Delicious vegan food in Rodrigues island – vegan Rodrigues
Vegan food in Rodrigues
There are no vegan restaurants on Rodrigues, and I believe there’s not even a vegetarian one. There’s not that many restaurants on Rodrigues island altogether anyway. Most people have both breakfast and dinner at the hotels they are staying at, and just sometimes go for lunch to a restaurant. At least that’s what I saw while there. So if there’s a restaurant you would really like to taste meals at, then it would be better to call them ahead of time and maybe even advise them about your vegan diet. Just to make it easier and be sure that you would get a table at the restaurant of your choice and at the time of your preferance.
Although some restaurants don’t have any vegetarian, and definitely no vegan meals on the menu, you will be able to ask for special meals. You might give them some options or just leave it on the chef. Hopefully my following photos will inspire you. I never told them what to make for me but always let the chef come up with something. Maybe that’s why I also got curry at more restaurants 😀
1. La Caze Mama
- vegetable tempura
- aubergine confit
- tomato, red onion and coriander salad
- carrot, red onion and beetroot salad
- beans and rice
- as the main dish I got a plate of chow chow vegetables with zucchini, cassava, corn and other veggies I don’t even know the names of.
- fresh fruit as a dessert – I was so full that I had to ask for takeaway. Plus, I don’t eat fruit after other meals because that would sow down the digestion and make the fruit ferment in my body. And that’s not something I want so I usually eat fruit on empty stomach for breakfast or just before lunch.
2. Chez Perle
- beignets de pomme de terre which are the yummiest fried potato balls ever
red beans (reall tasty) and rice
fresh pawpaw salad with salt, pepper, green onion (chive), vinegar and oil
After lunch we were served traditional citronella infused tea with corn flour cake (because of the eggs, the cake is vegetarian, not vegan).
3. Le Marlin Bleu
4. Francois Leguat Reserve restaurant
I can recommend you also other vegan meals to get on Rodrigues island:
- You can buy so many kids of fruit and veggies at the Bazar Port Mathurin (Port Mathurin market) opened every morning. It gets the busiest on Saturdays. It’s possible to buy young coconut water just outside of the market next to the parking lot. Yes, finally a place to get coconuts on Rodrigues!
Special jam called compot Rodrigues is made in November and December from local peach, pineapple, papaya and sugar. It’s eaten on the New Year too.
- There’s loads of local fruit growing on Rodrigues island but most of it is seasonal. I highly recommend you to try mango, papaya, coconuts, wild raspberries (they are very different to those we know in the Western world), peach, avocado, jackfruit, sweet Victoria’s pineapple (sometimes also called Royal pineapple), dragon fruit (both white and red), custard apple, guava, tamarind…
- Papaya, called pawpaw (pronounced as ”popo”) can be used instead of carrots or to make popo salad when not ripe. Ripe pawpaw is eaten fresh as fruit. I found the pawpaw fruit on Rodrigues more yellowish inside, and more round than the papaya I know from other countries.
Maize (corn) is part of Rodriguan local dishes and it’s very famous. Dry seeds are grounded, cleaned and washed for a rice-like cooking. In the past, wood fire was used to cook maize.
- Sweet potatoes
Cassava leaves are used as vegetables in main dishes.
Bilimbi – it’s small yellow very bitter fruit. To be honest, I didn’t like the taste and I was making weird faces when tasting it for the first time. But it’s part of the culture experience, isn’t it? So do try it if possible 🙂
Rodrigues is not a country famous for sweets and desserts. They don’t usually eat many sweet things which makes it easier for you not to put on weight when there 😀
However, if you get a chance, try sweet potatoe cake with coconut inside. We also had an interesting baked banana dessert at La Belle Rodriguaise. While mine was vegan, others had it with whipped cream on top so it was vegetarian.
Two more things to remember:
- Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to get young coconuts as I’m used to on other tropical islands around the world. Although coconuts grow at every corner, most restaurants do not sell them. Looking forward to the day when the locals realize the power of coconuts and how much many foreigners love them.
- When you ask for coconut ice cream in many tropical destinations, it will be made of coconut milk and coconut meat only, thus vegan. However, careful with ordering coconut ice cream on Rodrigues. I asked about it at Le Marlin Bleu and Tekoma and it was made with cow milk, and not coconut milk which makes it vegetarian, not vegan. I really hope they will start making vegan coconut ice cream on Rodrigues one day in the future 🙂
TIP 2: Here’s 10 things you need to know about Rodrigues island before you plan a visit there.
TIP 3: I hope that if you visit Rodrigues, you would also like to do other things there but eating, right? In that case please check my article about 15 things to do on Rodrigues island. It’s a detailed list of top activities on the island.