Vegan Guide to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

April 2019

 

Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are not known as a vegan hot spot. So, my expectations for good vegan dishes were pretty low. I didn't even expect to find vegan dishes at all. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the restaurants on the Galapagos Islands, which proved otherwise. You can definitely find good vegan food in a variety of restaurants on the islands. Restaurants offer vegan options or can customize their dishes, which usually means that cheese or milk are left out.

This is one good reason not to bring your own fresh food to the Galapagos Islands. Bringing fresh food to the Galapagos Islands is prohibited because they don't want to harm the fragile ecosystem and some introduced plants already had damaging effects. Therefore, your luggage will be checked several times.

Since you still have to eat something during your stay, we will share our recommendations for the best vegan restaurants from Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal.

Best vegan restaurants in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz​

 

Santa Cruz is the main islands of the Galapagos Islands. Most flights from the mainland land there and most cruises start there as well. Therefore, most people stay at least a little while on this island. It's largest town, Puerto Ayora, offers lots of restaurants with vegan options.

  

Here are some recommendations, although many other restaurants had vegan options on their menu as well.

  

  • La Garrapata Galapagos: They offer local (vegan) food in a relaxing atmosphere.

  • Calle Charles Darwin/Los Kioskos: It's a street that turns into an outdoor restaurant in the evening. All small restaurants put their tables on the street and you can eat there. Since this sounded really good, we wanted to give it a try, but couldn't find any vegan options. So we skipped it and went somewhere else. However, people told us you can get vegan options if you ask for it.

 

If you want to cook or just grab a snack, there is the largest supermarket we found on the Galapagos Islands right next to the main pier. They offer a variety of vegan foods, including plant-based milk and nut butter, and granola.

Best vegan restaurants in Puerto Villamil, Isabela​

Isabela is the largest island of the Galapagos Islands and it offers great vegan food. Besides that, the atmosphere is really relaxed and laid-back which you can also experience in the restaurants. The largest town is Puerto Villamil which essentially consists of one long sandy road where you can find all the restaurants.

 

If you are looking for good vegan food, these are our top picks:

 

  • Booby Trap: They offer delicious (vegan) food, great cocktails and an incredible view of the beach. Take advantage of happy hour. You get two cocktails for one and can enjoy the view of the sunset in the meantime. Service is friendly but a bit slow, but the food is worth the wait. We went there almost every evening.

  • Shawarma Hot: They offer great oriental (vegan) food. Since the restaurant is located close to the bike rental shop we had lunch there before we went to the Wetlands.

  • Coco Surf: I have to say that we didn't actually go there. We reserved a table one evening, but when we got there, there was no table available which the waitress told us in a rude manner. Still, I wanted to mention the restaurant because friends had dinner there and said the food was really good and they offer vegan options.

 

There are also two supermarkets in the town where you can find the basics like fresh fruit, toast and granola. Just don't expect vegan things like nut butter or plant-based milk there. 

Best vegan restaurants in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal​

 

San Cristobal is the political center of the Galapagos Islands and many flights from the mainland and some cruises start there. So it's much busier on San Cristobal than on Isabela. That is certainly one of the reasons why the best (vegan) restaurant we ate in during our stay is on San Cristobal.

  

If you are looking for great vegan food, these are our top picks

 

  • Muyu: This is the best (vegan) restaurant on the Galapagos Islands. They offer great food and I mean really great food and delicious cocktails. Besides, this is the restaurant with the most impressive view. It is just behind a small beach, Golden Bay, where lots of sea lions chill in the evening. Some are even at the restaurant and blocking a seat.

  • Calypso: There is a small pizza place at the main square right next to the San Cristobal sign with vegan options. It is a great place to grab a bite and for people/sea lion watching as it is close to the beach. Several sea lions might pass by while you are enjoying your pizza.