In the land of pork carnita and steak bistec tacos what is a Vegan taco lover to do? I decided to find out by hitting two of the most well-regarded Vegan Taco shops in Mexico City. Will meat-substitutes be balanced by great seasonings, or will I be chomping into my first ever “Tofu Taco”. Lets find out!
Before I begin my journey I must give full disclosure: I am not a vegan. Heck, I am probably more carnivore than a salad eater. But my girlfriend Olga is Vegetarian. And I feel like in a city as large as Mexico City it’s important to find options for those with different dietary needs.
Gold Taco is located just 15 minutes away by Uber from Roma Norte in
I decided to have five different tacos for lunch. All of them used either a Gluten or Soy based substitute for the meat. The key to success is in the seasonings. That “fake meat” taste kills me every time. When it tastes rubbery I know its time to move on.
I started with a sampling of Cochinita Pibo, Pastor, and Chorizo. The cochinita had a bit of a kick with the onions and seasoning, but I enjoyed it. The pastor here was probably my favorite. It didn’t have the kick of the Cochinita, but the Gluten Seitan and toppings made it taste solid. Alas, the Chorizo taco had that fake meat taste to it that turns me off. I just barely finished it.
Top is the Cochinita, bottom left the Pastor, and bottom right the Chorizo.
The Bistec is up top. The Carnita at the bottom.
For my final two I went with the Bistec and Carnita tacos. The bistec was fried and tasted like chewy pieces of wheat gluten with bistec seasoning. The carnita was juicier and gave a better impression of real meat.
The total bill for 10 tacos and two sodas was 150 pesos ($7.50 USD). I think for the price you get a good amount of tacos to sample. Every person has their own thoughts on how vegan meat should taste, but this spot was very hit or miss in my opinion.
Por Siempere Vegana Taqueria:
The final stop was a well-known vegan food truck in Roma Norte called: Por Siempre Vegana Taqueria. There was actually a bit of a line at 3 pm (their hours are from 2-10 pm). The spot has a very hipstery/brooklynesque feel going on. It was also eco-friendly with separate trash bins and biodegradable paper covering the metal plates that you return. I enjoyed that they cooked the vegan meat right in front of you.
I only had room for two tacos here. ( I wish I didnt get full so easily!) I started with the suadero which was made out of soy with suadero seasoning. It had the texture and seasoning that tasted like an authentic street taco. The final taco was the chorizo rojo. It was texturized vegetable protein with chorizo seasoning. This chorizo taco tasted far more similar to the real thing than what was at Gold Taco.
My taco topped with cactus and onions
What set this apart from Gold Taco was that they had an array of toppings available for your tacos. From the typical 3 sauces to cactus and potatoes, they had you covered. When it comes to vegan meat it is important to have a variety of different sauces and spices to add on top to give it the taste that you are looking for.
Like Gold Taco the prices were reasonable here (5 tacos for 75 pesos or $3.75).
I must say I was impressed overall with the variety and different tastes of Vegan Tacos in Mexico City. While I can tell the difference in most cases, with the right toppings and seasonings a vegan taco can make an excellent substitute.
Hands down Por Siempre Vegan Taqueria was the better spot. The variety, atmosphere, and overall taste of the tacos would have me return here for any future vegan taco cravings. Tell me in the comments if you have had vegan tacos before and what your favorite one is!