It took my parents a good four years to accept my veganism. I’ve been vegan for six years. While they’re okay with me bringing my own food to events they are a little more reluctant to explore vegan food outside of the home themselves. Every now and then I’ll get them to try some nooch cheese or vegan cookies, but that’s pretty much it. Anything more might blow their sheltered, suburban minds (love you parents!).
So, whenever there is a celebration of some sort, we end up going to a lot of meat-heavy chain restaurants that have the ONE acceptable, slightly nutritious vegan option, which gets old really fast. I did get them to try Nu Age Café once, before it closed. That was fairly successful, but maybe that was because not everything was completely vegan? Since then, however I’ve only been able to get them to go to omni restaurants. They aren’t changing. I’m not changing. What’s a vegan girl to do?
To persuade them to go to places with more vegan friendly options, I’ve compiled a list of Austin area restaurants that will be parent and grandparent friendly without making you eat an iceberg wedge salad (Seriously. Serve me a wedge salad and I will fight you.). You can also go to these places if you want to impress a certain special someone.
A vegan fast food style trailer with a Bacon Cheeseburger to die for. If your parents are willing to eat a vegan meal, and dine al fresco, Arlo’s is well worth it. The burgers are so good that they won’t even miss the meat.
Delicious Indian food with a fine dining vibe. If your parents are adventurous eaters, you should take them here. The atmosphere is cozy and there are plenty of dishes to satisfy every palate.
Are you a fan of margaritas and/or mojitos? Are you comfortable drinking in front of your parents? Then this is your place. Plan on consuming most of your calories in liquid form.
Kerbey Lane Cafe
24-hour cafe with a cute atmosphere, and many locations around the city. Parents will enjoy the classic diner menu, while you peruse their vegan options (ask for a vegan menu).
Vegan and gluten free Tex-Mex. They even have gluten-free chips that they will bring out to you in sealed bags. There ain’t no gluten getting in there.
Semi-fancy Asian fusion. Forget tacos. They’ve have lettuce rolls. And they’re vegan. Bam! Now see what happens when your parents tell you not to play with your food. Yes, it’s a chain, but it’s a chain with reliable vegan options.
Uchi + Uchiko
If your parents are made of money, and love swanky Japanese food, make them take you here. There are a few vegan items on the menu, but, if you ask nicely, the chefs will most likely whip up some amazing vegan options on the fly.
So, the next time you have a birthday or your parents come into town for a visit, you’ll have a list ready as soon as someone asks, “Where should we go to eat?” They can go to an ostensibly hippy-free restaurant and, if you’re spoiled like me, they’re probably paying so you get a free dinner. It’s win/win.