Vegan Options at Cafe Rio

Cafe Rio, a gem for those of us who tread the vegan path, offers a surprisingly delightful array of options that cater to our plant-based preferences. Nestled in the heart of the western United States, this establishment draws inspiration from the vibrant flavors of Northern Mexico, Southern Texas, and New Mexico. Despite its fame for sweet pork barbacoa, I’ve found that Cafe Rio holds its own with a selection of vegan-friendly dishes that don’t skimp on flavor or satisfaction. Let’s dive into the vegan treasures hidden within their menu.

Vegan options at Cafe Rio

Tacos & Salads

Starting with the basics, Cafe Rio offers a create-your-own adventure with their tacos and salads. Opt for a corn tortilla or a salad base, and pile on the vegan-friendly toppings. Here’s how you can build your own:

  • Beans: Choose between pinto or black beans.
  • Toppings: Add cabbage, cilantro, lettuce, and a lime wedge for that fresh zing.
  • Salsas & Guacamole: Mango salsa, pico de gallo, salsa fresca, and guacamole (make sure to request no cheese on the guacamole).


For a light start or a snack, the appetizer options are simple but satisfying:

  • Chips & Salsa
  • Chips & Guacamole (again, no cheese)

Custom Creations

Feeling creative? Cafe Rio allows for some culinary creativity with their menu. Here are a couple of custom creations inspired by vegan foodies:

  • Extra Spicy Double Bean Burrito: Order the vegetarian burrito without sauce or cheese, loaded with both pinto and black beans, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, and jalapenos for that extra kick.
  • Loaded Chips: A delightful treat of chips topped with guacamole, jalapenos, and pico de gallo.


Wash down your meal with vegan-friendly beverages:

  • Mint Lemonade
  • Southwest Limeade
  • Strawberry Lemonade

Final thoughts

While Cafe Rio may not boast an extensive vegan menu, the options available are a testament to the restaurant’s flexibility and the richness of Mexican cuisine for those of us following a plant-based diet. From customizable tacos and salads to simple yet delicious appetizers, there’s enough variety to satisfy your cravings. Remember, the joy of dining out as a vegan often comes from mixing and matching ingredients to create your own perfect meal. So, next time you’re at Cafe Rio, embrace the adventure!

Disclaimer: Always verify with your server as menus and ingredients can change. Cross-contamination is a possibility in non-vegan kitchens.

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