Restaurant concepts continue to get more creative in Las Vegas, the latest of which is Santos Guisados Tacos and Beer, tucked into Restaurant Row on Carson Ave. in Downtown Las Vegas. The vibe here is one of Mexican sainthood and the most important saint — the taco. Fortunately, Santos — which replaced Bomb Tacos (don’t worry, they still have their original location on Durango) is vegan-friendly.
The city’s first guisado taco shop, Santos honors Mexican home-style slow cooking. Bonus: everything on the menu is gluten-free.
Guests walk in to see a wall filled with saint candles with celebs on them. At the end of the wall is a Taco Confessional where you can order your tacos during lunch, or head to the small bar to check out the offerings. With thick, red curtains at the windows and a corner with a Saint statue and melted candles, there’s a decidedly gothic feel to this taco joint, and we’re cool with it. The restaurant has event tapped into local artist José “Killz” Lopez whose mural adorns one wall.
Start your meal with chips and salsa or guacamole and then dive in.
There are four types of vegan tacos you can order up — three of which are marked vegan; the Holy Mushroom made with slow-cooked wild mushrooms and topped with guac, salsa verde and watercress; Holy Cauliflower featuring crispy cauliflower tossed with furikake, Mexican slaw, mango sauce, Santos aioli and tartar sauce; and Tinga with slow-cooked jackfruit, tomatoes, onions, pickled onions and topped with a tangy sauce.
There’s also the crispy potato taco, just ask for it to be made vegan.
Santos also features the prettiest nachos in Las Vegas, made with red, yellow and blue corn chips and topped with mushrooms, salsa, housemate cheese and watermelon radishes that take us back to the Panacea days of nachos. They’re pretty big, so get ‘em for the table.
Also, be sure to try Santos version of elote made with cheese and topped with Takis.
The vegan-friendly restaurant in Las Vegas also has a bar, so grab a margarita, confess what taco makes you heart patter and enjoy. And, when you’re done, head next door to VegeNation to grab some vegan dessert.
616 E. Carson Ave., 89101; 702-826-3515; Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 11 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.