Marie and Daniel’s Top 20 Austin Favorites

Marie and Daniel’s Top 20 Austin Favorites

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel, and does not necessarily reflect the views of all Red Hot Vegans bloggers. If you’re not a fan of oily, sugary, calorie-dense food, then this series is probably not for you. For everyone else, enjoy!

South Austin

  • Tofu Renedict from Bouldin Creek Cafe

    Tofu Renedict from Bouldin Creek Cafe

    Grilled ciabatta served open faced with spinach, tofu scramble and tomatoes, smothered in a homemade vegan hollandaise, then topped with tofu bac’n – the vegan Renedict from Bouldin Creek Cafe is so worth waking up early for. The Renedict is served until 1pm, or while it lasts (usually much earlier than 1pm on the weekends), which means that there is some dedication necessary to get your hands on it. If you’re able to head to Bouldin for brunch mid-week, more power to you, but for those of us who can only get there on the weekend, the earlier you can head there, the better. The long wait for a table and the subsequent lack of Renedict that can follow if you get there too late can be all too sad. Read more…

  • Thai tea ice cream over hot coconut sticky rice from Thai Fresh

    Thai Tea Ice Cream over Sticky Rice from Thai Fresh

    What’s better than vegan Thai tea ice cream? Thai tea ice cream melting over hot coconut sticky rice! Its rich coconut flavors melding with the bold flavors of Thai tea – the creamy, cold ice cream contrasting with the hot, chewy rice. This ice cream is more than just a summer staple: it’s the perfect year-round indulgence. Read more…

Downtown

  • Mixmix Bibimbap from Koriente

    Mixmix Bibimbap from Koriente

    The dish I could eat every day – Mixmix Bibimbap with tofu and avocado from Koriente. It’s one of the few non-oily, non-sugary dishes that will make it on this list, but its simple ingredients, yet complex flavors bring me back again and again.  Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish, the word literally meaning “mixed rice”, where the ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. The bowl starts out with a bed of steamed rice, topped with a ring of julienned carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, red cabbage, red bell peppers, and finished with organic baby greens. To complete this package, I always add tofu and avocado to my order, and pick the mild wasabi soy sauce (though the hot red pepper paste is great too!). Read more…

East Austin

  • Jambalaya on a Stick from Baton Creole

    Vegan Jambalaya on a Stick from Baton Creole

    What happens when you throw some tofu soaked in hot sauce on a stick, cover it in dirty rice, fry it, and then drizzle remoulade all over it? You get the masterpiece that is the Vegan Jambalaya on a Stick from Baton Creole. It’s chewy and spicy on the inside, crunchy and fried on the outside, and then finished with a vegan remoulade that pulls it all together. Read more…

  • Fiery Vegan Dog and Sweet Potato Fries from Fire & Soul

    Fiery Vegan Dog from Fire & Soul

    The Fiery Vegan Dog at Fire & Soul is everything you could ever want a corn dog to be: a vegan hot dog on a wooden skewer, dipped in a homemade habanero/jalapeño batter, then deep fried to crunchy, fluffy perfection in a dedicated veg fryer. I may be a bit biased, as I’m a huge hot dog fan, but this slice of heaven on a stick is definitely one of my favorite things to eat in Austin. Read more…

  • Harvey Pekar Reuben from Shhmaltz

    Harvey Pekar Reuben from Shhmaltz

    The Harvey Pekar Reuben from Shhmaltz is one mean sandwich. Starting from the inside out, the finely chopped fresh cabbage lends a satisfying crunch to every bite, nicely complementing its neighbors: a rich vegan chipotle Russian dressing slathered on top, and a homemade seitan pastrami folded in layers forming the base of the Reuben. The pastrami is really something: sliced paper thin with just the right amount of seasoning, it’s everything you could hope for in a deli sandwich. Last, and certainly not least, the fresh grilled marbled rye bread completes the picture, making this sandwich an instant classic that you’ll want to enjoy again and again. Read more…

  • Detroit-style pizza from Via 313

    Vegan Detroit-style pizza from Via 313

    Detroit-style pizza from Via 313! This authentic Detroit-style pie is unique in many ways, from the rectangular shape, to the thick crust, to the upside-down toppings. This unusual pizza stole our hearts with just one bite of its crispy, pillowy goodness. Read more…

  • Akara with Benin sauce from Wasota African Cuisine

    Akara from Wasota African Cuisine

    If you’ve been paying attention to this series so far, you may have noticed that we tend to have a thing for deep fried food. There’s probably no better example of this than the akara from Wasota African Cuisine. Perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these delicious black-eyed pea fritters are available either on their own, as part of the Wasota Platter (a great way to sample some of the different flavors of West African cuisine), or in a slightly larger form as the patty in the veggie burger. The stand-alone akara plate comes with their tasty Benin sauce for dipping, which can be made as mild or spicy as you like. However you end up ordering your akara, each bite will leave you wondering why anybody ever bothers to cook anything else. Read more…

Central Austin

  • Vegan Johnny Hash from Biscuits and Groovy

    Vegan Johnny Hash from Biscuits and Groovy

    Flaky biscuits, drowned in a thick, rich gravy, then topped with potatoes, cheese, sausage, and bacon. Biscuits and Groovy calls it “The Johnny Hash”. We call it “breakfast”, and yes, you’re still reading a vegan blog: Biscuits and Groovy’s not-very-well-kept secret, buried in fine print in the corner of their menu, is that almost anything that they offer can be made vegan. This trailer takes their vegan-friendly options seriously, with color-coded equipment in the kitchen to keep the vegan cookware and utensils separate, and there’s never a “vegan tax” upcharge for any of the vegan ingredient substitutions. Read more…

  • Popcorn Tin from Cornucopia

    Popcorn Tin from Cornucopia

    If you’re like me, and think that popcorn should be its own food group, Cornucopia Popcorn Creations is the place for you. With a large rotating selection of popcorn flavors, many of which are vegan, Cornucopia will satisfy all of your popcorn cravings, be they salty, sweet, or savory. Read more…

  • Salted Caramel Brownie Shake from Sweet Ritual

    Salted Caramel Brownie Shake from Sweet Ritual

    You know the magic that happens with a brownie sundae, when the ice cream starts to soak through the cake? Now, imagine that as a shake. That’s the fun behind adding a Capital City Bakery brownie to your Sweet Ritual shake. This is not an official menu item, but it’s officially become my favorite off-menu item at Austin’s one and only all-vegan ice cream parlor. All you have to do is pick your favorite shake (mine’s the salted caramel shake made with soft serve), and then add a brownie. Your brownie will be crushed into your shake, and served with a big straw to accommodate the bits of brownie you are about to eat/drink. Read more…

  • Del Rey taco from the Vegan Nom

    The Vegan Del Rey Taco from The Vegan Nom

    A vegan take on the classic fish taco, the Vegan Del Rey has quickly become our taco of choice, and a fan favorite at the increasingly popular Vegan Nom trailer. The crispy breaded strips of vegan mock fish, together with the shredded purple cabbage, give the taco a satisfying crunch that pairs nicely with the slices of fresh avocado and cilantro-lime crema sauce. The Vegan Del Rey began life as the “SXSW ofFISHal taco” during SXSW 2013, and it proved popular enough to earn a permanent spot on the extensive menu of “Rockin Vegan Tacos”. Read more…

North Austin

  • Mochi Tempura dessert from the Dojo

    Mochi Tempura from The Dojo

    [UPDATE: The Dojo closed down in August 2014]

    House-made sweet mochi (japanese rice cake), covered in tempura batter, deep fried, drizzled with rasberry syrup and agave, then topped with fresh fruit and powdered sugar. For a girl who loves her mochi, and certainly all things fried (we’ve clearly established this), this is a dream team combination. From one quick glance of the menu, I knew The Dojo was going to be my new favorite hang-out spot in town, and it certainly has not let me down. The Dojo is Austin’s first izakaya, a type of Japanese bar and restaurant built around small plates and great drinks, with an emphasis on social dining – customers are encouraged to linger and share their dishes with their table. Read more…

Multiple Locations

  • Bac'n Cheezburger from Arlo's

    Vegan Bac’n Cheezburger from Arlo’s Food Truck

    The king of burgers: The Bac’n Cheezeburger from Arlo’s Food Truck. Parked in front of Cheer Up Charlie’s on Red River Street, Arlo’s has been a mainstay in the Austin vegan scene since 2011. While everything on the menu is good, almost everyone I know is madly in love with this particular burger. What makes it the king of burgers is the combination of an insanely delicious house-made patty, stacked with house-made seitan bac’n, melted Daiya cheeze, vegan mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickles, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce, all on a quality vegan bun. Read more…

  • Wraps from Conscious Cravings

    The Bella from Conscious Cravings

    Bite into The Bella wrap from Conscious Cravings and you’ll find a crunchy, flaky exterior shell, filled with grilled portobello mushrooms, onions and olives, all cooked in a perfect blending of herbs and spices, and finished with a creamy herbed vegan mayo and Daiya vegan mozzarella. There are so many delicious wraps to choose from at Conscious Cravings, including the flavorful Pan Seared Tofu, Chimichurri Seitan, and Spicy Chickpea, that it was hard to pick a favorite. The best part? At only $5 for The Bella, or any of the other tasty wraps from this all-vegetarian trailer, it probably should have been called “Budget Conscious Cravings”. Read more…

  • Mac & Chz from Happy Vegan Baker

    Mac & Chz from Happy Vegan Baker

    Thick, tender elbow noodles covered in a rich cheezy sauce, with little bits of seasoned tofu mixed in — Happy Vegan Baker‘s vegan version of this all-American favorite comfort food has it all. Each bite is packed with flavors and textures that are guaranteed to make you a happy vegan eater. Best of all, this lip-smacking cheezy goodness can be yours for only three dollars, so when you feed your cravings it doesn’t bleed your savings. (Yes, eating Mac & Chz makes you tell cheezy jokes.) Read more…

  • Vegan ramen from Ramen Tatsu-Ya

    Vegan Ramen from Ramen Tatsu-Ya

    The folks at Ramen Tatsu-Ya are obsessed with bringing you the perfect bowl of ramen, and their dedication shows through. The vegan ramen special starts with a complex soy based broth, filled with perfectly cooked noodles and topped with fried tofu and Brussels sprouts, bamboo, wood ear mushrooms, corn, spinach, and shaved red pepper, which all contribute to the intricate mosaic of textures, flavors, and colors. Read more…

  • Vegan TBLT from the Steeping Room

    Vegan TBLT from The Steeping Room

    A fun take on a classic BLT, the vegan TBLT is our go-to meal at The Steeping Room: tofu, tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato and basil vegenaise served on a fluffy ciabatta – pair it with a tangy cashew Caesar salad on the side (a highly recommend $1 upgrade). The Steeping Room has been a favorite of mine since our arrival in Austin. The attention to detail and the quality of ingredients have us coming back time and time again. From the marinade on the tofu, to the sear on the tempeh bacon, to the quality of the bread, The Steeping Room is clearly paying attention to making a fantastic product. Read more…

  • Austin Cream Pie from Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery

    Austin Cream Pie Donut from Red Rabbit Bakery

    Best. Donuts. Ever. Yeah, I said it. I know them’s fighting words, but I’ve had my fair share of vegan donuts around the world, and I mean it. Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery’s donuts are legit raised donuts that are light and airy on the inside, and chewy on the outside. They walk the line perfectly between being unique and gourmet, without straying too far from the traditional donuts we all know and love. They’re the kind of donuts that get you excited to wake up on a Sunday, and actually leave the house. Read more…

  • Buffalo Popcorn Tofu Sandwich from Wheatsville Coop

    Buffalo Popcorn Tofu from Wheatsville Coop

    Popcorn Tofu from Wheatsville Food Co-op is the best! Particularly the Buffalo Popcorn Tofu, and more specifically the Buffalo Popcorn Hoagie (sub ciabatta) from the deli counter. Popcorn Tofu is the stuff of legends, and the Buffalo Popcorn sandwich lives up to its reputation, stuffed to the gills with Buffalo Popcorn Tofu, vegan blue cheeze dressing, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, red onion, carrots, jalapeños and alfalfa sprouts. If you’re not into spicy food, order it without the jalapeños, or play it even safer and get the Popcorn Tofu Po’boy (also sub ciabatta, and sans jalapeños). Want more Buffalo Popcorn Tofu in your life? Buy it by the tubful from the deli counter, or pick it up in the cold case. You can even grab it on a ready-to-bake pizza. Read more…

This guide originally appeared as the “Top 20 Austin Favorites” series for Vegan MoFo 2013 by Marie and Daniel. This guide was last updated on May 10th, 2015

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