Though there are a few restaurants that are strictly vegetarian in Mauritius, it is uncommon to find one that serves only vegan food. It is worth noting that since more people have been moving to a vegan lifestyle, there are a few vegan restaurants popping up around the island - but we have not tried them yet.
Vegan or Vegetarian
Contrary to popular belief, vegan is not a new term. We have been hearing it more in recent years but the term was coined in 1944. Most people are familiar with vegetarianism. Veganism is an extreme form of vegetarianism. Vegetarians don’t eat animals but they do consume some products that come from them and this includes eggs, dairy and honey. Vegans on the other hand don’t consume any animal-product derivatives at all.
Where to Eat Vegan In Mauritius
It is not difficult to eat vegan in Mauritius since 60% of the Mauritian population is Hindu and most of them are vegetarian.
And though there are not many vegan restaurants in Mauritius there are quite a few offering vegetarian dishes. Many Indian Restaurants around the island offer vegetarian food. Some are strictly vegetarian. You will be able to enjoy vegan food at these restaurants, but you’ll just need to confirm with the restaurant when ordering your food that you want only vegan meals.
Another interesting thing is that you can even have vegan street food. Of course you need to check with the merchants concerning the ingredients but many Mauritian street foods are vegan, from the famous dholl puri, boulette chouchou, baja and gateaux piments.
Choosing the Right Vegan or Vegetarian Restaurant
Like we mentioned, you will find a lot of restaurants around Mauritius that have vegetarian food. To be on the safe side it’s best to confirm with the waiter when ordering your food. Here are a few things to ask to make sure that you are eating vegan in Mauritius.
1. How are your veggies prepared?
Most restaurants use various kinds of fats to prepare vegetables, sometimes for added flavour but most of the time it’s for convenience. Verify what type of butter is used, if it’s made from vegetable oils. You may want to ask the waiter to get your veggies cooked in olive oil. Sometimes it is just easier to say that you have a dairy allergy and make sure that they take necessary precautions when serving you anything.
2. Can I substitute butter with avocado?
Avocados are full of healthy goodies. The fruit is often referred to as “poor man’s butter” but it is definitely a smart woman’s butter and on top of that it’s guaranteed vegan. Avocado is a perfect replacement for dairy butter on toast or bread and is also great with salads. So don’t hesitate to ask for a substitute at restaurants- though do consider that avocados are seasonal fruits on the island and may not always be available.
3. Does the sauce contain fish or other animal ingredients?
Most sauces include fish, meat, eggs or other animal ingredients. This can be hard to avoid in Asian restaurants as all of their sauces and dishes have fish in them, even veggie dishes. If you asked and the waiter is not sure how the sauce is prepared, you can just bypass food with sauces on the menu and opt for another menu item without sauce.
4. What ingredients are in the soup?
Some restaurants might not give away their ingredients list that easily as they usually have some “secret” ingredient that gives the unique taste. While soup can seem like a perfect vegan choice, you are never a hundred percent sure. You can just confirm with the waiter if the soup contains chicken stock, fish or any other dairy products. When in doubt, just opt for a salad.
One more helpful tip is to check the restaurants websites and see if they cater to vegans. Do check the menu items, you can contact the restaurant and see if you can get the ingredient list for the meal that you would like to have at their restaurant. Phone ahead and confirm everything to avoid any disappointment.