We had many people ask us if we were going to “cheat” on veganism for our vacation to TCI. We even had people suggest to us that we should. “Just eat fish while you are there.” The answer is no, not for a week, not for a vacation, never. We will never “cheat” on veganism. Because it’s not about health, it’s not about us, it’s about the other living beings that have to suffer for our meals. It’s about the populations quickly declining due to the appetite of humans. It’s about the environment falling apart because our need for animal flesh and products is too much for our beautiful, precious planet to handle.
I’m not going to say it was easy to eat vegan in TCI and that we were extremely satisfied with every meal. But I can tell you that it was worth it to know we stuck to our values and didn’t stray from what we know to be right. Also, it wasn’t that hard and I don’t feel like we missed out on anything because we chose not to taste the conch- a TCI favorite. Because we really had to do our research to find vegan options here, I wanted to make it a little easier for any other vegans heading out to the Grace Bay Beach area by sharing our meal experiences. (Hence my inspiration to write a blog post after many months of silence.)
First thing’s first, take a trip to the Graceway Gourmet grocery store to pick up supplies. Breakfast options for vegans are slim and you’ll want to grab some from the store. Surprisingly, the vegan section exists and is pretty great! We found pepper jack and Gouda Follow Your Heart cheese (our personal faves), peppered Tofurkey (also a fave), and Daiya cream cheese (meh but our only option). When you’re checking out hummus options, go with the store made rather than a brand. It’s about $5 cheaper and on par with the others.
Big Al’s Island Grill
Though our Dining Guide magazine suggested the only vegan meal at Al’s was a “skinny wrap”, we couldn’t even find that on the menu. What we did find was a Vegetarian/ Vegan section on the bottom of the menu that offered three burgers- a black bean burger, a California-Quinoa burger, and a portobello burger. All can be vegan by asking for no cheese. We tried the black bean and Cali options and were very pleasantly surprised. These burgers were extremely satisfying and were perfect for when we needed to fill our bellies with something to soak up the immense amount of drinking we had done the night before.
Retreat is a vegetarian and vegan cafe opened by two sisters after their success with a yoga studio (next door). This is exactly the kind of cafe non-veggies would expect to find when going to a vegan/ vegetarian spot. It’s cute and quaint, filled with overpriced goodies and supplements, and serves juices, avocado toast, and vegan baked goods. They also have a few items on the menu. They have a different soup and salad every day and sometimes a few extra items. We had a salad with roasted broccoli and lentil meatloaf with homemade hot sauce. I must say, as mad as I was about the prices, the salad and meatloaf were 👌🏻. They were beautifully plated and I wished I had my phone with me to take a picture (we spent this trip highly phone-free, thus the lack of pictures in this post).
Okeanos is a juice bar and health food cafe with a great, friendly atmosphere. We had the toasted green goddess wrap (avocados, cucumber, spinach, pesto) twice because it was soooo good and they are open at 8am 😂. Tried a couple juices which were deliciously refreshing. They also had a hummus sandwich which sounded amazing but they were out of hummus when we tried to order it 😬.
This is an Indian restaurant with great service and it was hardly ever filled with people as far as I could tell. Plenty of veg options as Indian restaurants are apt to offer. Great samosas! Definitely a place to go for a nice dinner.
Also good for a nice dinner. The Thai was not the best Thai I’ve had, but I do have a plethora of options being from the NYC area so maybe I’m just spoiled. I’d recommend Garam Masala over this place, but it’s good to switch things up.
This was further away from us, about a 30 minute walk from Grace Bay Suites, where we stayed. Though the service was not great and it was the most money I’ve ever paid for Mexican food, the fajitas and guac were great and it’s right on the beach. Perfect atmosphere. Definitely sit upstairs if you can.
As most vegans know, you can find the vegan option of fries most anywhere. 😂
We had an amazing time on this trip and did not go hungry. Enjoy your time at TCI and be sure to check out Potcake Place to take a shelter puppy to the beach (and possibly fall in love and adopt!) and Iguana Island to see some local wildlife.