This place is pretty busy and for a very good reason. The food is absolutely incredible. I had the tortilla soup an
This place is pretty busy and for a very good reason. The food is absolutely incredible. I had the tortilla soup an
El Cantaro is a spacious and pleasant restaurant. The setting is well lit, if utilitarian. The food was very good. I had the huaraches with "chickin" and mushrooms, plus a rice pudding for dessert. It was an enjoyable dinner.
today we drove from Los Angeles to San Francisco and made a stop at this restaurant. We had 'three chickin enchiladas" and the veggie burger. The sauce from the enchiladas wasn't tasty at all and the beans were over cooked. the burger was OK, but the patty looked like something from the freezer.
in addition we ordered the kale salad - again, the sauce did not taste good at all.
overall we were very disappointed given the raving reviews this restaurant gets on this page.
if it was possible, we would only give 1 star.
We were actually looking forward to trying this place, loving flacos in Berkeley and a similar place in San Diego. This place "opened" 15 mins late and then didn't even acknowledge our presence. One guy felt it was way more important to talk on the phone. The cook didn't even look up. No one said "hello" or "be right with you". Inexcusable. We walked out and won't be going back.
I will preface this review, as I should all my reviews, that it is GREAT to have vegan options that are healthy anywhere I travel in the world!
The menu is extensive with a lot of vegan choices. Being Mexican, many of the dishes are tortilla-based, like tacos, burritos, and tamales. I'm not at all a fried-dish person and tend to stay away from grains to some extent, so this limited my options.
Not a fan of fake "meats", I ordered the kale salad. I usually expect very fresh produce in Cali--and especially in a vegan place--but the kale, beets, and carrots were dry and looked stale. They also didn't taste that great.
The desserts, while tempting, seemed very much for a sugar-lovers pallet. There weren't really any what I would call healthy desert options. So, I left a little wanting.
Again, I am very thankful that El Cantaro flies the vegan flag, so thumbs up to them for that. But if you are looking for healthy, more raw-style vegan, this isn't that great of a place for you. Maybe try the Whole Foods nearby. If you're traveling with non-vegans, though, this might be a good compromise.
One of our favorite cuisines is Mexican and coming from Los Angeles, we have tried everything for decades. This restaurant is authentic, fresh, creative, exciting, and absolutely fabulous! We have tried almost everything on the menu and absolutely recommend it with the highest praise!
This place is perfect. The fish taco was excellent, and the ranchero taco was amazing! Their corn tortillas are outstanding.
This was my first time at a vegan restaurant and it was amazing. The rest of my family are not vegan. They loved it too. They said they could not tell the difference between this and non-vegan Mexican food. It was so filling too.
My family loves El Cantaro!
When we get visitors from out of town, we take them to this place, and everyone agrees that El Cantaro's food is awesome!
Found this place for lunch after visiting the Monterey Aquarium. Don't bother with Cannery Row (Tico's Tacos).
The food here is fantastic- authentic dishes vegan style with so much flavor and care. Highly recommended!
Nice place, colorfully, tastes amazing, prices quite cheap, various choices, friendly staff. Perfect, worth it.
This is quite simply one of my favourite restaurants around the world. My wife & I dined here 3 times during a recent short stay in Monterey and tried a range of different menu items including mexican favourites like burritos, tacos, nachos etc. All were absolutely delicious. The smoothies are also great, made with fresh fruit. I love this place...5 stars.
I've been here twice and both times were great. The unexpected part was that they use amaranth and mushrooms for their "meats" and it's really good. I had the "beef" enchiladas and it was fantastic. Their schedule can sometimes be an issue but it's not a deal breaker for me. I hope they are able to stay in business since it's hard to find vegan options in this area.
Been there today while on holidays in the area with my non-vegan bf. We both loved the food! We had burritos and I have never had a better vegan burrito in my life. Menu has all mexican food available one could wish for, there are also desserts and smoothies on the menu. Staff is very nice and helpful too. We can definitely recommend this place to anyone, no matter if vegan or not!
Good food, although I didnt like mine (enchilada with red sauce) my wifes was good ( diff. enchilada with green sauce).
We were so glad to find this place. All the dishes have an extra ingredient or two that gives them some delicious flavors. Our group ordered a wide variety of plates and everyone shared. I especially liked the burritos, potato tacos, kale salad, mango smoothy and watermelon drink. We can't wait to be back in this area again to enjoy another meal here.
After visiting with friends in Pebble Beach, I stopped by El Cantaro for lunch on the way out of town last Sunday. So pleased I did. They were easy to spot with vegan right on their sign, but I did a double take once inside to remind myself that it was a vegan place. Very nice to have authentic Mexican and I couldn't decide what to get as I was alone without anyone to share with. I ended up ordering the tortilla soup, crispy potato taco plate with black beans and a watermelon fruit drink. They also provide chips and salsa (which I personally didn't find too spicy). I was so stuffed as I finished it all. The service was very quick and friendly and the prices were reasonable. Their Friday and Saturday closures did not affect me, but it is something to be aware of.
Not even expensive restaurants have been better than this small place up from the Monterey aquarium. Susan the manager was wonderful. I have owned 3 award winning vegetarian restaurants since 1975, and I know a good meal. We ate here with the former owner of the Pastry swan bakery in Palm Springs, and they agreed. The wife hails from Mexico, and gives a thumbs up.
I have been in the area for a month and even though this is California, it's been a bit difficult to find vegetarian/vegan places. Most restaurants are happy to create a vegan dish for you if you wish, but sometimes these are chefs that have no idea what that means!
El Cantaro was a true find and the food is amazing, the people wonderful and the prices extraordinary! My vegan taco was 3.95$..... Really? When is the last time you got anything for that price that was delicious and filling and vegan! My husband loves the burritos and they are gigantic!
We are leaving this area soon but will always remember this place as one of our vegan restaurants we have visited all around this great country!
I took my non-vegan, meat-loving family here today. They were pretty resistant to it, I had to beg and plead and pay for everyone, and I could still only get the ladies of the family to come along. But I would say that it was a success! :) The food was wonderful, and so authentic! Although the salsa was too spicy for me.
I got the vegetable burrito. I wanted to do without carrots and sub in onions, but she said that it was a pre-made vegetable mix so I couldn't omit the carrots. But I was able to add the onions and eat around the carrots. I also was able to choose a whole wheat tortilla - that was pretty great! The whole thing was amazing - I totally stuffed myself. So yummy :)
My grandma and aunt both got the vegetable enchiladas. They did make comments about the fake dairy products ("what is it made out of? It's not melting like normal cheese.") and they said that the green Enchilada sauce was very good and flavorful but a bit spicy. They ate about half their meal.
My other aunt got the pozole and an extra side of rice. Ate everything, and said that it was good, just tasted a bit "different".
My little cousin got a "cheese" quesadilla with rice and beans, off the kid's menu. Completely cleaned her plate, and loved it all. Didn't notice anything "different" (cause she wasn't expecting anything different maybe?) ;)
Overall though it was a good experience, the food was amazing, and I hope it opened my family's eyes a bit to how good and totally normal vegan food is, when done right.
Giving up cheese is difficult, so many vegans opt out of Mexican food,giving this place a special WAHOO in my mnd. They use Daiya brand cheese and a couple of their own.All super fresh, endless options, loved it!
This restaurant is a great find. Everything we had was fresh and tasty. Be sure to get a hot chocolate. The chocolate is from Oaxaca and it tastes great. The staff/owners are very nice.
We were in Monterey for 4 nights and we ate at El Cantaro all 4 nights. We were so happy to have found this place and recommend it to anyone who wants good vegan Mexican food. The pozole and handmade corn tortillas were amazing! The enchiladas and taquitos were some of our favorites. We also had the fish tacos which were quite yummy. It's good to know that most of their veggie meats are also non-GMO and soy free. The next time we're in Monterey, we will definitely go back.
First, I'd like to begin by saying that the food here surprised me in just how tasty it really was. I didn't really feel like eating mexican food, but we came here because the vegan options in Monterey were slim. I left having to rave about the experience!
The food tasted like it had come off the line of a Michelin star winning kitchen and chef. The flavor was so well balanced. The food was nourishing. And my older brother (not vegetarian) announced to us all that he'll be telling stories of this place.
Great food... Low price. $6-$7 a dish. And the store front was clean, new looking, and the service was quick and friendly!
We visit during our driving trip from Vancouver , BC down the PCH. The food is amazing. They have many traditional dishes I have never tried. My favourite is the yams in cinnamon syrup with vanilla soy ice cream for dessert. I am still dreaming of it.
only one complaint:
They are closed Fri and Sat, due to religious reasons. I respect that, but those are terrible nights to be closed in the restaurant business!
They still earn 5 stars, and here's why:
A high quality true vegan restaurant in Monterey! Wahoo!
SO excited to have a high quality, delicious all-vegan restaurant in the area - the menu choice is large, with many unique offerings, and the food is flavorful and delicious! Also reasonably priced. :) Restaurant is colorful, cheerful and bright, spotlessly clean. We need this place to survive - tell all your friends!
This place is so awesomely delicious. We were in the area and stopped by fit lunch. My husband and I liked it so much that we had to stop for dinner as well before going back home
The food is excellent; I wish it were in my hometown. My kids said it was too good to be true.
So delighted to find a new vegan restaurant when visiting family in Monterey! The food and location are fabulous! A must visit!
We really wanted to eat here, but they are closed Fridays at 3:30pm and all day Saturday. Hard to believe -- right next to the big tourist draw, Cannery Row, and hours like this? We visited from the San Luis Obispo area, only found out about this place around 4pm on Friday, bummed we couldn't eat there. Had Thai food instead.
A gem - great food - good prices - 2 blocks from Monterey Bay Aquarium - we had lunch at El Cantaro, went to the aquarium and then went back to El Cantaro for a snack - we will eat at El Cantaro anytime we are in the area - don't miss this
We discovered this place while in Monterey for a wedding. What a gem! They have a huge menu, generous portions, biodegradable tableware and napkins in a friendly and cozy atmosphere. On top of all this, the food is amazing. If not for the word vegan on their sign outside, you could not tell. This food is pure amazing and authentic Mexican cuisine. We will definitely be back!
I was very happy to find this new vegan restaurant and finally had a chance to try it. It is really fast food, our order was served very quickly. They have many great choices, I had the tamales with black beans and rice. I look forward to going back and trying more things. They could improve by having better plastic forks and spoons but otherwise it was a great experience.
I had the quesadilla. First off the tortilla was home made. It was full of mushrooms, salsa, vegan sour cream, and Daiya cheese. Sooooo good ! My husband had the vegetable enchilada plate..lets just say he didn't say a word cause he was too busy eating !! We had fresh squeezed orange juice to drink and home made chips and chipolte salsa ! The staff is so friendly and courteous. All around an excellent experience ! I will definitly be back !
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Last updated: 2015/09/17
Added by: Guest