UPDATED FEB 25, 2020
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 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 what you want. They’re not fans of those generic veggie meals, so expect unique vegan 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 completely satisfied senses.
Calling East Austin home, this popular vegan food truck serves meals with a Texas twist. You’ll find a mostly Tex-Mex menu of vegan breakfast tacos that are filled with tofu and veggie chorizo, vegan queso, and loaded nachos. It’s all so good, we bet you even your most meat-committed friend will beg to join you.
Baby Greens is a quaint little drive-thru and walk-up restaurant that delivers healthy and fresh fast food, believe it or not. There are no frills and thrills, just honest, healthy food perfect for veggies, vegans, and even carnivores. Baby Greens has tons of salad and wrap options with fresh-made dressings. The North Austin joint also caters, so let your office manager know. Fitt Tip: try Sharon’s Wrap — it’s a must order.
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’re not messing around when it comes to their tamales. Plus, their all-vegan brunch buffet during the first Sunday of each month is a true showstopper. You can find ‘em on South Lamar and on the Eastside, but head to the Cesar Chavez spot to get down on their 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 the Buffalo Cauliflower, Vegan Banh Mi, or some nachos. And don’t forget weekend brunch, when they serve up their mean and lean Carrot Lox.
JuiceLand is the easiest place to lunch at when you’re in a pinch. They have dozens of pre-made wraps and salad options that are always made 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 and juice 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 and affordable 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 made cajun-style, but you really can’t go wrong with anything you choose here.
More restaurant than café, 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 customers satisfied with a broad range of dishes not typically available to vegetarians like their BLT that’s 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—skipping meat doesn’t mean eating like a rabbit 24-7! 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 any flavor. Even carnivores will drool over the vegan dream: the Bac’n Cheeze Burger.
More Airstream than yacht, the Vegan Yacht is a favorite of Austinites for their cruelty-free, GMO-free, 100% organic, low-sodium, intensely flavorful (we could go on and on) vegan fare. 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 either. 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 pretty adorable, too. Not only is this restaurant healthy and quaint, but each Curry Bowl purchase supports Mealshare, a non-profit that provides meals for youth in need.
The contemporary tropical-tiki vibes at Last Straw will have you sipping the last of all their world-class cocktails in style. Add to the fact that they’ve revamped their food menu to be 100% vegan. Go ahead and start your lunch with their refreshing Miami Vice piña colada, and afterward make way for their all-star So-Cal Burrito and dive into the grilled shishitos drizzled with lime.
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