Mad Mex

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 16 reviews )
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614-586-4007
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1542 N High St, Columbus, Ohio, USA, 43201

Serves meat, vegan options available. Chain of Southwestern-style Mexican restaurant and bar. Uses dairy but has tofu, vegan cheese and sour cream - ask to make your dish vegan. This one is loud bar setting near Ohio State University where one could go with non-vegetarians. Open Mon-Sun 12:00am-2:00am, Mon-Sun 11:00am-12:00am.

Category: Lacto, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Mexican, Non-veg

Reviews (16)

First Review by johannah

Good for Vegans and Omnivores Alike - Edit

I live super close to Mad Mex and started coming here frequently when I was still eating meat. I was a little worried about the options I'd have eating here as a vegan but I've been pleasantly surprised.
The staff is super accommodating and I've never received strange looks for altering menu items. They have stuff for vegetarians (like burritos and tofu wraps) and they offer Daiya cheese and Tofutti sour cream instead of animal-based versions. I've even ordered their nachos without cheese and with vegan sour cream- it was delicious!
Once, before changing my eating habits, I ordered a shrimp enchilada and the shrimp were literally frozen. Like, there were ice chips between the tortillas. Last week I ordered an enchilada with tofu and the tofu was cold, too! I couldn't believe it... I go to Mad Mex at least once a week and I've never had this problem with any other dishes. When I told the waiter about it they quickly gave me something else, which was nice.
Highly recommend the "Tofu Wrapture" with Southwest tofu.

Pros: Bangin' waffle fries!, Daiya cheese and Tofutti sour cream, Amazing, cheap margaritas

Cons: Icy enchiladas, Few healthy options, Often need to wait for a table

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Love their Tacos! - Edit

I really enjoy dining at Mad Mex! Great portions and plenty of vegan options. My go-to meal is their tofu tacos. Their tofu is crispy and served in either soft or hard shell taco shells and comes with rice and black beans. They also offer vegan sour cream.

If you're there during Happy Hour, they also offer great drink specials.

Pros: Plenty of vegan options, Vegan sour cream and cheese available

Cons: Often busy and loud

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Delicious but loud - Edit

Mad Mex is my favorite "regular" restaurant that has vegan options! Vegan options are clearly marked but most meat options can be substituted with tofu and vegan cheese. My favorite is the Tofu Rapture with mild buffalo sauce and the waffle fries with vegan ranch! Also, on weekdays they have half price food from 10pm-12am and $6 giant margs. The only down falls are that it's loud and service is typically pretty slow.
PS- sit at the bar and you'll get free chips and salsa!

Pros: Vegan Friendly, tofu, deals

Cons: loud, slow

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One of my fave veg restaurants in Columbus! - Edit

The service is always slow, but also always very helpful about vegetarian and vegan options! I'm slowly transitioning from vegetarian to vegan, and thus place is awesome! I got a super burrito with tofu and daiya, even though the cactus on top has a dairy base (you can get it without) and it fed me for three separate meals! Their guac is bomb too! Definitely will be back.

Pros: Close to campus, accessible parking, college-walle

Cons: slow service, can be loud

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Ok. But needs work for vegetarians. - Edit

I ordered vegan food. I ended up eating chicken. Even after clarifying vegan with the waitress. I only ate a few bites at the restaurant, discovered the dead bird chunks hidden within at home with the leftovers.
Not really ideal considering I'd avoided meat for a few decades.
Everything else was cool.
Except pissing on my morals and lifestyle.

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Incredibly good food! - Edit

Stopped here for a light meal. Got the tofu appetizer and a side salad with VEGAN ranch dressing! Waiter was great at making vegan recommendations. The food was AMAZING, I was really impressed. Also loved the artwork all over the place! Really fun!

Pros: Great food, Fun atmosphere, Knowledgable staff

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Good food/Bad Service - Edit

The vegan options here are awesome. Its hard to find many vegan mexican food places out there without just not eating cheese. This place uses daiya and tofutti sour cream. The food was really good and really filling. The service was really bad though. In reading other reviews here and other sites seems to be the norm. The food was worth it though. I recommend giving it a shot.

Pros: Vegan menu options, Daiya cheese, Good food

Cons: Service, Service, Service

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mad mex - Edit

A delicious mexican meal! We had chips with three dips to start. They were all good - especially the pumpkin seed hummus. For mains we had two burritos (angry hippie and chickpea chili) and a wrap (tofu wrapture) they were all stuffed with delicious filling. Our waitress was very well informed about vegan diets. There were many meatless options which could easily be made vegan by substituting Daiya for the cheese. We would definitely return!

Pros: variety of menu options, excellent food, well-informed staff

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One of my favorite restaurants in Columbus - Edit

Mad Mex has excellent vegan choices including Daiya vegan cheese, vegan sour cream and ranch, tofu that can be added to any meal and a vegan cheesecake. They also don't charge extra for vegan cheese! My favorites include the chopper salad with tofu and vegan ranch, black bean soup, Thai curry burrito, quesadilla with spinach and beans and the veggie fajitas. The sangrias are great as well.

Pros: many vegan options, delicious, good service

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Good food - Edit

Our waiter was vegitarian and really went out of his way to make sure our meal was vegan. It was a little dead, so this may of helped. Excellent food, excellent portions, good price. Definitely will be going back soon. A fair amount of options.

Pros: Good food, Checked vegan status of food., Good portions

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mad mex - Edit

expect terrible service unless you sit at the bar, we love this place because of the 25 plus beer taps to suit all of your needs, from imperial stouts to IPAs to PBR and great mex food, we have been veg for 15 years and have 5 kids who are also veg. we go there despite the wretched service, eventually they get it right and are usually accomodating. give it a shot, the decor is off the wall, literally. food comes out in a reasonable amount of time and if not, the beers and decor should keep you occupied! take a chill pill and you will love this place.

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funky place to get Mexican food - Edit

I've been to Mad Mex many times. If you go in the evening or on the weekends, it can get really loud and busy. Sometimes the music is way too loud. But if you go during lunch, you have the chance to sit back and peacefully enjoy the funky decor. They have a mailing list that you sign up for on their website and you'll get a free lunch for signing up, plus one for your birthday. The menu has a surprising number of vegetarian, vegan, and veg-possible options. Two items that stand out in my mind are the Thai Curry burrito and the Black Beanie Quesadeeni. The portion sizes are huge and you can get deals at certain times (I've heard that they have an all-you-can-eat lunch Monday, but I have not confirmed whether this is true or not). I haven't had any bad experiences like the other reviewers have had... just one time we asked the waiter if he could make sure our food was completely vegetarian and he gave a response like "ummm... okay" which isn't exactly reassuring. Like the others have said, this is an especially good place to go with omni friends and everyone will be happy.

Pros: interesting food choices

Cons: noisy

1 Response
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moonwomyn13 22 Feb 2013 - I have ordered the black beanie quesadeenie many times, having been assured it was vegan. However, the last time I ordered it I was informed by a vegan waiter that it is NOT VEGAN because the beans contain mayo and parmesan cheese.

Don't know who is uninformed, but I have not ordered it since!
 


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Not recommended - Edit

My husband and I have given Mad Mex many chances but unfortunately an overwhelming percentage of meals we've eaten here have been made incorrectly. I've had chicken in my chickpea burrito and dairy cheese and dairy sour cream instead of soy/tofu. I've been lied to about ingredients. The potato taquitos cannot be made vegan, by the way. The tofu sour cream tastes awful. We won't be returning to this restaurant.

Pros: open late

Cons: food made incorrectly, uninformed staff, extremely noisy

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Spike 14 Nov 2009 - Thanks for the heads up. Nothing worse than finding meat and milk in your food, except for maybe, being lied to about it.  


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Excellent vegan options - Edit

I can't echo the sentiment of other reviews (particularly on Yelp) about the zoo-like atmosphere and terrible service. We went late Sunday night and the place was almost empty. Most of the food is half off from 10pm to 12am which is a great incentive to eat there late.

As far as I can tell, the vegan sour cream is not Tofutti or a commercial brand; it says "tofu sour cream" in the menu and definitely has a different consistency and taste from the processed, soy-based stuff most vegans are used to. Not bad, just different. The soy cheese is most likely Follow Your Heart though I couldn't find out for sure.

The vegan options are incredible. They have a crispy tofu dish that rivals any Asian restaurant in Columbus or otherwise, complete with a mild peanut sauce, sesame seeds, and soy sauce. It was incredible. They also feature hummus with Mexican pumpkin seeds which sounds incredible, though I didn't try it.

The burritos are excellent and many other dishes can be vegan, including the tacos. The wealth of menu options and customizations make Mad Mex a great place to go with your omnivore friends. They are a relatively small chain (about 10 stores nationwide), so recommend they carry a popular food service mock meat (Boca, for instance) before they blow up! We told our server and he was very receptive.

Overall - another excellent restaurant in Columbus for vegans and vegetarians, with late-night hours.

Pros: vegan-friendly, taste, variety

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Excellent Food for Veg and Non Veg - Edit

It is rare to find a place that is equally god for vegetarians and our non veg friends, but this place is it. It has become a must visit when we are in columbus. I highly recommend almost everything on the menu. It can be a bit spicy, but the flavors are fresh and vibrant. This isn't bland nor is it the big cheese glops you expect in many Mexican places. It tastes remarkably complex- lost of different flavors and textures harmonize into each distinctive dish. I especially loved the green salse and the hummus. The chickpea chili was too spicy for me, but my better half loved it.

Pros: near campus, fresh , unusual dishes

Cons: a bit too spicy on some things

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So-So - Edit

Mad Mex can be good, but it depends entirely on what you get. The soy quesadillas are not good. Howver, the Thai Curry burrito is delicious (and vegan) and so is the chickpea soup. I would suggest going after 10 pm (they are open til 2) because the burritos are half off.

Pros: Vegan Options, Atmosphere, Hours

Cons: Price, Some foods

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