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Paleo has been on the rise over the past few years as a popular anti-inflammatory diet, but it raises some other dilemmas: eliminating gluten, grains, soy, and more can certainly make dining out a bit more tricky. However, as per usual, the Austin restaurant scene is full of options for even the strictest diners.
Here are some of our favorite paleo-friendly eateries around Austin:
Asian-inspired food that’s fresh, convenient, and healthy… need we say more? Downtown’s Koriente uses no MSG and limits sugar and oil usage so that you leave feeling satisfied instead of bloated. Most of their bowls come with rice, but you can sub for more veggies. Just make sure you specify you’d like your meal to be gluten-free. (They’re used to it, so no eye-rolling will ensue.)
With endearing downtown and Domain locations, you can officially be both trendy and paleo at Flower Child. Their straightforward, flavorful fare includes plenty of gluten-free options. And you’re not going to be handcuffed when trying to make substitutions to better fit your primal diet — you can customize your own plate with a variety of veggies as well as proteins like all-natural chicken, grass-fed steak, and sustainable salmon.
Tired of eating burgers without a bun? Wholly Cow on South Lamar offers a paleo burger called The Fit Cross, which entails a grass-fed patty sandwiched between two portabella mushroom caps with bacon and grilled onions. Add avocado for the ultimate paleo burger. Fitt Tip: if you want to go all in, order with a side of their sweet potato fries.
Picnik sources high-quality, local ingredients for their diverse menu, most of which is paleo-friendly. Grain-free pancakes, breakfast hashes, salads, entrees, and shareables like chips and guac are all fair game for paleo eaters at their Burnet location! Also, since normal tacos are off-limits for paleos, they offer grain-free breakfast tacos to-go at both of their trailer locations on South Lamar and E. Cesar Chavez.
The stunning menu at Launderette is full of shareables that are paleo-friendly or can be easily modified. Think chicken thighs, pork ribs, and mussels alongside your choice of complex, delectable vegetable sides. Meat and veggies never looked and tasted so sexy. This East Austin eatery is a great place to bring friends indiscriminate of diet — you can share plates that everyone will enjoy.
Curcuma Kitchen is doing what others can’t. The menu is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and paleo-friendly — what bases haven’t they covered? With delights like gluten-free toast with cashew ricotta and raw pecan tacos alongside protein shakes, wellness shots, broths, and more, it’s safe to say you can get your superfood fix at Curcuma.
Most of Sway’s Thai-inspired menu is already gluten- and dairy-free, so paleo eaters will feel at ease when it comes time to order. Many of the dishes are served with rice, but it’s only a carrier for the bold flavors and not necessary for an incredible culinary experience. If you need some help deciding, we recommend the Tom Kha Gai, chicken wings, and raw oysters. And with kombuchas and drinking vinegars, you’re set for a paleo-approved evening on the town.
If you’re looking for a guilt-free carnivorous fix, Dai Due is your spot. Their team has already done all the conscious work for you, only offering locally grown fruits, vegetables, and humanely-sourced meats, you need only arrive hungry. With creative menu offerings like the Wild Boar Lettuce Wraps and Grilled Quail Salad, we can guarantee you’ll leave satisfied. And if you’re looking to make your own paleo delights, check out their on-site butcher shop.
Maybe it's their duck fat fries, but the Salty Sow is highly respected in the paleo community. The menu at this East Side joint rotates, so make sure you check it out before you go to see if there are enough paleo-friendly options. No matter when you go, however, their meats and other ingredients are thoughtfully sourced from local farms and the staff is knowledgeable of their craft. Fitt Tip: you can get appetizers like truffled deviled eggs, crispy Brussel sprout leaves, and the beloved duck fat fries for $5 during happy hour (4:30–6:30 every day).
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