El Zaguan Mexican Bistro is a vegan-friendly restaurant in Downtown Las Vegas. The cozy restaurant (formerly El Sombrero, a restaurant open since 1950) tucked into a building from the 1930s, is heavy on the charm, and heavy on authentic, traditional Mexican dishes. They also happen to have some fantastic vegan options.
The chips and salsa at El Zaguan are some of the best in town, so it’s easy to fill up on them. Don’t. Seriously. Save room because the spread of vegan Mexican food here should have space in your bellies.
Start your meal with vegan ceviche made with cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and chile Serrano and a cup of the caldo de papas, a potato soup with tomato, onion, Serrano peppers and vegan cheese.
If you want something light (so you can devour the chips and save room for dessert), try the vegan tacos. Choose from tacos de soyrizo con papas (meatless chorizo with red potato) or tacos de champiñones (portobello mushrooms sautéed with purple cabbage, pico de gallo, pinto beans and sliced avocado).
For the main course, El Zaguan offers a few vegan options like their enchiladas, which come three-a-plate. These corn tortillas are stuffed with your choice of veggies, covered in red or green sauce and topped with cheese, sour cream and avocado slices with a side of rice and beans.
They also offer a green burrito featuring a housemade flour tortilla, beans, rice, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream and guac; nopalitos en chile colorado, grilled nopales with an authentic chile colorado recipe, served with rice and beans; and chile relleno, roasted chile poblano peppers stuffed with zucchini, corn, tomatoes, onions and cheese with a side of rice and beans.
Our favorite dish is the alambre, a plate of sizzling red, green and yellow peppers, grilled red onions, Portobello mushrooms to wrap in homemade flour or corn tortillas, and served with sour cream and a side of rice and refried beans.
We weren’t kidding though — you’re going to need to save room for the homemade vegan brownie skillet topped with ice cream.
807 S. Main St.; 702-209-3412; Tuesday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby. She previously lived and worked in Thailand where she spent years working for an elephant sanctuary and has traveled around the world speaking about the realities of elephant tourism. She is a public speaker who has appeared at SEED Food + Wine, VegFest Puerto Rico, VegFest Toronto and more, a journalist and entrepreneur. Diana is also behind the Vegas Vegan Dinners at James Beard Foundation’s James Beard House.