A vegan coffeehouse in meat-mad Mexico City

Los Loosers restaurant and delivery service is a product of its owners passion for vegan food( and cycling ), offering animal-free versions of some classic dishes

One of Mexico Citys most popular street snacks is tacos de cabeza corn tortillas stuffed with beef engraved from the animals skull. This is a city of meat devotees, and may seem an unlikely place for vegan eatery Los Loosers.

The food is cooked from scratch each morning, then either served at this tiny restaurant in the Roma Norte neighbourhood or delivered by a squad of cyclists. Mushroom tacos with habanero salsa , vegan chilaquiles with blue corn tortillas and black bean dip, and vegan burgers are regulars.

Photograph: PR Company Handout

The greeting space is decorated with fairy suns and lamps repurposed from bike handlebars, and has just one large wooden table. Non-alcoholic aguas frescas ( homemade fruit/ grain drinks ), tea and Oaxacan coffee are available. The daily special costs less than 4, pudding 1.50. Theres no website( as yet) customers check the Los Loosers Instagram page, then order via direct message on Twitter or Facebook. The cyclists will deliver anywhere, even to parks and hotels. They once journeyed six hours out of sprawling Mexico City to deliver an order, use specially designed knapsacks that protect the food from the citys potholed streets.

Los Loosers take on pozole, a traditional Mexican stew. Photograph: Clare Wiley

Los Loosers is the brainchild of Mariana Blanco, who quit her job as a journalist in 2011 with no savings or business scheme, just a passion for bicycles and vegan food. The name was inspired by a friend who once pestered her for having to be different, cycling everywhere and insisting on animal-free maggot. He called her a loser. The double-O represents bike wheels.

Mexico City has a small but growing vegan community, says Blanco. Around 60% of their orders go to locals. And while the delivery-by-bike outfit is surely a welcome addition in one of the worlds most polluted cities, Blanco acknowledges the environment wasnt her first priority.

Specialities include pozole , a popular stew usually constructed with pork. Blancos take employs five types of wild Mexican mushroom in a rich broth, decorated with edible blooms. Mexican ramen marriages Japanese mushrooms and poblano chillies, while the Los Loosers burger is made from huitlacoche , a black fungus that grows on corn and is considered a delicacy.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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