Just in case there was any doubt that vegan dining scene in Las Vegas isn’t one of the country’s fastest growing vegan scenes, there’s another restaurant that’s opened in Sin City that’s all vegan — El Cactus Veggie-Vegan
Located in Henderson, an area in Las Vegas that is gaining vegan spots pretty rapidly compared to other parts of the city that are underserved (we’re looking at you, North Las Vegas and the Southwest), El Cactus is the second Mexican vegan joint to spring up this year.
“We love cooking and wanted to share the real flavor of Mexico City and surrounding states with Las Vegas, and eventually the world,” says supervisor Rey Velazquez.
Tomas Portillo, the owner, has been vegan for more than two years and previously owned a vegetarian taco shop in Mexico for five years. A resident of Las Vegas for the past decade, his original idea was simply to open up a Mexican restaurant but things changed. Instead of simply a Mexican restaurant, he opted for opening a vegan restaurant in Vegas.
The motivation for opening? According to Velazquez, it’s to spread veganism. With a delicious abuelita taste.
The Las Vegas vegan restaurant’s menu includes dishes like the nopal relleno, two seasoned cacti rolled and filled with cheese, ham and bacon and served with refried beans and guac. Another signature dish is the aguacate relleno — think an avocado cut in half and filled with your choice of fillings like nopales, poblano peppers or zucchini, along with rice, refried beans sour cream and pico de gallo. They’ve even got enchiladas poblanas that feature four rolled corn tortillas with filling, topped with mole sauce, cheese, sour cream and sliced onions with refried beans.
The vegan restaurant also serves up items like flautas, slachicas en chipotle (sliced hot dogs in chipotle sauce), chimichangas, loaded hochos (bacon-wrapped hot dogs) and more. Plus, they’ve got daily specials including 99 cent tacos on Taco Tuesday.
A fast casual joint for now, Velazquez says they might make the switch to a full-service restaurant in the future.
18 W. Pacific Ave., Henderson, 89015 | 702.202.6983
Open daily: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
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Cactus image: PicJumbo
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby and has emerged as the face of plant-based dining in Las Vegas and the leading plant-based restaurant consultant in the city. She spent a decade in the travel blogging world before switching gears to work in elephant rescue in Thailand. Diana travels the world to meet chefs and try vegan food, as well as speak at events focusing on travel, tourism, veganism and entrepreneurship. She’s a partner with the prestigious James Beard Foundation and curates their Vegas Vegan Dinners at the James Beard House. Diana is also a partner with Life is Beautiful, curating the all-vegan Farm Stand.