CLOSED: Pura Vida Bakery and Bystro

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 50 reviews )



1236 Western Ave (at Oakey), Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 89102

100% vegan bakery and full service bystro/restaurant by Chef Mayra. Offers traditional slow-cooked meals made from scratch, with every dish cooked to order. No microwaves or steam tables. Custom wedding cakes available. JAN 2014 SHUT DOWN PER OWNER. TO REOPEN LATE-SPRING ELSEWHERE. Please let happycow know if/when it re-opens!

Categories: Vegan, Macrobiotic, Organic, Delivery, Take-out, Caribbean, Catering, Fusion, Southwestern

50 Reviews

First Review by pupa

Yum, Yum, Yum! - Edit

We came to Vegas to visit family and had a very hard time finding vegan restaurants. We are so glad we found Pura Vida! We will eat here every time we come to Vegas. Chef Mayra is truly a food artist. The food presentation is gorgeous and the flavors are incredible. The restaurant is small and simple, but the food does not disappoint. A million times better than the overpriced vegan menu at the Wynn.

Pros: Delicious!

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stick with patient - Edit

The best VEGAN food in Las Vegas hands down. We've been here many many times and it doesn't get any better as far as flavor, portions, presentation,variety. NOW - having said that be prepared for - 1. a dizzying array of menus/options (too much in my opinion - they need to be concise and clear, and IT'S NOT) 2. a wait for a table 3. a wait for your food. ALL WORTH IT. I swear. It's a charming just chilll and sit back, and get ready for the good stuff coming. Check the hours and days (that they're open) too...sometimes it's odd.

Pros: best VEGAN food in Vegas, presentation, tastes/flavors

Cons: various menus - CRAZY too much, a little scattered all around

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This place is awesome - Edit

I ate here twice while I was in Vegas and would have gone back again if I was there and it was open since there is so much choice and I wanted to try more things. Everything is 100% vegan and delicious. The tofu scramble that comes with a bunch of items is really good. I got some take away sandwiches as well and they were also very tasty. My favourite thing was the chocolate pancakes (see picture). I highly recommend these. SO good and very filling! The chef is lovely and wait staff are nice and friendly and all of them are enthusiastic about the menu. This place has a good atmosphere and attracts locals and tourists.

Pros: Chocolate pancakes, Variety, Good atmosphere

Cons: Can be a bit expensive

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I will make this a regular stop on my Vegas trips - Edit

This place is AMAZING. Be forewarned, I it a hole in the wall location next to a bunch of men's clubs in the industrial area off the strip - BUT - the food is amazing - fresh, local, organic, prepared with love and attention. You can eat healthy or treat yourself to some of the best vegan comfort food on the planet. The restaurant has a clean fresh feel. The Chef is available to table side for any questions and the wait staff is all very informed and very helpful. Call ahead for reservations to ensure you get a table as it fills up quick. Can't say enough good things about the food or the staff.

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oh my goodness! - Edit

This place is fantastic! I only wish i had had time to go more often. My husband and i had the most amazing waffles that came with tofu scramble and took a takeout wrap each. The portions are very large but it was so tasty. The staff were so lovely and helpful and gave us some organic apples to take with us on our trip. The menu is large and very varied. I only wish i could have tried everything. Definitely recommended.

Pros: amazing food, varied menu, lovely staff

Cons: it is not in england!

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Delicious Vegan Pancakes - Edit

Visited Pura Vida for the first time last Sunday morning. We were amongst the 1st customers of the day so luckily we were seated quickly. The chef also quickly informed us that we were lucky, suggesting that we make reservations in the future to assure seating. I can see why some would think she's (the chef) "rude." She's seems more "firm", direct, and no-nonsense (in my experience; not excusing or trivializing anyone else's experience).

The waitress was very nice and friendly. We were offered samples of their juices, which was very nice.

I ordered the Sexy Short Stack with sausage and country potatoes on the side.
The pancakes were SO good and it was more of a tall than short stack. I could only eat 2 pancakes at a time, so I had 4 pancakes to take home (aka, the hotel). The fruit that came with the pancakes was very fresh; it was the perfect accompaniment for the cinnamon-infused panqueques.
I paid $13 for 6 large and filling pancakes, which was very reasonable, in my opinion.

The country potatoes were perfectly seasoned. Very yummy!
The sausage was ok. Not enough flavor for my liking.

The chef's presentation when she brought our food to the table was very nice as well. You can tell that she takes pride in her "work."

I wouldn't mind going back to try some of the other menu items (and desserts!) the next time I'm in town.

Pros: delicious vegan breakfast/pancakes, reservations accepted

Cons: small; limited seating

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Impolite Service - Edit

A frequent diner at Pura Vida, my visit three days ago will have been my last.

In sum, while ordering, I requested no chocolate syrup on my french toast, but confirmed that berries are in season and stated that I would, indeed, like those. Upon receiving my french toast with no chocolate AND no berries, I pointed the error out to our waitress.

Shortly after, Chef Mayra walked abrasively up to our table and lectured me on how my choosing to get no chocolate syrup messed up the flavor profile and, essentially, how dare I think that I could further ruin the flavor profile by enjoying berries on the dish with no chocolate syrup (?). It really made no sense at all, so I then said, "Well, the menu says that the dish comes with fresh berries...I just didn't want the chocolate..." Chef Mayra then continued and stated that I am "lucky" that she is here today, else her chefs would not have even altered her "Signature Dish" to the extent of not putting chocolate syrup on it because they are trained to not alter the Signature Dishes.

Oh, but this is a special day--- so she then handed me one large strawberry, sliced up on a plate. "Here is your berry this time. But we won't be able to do this next time".


I felt like that was a huge slap in the face. And the whole deal still doesn't make much sense to me. Why was she in such a bad mood? Why was she so offended that I didn't want chocolate syrup? To be sure, I didn't mention the thirteen wasted dollars on Mother's Day due to the french toast being ruined by a gallon of chocolatey goodness. Maybe I should have?

In any case, I felt like a very undervalued customer. In the time since Pura Vida opened its doors, I have brought A LOT of varied business to them-- business that would have, initially, never even considered this restaurant less I suggested it.

It really is too bad to see such a good restaurant idea not live up to its potential because of bad customer service. As a vegan, I loved to eat here. But my money (and my partner's, and my friends', and my family members') will be spent elsewhere. At restaurants where we aren't treated like annoyances.

Pros: 100% vegan, Tasty food

Cons: Rude owner, Pricey

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Been here several times - always a treat! - Edit

The food is really good - not vegan good, just really good all the way around. Be prepared for a slightly eclectic atmosphere and staff. A must eat at for every trip I take to Vegas.

Pros: Great food, Great service, All Vegan! You can order ANYTHING

Cons: Odd location, Odd decor

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Good, But If You Have Allergies, Call Ahead! - Edit

My uncle and I were visiting Vegas and stopped by here on a whim.

A few things to know:

1) Chef Mayra will do her best to hook you up if you have allergies, but call ahead. Seriously. Til my doc tells me otherwise, I am gluten-free, soy-free, nightshade-free vegan. There are only a few things on the menu that comply with all of those restrictions: GF/SF pancakes and GF/SF waffle. In her current locale, Mayra needs time to prep those things (I think she said 3 hours), so you have to call ahead to reserve those dishes.

Because we went on a whim and I didn't realize I needed to call ahead, there was really nothing on the menu I could eat. So, Mayra went into creative mode and designed a dish that catered to my restrictions. I'll post a pic to the Pura Vida Facebook page.

She really went above and beyond to design a dish and seemed to thrill to the challenge. That being said, don't make her do it on the spot! Give her some time in advance and she'll come up with something delicious.

2. Be prepared to wait. Again, seriously. We went for Sunday brunch and it took 45 minutes to an hour for the food to be prepared. Know that you're going to be there for awhile, so relax...

3. My uncle is an omnivore and had the chili. Said it was really good. Give it a try. Everything else looked amazing. I'll be back for the GF/SF pancakes next time I'm in town (reserving in advance, of course)...

Pros: Excellent food, Friendly wait staff, Accommodating chef

Cons: Wait time

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Vegan Paradise in the Desert - Edit

Visiting Vegas from Canada, Pura Vida was on my list of must visits and I am glad I did. Despite some bad reviews on their Yelp page and a few warnings regarding these reviews, Chef Mayra and the staff of Pura Vida did not disappoint. The food was incredible. People need to realize that this is not a fast food restaurant but a sit down joint with food that is fresh, flavorful and personally prepared with extreme care and love. The staff was extremely kind, fun and welcoming. They took all care to make sure we were comfortable and happy, giving free small samples of their drinks and just conversing with the customers. The restaurant is also extremely clean and well laid out with lots of vegan friendly decor including photos of adopted turkeys from Farm Sanctuary, vegan pamphlets from Vegan Outreach, magazines and more. The food also did not disappoint. My husband and friend got the quesadilla which showed up on a massive plate, piled high and truly a Mexican lovers delight. I ordered the eggless salad sandwich and that also did not disappoint. It was loaded with veggies and stacked really high and came with an amazing fruit salad and drink. We also got to witness where the bad reviews have come from. People coming in with attitudes expecting their food to be there as soon as they order. Thank you Chef Mayra and all the staff at Pura Vida for the amazing meal and experience.
Updated from previous review on Saturday April 06, 2013

Pros: Customer Service, Delicious food, All vegan

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Pricey and what's with that menu? - Edit

A menu should not need to be explained at length by the staff. Certainly not by staff who loudly exclaimed when we were there "oh we're not vegan." A menu should be a listing of items that are available, pictures are nice but they shouldn't disrupt the customer's ability to determine what's being offered and at what price. Everything was OVER-FLAVORED. We're vegan, we do not lack taste buds. Coffee was $4?! Really, $4 for some overly strong coffee?

Attention tourists. This place is off the beaten track and just about as pricey as the Wynn restaurants. Plan to spend at least $15 in a cab to get there and up to $30 if you are at the south end of the strip. You certainly can walk back to town from there but I would not recommend walking there. You'd starve trying to find it.

Cons: Price, Taste, Coffee

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Delicious vegan food! - Edit

I sought out this 100% vegan restaurant and loved my breakfast. The staff (including the owner and chef) were super friendly and willing to discuss the menu in detail. I opted for a "not-so-healthy" but incredibly delicious chocolate waffle for breakfast. I also saw the tofu scramble which looking very good (and more healthy) as well. I would definitely visit here again when I am in Las Vegas. The location is off the beaten track but worth seeking out.
UPDATE: I ate here twice on my most recent trip and can't say enough good things about the food and the service. They really do a tremendous job at this place and I will absolutely continue to go in the future when I am in town.
Updated from previous review on Saturday January 21, 2012

Pros: Great food., Friendly staff., Extensive menu.

Cons: Off the beaten track location.

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Awesome Food - Edit

I really liked this place. It's a small little place not far off of the strip, but they have odd hours. The food was fresh, tasty, and the people were very friendly. Two thumbs up!

Pros: Great food!, Creative, Vegan

Cons: Odd hours

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Very Rude Chef (owner?) - Edit

My girlfriend and I used to go here each time we went to Vegas, but after our last experience, I don't think we can go back again. My girlfriend ordered the french toast breakfast, and it came out covered in chocolate syrup and bananas even though the description on the menu (which itself is quite an eyesore) said nothing about these items being on the food. My girlfriend has an allergy to bananas, so we had to send it back. The waiter said "please let us know if you have allergies next time" and we both pointed out that the menu did not say anything about bananas being on the french toast so we didn't think it would be an issue. So she brings it back into the kitchen, and at this point we can literally hear the chef YELLING and SWEARING that whoever is sending it back "must be [edit] blind or dumb" if they didn't see that the menu said bananas and that she was "tired of this [edit]." The chef (who I think is also the owner) was yelling loud enough for everyone in the small cafe to clearly hear what she was saying. When the waitress came back out, we again reiterated that the menu clearly does not say banana, and showed her our menu as proof. She explained that there were multiple versions of the menu and maybe that was the slip up. Well, that doesn't sound like we were "[edit] blind or dumb" to me. Honestly, we felt so incredibly uncomfortable there that I don't think we can go back, even though we used to frequent here and loved the food.

Pros: Good food

Cons: Horribly rude chef, Long wait time

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What an awful meal - Edit

This was truly one of the worse dining experiences I've had in my adult life. And that's saying quite a lot.

I could go on and on, but the 2500 character limit here forces me to edit myself. I won't do that. If you want to see the pictures of the food and read about our Sunday Brunch disaster, you can see/read it all here:

In short; Avoid this place like the plague. What awful food.

Pros: Nice staff (some)

Cons: Food tastes disgusting, Location is far, They can't cook fast enough

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  Contributions +108

Delicous and nice staff - Edit

Scramnled Tofu was nice, and the fruitwater was awesome!!
I got small cups to test before ordering a big glass.

Pros: staff nice, direct talk to cook, fruitwater

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Delicious! - Edit

This is definitely my favorite vegan restaurant...Chef Mayra makes the best combinations of Caribbean, Mexican, Southern flavors. Yummy options such as salads, appetizers like chili fries, breakfast like waffles or pancakes, wraps, chiles rellenos, cupcakes, etc.... the portions are enough to enjoy leftovers (recommendable ;))

Pros: excellent food, friendly, more for the price

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awesome. - Edit

Super large portions! Good value. Super tasty! Great for brunch

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Great thoughtfuly craftedl vegan feast - Edit

My friends and I found this restaurant on happy cow, and when I called I discovered we had only a few minutes to arrive before they closed for the day

Fortunately we made it, and the owner/chef spent a long time w us explaining the food and making suggestions

Everything we ordered was very well seasoned and had a nice variety of textures.  Portions were very ample.

Coming from new York where there are many good vegan restaurants, it was a very pleasant surprise to discover this place, and we will return.

Pros: Tasty food, Friendly chef, Large portions

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Best Vegan Food. Ever. - Edit

While driving through Vegas yesterday my husband and I stopped here, and were we glad! We try to eat at the best vegan restaurant when we visit a city. Pure Vida was outstanding! They even have a delicious gluten-free grilled cheese sandwich. (Lots of gluten-free items on the menu.) The tofu scramble burrito (its called something else on the menu) was well spiced and fantastic. Chef Myra came out to say hello to my dogs and us seated at a table out front. Server Cindy was helpful and sweet. This place is worth a trip to Vegas, and if you are already in Vegas, you must go!! If you are driving through Vegas, this place is conveniently located near the I-15 highway, the main drag into town. Highly recommended--bring your omnivore friends--they'll love it.

Pros: Excellent tasting food., Generous portions., Great service.

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Good food, but so expensive - Edit

I have mixed feelings about this restaurant. On the one hand, the food is good, but on the other hand, at these prices it should be haute cuisine. The prices at Sunday brunch are breathtaking... $13 for a waffle with fruit on top. Yes it's good, but there are good waffles all over town for less than half this price. The menu is a bit confusing because they have different things available on different days & different times of day, but I noticed that a grilled cheese sandwich is $14. I can't imagine that even Caesar's Palace would charge that much. If this were a restaurant located in Beverly Hills, these prices would probably be considered normal, but this restaurant is in an industrial area next to the freeway. Yes, everybody is super-nice that works there, and the food is good. I guess everybody has their idea of a good value, and I'm sorry, but at these prices I can't find value. If prices had been less than $10, which they are at most veggie places in town I would have rated 4 stars, but taking into account the price paid, I can't go higher than 3. I wish Chef Mayra the best, but she has priced me out of the market, sadly. I know that Mayra's fans are going to flame me for this review, but please let me have my opinion... if you like the place, please write your own glowing review. Thank you.

Pros: Flavors are good, Interesting selections of items

Cons: Prices, Location

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Can't Wait to Eat Here Again! - Edit

What an incredible experience. If you're going to Vegas, you have to make the trip to Pura Vida. We went for lunch and everything we had was delicious. I don't see how you can go wrong. The warm, friendly, helpful and overall *amazing* staff made it even better.

Definitely google it before you go b/c we had trouble finding it. It's located in an out-of-the-way area by the highway with nothing much around. It looks like the kind of building you see when traveling around a small town in Central America. So don't expect some fancy storefront. There is a wonderful world of delicious delights and a friendly staff waiting for you inside.

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Oasis in the desert - Edit

Lovely place to eat, great food, great service. I had waffles and a perfect iced coffee. My boyfriend had a salad (can't remember which) was was enormous and very tasty. Our waitress was brilliant and chatty, made the whole experience.

This place kept us sane in the horribleness of Vegas!

Pros: Extensive menu, Brilliant staff, Epic waffle

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Yum! - Edit

This place is soooo yummy! The portions are nice sizes, the food is beyond delicious and the staff is so friendly. I'm so glad this place is around when my husband and I visit the area - one of our all time favorite restaurants!

Pros: Delicious, Friendly staff, Nice portions

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This place is amazing - believe the reviews! - Edit

My husband and I were in Vegas for the weekend, and found Pura Vida on Happy Cow. From the moment we walked in, we were highly impressed. Greeted right away, we were seated and had a chance to look at all of the daily specials. The creative menu and flavor combinations were unbelievable. Chef Myra came out and talked to us about her background, her food philosophy and where she gets her inspiration. What a treat to talk to her! We had pancakes with the berry flambe, a banana chocolate smoothie, and the daily breakfast special (tofu scramble, italian sausage, potatoes and veggies). We cannot say we had any complaints - the food was beyond excellent! The service was just as great, everyone was talkative, informative, and positive. Love that this place can serve thousands but still retain a small, homey vibe. We will return again anytime we are in Vegas - don't miss it!

Pros: Flavors, Fresh food, Creative menu

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Our favorite place to eat - Edit

I don't think there are words to describe how great this place is? My husband and I live in Henderson and usually eat here 1-3 times a month. There isn't anything on the menu that isn't amazingly delicious. Chef Mayra is SO talented, her food is made with the freshest ingredients, her knowledge of spices and flavors blows my mind but what you really notice is that your food is made with love! My meat eating friends can't believe Vegan food can taste this good.
The energy in this space is so positive and the music is so fun, something happens when you walk in the door. You can't help but be happy. I am so grateful to have found Pura Vida as it was the catalyist for my Vegan journey. Thank you Chef Mayra!!

Pros: Food, Staff

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My tummy was SO happy! - Edit

My daughter goes to UNLV, so we have been to Vegas several times in the past year. Pura Vida will now be a regular stop for us! Our biggest problem was that there were so many choices we just couldn't decide what we wanted. I had the waffle brunch which gave me a taste of a Latin tofu scrabble and the breakfast sausage first. This way I satisfied my sweet and savory tooth. My husband had the WOW scrabble and my daughter had the french toast. All were wonderful!! I go back in 2 weeks to pack my daughter up for the summer. We shall return!

Pros: choices, taste, service

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