Plant-based eating is becoming increasingly popular across all different types of cuisine as more consumers seek out vegan alternatives for traditional recipes. Between retail and the foodservice sector, plant-based food sales jumped 43 percent in the last two years, indicating the need for an increase of both plant-based options and distributors. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), we’re highlighting a select number of Latin American restaurants that have reinvented traditional dishes to adhere to a plant-based diet.
The six Latinx vegan restaurants below offer everything that customers want when looking for Latin American food without any animal products. Often, Latin American cuisine is meat or cheese-centric, and it can be difficult to find completely plant-based versions of classic dishes. From ceviche to empanadas, these restaurants highlight some of the best plant-based Latin American cuisines across the US.
This Atlanta-based pop-up taqueria brings a whole new and innovative twist on traditional taco recipes, reinventing methods to cook taco protein for a plant-based consumer base. The vegan kitchen presents plant-based options of treasured Latin American dishes including ceviche tostadas, street tacos, and signature birria quesatacos. The menu is filled with plant-based proteins and vegan dairy products flavored to replicate traditional Mexican street food classics.
Currently, Calaveritas is not open for regular service, but the kitchen is operating at pop-ups, festivals, breweries, and catered events around the metro Atlanta area. To find where Calaveritas will be serving food next, check out its Instagram or website.
Location: 308 West Ponce de Leon Avenue. Atlanta, Georgia 30030
2. The Cocinita Miami
Formerly a Miami-based food truck, The Cocinita Miami brings a blend of Mexican, Venezuela, and Colombian cuisines to plant-based consumers. Founded by couple-team chef Giancarlo Mitrano and Dr. Simon Alvarez, the plant-based restaurant is dedicated to highlighting the delicious potential and nutritional benefits of plant-based eating. The Cocinata aims to provide an accessible, cheap, and desirable twist on some of Miami’s favorite dishes. After opening its storefront in 2020, the company experience immediate success from any customer. The Venezuelan couple hopes to not only provide a delicious vegan menu for plant-based Miamians but also offer a gateway to people with any dietary preference.
Location: 70 SE 5th street suite 107 Miami, FL 33131
3. El Cocinero
Founded by vegan chef Alex Vargas, El Cocinero stands as the first fully plant-based authentic Mexican restaurant in the San Fernando Valley. The vegan restaurants feature a wonderful, delicious selection of affordable Mexican street foods. Vargas – formerly of the vegan restaurant Vegatinos – includes several Mexican staples on his menu including quesadilla featuring vegan cheese, Al’s Special Burrito complete with three plant-based proteins, and the most popular 5 taco plate. No matter what you get from El Cocinero, you will leave with a full plate of mouthwatering plant-based foods.
Location: 6265 Sepulveda Blvd UNIT 12, Van Nuys, CA 91411
4. The VSPOT
Founded by brothers Danny and Alex Carabao, VSPOT brings Park Slope some of the most authentic vegan variations of traditional Colombian cuisine. Originally, the menu centered around American-style foods, but nearly immediately after opening, the brother duo decided that they wished to launch a menu that highlights the Colombian comfort food that they were raised on. The Colombian-inspired comfort food features several delicious options including empanadas, breaded avocado fries, and signature Colombian dish Bandeja Paisa – a plate complete with beans, seitan, rice, and a plant-based Carne “molida.”
Since opening its inaugural location in Brooklyn, the Carabanos launched its first remote location in the East Village. The VSPOT Express offers a simplified menu inspired by the flagship location’s signature menu.
Locations: 156 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 12 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003
5. Viva Vegeria
1422 Nogalitos St, San Antonio, TX 78204
Viva Vegeria is responsible for one of the most extensive vegan and gluten-free Tex-Mex menus in the United States. The plant-based restaurants – founded by chef Fred Anthony Garza – features a menu full of classic Tex Mex dishes that keep out all animal- or gluten-based ingredients to provide one of the most accessible eateries in San Antonio. Garza opened Viva Vegeria to enliven the cultural food traditions that he grew up around. His restaurant is a project that promotes plant-based in this historical cooking culture. The menu includes signature dishes such as mole poblano, hot pozole, flautas, and tacos al pastor.
6. Healthy Substance
Chef Patricia Gonzalez grew up in Guadalajara cooking with her mother, learning a cooking tradition that would later become an integral component of Healthy Substance. However, for most of her life, her cooking was dedicated to her family and children. When her husband developed a debilitating illness, the couple turned to vegan eating to help mend some of the negative symptoms. After seeing positive results, Gonzalez went vegan and then turned to open Healthy Substance. Her plant-based restaurant features a substantial menu that blends together her belief in a nutritional, vegan diet and her years immersed in traditional Mexican cuisine.
Location: 6852 W Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60638