CLOSED: Secret Garden Cafe and Boutique

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 7 reviews )



Hidalgo No. 8, Ajijic, Laguna de Chapala (at just off the main Ajijic plaza & Colon, Jalisco state), Ajijic, Mexico

Varied menu featuring daily specials, gourmet Indian dinner on Saturday evening, entertainment on Sunday evening. Tranquil garden atmosphere. Front of restaurant is wheelchair accessible. Location is near Guadalajara, on Lake Chapala. REPORTED SHUT DOWN IN EARLY 2013.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Indian, International, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Mexican

7 Reviews

First Review by jayb

Great vegetarian food! - Edit

Love this place! The food portions are generous, the options are creative and all home-made, the service great! They even have a bakery section in the front for take-out goodies.

Currently closes at 4 p.m.

Pros: Creative, Tasty, Inexpensive

Cons: Closes early

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Pleasantly surprised to find the Secret Garden. - Edit

This is a beautiful spot just off Calle Colon. If you take the bus from Guadalajara, you get off the bus in town (Ajijic) at the traffic light. You can ask the bus driver also, and he will usually let you know, or anyone on the bus. Mexicans are very friendly. I'm not sure what it's like if you don't speak Spanish though.
The Secret Garden is very serene. They have wonderful selections, and will happily make anything vegan, unless it's already been prepared with milk or egg products.
The owner, Peter (American) and his wife are truly committed to offering vegetarian food the the folks in Ajijic. It's not easy running a restaurant; running a vegetarian restaurant in Mexico is even more difficult. Hats off to them.
Being vegan, yet being realistic as I am in Mexico, a very meat-based culture, I was pleased to know how accommodating they were to my vegan requests both times I ate there.
Whether you're vegetarian, veg-curious, or vegan, you will find something tasty to eat, and a very pleasant atmosphere in which to eat.
Anything made with avocado most likely comes from the avocado tree right there in the back of the restaurant.

Since business is down with many restaurants in Mexico, their hours have been cut. Therefore, you need to get there before 4pm.
They're closed on Wednesdays.

If you do go, say "Hi" from David, they San Francisco vegan.
Feel free to chat with Peter and his wife.

Pros: outdoor garden atmosphere, very nice people, vaired food options

Cons: eggs in many dishes, milk products in several dishes

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Excellent, Simple Food - Edit

What a pleasure it was to have lunch at Secret Garden on three occasions during a recent visit to Ajijíc. Our choices included the Sante Fe Burritos ("sin queso y sin crema"; without cheese and sour cream), various salads, gazpacho, tostadas (one comes with black beans, and one with pinto). Iced tea was excellent. Service was friendly but slow. Prices were pretty typical for the area; a big lunch for two was around 150 pesos.

Most restaurants in the area will make a vegetarian dish on request, but Secret Garden is the only option if you want a variety of wholesome vegetarian and vegan offerings.

Pros: Delicious, Vegan friendly

Cons: Slow service

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The Secret Garden Ajijic Mexico - Edit

My wife and I have just spent 3 weeks in Ajijic Mexico and were delighted to eat at the Secret Garden restaurant. It has a good relaxing open garden atmosphere and the food we found to be excelent. Although we try to be 100% vegan back in our home town of Victoria Canada we have found it difficult to stick to this pattern when travelling. The Secret Garden will leave out the cheese if you ask them and still give you an appetizing meal. The Saturday night Indian dinners were especially good. I highly recommend this restaurant.

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Yum! - Edit

On a recent visit from Guadalajara to Lake Chapala and Ajijic I was excited to get to visit The Secret Garden. Frankly, as a vegetarian, a trip to this restaurant is worth the $7 return bus fare to Ajijic! I was really happy to find that on the night of my visit they were serving a special Indian dinner. I love Indian food, and had some of the worst Indian ever in Guadalajara, so I was hoping The Secret Garden would whip up something delicious. I started with a mango smoothie (I pretended it was a lassi) and munched on the appetizer of jicama and mango sticks dipped in cumin and sea salt. What a great way to serve jicama and mango! The main course was more like a platter, with a variety of dishes including coconut rice, "paneer" in spicy tomato broth, curried potatoes, pakoras (a bit burnt), mint chutney and a cucumber filled with fresh yogurt and cherry tomatoes. The server did forget to bring everyone spoons to go with the tomato broth, so it got cold before I could eat it, but overall it was a very good meal and I would highly recommend visitors to Jalisco check out The Secret Garden.

Pros: International menu., Nice atmosphere., Something "different" for the area.

Cons: Server not familiar w/ internat'l food., Slightly burnt pakoras.

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A Gem of a Restaurant - Edit

If you go to Guadalajara, you have to go just a little further to Lake Chapala to eat at this gem of a restaurant in one of the Lakeside towns, Ajijic. As you enter from the sidewalk, you pass through the Juice Bar that offers a wide selection of juice drinks (from the menu or made to your specifications), coffees, teas, and other drinks, as well as baked goods and other delights; then, it opens out into a beautiful secret garden restaurant with tables and chairs surrounded by flowers and trees. The servers are friendly, the atmosphere pleasant, the menu is varied, and the food is delicious. Selections are extremely affordable and made with the freshest ingredients. Fare is ovo-, lacto-, and vegan. They are very willing to accomodate your dietary needs and can modify many dishes so they are vegan. The restaurant is owned and managed by a lovely couple -- he is American and she is Mexican. He is always creating new dishes and she is always baking new desserts to delight customers. This is a lovely place to stop for a snack or for a meal. There is usually entertainment a couple of nights a week. Watch for his Indian Dinner Specials; they are authentic and not to be missed. We've eaten at Secret Garden Garden Restaurant many times, and it's our favorite restaurant in the Lakeside area. For more info, check out their website at

Pros: excellent food, great atmosphere, good value

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a good spot - Edit

It is tough to find vegan in mexico but these folks are selling to he expat community who seem to be into he cheese thing . I pleasently survived on their vegan offerings and modified lacto dishes . American owner but mexican staff need spnish words so take your dictionary unless you Espanyol. Very pleasent setting and good standards and value .A bonus for me not too much tofu.

Pros: good food, flexible ordering

Cons: no anglais

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