While Las Vegas vegan cuisine has come a long way in recent years, it is only now finding its true voice around town. VegeNation caters to Downtowners. Veggie House is a mainstay in Chinatown. Vegeway gives vegans a burger experience. But there hasn’t been a real option on the east side since the closure of the excellent Long Life Vege Restaurant years ago.
Until now. Since Pancho’s opened a few months ago in a small store front on Trop and Pecos, the fully vegan Mexican menu has been a hit with all types of eaters. Not to be confused with the other Pancho’s in Downtown Summerlin, this one is owned by Sacbe Meling, a 20-year vegan. The kitchen is run by his mother, whom he helped convert to veganism four years ago.
The soft taco special ($6.99) is a great way to get acclimated to this cuisine. Choose between meat substitutes—asada, al pastor, chorizo or chik-end—or vegetable options like cactus (nopales) or mushrooms (hongos). The al pastor might not be sliced off a rotating spit, but it’s delicious and the spice blend is true to its roots. Cactus can often sound more interesting than it tastes, but this version is full of flavor.
Huaraches ($7.99) are a savory treat featuring a fried masa base topped with onions, cilantro, lettuce, sour cream, cheese and a protein and salsa of choice. For those looking to go big, look no further than the Cuban torta ($9.99). This behemoth of a sandwich is filled with meatless versions of turkey, ham, bacon and hot dog, along with tofu, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese and the component that brings it all together, pickled jalapeños.
On Sundays, Pancho’s has great vegan Mexican sweet bread ($1.62) which always sells out. But don’t worry, no matter when you go, there will be many delicious options to choose from.
Pancho's Vegan Tacos 4865 S. Pecos Road #5, 702-898-9001. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.