A Mexican Town w/ Healthy Food - Vegan, Organic & Gluten Free
I've traveled to Ajijic three times prior to having the Retired Toddlers (aka, my kids!). I never remembered this as a good "healthy eats" town. But boy have I been in for a pleasant surprise this time around! So many delicious healthy food options - Vegan & Organic Restaurants, Health Food Stores, Gluten Free Options, Organic Farmer's Market! Something at every corner. And not your so-called healthy food...you know the low fat crap or the vegan boca soy burger that is terrible. I'm talking real ingredients, real food, nutritious & creative!
So, I've compiled a list along the way of some of my favorites. I hope this helps others who are looking for healthy vegan restaurants and grocery stores in Ajijic.
Who knew Ajijic would be such a foodie & vegan mecca!
Oh, and Avocados are cheap and plentiful here. Heaven!!
Health Food Grocery Stores in Ajijic
El Granero - Tucked away on the carretera (across from Machima), it's a tiny store, but full of spices, grains, free range eggs and a freezer stocked with pre-made meals (Carrot Ginger Soup, Vegan Burgers (non soy), Lentil Soup and many other items - it seems that they stock with a variety and ever-changing, but we found they make delicious easy meals...heat & serve!). They also have some other hard to find basics - Raw Almond Butter (no sugar or salt!), Coconut Butter, Apple Cider Vinegar...to name a few. They also have a stash of vegan & gluten free cookies and chocolates, as well as a small section of lotions and beauty products. Bring cash, they don't accept credit cards.
Alkimia - A cute little grocery store & coffee shop, stocked with pre-made frozen & refrigerated foods (not brand name packaged goods...the food they have here is locally made and brought in!). They also have a variety of dressings, nut butters and oils and Ghee. I purchased my Moringa Powder from here and noticed there is a section of Essential Oils, Soap & other beauty products. They have a delicious selection of breads - some of which are gluten free. They also have a little cafe with a few tables!
Lakeside Market - Located on the carretera (from Ajijic, it’s just past San Antonio, before the Sunrise Cafe (where the Monday market is held)). It’s small but as with most of the little grocery stores, you can find hidden gems. I found Dave’s Seeded Bread here and some delicious dairy free almond & coconut milk based ice creams!
SuperLake Grocery Store - This medium-sized grocery had quite a few organic, gluten free and Bob's Mill type options. They carry Braggs ACV and the local brand "Canadian Brew", which has probiotic drinks, sauerkraut, etc. I recently saw they carried some Dr. Bronners castile soap products!
Organic Farmer's Market
Saturday Mornings Ol-Lin Vegan Mini Organic Market: By Saturday, I'm usually out of my fresh fruits and veggies from the Tuesday Organic Market, so this is a perfect stop. The family here gets their produce from a local farmer they love. The selection isn't huge, but there is quite a variety - various types of mushrooms, carrots, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, peppers, tomatos, bananas, plantains, onions, garlic, spinach, limes ... and much more. I'm sure the variety varies by season. They also have various other products - I've purchased delicious homemade peanut butter, vegan cashew mayonnaise spread, cookies and more! And of course, they have a delicious vegan restaurant right there!
Location: In San Antonio (between Ajijic and Riberas) right off of the town Plaza ... at Ol-Lin Vegan Restaurant (the mini market is outside in the courtyard).
Tuesday Organic Market: I can walk to this...need I say more! But luckily, this last Tuesday morning when my family went to the market, we drove to it - thank goodness because we walked out barely being able to carry everything we had purchased. The market runs on Tuesday mornings in West Ajijic - just off the carretera, from 10am-Noon. It's a high quality farmers market. Some veggies, fresh herbs, Microgreens and eggs, but much more than that - vegan & gluten free breads, fermented foods (sauerkraut, garlic, kimchi), Probiotic Drinks, spirulina products, raw honeys, real cacao (this has become my new go-to chocolate here: Luna Cacau ); Desserts, Lots of Pre-Made Foods that make for great dinners.
Location: Entrance is in the same complex as the restaurant "Mariscos Peter" in West Ajijic
Hours: Tuesdays 10am-Noon
Healthy Restaurants in Ajijic
Healthy, Vegan, Gluten Free, Organic Restaurants in Ajijic ... who knew there would be so many amazing choices. They aren't super cheap, but much less expensive than back in the US and for the quality, you can't beat these amazing options for healthy food in Ajijic & Lake Chapala!
Ol-lin Vegan: Located in San Antonio, little neighborhood between Ajijic & Chapala (same location as the Saturday Mini Market listed above). All Vegan, All Delicious. And the family that owns it is wonderful. We've tried pretty much the entire menu! The pizzas (with homemade nut cheese), vegan ceviche, jackfruit tacos, vegan burger (seriously delicious), mole... and every single thing has been yummy. You can even order Vegan Ice Cream by the Liter! Just give them a few days notice and pick your flavors - it's made to order... No Soy! They also have an all-you-can-eat vegan buffet on Sunday mornings - YES - unlimited homemade vegan food, made to order!! I also have ordered birthday cakes and pans of nut free brownies for the kids school which have all been delicious!
Casa Cacau: Just off the carretera on the parallel road. Coming from Walmart toward Ajijic, it’s just on the left hand side! The same woman that makes the delicious chocolate treats and drinks for the Tuesday Organic Market, also has a restaurant. The food is divine - the enchiladas and mole and cashew cream sauce and cacao butter … yum! There is a large selection of drinks. Made with REAL cacao chocolate, your choices of flavors (my favorites were the Carnaval Alegre (Mint, Vanilla & manteca de cacao) and No Me Olvides (Tequila, Pepper & Cayenne) ... but you can't go wrong with any of them. I also order brownies and cakes from her often - never disappoints!
Casa Domenech: I was looking for a healthy brunch place in West Ajijic and found this one - a block from Hotel Danza del Sol. On Saturdays, they have all-you-can-eat Enchiladas. Not gross heavily cheesed stuff that make you feel terrible afterwards. Delicious, made to order enchiladas (meat, vegan, gluten free, vegetarian...your pick) + your choice of homemade sauces (the green & the mole are my favorites). The best enchiladas I've ever had. Seriously. Cute restaurant with bright fun colors of Mexico and the staff is super friendly! They also have a nice dinner crowd with live music.
Machima - They have a little garden out back, if that tells you anything! Super cute cafe setting... white and bright! They use produce only when in season and mostly organic. They have vegan and Gluten Free Options, a variety of fresh juices, smoothies, acai bowls, breakfast & lunch (sandwiches, buddha bowls, soups, salads, tacos & more) + some delicious looking desserts. They also have a store little section with some food and beauty products. Oh and a HUGE plus - they accept credit card, which basically means we can go twice as often!
Vegan Town Restaurant: Just opened in 2019. Located in the heart of Ajijic, one block from the plaza on Juarez. Cute, small place. The owner is wonderful - Tulu! She really cares about making delicious, nutritious food. The salads and salad dressings are the best ever and the Pesto Pizza … oh my goodness, it’s divine. They also have delicious fresh drinks - like limonade (fresh squeezed lime) with mint or rosemary. Or fresh squeeze naranjada with strawberry! Just go. You won’t regret it!
Tacos Frida: This place is a gem. Homemade, run by a sweet family. They have something for everyone - vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, meat lovers. It is located in the neighborhood San Antonio (between Ajijic & Chapala), on the parallel road to the carretera on the mountain side. It's inexpensive and a real gem. Everyone that we take there falls in love with it!
Dharma Ajijic: Just changed locations - was at Concept House on Colon, but moved to a cute location across from the playground on the Ajijic malecon in Ajijic. It is fresh food, a fusion of Asian meets Mexican! And the real treat here are the Mezcal Cocktails. The owner takes time to explain all the different Mezcals and carefully crafts delicious fresh cocktail drinks!!
When we travel to a new town (which is quite often!), I try to look at healthy food options. We travel full time and it's hard to stay healthy on the road, when it takes time to find the good "spots".
Here we talk about our 10 Tips for Eating Healthy on the Go!
As I mentioned in one of our tips, we usually use google maps and type in key words like "healthy", "vegan", "gluten free", “juice bar” etc. Sometimes, I get lucky, but I find some many places aren't listed. I've started to look into facebook groups in each town that are healthy living groups. I found a super helpful Plant-Based Vegan Community in Ajijic - a nice surprise for me! They are super helpful with recommendations, as well as influential in getting local restaurants to offer a vegan menu!
Best GYMS / YOGA / BARRE / PILATES in Ajijic
While we are on the path of talking about the healthy vibes of Ajijic, I’ve also noticed (much to my delight), a growing number of places to exercise. Here are my favorite places around town:
Drishti Yoga Studio: It’s been around for a while - located behind Cafe Negro, in San Antonio, but the mountain side, right before El Parque neighborhood. Lots of classes, all great teachers, studio is wonderful!
In Movement Pilates Reformer Classes: Located in a studio on the 3rd floor above Torito Grocery Store in Plaza Bugambillas (where the Wednesday Tianguis begin). These classes have become really popular and rightfully so - pilates reformer is so great! Georgina Gutierrez is the owner and is a wonderful instructor - great with all ages and abilities. She speaks English and Spanish and teaches in both languages. She has many classes throughout the day, but book her early, they fill up! She’s on WhatsApp +52 33 2494 6206
A l’Air Ballet Studio: New in Ajijic (they also have a location in Guadalajara)! In Ajijic, they are located just across the hall from In Movement Pilates Reformer Studio … Plaza Bugambillas on the 3rd floor (same as Family Fitness Center). They offer baby & kids ballet classes (as well as older kids) most afternoons, but also offer Barre, PiYo & Pound adult Classes mornings and evenings! The classes are really great - and I’m so glad Ajijic finally has great classes (I was especially in need of Barre)!!! I’ll post the schedule below, but of course, it could change
Want more of our travel adventures? Check out our adventures in Egypt or click here to read about more of our travel experiences!
Michelle is a full-time traveler who also runs a business with Beautycounter.
Learn more about her business here or request free samples.
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