Before Chris even booked his trip to Playa del Carmen (I was a last-minute add on), he consulted Happy Cow to make sure there would be a few good vegan options for dining out. Kaxapa Factory was one of the results and within walking distance of the resort we stayed at so we tried it for lunch one day.
The place is a small, unassuming stall but Jose, the owner, immediately made us feel right at home with his bubbly demeanor. I threw out some Spanglish as he bounced between English and Spanish. Sí, it was my primero vez in Playa and we were there for Chris’ cousin’s wedding, but oh… pretty sure he thought I said that we were getting married and not Chris’ cousin and I didn’t have the heart to try to correct him because he was so very excited. He also explained that he’s originally from Venezuela and his daughter lives in Toronto, and he told us about when he saw snow for the first time. The man is seriously darling.
Jose’s wife runs the kitchen and makes authentic arepas and kaxapas (cachapas). Both have a ground corn base – arepas are like a pita and kaxapas are like a pancake.
[I’ve eaten at Hola Arepa in the Twin Cities a couple times and highly recommend it!]
Once we told him we were vegan, he took great care in explaining the menu and helping us know what we could have. The Chévere Arepa contains black beans, fried ripe plantains, tofu and avocado. The Kaxapa Vegana has tofu, black beans and veggies, and I love the sweetness of the kaxapa itself. It’s also huge, so the two dishes were perfect to split between the two of us.
I always say that when I get to know a music artist I like their music that much better, and I’d say this applies to the Kaxapa Factory’s food in this case. Jose made the experience so truly delightful, I don’t think I would have noticed if the food wasn’t good. Thankfully, it really is scrumptious. If you find yourself in Playa del Carmen, take the time to visit Kaxapa Factory.