crunchy vegan mozzarella sticks with gooey cashew cheese from Sol de Maple
Fully Vegan Restaurants in Cozumel
As of 2023, these are Cozumel’s fully vegan restaurants. They are all very good, so I recommend visiting them all if you have time.
Sol de Maple
Sol de Maple is my absolute favorite vegan place on Cozumel. The restaurant is run by a local family, and everything on the menu is outstanding—from their saucy enchiladas to their crispy mozzarella sticks (not something I usually order, but they were SO good!) You can tell that everything is made with care and passion, and the family that owns the place is so sweet and helpful.
Tacos baja at Sol de Maple in Cozumel
Three words: Delicious, homely, and flavorful.
Menu examples: Vegan versions of traditional Mexican fare like mole, motuleño, enfrijoladas, tacos baja, and more. Vegan pizzas with delicious creamy cashew cheese, including a buffalo cauliflower pizza, a Mexican pizza, and more. Yummy sandwiches and burgers with their homemade buns, burritos, and other incredible Cozumel vegan eats.
Nutty Treesome has some of the best-tasting vegan food on the island, and it has an incredible atmosphere. It’s the perfect place for a date night or meal with a group of friends. They use a lot of ingredients and flavors that I don’t usually encounter at other vegan restaurants in Mexico—like nutritional yeast and tempeh.
Kung Fu bowl at Nutty Treesome in Cozumel
Three words: Healthy, flavorful, and creative.
Menu examples: Delicious vegan sushi (which can be difficult to find in Latin America), big, bright salads, flavorful sandwiches and wraps, and tasty smoothies.
Coral Restaurant is located at another fantastic vegan restaurant in Cozumel. It’s located inside a hostel, but it feels nicer than you’d expect for a hostel restaurant. The food is yummy but not quite as good as the two places above (in my experience). Still, it’s so worth visiting during your time in Cozumel.
Yummy well seasoned steak fries and vegan aioli at Coral Restaurant
Three words: Satisfying, diverse, and tasty.
Menu examples: Adobo pambazo sandwich with chickpea chorizo, Cuban sandwich with breaded vegan steak, chimichurri baguette, vegan sushi, veggie burgers, suadero soy burrito, and more.
Paradise Vegan Cozumel
Paradise vegan is a highly-rated vegan restaurant in Cozumel. The food is simple and very affordable. It’s located close to Cozumel’s Mercado Municipal, a local market worth exploring if you have extra time. In the afternoon, Paradise Vegan offers a special dish of the day for only $90 pesos (less than $5 USD).
Falafel wrap with vegan tzatziki sauce at Paradise Vegan Cozumel
Three words: Simple, wholesome, and flavorful.
Menu examples: Flavorful breakfast burritos with scrambled tofu and vegan meat fillings, chilaquiles with salsa verde, salsa rojo, or mole, chickpea sausage hot dogs, oat barbecue burger, soy al pastor pizza, and more.
Also see: Top Tulum Vegan Restaurants Ranked
Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Cozumel
The following restaurants are do not have fully-vegan menus, but they are vegan-friendly.
Vegan quesadillas with a bright, fresh salad from La Cuisine in Cozumel, Mexico
La Cuisine: A wholesome restaurant and health-food store with plenty of tasty vegan options, such as oat banana waffles, vegan quesadillas, vegan bagels, salads, and more. We also loved their selection of drinks, including mushroom coffees, cacao, smoothies, juice, and more.
Amparos: Vegan-friendly breakfast spot located right in the heart of San Miguel. Vegan options include a tasty vegan skillet with seasoned potatoes and mushrooms, squash blossoms, avocado, and beans, veggie fajitas, rancheros, and more.
Arabian Tacos: Lebanese restaurant with clearly labeled vegan food, including falafel plate, tabbouleh, baba ganoush, hummus, lemony lentil soup, and more.
La Cozumeleña: High-rated local restaurant with several vegan options, including a vegan quesadilla, crepes, healthy wraps, and more.
Colores y Sabores: Vegan-friendly Traditional Mexican cuisine. Servers understand the vegan diet and are happy to explain which options are plant-based.
Bombay Delights: Indian restaurant in San Miguel de Cozumel with an abundance of vegan options.
Anemona de Mar Beach Club: Vegan-friendly beach club located inside the Punta Sur Ecological Park (entry fee required). Vegan options include portobello vegan tacos, guacamole, pico de gallo, french fries, and more.
Crazy King Burrito: A highly-rated burrito spot in Cozumel. You can order a “veggie loco” soy chorizo, potato, and avocado burrito vegan by removing the eggs and cheese.
Rock and Java: A touristy bar and grill near the cruise terminal with several surprisingly good vegan options, including a veggie burger, scrambled tofu, hash browns, and more.
Mouthwatering Cozumel vegan food at La Cuisine
Is Cozumel a vegan-friendly destination?
Yes! Cozumel has several fully-vegan restaurants and many non-veggie places with vegan options. Most locals understand what vegan means and are happy to accommodate a plant-based diet.
Where should you stay in Cozumel to be close to vegan food?
There are two options for where you can stay in Cozumel:
Stay in the city: You can stay inside San Miguel de Cozumel, where all the vegan restaurants are. The town is safe and peaceful, and accommodations are affordable. If you stay in town, you can easily walk to most of the places on this list or drive a few minutes in a car or scooter. If you stay in the city, rent a moped or car and explore the island during the day.
Stay at a resort or hotel on the beach: If you want an even more peaceful experience, you can stay outside the city at a beachfront hotel or resort. However, you’ll need to drive to town to eat. Depending on where you stay on the island, the drive to town could take 10-30 minutes.
Are there any vegan-friendly resorts in Cozumel?
Secrets Aura Cozumel and The Explorean Cozumel are vegan-friendly resorts on Isla Cozumel.
I haven’t stayed at either of the resorts, but based on my research, they accommodate guests with vegan diets.
Mexican flag on the rocks at El Mirador along Cozumel’s eastern coast
What is there to do in Cozumel?
It’s easy to spend your entire Cozumel vacation sitting on the beach and wading in the crystal-clear Caribbean water, but there are also so many exciting things to do on the island! Here are a few of my recommendations:
- Drive around the island: When I first visited Cozumel, I was shocked by the diversity of beaches, fauna, and wildlife on the island. You can easily explore the island with a set of wheels.
- Snorkel: You can snorkel at most beaches on the island’s western side, but the best place to snorkel is at El Cielo reef, which can only be reached by boat. I recommend taking this incredible snorkeling tour, which takes you to several nearby coral reefs, including El Cielo.
- Visit the Cozumel museum: One of my favorite experiences on Cozumel was visiting the Cozumel Museum. I was surprised by how big and extensive the exhibits were. A walk through the museum will teach you about the island’s long history, from the first Mayan settlements, through colonialism and modern times. You’ll also learn about the unique flora and fauna on the island, including the many endangered endemic species that call Cozumel home.
- Spend a day at Punta Sur Eco Beach: Visiting Punta Sur Eco Park is one of the best things to do in Cozumel. The park sounds like a tourist destination (and it is), but it’s actually a state reserve. The entry includes access to beach chairs, hammocks, natural trails, and a catamaran boat ride to the coral reef.
- Visit the Mayan ruins: Cozumel was inhabited by Mayan communities from the 2nd century CE until contact with Spanish colonial powers forced most locals off the island in the 1500s and1600s. You can explore Mayan archaeological sites around the island. The most accessible site to visit is Zona Arqueológica San Gervasio, a short drive outside San Miguel.
How do you get around Cozumel?
If you’re visiting Cozumel, you have to see the island! The western side—where most hotels and restaurants are located—has beautiful, calm beaches with turquoise water and incredible snorkeling. The eastern side has big waves and incredible rock formations. Most of the island is undeveloped, but the roads are excellent, and it’s easy to get around.
There are several ways to explore Cozumel: by bike, by car, by scooter, or by boat (tour).
Although you can bike around the island, it’s not something most people would want to do daily. Plus, cars and scooters are easy and cheap to rent in San Miguel de Cozumel. I recommend renting a Jeep or scooter for the duration of your stay.
Exploring Cozumel via scooter
Is Cozumel worth visiting?
Absolutely. Cozumel is a beautiful, peaceful island that is perfect for nature lovers. It has gorgeous crystal-clear Caribbean waters, lush jungles, and Mayan ruins. It’s also an incredible place to snorkel or scuba dive. The island is incredibly safe, too. Although I’ve never felt unsafe in Mexico, Cozumel feels like a new level of safety compared to other Mexican vacation spots. And, of course, Cozumel is a wonderful place for vegans and foodies.
Before you go, make sure you check out my Mexico Travel Guide for Vegetarians and Vegans.
Essential Mexico Travel Resources
Have a Mexico trip coming up soon? There are a lot of travel companies out there, but some are better than others. After traveling to dozens of countries and living abroad on several continents, here are some of my favorite websites and resources for planning unforgettable trips.