Have you ever refused a friend’s invitation to get some tacos? I never had!
But it makes sense if you did. I would if it’s not vegan-friendly.
What about eating at Chronic Tacos?
Chronic Tacos, thankfully, has plant-based options available for hungry vegans. You can make your own tacos, burritos, salads, quesadillas, and more. Vegan-friendly toppings, salsa, and dips are also offered alongside Beyond Meat products.
Are you here to check out some oh-so-delish vegan-friendly Mexican cuisines? Let’s dig in!
Chronic Tacos, Your Authentic Mexican Grill
Entrepreneurs Randy Wyner and Daniel Biello felt the need for a good Mexican joint in Newport Beach, California. They can’t find one. And so they both decided to start Chronic Tacos in 2002 and started franchising in 2006.
Chronic Tacos CEO Michael Mohammed, who is also a franchisee financier, said that the name Chronic began with weed that became a high-quality strain. They just associated it with tacos and wanted to push it as a lifestyle brand.
And while Tabasco is the best bet for most Mexican cuisines, don’t ask for it at Chronic Tacos. The restaurant has partnered with Gringo Bandito, a hot sauce created by musician Dexter Holland.
Yes, ask for Gringo Bandito instead when you set foot in Chronic Tacos. With the partnership, both companies became widely known for their taco-eating contest called Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Challenge.
Now, Chronic Tacos operates in more than 60 locations in the U.S., Japan, and Canada offering vegan-friendly, non-GMO food options.
Chronic Tacos Vegan Fix
Eating out at Chronic Tacos isn’t a huge problem for vegans. The restaurant has been offering vegan-friendly options that you can even create your own.
- 2 Taco Plate. This includes two 6″ flour or corn tortillas with your choice of protein and toppings. Vegans can have Beyond Beef and Vegetarian protein with veggie toppings like lime, cilantro, onions, lettuce, cabbage, and a salsa such as pico de gallo.
- Potato Taco. This is mashed potato served in a fried crispy corn tortilla with cheese, but you can ditch the latter. It’s topped with lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream, which you can also skip.
- Burrito. This is served in a 13″ flour tortilla with your choice of veggie protein and toppings such as Beyond Beef and Vegetarian protein. You can also have the toppings just like the tacos.
- Small Burrito. It’s only a 9″ flour tortilla perfect for the not-so-hungry vegans. Choose your vegan protein and toppings!
- Bowl-Rito. You can make this a salad on request with your choice of Beyond Beef and Vegetarian protein. You can also get the same veggie toppings for this.
- Quesadilla. Here’s a 13″ flour tortilla served with cheese, which you can skip. Get any veggie protein and toppings of your choice.
- Kids Combo. If you have kids, this is the best best for them with a choice of beans and cheese burrito or quesadilla with chips and drinks. Vegan kids, of course, can skip the cheese.
- Fajita Veggies. Here’s a delicious medley of the classic fajita vegetables with red, yellow, and green bell peppers, as well as onions.
- Guacamole. There here’s the holy guac that we can’t live without when Mexican cuisines are in. It’s made with fresh avocados, cilantro, tomato, onion, and lime. Is it vegan? Yes, guac is vegan to its core, and you can find out more about it in this article I wrote.
- Chips & Guacamole. It’s homemade tortilla chips served with a fresh guac.
- Chips & Salsa. Homemade tortilla chips with your choice of veggie salsa.
- White Lime Rice
- Black Beans
- Chronic Fries. You can skip the meat, and ask for veggie toppings and sauce.
- Drinks. Chronic Tacos offers drinks like Coke, Minute Maid, and more.
Pro Tip: Beyond Beef crumble is soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly with only 3 g of fat and 55 g of protein.
Chronic Tacos Locations
If you’re in the U.S., Chronic Tacos is easy to find. They’re also in Canada and Japan. Here’s a list of their locations in all three countries.
- California (30 locations)
- Orange Beach, Alabama
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Orlando, Tampa, and Vero Beach, Florida
- Alpharetta, Georgia
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Salem, Oregon
- Montgomery, Texas
- Saint George, Utah
- Lakewood, Washington
- Airdrie, Alberta
- Burnaby, British Columbia
- Calgary, Alberta
- Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
- New Westminster, British Columbia
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Osaka-fu, Osaka
- Chuo-ku, Tokyo
- Yoyogi, Tokyo
Is Mexican Food Healthy?
Just like any other cuisine, Mexican food has pros and cons. But what’s the trick? Moderation. It’s always moderation that makes every food healthy, vegan or not.
The good thing about being vegan is that you don’t get a lot of sodium, trans fat, calories, and more than most non-vegan dishes do. With a plant-based diet, you get the most nutrients and vitamins that boost energy.
There are many ways to lower a Mexican dish’s calories, sodium, or trans fat. For instance, a burrito bowl is better than a wrap as it can save you about 300 calories. What makes burritos loaded with calories is the flour tortilla, rice, and sometimes cheese when it’s not vegan.
But vegan tacos, for instance, are the best bet, especially when we talk about being low in calories, fat, and sodium.
A hard bean taco gives 170 calories, 6 g of protein, 7 g of fat, and 4 g of fiber. Soft bean taco tends to have lower calories with only 156.
Whereas a traditional taco that contains meat gives up to whopping 260 calories depending on the meat used as well as other ingredients used.
Yes, vegan tacos win. It’s also easier to make and the ingredients are also accessible. These veggies are widely used in vegan tacos alongside delicious salsa and dip. Don’t forget your guac!
- black beans
- pinto beans
But the ingredients for vegan-friendly tacos don’t just end there. It’s limitless, and what’s good about it is that you can choose what you want in your taco.
Avoid ingredients that are fried such as fried taco shells, fried vegetables, fried avocado, or even vegan refried beans. These tend to have higher calories, fat, and sodium compared to regular vegan tacos.
Soups, salad, beans, quesadilla, fajitas, chimichangas, among others, can all make a delicious meal. But always watch out for the calories you get. Remember that the USDA’s recommended calorie intake is 2,000. So, always be mindful of what you eat, Mexican dish or not.
Top 15 Vegan Mexican Restaurants
In the U.S., vegan Mexican restaurants or joins are not hard to find. From small taco shops to big Mexican restaurants, you can trust that you’re doing it the vegan way.
In this list below, I collected some of the best vegan Mexican shops that you can consider next time. I’ve been to some of these restaurants, and I can say that it’s worth your time and budget.
If you’re in the U.S., or just visiting, these vegan Mexican restaurants are worth visiting.
- Doomie’s NextMex in Los Angeles
- El Cocinero Restaurant in Van Nuys, California
- Panchos Vegan Tacos Tropicana in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Luna Verde in Bradley Beach, New Jersey
- El Cantaro in Monterey, California
- La Vegana Mexicana in Santa Ana, California
- Madre Tierra in Upland, California
- El Palote Panaderia in Dallas, Texas
- El Borracho in Tacoma, Washington
- Jajaja Mexicana in New York
- Quesadilla La Reina Del Sure in Chicago, Illinois
- Sugar Taco in Los Angeles
- Leonor’s Vegetarian in North Hollywood
- Nissi Vegan Mexican Cuisine in Austin, Texas
- Phatties in Escondido, California
The Bottom Line
Chronic Tacos isn’t a vegan restaurant, but it offers a great deal of vegan-friendly options that you can have for your tacos, burritos, quesadilla, and more. What I really like about this restaurant is its partnership with hot sauce company Gringo Bandito as well as Beyond Beef.
This only means that Chronic Tacos also cares for its vegan customers who are always on the lookout for plant-based dishes. I also like how customers can choose or create their own filling and toppings for Chronic Tacos’ dishes.
It gives us carte blanche to be healthier when it comes to Mexican dishes, especially since we can choose what we want in our tacos or burritos.
But in a nutshell, Mexican cuisine is never difficult for vegans as there are many accidentally vegan-friendly dishes you can have.
You just have to check the menu and don’t hesitate to ask the crew for more information on vegan dishes.
There are many restaurants that prepare their food with the same kitchen utensils, and cross-contamination is highly possible. I’m sure they’ll understand, especially when you have food allergies or when you’re gluten-sensitive.
Most of all, if eating out is too much for you to handle, making your own vegan Mexican food is the best way to deal with your hunger.