UPDATED JUL 14, 2020
From fresh poke wraps and veggie-packed bowls to some of the best salads we’ve ever tasted, Austin’s healthy restaurant scene is hard to beat. Here are the places that are absolutely crushing it.
Do you ever crave a wholesome home-cooked meal? Look no further than Casa de Luz on Toomey Rd., where skilled chefs serve up unique, vegan, organic, and multi-course dishes every day. Walking down the path to the front door is a zen experience in itself, but after eating their whole food fare, you'll feel amazing from the inside out. Come here for veggies prepared in new ways, extra healthy spins on local faves like tacos, and ‘vortex activated water’ on tap.
If you’ve got plans for the first Sunday of every month, reschedule them. That’s when this Austin staple serves up a mean, clean vegan brunch buffet (but only at its East Cesar Chavez St. location), and it’s a must-try. Beyond Sunday brunch, this eatery operates with a lunch counter and also offers dinner menu of Mexican-inspired eats like enchiladas, tostadas, and tacos (minus the grease and with extra veggies). Not sold yet? Just check out the bakery case stocked with 100% vegan treats. Needless to say, it’s time to get that pan dulce you’ve been dreaming of. You can also find them on South Lamar.
Flower Child at The Domain and downtown is a hot spot for seasonal salads, soups, mix-and-match bowls, and wraps crafted with delicious, good-for-you ingredients. It's the perfect place to go on a day when you don’t have to do anything but enjoy the sunny patio and your Mother Earth Bowl. And like any healthy eatery, the dishes here are highly customizable, so you can order exactly what your inner flower child is craving. Oh, and did we mention they also have local beer, sangria, and wine?
If there's one place Austin can't get enough of it's Picnik. Priding themselves on real food, this spot serves up dishes like the Southwest Hash in the AM and Eggplant Rollatini by night. Plus, you can count on lots of butter coffee (they’re the butter coffee connoisseurs around here). At any of their three area locations, you'll find creative, mouth-watering dishes made without any gluten, corn, peanut, or soy products. It doesn't get much better than that!
There’s a reason Counter Culture on East Cesar Chavez St. has been named the best place for vegan comfort food in Austin — that's because it is. Their daily ‘cheeze’ specials rival any gourmet cheese board, and their daily pizza specials are so creative you might need to try them all. And the real bonus here is that since it’s all plant-based, you leave feeling like a million bucks (even if you ate a burger and cheezecake).
Let’s get back to true food, shall we? In a world of too much junk food, True Food Kitchen in Seaholm and The Domain is changing the game with healthy, innovative dishes that change with the seasons. You can literally see the ingredients—crates of fruit, cartons of eggs, bunches of greens—going directly onto your plate from the in-house kitchen. Plus, with tons of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options at your fingertips, it's perfect for every type of eater.
If you’re a fan of superfoods, make Curcuma your next stop. This charming food truck in East Austin crafts meals with intention, and that means everything is made with ingredients sourced from ethical, organic farmers and local purveyors. And while it might offer an entirely plant-based menu, it's also great for those who are gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, or Whole30. Try out the Raw Pecan Tacos and pair them with one of their adaptogenic shots, smoothies, Mylks, coffees, and elixirs — we hear their Golden Mylk (a turmeric drink) is pretty fantastic.
Fresa’s is an OG Austin restaurant that’s one of our absolute faves. It’s the place to go if you’re craving authentic Mexican flavors with a healthy twist. All of their meals are scratch-made with specialties including wood-grilled veggies, chicken al carbon, and the most amazing Brussels sprouts you've ever tasted. Head over to their South First location where you can sit outside or grab a quick to-go order from their 9th & Lamar spot.
Situated inside the swanky South Congress Hotel, there's a reason this restaurant is one of the most talked about in Austin. An all-day concept, Café No Sé serves up innovative, good-for-you takes on comfort food dishes in a cozy yet modern environment. From quinoa bowls to tuna poke, charred octopus and avocado toast, they've got all your cravings covered.
Featuring a bright, sun-filled restaurant space and a huge outdoor seating area, Vinaigrette has everything you could ever want. The menu features unique salads, sandwiches, and soups with many of the ingredients sourced from a farm not far away in Bastrop, TX. They even have a special brunch menu stocked with Austin faves (plus an amazing kale mary). You can feel good about what you’re eating, but also what you’re not eating, as all food waste returns to the farm to feed the animals and fertilize the crops.
Bento Picnic on Cesar Chavez is the cutest healthy dining experience in Austin. Each seasonal, plant- based, and non-GMO meal comes in a bento-style tray that separates each part of your customized meal — and, as you’ll soon see, it’s adorable! Not only is this restaurant healthy, but each meal supports Mealshare, a non-profit that provides meals for youth in need. If you’re looking for a good-for-you meal on the go, you can swing by their grab-and-go kiosk at Austin Bouldering Project.
Honest Mary’s is all about #keepinfoodhonest, and we're here for it. Design your own bowl with tons of grains, organic veggies, and naturally-raised proteins. And if you’re having trouble deciding, you can’t go wrong with their signature bowl: you get French green lentils, sweet potatoes, homemade spicy peanut sauce, and a veggie confetti of local microgreens all in one dish. Try 'em out for yourself in Arboretum and keep an eye out for a location on Rosedale in 2020!
At CAVA, customization is key. Start with a base of greens or grains, then load up from there with one (or many) of their house-made dips and spreads, plus protein and and veggies to make it your own. With four locations around Austin, and even an app that makes ordering a breeze, you’re never too far from a healthy bite.
At High Note on South Lamar, they take simple ingredients and make them taste really damn good. Shishito peppers? They char ’em and add some cashew aioli. Salmon and sesame? They roll it into a poké wrap. And when you’re ready to wash it all down, sip some local booch, a boozy juice, or (our fave) pancake coffee with ghee and maple syrup.
Citizen Eatery believes that the best food starts with just two ingredients — soil and sun. The whole menu is meat-free, and they melt our hearts by serving breakfast all day long. But when you’re craving something other than eggs and (gluten-free!) flapjacks, try the green chile veggie burger with vegan cheesy cauliflower or the zucchini pecan pesto noodles. Find ‘em on Burnet Rd.
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