UPDATED OCT 25, 2019
Austin might be the land of tacos, brisket, and Tex-Mex but plant-based food is having a moment, so there's never been a better time to be a vegan or vegetarian. Whether you're craving dairy-free mac and cheese or a meat-free burger that tastes just like the real deal, you can count on these local spots for the best plant-based eats in ATX.
Flower Child brings you healthy, locally sourced, fresh meals at the Domain and downtown on 2nd St. They’re known for delicious salads and grain bowls that are as equally pretty as they are delicious. Our faves? The Mother Earth and Thai Cashew Quinoa (with added tofu). This boho-style cafe is colorful and fun, and you won’t be able to stop yourself from Instagramming the whole experience.
Plainly put, Counter Culture has pretty much everything. They seem to know just how generic veggie-friendly meals can be, so expect unique combinations and inventive flavors at this Eastside spot. With options like a Philly Seitan Sandwich and a Beet Mushroom Walnut Burger, you’ll leave with a full belly and satisfied senses.
We have three words for you: Green Goddess Soup. This is possibly one of the best vegetarian soups in town, but Soup Peddler has tons of other veggie-packed options to taste as well. Head to one of the five locations all over Austin for juices, smoothies, soups, and sandwiches that are not only flavorful but don’t leave you with all the unwanted guilt.
East Austin is home to this popular vegan food truck with a Texas twist. Serving mostly Tex-Mex, you’ll find vegan versions of breakfast tacos filled with tofu and veggie chorizo, vegan queso, and loaded nachos. It’s all so good, we bet you can trick even your most meat-committed friend into joining you.
Who says salads are boring? Vinaigrette is South Congress’ soup, salad, and sandwich (and now brunch) hot spot serving big green plates that hardly lack in flavor. The menu boasts fun, playful names like “All Kale Caesar” and “Nutty Pear-fessor”. Make sure you add on some panko-crusted goat cheese or you’ll regret it.
Baby Greens is a quaint little drive-thru or walk-up restaurant that delivers healthy ‘fast food’. There are no frills and thrills, just honest, healthy food that caters to veggies, vegans, and even carnivores. Baby Greens has tons of salad and wrap options with dressings that are made fresh daily. The North Austin joint also caters, so let your office manager know! Fitt Tip: try Sharon’s Wrap — it’s a must order.
Chances are you’ve heard of this vegetarian staple in Hyde Park. Either because it’s been around for more than 30 years, or because pretty much everyone (vegetarian or not) loves it. Their menu features a wide range of culinary goodness. Everything from pasta to Tex-Mex to stir-fry is available here, so no food sensibility will go unsatisfied.
The folks at Mr. Natural are committed to meat-free flavor, and for that, we’re thankful. They know what they’re doing with the Veggie Burger, and they don’t mess around when it comes to their tamales. But where they really shine is at their all-vegan brunch buffet during the first Sunday of each month. You can find ‘em on South Lamar and on the Eastside, but their Cesar Chavez location is where you need to go to get down on the monthly brunch.
The Beer Plant is Austin’s first vegan gastropub and takes gourmet vegan meals to a whole new level. This Tarrytown gem serves craft beer, wine, cocktails and plant-based delicacies in a cool farmhouse pub atmosphere. Treat yourself to some buffalo cauliflower, vegan banh mi, or nachos. Be sure to head on in for happy hour every Tuesday through Friday from 4–6pm to try their best apps half price. And don’t forget weekend brunch, when they serve up a mean carrot lox.
There is literally no easier place to stop for lunch when you’re in a pinch. JuiceLand has dozens of pre-made wraps and salad options that are always vegan. Just pop in one of their many locations for a Frijole Roller Burrito or the Double Rainbow Quinoa Salad in the cooler. Oh yeah, they have smoothies too — and they are heavenly.
A lot of folks make the mistake of thinking just because something is vegetarian, it’s healthy. But vegetarians know all too well just how wrong that is. Casa de Luz off of Barton Springs makes health a priority with their veggie dishes. In fact, every meal they serve is vegan, oil-free, and organic. And the daily menu is ever-changing, so you’ll never be stuck eating the same ol’ thing.
For a healthy lunch on the go, check out Conscious Cravings in the S. 1st Trailer Park or out on Airport Blvd. Serving up smoothies, salads, and spicy signature wraps, their Indian-inspired take on veggie cuisine is, in a word, everything. We especially like the spicy blackened tofu wrap, but you really can’t go wrong with anything you choose here.
More restaurant than a cafe, Bouldin Creek on S. 1st is a favorite among plant-based eaters. Not only is it all-vegetarian, all the time, but it’s crazy-good. They keep us satisfied with a broad range of options not typically available to vegetarians—their BLT is deceptively tasty—and they go the extra mile by making most menu items vegan-friendly, too. Even the eggs (served all day) can be transformed into tofu yumminess fit for the vegan palate.
Sometimes veggie peeps get the short end of the stick when it comes to all-American grub — just because we’re not into meat doesn’t mean we eat like rabbits! Thankfully, the folks at Arlo’s food truck know the struggle.Foods usually off-limits to vegans—like mac & cheese, bacon cheeseburgers, and chicken tacos—are all made vegan-friendly without sacrificing flavor. Even carnivores will drool over the vegan dream, the Bac’n Cheeze Burger.
More Airstream than yacht, if you’re looking for cruelty-free, GMO-free, 100% organic, low-sodium, intensely flavorful (we could go on and on) vegan fare, look no further. We love the Freeto Pie with tempeh chili loaded onto all natural corn chips. Add some Daiya cheeze, some avocado, and congratulations, you’ve found heaven.
Farm-to-table dining is the best way to describe this downtown and Domain hub for health. True Food Kitchen specializes in making healthy food oh-so-scrumptious — and without leaving any eater behind. The menu labels items as vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, so there's no guessing! And with seasonal menus featuring local produce, you will always feel satisfied after a meal here.
Bento Picnic on Cesar Chavez is the cutest healthy dining experience you can imagine. Each fresh, 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 and quaint, but each meal supports Mealshare, a non-profit that provides meals for youth in need.