Vegan Food in Tamarindo
If you’re a vegan looking for another beach to add to your tour of Costa Rica, go ahead and add Tamarindo to that list! Just know that it’s quite a trek (like a 5 to 6 hours drive) from San Jose, so plan accordingly if you’re flying into or staying in the capital.
Although Tamarindo might not be crawling with vegan restaurants, there are a couple of completely vegan restaurants and a few vegan-friendly spots sprinkled around town. There’s even an all-vegan hotel in Tamarindo that has an on-site vegan restaurant!
In true BLACK VEGAboNd fashion, I went to Tamarindo strictly to find some bomb vegan food! While Tamarindo wasn’t my favorite place to throw down on vegan food, it’s a popular tourist spot in Costa Rica and has a lot more to offer than just food!
Consider hitting up Tamarindo if you’re looking for beautiful beaches, surfing, luxury hotels, and shopping. If you’re like me and wondering what food there is to explore, keep reading to learn about the places that I tried!
Vegan Food in Tamarindo, Costa Rica: Vegan Restaurants
Off The Grid – Vegan
Location: 100 meters west of AYA, Guanacaste Province, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
WhatsApp: +506 4500-0045
Cuisine: Mainly “American” and Italian
Price range: $$$$$ (most expensive entree is $33 USD)
Off The Grid is the all-vegan restaurant at Mother Earth Vegan, Tamarindo’s first and only vegan hotel. I specifically went to Tamarindo just to eat at Off The Grid, after reading about it and hearing about it from family that had seen the advertisements around town.
Although Off The Grid is usually open to the public, they were closed while I was in town, due to a private event at Mother Earth Vegan. However, the manager was super sweet and not only allowed me to place a take-out order but also gave me a tour of the property while I waited for my food!
If you’re looking to learn about all of the amenities at Mother Earth Vegan, check out my Vegan Resorts and Hotels in Costa Rica post. If you’re just here for the food, keep reading right here!
They have extensive breakfast and all-day menus featuring options like pancakes, omelets, breakfast Beyond sausage, ceviche, Philly cheesesteaks, crab cakes, and crème brûlée. The list goes on and on, but I think you get the picture! They even have a full bar and offer Happy Hour from 5:00 – 7:00 PM Monday through Thursday.
I was only able to try one meal there, so I went with the manager’s recommendation of the Mother BLT. Goodness gracious… the flavors in that BLT were BANGIN! The crispy oyster mushroom bacon was seasoned perfectly. The classic lettuce and tomato knew the assignment and did their job! Then there was the mashed avocado that wasn’t listed on the menu, but was a pleasant and welcome surprise. Everything in this sandwich was delicious, but the crispy oyster mushroom bacon was the real MVP for me!
For the gluten-free fam in the house, they have some options that can be made gluten-free, including the Mother BLT. In some cases, like with their pasta dishes, the gluten-free option comes with an extra charge.
All-in-all, I was pleased with the service and food at Off The Grid, and would love to go back to get the full dine-in experience!
Verano Vegano – Vegan
Location: Calle Cruz, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, Costa Rica (inside Jardin Tamarindo Food Truck Park)
WhatsApp: +506 6144-1433
Cuisine: Burgers and Tacos
Price range: $$$$$ (most expensive entree is less than $10 USD)
Even though Tamarindo is a relatively small beach town, they have a food truck park called Jardin Tamarindo that is just minutes from the beach! Lucky for us, it includes an all-vegan food truck named Verano Vegano.
Verano Vegano is the perfect spot to hit up if you’re with a group of non-veg folks that are tired of going to vegan restaurants with you. You can fill your belly with vegan grub like house-made burgers, tacos, and desserts at Verano Vegano, and they can go to the other food trucks to get whatever it is that non-veg folks eat. That way, everyone’s happy!
The owner of Verano Vegano is a true sweetheart and walked me through the entire menu. She recommended the fish tacos and brownie, so I got in line and went with the fish tacos and brownie!
The “fish” is battered banana blossoms topped with a house sauce, cucumbers, and tomatoes. They had a great texture and good flavor, but I needed some spice in my life!
Now I know that lots of folks in Costa Rica don’t like spicy food, so I was fully expecting to have to eat the rest of my plate with no spice. To my surprise though, the owner ran over to a neighboring food truck and got some hot sauce for me!
The brownie was also bomb, and the owner even warmed it up for me before bringing it out. She low-key made my meal and my night with all of her kind gestures!
Vegan Food in Tamarindo, Costa Rica: Vegan-Friendly Restaurants
Falafel Bar – Vegan-Friendly
Location: Av Central 250, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
WhatsApp: +506 2653-1268
Price range: $$$$$ (the most expensive vegan entree is ~$10 USD)
Falafel Bar is a Mediterranean restaurant in the center of Tamarindo and was the first place that I hit up when I made it into town. Little did I know that it would end up being my favorite vegan-friendly spot in Tamarindo!
After my almost 5-hour drive from Jaco, ya girl was tired, hungry, and ready for something filling and delicious. They definitely delivered on the filling and delicious part!
Falafel Bar clearly marks their vegan and vegetarian options on the menu. We vegans can choose from a few standard options on their menu like their Falafel Sandwich, Tabuleh, Roasted Quinoa Salad, and Falafel Plate.
I tried the Falafel Plate, which was served with 6 falafel, hummus, tahini, pita, and a salad. The falafel, hummus, and tahini were standard, but that pita and salad were something special!
The pita was the fluffiest pita I’ve ever had! I don’t know if it was freshly made or just reheated right before making it to my table, but it came out all fresh and steamy. Then there was something about that salad! It was just a basic salad: fresh chopped lettuce, tomato, olive oil, and lemon. Somehow, someway though, it just hit different!
Pico Bistro – Vegan-Friendly
Location: Tamarindo Main Road Guanacaste Santa Cruz, Tamarindo, 50309, Costa Rica
WhatsApp: +506 8926-8452
Cuisine: Bowls and salads
Price range: $$$$$ (most expensive vegan entre is ~$11 USD)
Like many restaurants in town, Pico Bistro is located along the beach and has indoor and outdoor seating. I didn’t end up getting a table with a clear ocean view, but dining outside was good enough for me!
They have clearly marked vegan options on their menu, including dishes like the Green Pasta and Ginger Lime Tahini Buddha Bowl. I went with the Green Pasta, which was simple and filling. I had to add a little salt to it, but it was an overall decent meal in the beach breeze.
La Churretica – Vegan-Friendly
Location: 100 metros norte del supermercado pura vida, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, Costa Rica (inside Jardin Tamarindo Food Truck Park)
WhatsApp: No number available
Price range: $$$$$ (the most expensive vegan option is less than $10 USD)
As I was waiting for my tacos from Verano Vegano in Jardin Tamarindo Food Truck Park, I did a lap to see if there were other vegan options. Low and behold, I stumbled upon vegan churros at La Churretica! La Churretica is a vegan-friendly churro food truck that focuses just on churros, ice cream, and drinks.
I’ve loved churros since I was a wee lil lad, but I became a churro snob after living in Barcelona for a few months in early 2020. The standard churro recipe in Barcelona is naturally vegan and churro spots are basically on every other corner.
I don’t even know how many churros I consumed while living in Barcelona, but let’s just say that my motto during those days was “a churro a day keeps the doctor away”. After leaving Barcelona though, I hadn’t accidentally stumbled upon vegan churros. That is, until La Churretica!
I like my churros soft on the inside and lightly crispy on the outside. Some might say I like them a little undercooked, I say I just like the finer things in life. I didn’t think to let the owner know before mine were made, therefore, they came out a little hard for my liking. That was my bad. The owner was really nice though, so be sure to let her or the staff know how you like yours if you want the perfect churros!
Ohana Poke – Vegan-Friendly
Location: Mercadito de Tamarindo, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
WhatsApp: +506 8400-7653
Cuisine: Poke Bowls
Price range: $$$$$ (most expensive entree is ~$11 USD)
I went to Mercadito de Tamarindo looking to get some vegan tacos, but unfortunately, the restaurant I was targeting had closed early. Therefore, I browsed around and stumbled upon Ohana Poke at the very end of my stroll! Ohana Poke is a vegan-friendly made-to-order poke bowl spot in Mercadito de Tamarindo. They have a standard Veggie Bowl on the menu or you can build-you-own-bowl if you’re not feeling the ingredients in the Veggie Bowl.
I’m a vegan poke bowl newbie, so I went with their Veggie Bowl. It includes tofu, sushi rice, cucumber, carrot, seaweed, onion, sesame seeds, peppers, and pineapple. Substitutes are welcome, so I substituted the ponzu sauce for soy sauce, just to be safe, and added mango to my bowl. You can also choose quinoa or brown rice instead of sushi rice.
It was my first time ordering a poke bowl, and it was actually a lot better than I was expecting! I could have gone without the unseasoned, raw tofu, but when it was all said and done, I was pleasantly surprised.
The RED DOOR – Vegan-Friendly
Location: Calle Central 275, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo GUANACASTE SANTA CRUZ, Guanacaste Province, Tamarindo, 50309, Costa Rica
WhatsApp: +506 8884-8998
Cuisine: International mix (Thai, Mediterranean, etc.)
Price range: $$$$$ (most expensive vegan entree on the menu is ~$15 USD)
The RED DOOR is a cute restaurant that is technically on the beach, but not really on the beach at the same time. There’s quite a bit of grass and trees separating you from the water, so you can’t actually see the beach from your table. You can, however, take a quick stroll down to the water while you wait for your food if you want to catch the sunset or dip your toes in the ocean.
They have a separate vegan menu that includes items like Green Plantain Ceviche, Buffalo Wings and Veggie Sticks (buffalo cauliflower), and Green Thai Curry. Each meal is served with a complimentary 2-bite serving of hummus, so go ahead and skip that on the menu unless you want a healthy serving of it.
I went with the waiter’s recommendation and ordered the Green Plantain Ceviche. Sad to say, I regret doing that! It wasn’t the right dish for me, which I knew before ordering. It may be just what you’re looking for, so don’t let me deter you if it sounds good to you! Although I wasn’t a fan of the dish, I can say that it was one of the healthiest things I ate that day.
The ceviche is made of pejibaye (a popular fruit in Costa Rica), cucumber, corn, avocado, ginger, cilantro, lemon, mango, and peppers, all bathed in coconut milk and served with some garnish on top and green plantain chips on the side. There was a lot going on with all of the textures lumped together, and with the frothy coconut milk, it turned out to not be the dish for me. However, have at it if just reading those ingredients makes your mouth water!
I figured I had just ordered the wrong dish, and tried again with one of my go-to orders. I ended up getting the Buffalo Wings (buffalo cauliflower) and Veggie Sticks to take home. The meal is served with a vegan ranch, which was a nice touch that I wasn’t expecting!
Remember how I mentioned earlier that lots of Costa Ricans don’t like spicy foods? Well, the buffalo sauce wasn’t very spicy, but the meal was still good and filled me up for the rest of the night.
Nogui’s – Vegan-Friendly
Location: 155, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
WhatsApp: +506 2653-0029
Cuisine: Mainly Costa Rican
Price range: $$$$$
Nogui’s is a long-standing beachfront restaurant in Tamarindo that has a separate vegan menu. Their vegan menu features ingredients like Beyond Burger and Follow Your Heart cheese. I opted for the Casado Vegano, which includes black beans, brown rice, ripe plantains, mashed taro, and a salad.
I added some avocado and corn tortillas because I was missing the meals that my host mom in Guatemala used to make. The mashed taro was a first for me, but the black beans, brown rice, avocado, corn tortillas, and plantains hit the spot!
Conclusion: Vegan Food in Tamarindo, Costa Rica
So whether you’re planning to go to Tamarindo to chill on the beach, surf, shop, or just do whatever it is that you do while on vacation, you have a few options for vegan food while you’re in town. I highly recommend stopping by Off The Grid for the best sit-down vegan restaurant experience in town.
I also recommend trying the vegan fish tacos at Verano Vegano in Jardin Tamarindo. There are also some decent dishes at the vegan-friendly restaurants in Tamarindo, like the Falafel Plate at Falafel Bar. If you’ll be roaming around Costa Rica and want to see what other vegan food awaits you, keep scrolling to find links to my other vegan Costa Rica posts!
Map of Vegan Food in Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Check Out My Other Vegan Costa Rica Posts!
Complete Vegan Travel Guide Costa Rica
First time visiting Costa Rica and want helpful tips on navigating around the country? Planning to travel around Costa Rica and eat to your little vegan heart’s content? Or maybe you’re like me and your Spanish isn’t the best.
Regardless of your situation, be sure to check out my other posts featuring vegan food, resorts, and hotels in some of Costa Rica’s most popular cities. You also don’t want to miss my tips on how to order in Spanish!