Every Vegan Option At Cafe Rio Mexican Grill (Updated: 2022)

What you’re essentially going to find stepping foot into Cafe Rio is traditional Mexican food. We’re talking about dishes such as burritos, enchiladas, tacos, quesadilla, and salads.

If you’ve been to a Mexican restaurant, then you know the stuffed tortillas normally contain animal products, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improvise and have a good time. On their Nutrition page, Cafe Rio has a section called ‘Veggie Info’ where they have some meal suggestions for vegans visiting the restaurant.

Unfortunately, they only have one suggestion: Vegetarian Salad, no cheese or butter, with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette.

Assuming this is the only vegan option they have to suggest, then we can convincingly say their options are subpar when compared to PF Chang’s or even Applebee’s, for instance.

Still, let’s imagine you’re forced to visit Cafe Rio and want to know which ingredients you can actually eat— so that you can build your own delicious salad or taco.

Vegan Options at Cafe Rio

Speaking of tacos, if you’re planning to order a tortilla, there is something you ought to keep in mind before you order.

Here’s something Cafe Rio has stated on their allergen page:

“Our tortillas are sometimes prepped with margarine before grilling, making them dairy products (not vegan). In order to ensure your meal is dairy-free and vegan, please ask for no butter (margarine) on your tortilla(s).

Once that’s done, you can then start looking at vegan ingredients such as:


  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans

Toppings & Specials

  • Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Guacamole
  • Lettuce
  • Lime Wedge
  • Pico de Gallo

Sauces & Dressings

  • Pineapple Mango Salsa

These are the only vegan-friendly ingredients according to Cafe Rio’s Nutritional & Allergen Menu.

You can use these creatively to create a delicious taco or salad. In fact, a tortilla stuffed with black beans, guacamole, and lettuce is not a bad idea. 🙂

However, if you’re not into tacos or salads, you can always pick a beverage.

Vegan-friendly Drinks

Other than the commonly-known drinks such as Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, and Hi-C Fruit Punch, you can also order the following:

  • Mint Lemonade
  • Southwest Limeade
  • Strawberry Lemonade

However, keep in mind that not all of these beverages might be available at your location. The same goes for every other ingredient on their menu.

Summary: Cafe Rio Has Some Vegan Options

While Cafe Rio has some vegan options, they’re still a bit lackluster when compared to other restaurant chains. But that’s okay, not every restaurant has to have amazing vegan options.

You can still get your belly stuffed with some of the ingredients they have on the menu— especially if you’re creative and are willing to mix and match.

If you want to learn a few tips on how to successfully eat out as a vegan, feel free to read this post.

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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