Vegan restaurants in Nicaragua? Everyone will tell you there’s no such thing. Trust me there is! Vegan food in Nicaragua is colorful, fresh and delicious! This is my list of top vegan restaurants you should try while in Nicaragua.
Eating in vegan restaurants in Nicaragua was one of my top things to do in Nicaragua. I will admit that from my initial search in apps such as Happy Cow I was a bit discouraged, but after some more research, I was pleasantly surprised! Not only Nicaragua has great vegan restaurants (or vegan options), in the last couple of days of the trip, I couldn’t eat gluten(since it was Passover) and still managed to enjoy great vegan and gluten-free meals. I present you with my choices for the vegan traveler in Nicaragua.
Pitaya Bowl, Granada
This casual restaurant is especially for you fruit lovers. Apart from their amazing smoothies, they have the perfect breakfast items! We had their colorful pitaya bowl as well as chia pudding and enjoyed every bite! The place has such a cute decor and is adjoins a guest house by the same name.
El Pital (aka Chocolate paradise), Ometepe Island
A big part of our love story with Ometepe was the great vegan food and in the Chocolate Factory, we found unique options! Apart from their famous gimmick of the melting chocolate ball, their smoothies were amazing! they presented us with unique combinations of fresh fruits and chocolate and we chose the avocado chocolate smoothie and loved it! More than anything the vibe of the place is just so peaceful. We went there for lunch but stayed the entire afternoon.
Pita Pita, Granada.
This Israeli restaurant was such a pleasant surprise. Let’s face it, when it comes to middle eastern food our standards are so high and Pita Pita won us over. Our dinner in this cozy restaurant was supposed to be my first vegan gluten-free meal since it was Passover eve. The food was so diverse that I managed to enjoy a rich meal with no gluten or animal products!
We couldn’t decide what to try so we just had many small dishes. Their fried cauliflower was light and well seasoned, hummus and tahini that wouldn’t shame middle eastern cuisine, fresh salads and authentic grape leaves and the best was their baba ghanoush that was like no other I ever tasted. I was eating it with a spoon! And after declaring I was beyond full and couldn’t eat anymore, of course, I suddenly saw they have vegan Muhallebi, an Arab pudding-like dessert made of coconut cream and topped with sweet syrup and coconut flakes. Of course, I had to have it.
El Zopilote, the hostel restaurant, Ometepe
Since this hostel is in the middle of the forest and 7-minute hike from the main road, the permaculture farm has a restaurant so you won’t have to go up and down every time you’re hungry. But we didn’t eat there two meals per day because of the convenience, but because in this place organic and healthy food is key!
They have many vegan and gluten-free options and everything is made there. For this reason, everything is super slow but all natural! when we just got there and ordered a smoothie to cool us off after the hike up we were a bit upset when it took them some time to serve us with our order.
Quickly we got into the slow, peaceful rhythm of the place. We had their breakfast every day and lunch/dinner and in their Pizza Nights (Tuesdays and Saturdays) even had vegan pizza! Tip: order your pizza as early as you can since the hostel becomes full really quick and you might not get your pizza till 11pm.
Buddha’s Garden, San Juan del Sur
San Juan is full with cool hipster spots and this casual place, right next to a yoga studio, was an amazing choice for our first meal in the surfer town. We tried their amazing smoothies and ordered their guacamole and rice paper rolls. For dessert, we had their delicious chia pudding bowl.
Salud Kitchen, San Juan del Sur
I was so sad that I went to this place on our last day because it was so pretty great! Apart from their amazing smoothies and pitaya bowl they had this amazing hashbrown in a bun dish that was so gooddddd! I took everything to go and got in a taxi to our next destination so didn’t have time to take pictures but as far as I’m concerned this place is a must!
The yellow bus, El Zopilote, Ometepe
conveniently located at the bottom of El Zopilote hostel is the yellow bus that serves as a welcome stop where we rested before or after hiking up and down to the hostel. The bus itself has art pieces for sale and outside two awesome ladies that will make you the best smoothies! The yellow bus even has vegan chocolate ice cream!
The Taco Stop, San Juan del Sur
The Taco Stop is the one place everyone knows when arriving at San Juan del Sur. Famous for its Mexican style street food this place has several vegan options since they cook the beans with no meat. So you can change any dish and remove any meat or dairy.
Cafe de los Suños, Granada
We escaped the hit of Granada in this adorable restaurant that presents you with the typical vegan options, like salads, sandwiches, hummus, and drinks with soy milk. We immediately ordered some iced chocolate with soy milk and had their salad bowl that was huge.
Of course, the best food can be found on the streets of Nicaragua. Fresh fruits and natural smoothies are everywhere. Raphaela, a former teacher and a bananas specialist we met in a grocery store in Granada kindly corrected us after we chose to buy yellow bananas instead of the green ones of her counter, thinking the green ones aren’t ripe yet. Raphaela explained to us that the greens one are a different type of banans and in fact, they are so good she was convinced after I bought had one I will by some more. She was right. I had 2 green bananas right there on the spot and bought some more to take back. I always say… a banana per day keeps the doctor away.