Veganism has grown 500% since 2014. There are many reasons why one chooses a vegan diet; compassion, ethical, environmental, or health. Whether your reason is emotionally or rationally based the places where one can satisfy their palate with aesthetic and palate pleasing 100% plant-based food are increasing every day. One of the things I LOVE about Austin is the number of places and choices I have available. I can even eat in “mainstream” restaurants. It is not unusual to see menu items with a small note on the side that says, “this dish can be prepared Vegetarian or Vegan-just ask your server”. Here are my top 10 vegan restaurants in Austin-not all of them are brick and mortars, some are Food Trucks-these are marked (FT).
Citizen Eatery is a farm to market, sustainable, meat-less restaurant and bar. A modern, bright and clean interior decked in white and wood. The bar offers craft beer, organic wines and Citizen Smart Spirits, cocktails made from cold-pressed juices and tea infusions. The menu has its regular items and features seasonal offerings as well. It will appeal to Vegans, Vegetarians as well as Paleo tastes. Every time I go in, I try a different item menu and I must admit to choosing the seasonal offering of the Eggplant Parmigiana several times this year.
The Beer Plant
The Beer Plant is the first Vegan Gastropub in Austin. The interior exudes the farmhouse pub vibe from its wall of beer taps to rustic industrial wood and metal table and chairs. Alongside the wine, craft beers and clever cocktails, is a 100% based plant-based menu. My favorite brunch item is the Hash Skillet, with potatoes, tofu, mushrooms, cherry tomato halves with a sliced half avocado on top. It’s all presented in a small iron skillet on a wooden platter, with toast, Vegan Butter and Seasonal Jam. I don’t usually have room for dessert, but one should try and leave room as their pastry chef is the BOMB. I love all of these vegan restaurants in Austin.
Counter Culture started as a food trailer and is now a brick and mortar. The interior vibe has a funky mid-century atmosphere, with featured art from local artists. Their menu is 100% vegan and is made daily on the premises using organic, fair trade & locally grown food. Counter Culture is actively involved in supporting the local music scene and hosts numerous benefits throughout the year. They are one of the few restaurants that follow the reuse, recycle and compost rule. I adore the Cheez plates with Kale Chips and fruit.
Conscious Cravings (FT) is in the First Street Trailer Food Park. Their menu consists of either Tofu or Seitan (your choice) combined with other items in either a wrap or salad. There is also a Quinoa based bowl. Their Seitan is home-made, and the Tofu they use comes from Houston (TX) and is non-GMO. I love the CC Diner which I choose as a wrap, the house-made protein nuggets(Seitan), pickled relish, grilled onions, tomatoes (I leave these off) and Dijon mustard and vegan mayonnaise. I always add Avocado to it.
Mother’s Café is one of the older establishments in Austin. Established in 1980, it offers Vegan/Vegetarian items. Warmly lit and décor that exudes the “keep it weird vibe” of Austin. Nothing on the menu fits a specific category of cuisine. They have soups, sandwiches and pastas as well as Tex-Mex classics like burritos, nachos and enchiladas. All their cheese is made with vegetable enzymes and they offer organic, gluten free as well as non-GMO. I don’t eat here as often as I should considering the scope of their menu but every time I do go in, I try to order something different.
Arlos (FT) is a curbside kitchen and is 100% plant-based. They stay open late to offer Vegans a chance to satisfy late-night cravings for burgers and tots. Arlos has several locations around Austin and, as far as I am concerned the Bac’n’ Cheeze Burger is like the best burger EVER. They also offer a Mac’n’Cheeze Burger too…eye rolling foodgasmically YUMMY and yes I adore this burger.
Veggie Heaven is located on 5th street in Downtown Austin. Their interior is kind of normal, think standard Chinese Restaurant, and they have a 100% plant-based menu. They offer a HUGE selection of Chinese comfort food, think Taiwan Cuisine, as that is the owners home country. I am fond of the Protein 2000. One of the greatest vegan restaurants in Austin.
Madras Pavilion has been open in Austin for 20 years and is all Vegetarian, though most of the menu can be made Vegan. They offer both Northern and Southern India cuisine as well as a Vegan and Jain menu. They grind their spices each morning, mix their dosa batters in a traditional stone mortar and pestle and bake the naan in a traditional clay oven. There are some great vegan restaurants in Austin to choose from these days!
The Vegan Nom
The Vegan Nom (FT) has the largest Tex-Mex taco offering. They have a 100% plant-based menu. Vegan Nom is Texas’ first all vegan taco truck. Located on Cesar Chavez street, they are centrally located in the middle of the East Austin Bar and Art Scene. Their cute little airstream is on a gravel lot with tables and games. The other cool thing about their location is the brick wall that features a monthly @spratx mural art contest. You get to vote for your favorite on Instagram @spratx. They are my go to place for Breakfast Tacos.
Bouldin Creek was born out of a converted gas station, and all the feels are still there in this eco-friendly bohemian atmosphere. They offer rotating local art on the walls. Coffee, Beer and Cocktails all complement their diverse Vegan/Vegetarian Fare. I have eaten there…A LOT and everything is great. They also offer an after-5pm dinner menu. Reservations are recommended as they are packed almost all the time.