Tagged: Austin Vegan Restaurants

2015 Vegan Guides to Austin

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So much food, so little time! We’ve eaten our way through Austin, so you don’t have to. We’ve just created our most extensive guide to eating vegan in Austin – and it’s epic! It’s a great primer for out-of-towners, or a refresher for locals. We’ve spent years eating our way through the good, bad, and (let’s admit, sometimes) ugly food Austin has to offer, and we’ve worked our favorites down to this handy cheat sheet.

Our “Vegan Guide to Austin” features our favorite restaurants, dishes to order for every meal, handy tips and more. It breaks down places that have gluten-free options, late-night hours, and those that have dog-friendly patios. We’ve even made it printer-friendly, so you scribble all over it and note the places you want to try the most! Check it out in our guides section here.

Red Hot Vegans - Vegan Guide to Austin

With Vida Vegan Con around the corner, and so many new faces arriving in Austin in just a few weeks, we’ve also been frantically updating the rest of our guides section as well. Every single guide is up to date as of May 2015, and ready for your perusal:

Red Hot Vegans’ Handy Guides:

We’re not the only ones that have been busy at work updating our Austin vegan guides, and we love that everyone has a different perspective (we’ve noticed that food seems to taste better the less distance you have to travel to get to it, so we’re totally biased towards North Austin!). To get a well-rounded take on the Austin vegan scene, check out these awesome Vegan blogs/groups in town that have their own take on things:

Lazy Smurf’s Guide to Life has a great “Top 10 Dishes for 2015“, an extensive “Austin Vegan Guide” with every vegan-friendly restaurant in town, an “Austin Vegan Taco Guide“, and a “Vegan Tour of Austin“.

Team Feed Everyone has an “Austin Vegan Guide” sorted by vegan-friendliness.

Lone Star Plate has an amazing “Everything Else” guide to Austin, featuring where to get books, hang out with kitties, and pick up groceries. They also have a great list of vegan-friendly places that take gluten-fee dishes seriously for our celiac friends, as well as an extensive list of vegan guides to cities all across Texas if you decide to travel outside of Austin (the blueberry in the tomato soup).

Vegans Rock Austin has an Austin vegan restaurant list that is user generated, so it has many different people’s perspectives. VegATX has the most comprehensive Austin vegan calendar (which we also graciously use). To get you pumped to visit Austin, be sure to check out Maximum Salad’s videos of local restaurants and events!

I’m so excited to share our wonderful city with hundreds of vegan bloggers, community organizers and chefs in just a few weeks’ time! I hope y’all enjoy our city as much as we do!

Vegan Guide to Austin

We’ve eaten our way through Austin, so you don’t have to! Our extensive guide to eating vegan in Austin is a great primer for out-of-towners, or a refresher for locals. We’ve spent years eating our way through the good, bad, and (let’s admit, sometimes) ugly food Austin has to offer, and we’ve worked our favorites down to this handy cheat sheet. Feel free to print this guide if you want a travel-friendly version!

Vegan food in Austin

How to use this guide:

  • Any restaurant that we’ve highlighted in an expanded post here on Red Hot Vegans will be linked to. Check those posts our for more in depth coverage of each restaurant’s options.
  • All restaurants mentioned (with one exception – Uchi) clearly mark their vegan options on the menu.
  • GF = Gluten Free Options, LO = Lighter Options Available (veggie-ful and/or less calorie dense) LN = Late Night (regularly open past 10pm – also check out our Late Night Guide), DF = Dog-Friendly (Austin is super dog-friendly, and most restaurants with outdoor seating will allow dogs, though you’re generally out of luck in bad weather)
  • Assume that any deep-fried items at vegan-friendly omnivorous joints are prepared in a shared fryer unless a dedicated veg. fryer is specifically called out in the description.
  • Austin has a fast moving restaurant scene – with businesses popping up and disappearing regularly. We’ve done our best to make sure this information is accurate, but we highly suggest checking hours/location/social media, before heading out of your way to visit any of these places.

Cheat Sheet:

  • Top places for delicious comfort food: Arlo’s, Baton Creole, BBQ Revolution, Cool Beans, Ramen Tatsu-Ya, The Vegan Nom, Via 313, Wasota African Cuisine, and Wheatsville Coop.
  • Favorite places for veggie-ful, lighter fare: Bistro Vonish, Bouldin Creek Cafe, Casa de Luz, Counter Culture, Juiceland, Koriente, Mother’s Cafe, The Steeping Room, Unity Vegan Kitchen and Wheatsville Coop.
  • Great vegan breakfast joints: Biscuits and Groovy, Bouldin Creek Cafe, Casa de Luz, Juiceland, Kerbey Lane Cafe, Mr. Natural, The Vegan Nom, and Wheatsville Coop.
  • Best bests for late-night eats: Arlo’s, Baton Creole, Frank, Kerbey Lane Cafe and Via 313.
  • Top places to find yummy dessert: Bananarchy, Capital City Bakery, Fat Cats, Sweet Ritual and Thai Fresh.
  • Most interesting grocery stores: Rabbit Food Grocery, Wheatsville Co-op, and Whole Foods (Downtown). Honorable mention: Fiesta Mart – not listed on the guide, but a great place for hard-to-find groceries.
  • Want to stick to 100% vegan businesses? Check out: Arlo’s, BBQ Revolution, Bistro Vonish, Blue Cat Café, Capital City Bakery, Casa de Luz, Cool Beans, Counter Culture, Happy Vegan Baker, Rabbit Food Grocery, Skull and Cakebones, Sweet Ritual, Unity Vegan Kitchen, The Vegan Nom, and The Vegan Yacht.

North/Central Austin:

  • Biscuits and Groovy

    Biscuits and Groovy:

    Business Website – RHV Blog Post

    Vegan-friendly biscuits and gravy trailer, specializing in biscuits loaded with toppings. (DF)

    Tips: Has a small sheltered outdoor seating area. Weekends can get crazy – expect a long wait. To kill some time, head to Flight Path Coffee around the corner and pick up a latte.

    Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch: Everything on the menu can be made vegan, with tofu scramble, daiya and house-made vegan meats. We think the whole menu is solid, but we tend to order the veganized Gloria Gaynor or Johnny Hash to get a good selection of the toppings.

  • Conscious Cravings

    Conscious Cravings:

    Business Website – RHV Blog Post

    Vegetarian trailer with two locations, specializing in hot wraps and salads. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: The North location has a few picnic tables, the South location is part of a bigger trailer lot and has a large nice covered seating area. Wraps are a steal at only $5.50.

    Lunch/Dinner: Everything on the menu can be made vegan (just specify vegan cheese). We’re partial to the Bella, but the Pan Seared Tofu and Chimichurri Seitan wraps are close runners up. A side of baked rosemary fries is a nice complement to a wrap.

    Lighter Option: Get any wrap as a “salad” – instead of a wrap you get a rice/quinoa pilaf and veggies. It comes with an additional charge, but it’s also considerably more food than the wrap, so it’s still a good deal.

  • Vegan Popcorn Trio in Mini Tin from Cornucopia

    Cornucopia Popcorn:

    Business Website – RHV Blog Post

    Popcorn shop, specializing in gift tins and bulk popcorn orders. (GF)

    Tips: If you’re local, get a big tin, so you can bring it back for cheap refills.

    Anytime: There are usually 6-8 vegan flavors on hand, with a mix of both sweet and savory options. The vegan flavors are all labeled, and available to sample, so get whatever floats your boat.

  • Maoz Salad Box


    Business Website – RHV Blog Post

    Vegetarian falafel chain serving falafel, fries, salad, soups and rice pudding. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: The storefront is located in the SW corner of the Triangle shopping center.  There is a small indoor and outdoor seating area. Maoz is an international chain, but this location is locally owned, and has a few unique menu items including vegan shawarma/chick’n/BBQ proteins. There are unlimited topping refills from the salad bar, so don’t be afraid to head back for more.

    Lunch/Dinner: Everything is good, so get whatever sounds best to you – falafel, soup, fries, salad, etc. Just don’t forget the fried broccoli at the salad bar, and it never hurts to douse your falafel in tahini and hot sauce.

  • Soup and salad from Mother's CafeMother’s Cafe:

    Business Website

    Vegetarian restaurant with a hippy vibe. Serves burgers, sandwiches, enchiladas, salads. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: Mother’s has been an Austin staple since 1980, and the menu is chock-full of classic ’80s vegetarian food. I love to hate on Mother’s, but to be honest, I’ve eaten my fair share of Bueno Burgers. The cafe has a large indoor seating area, and a few small tables outdoors. Mother’s now offers vegan ice cream from Sweet Ritual upon request if you have room for dessert (see below).

    Weekend Brunch: Try the pancakes.

    Lunch/Dinner: Get the Bueno Burger with vegan mayo and mustard – add Daiya/Guac to liven it up a bit. If you want a change from the Bueno Burger, try the Artichoke Enchiladas (with Daiya or tofu) or the Mom’s Reuben with Daiya and sliced wheat roast.

    Lighter Option: Get the soup and salad combo, and upgrade to the spinach salad. Ask for crumbled tofu instead of cheese on the salad, and get the cashew tamari dressing.

    Dessert: The almond mocha torte is rich and delicious. It’s good on its own, but pairs well with a scoop of ice cream. The blueberry pie is also good if you get it with ice cream.

  • Vegan TBLT and Caesar Salad from The Steeping Room

    The Steeping Room:

    Business WebsiteRHV Blog Post

    Vegan-friendly tea shop with two locations. Focuses on lighter fare with vegan soup, salad, sandwich and dessert options in addition to a large tea menu. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: Both Steeping Room locations are located in Central/North Austin. The more Northern location is located in an open air shopping mall, and can get very busy for lunch and dinner. The more central location tends to get busier for brunch/lunch. Reservations are a good idea for large parties and busier times. Both locations have indoor and outdoor seating.

    Breakfast: Try the Breakfast Bowl with the cashew sauce, or the Seasonal Scrambler with a scone (and the maple spread). The vegan Breakfast Sandwich is also simple but good, and a steal at $4.25.

    Lunch/Dinner: The vegan TBLT on ciabatta with a side of cashew caesar is a winner. We’re also partial to the veganized Bahn Mi. The tea services can also be made vegan, and are a fun treat.

    Lighter Option: Both the Buddha Bowl and the Java Bowl are our current go-to orders. The Java Bowl has more complex flavors, and is great with tempeh. The Buddha Bowl ingredients rotate, so some days it’s better than others. When going with the Buddha, be sure to get the cashew sauce. The soup and salad combo can also be great depending on the daily soup (tomato coconut is a favorite).

  • Uchiko Sushi


    Business Website

    Vegan-friendly upscale Japanese restaurant with two locations. Uchi is the South Austin location, while Uchiko is the North Austin location, and is a little less formal.  (GF, LO)

    Tips: Uchi and Uchiko are the only restaurants we will recommend that don’t actually mark their vegan options on the menu, but the vegan options are so plentiful, and the staff is so knowledgeable, that we feel they’re worth mentioning. If you’re looking for a fancy night out, we’d recommend making a reservation at either location (though last minute tables are also sometimes available). If you’re looking for something a little more casual, head to Uchiko for Happy Hour (no reservations accepted). Uchiko is also currently hosting a vegetarian tasting menu on the third Monday of the month, which has generally included a few vegan-friendly dishes that you can order separately.

    Dinner: If going for a full dinner, just ask your waiter for the vegan options – if the kitchen is not too busy, the chef will often get creative and whip up a vegan tasting menu just for you. If you’re just heading to Uchiko for happy hour, we recommend the veganized brussels sprouts, komaki roll, avocado sushi, nasu sushi (not on the happy hour menu, but worth ordering anyway), and sorbet.

    Dessert: There is a rotating selection of sorbet flavors that are often vegan. The sorbet is made in-house, and the flavors are very creative, so we’d recommend trying any of the vegan flavors that sound good to you.

  • The Vegan Yacht

    The Vegan Yacht:

    Business Website

    Vegan trailer with small bar food menu. (GF, LN, DF)

    Tips: This trailer is currently parked at Spider House, a sprawling bar/music venue, with a fun outdoor seating area.

    Dinner/Late-Night: The freeto burrito is a local favorite. Frito pie is a popular Southern tradition, and can also be found here.

Additional businesses with locations in North/Central Austin –

Downtown Austin:

  • Vegan Hot Dogs from FrankFrank:

    Business Website

    Vegan-friendly restaurant and bar. Serves hot dogs, chili, frito pie, and waffle fries. (GF, LN)

    Tips: Frank has a large indoor seating area, with a full bar, and occasionally live music. They have vegan sausages, chili and cheese to veganize a number of their hot dog creations. Any waffle fries order is half-off during happy hour.

    Lunch/Dinner: Try whatever hot dog creation sounds good to you, or try the Frank Frito Pie  – a Southern treat. Keep an eye out for the specials, as the vegetarian special can sometimes also be vegan.

  • Mixmix Bibimbap from Koriente


    Business WebsiteRHV Blog Post

    Vegan-friendly Korean fusion restaurant serving summer rolls, noodle bowls, stir-frys and bubble tea. (GF, LO) 

    Tips: There is indoor and outdoor seating in this small restaurant. Meals are served with free vegan miso soup, and customization of your order is encouraged.

    Lunch/Dinner: Everything on the menu is fabulous. We’re partial to the Mixmix bibimbap with tofu and avocado, but the Noodle Garden with tofu is similarly good. If you’re looking for something heartier, the Obake Bowl (B) with tofu and avocado is fun if you’re a fan of rice medallions. Grab a bubble tea to finish of your meal, the teas that can be made vegan are marked.

    Lighter Option: Most dishes are fairly light, but the Noodle Garden, Garden Handroll and Mixmix Bibimbap have the most fresh veggies.

  • Breakfast Tacos from Whole Foods

    Whole Foods (Downtown):

    Business Website

    Vegan-friendly grocery store chain. There are four Whole Foods stores in Austin, but the downtown location is the most interesting. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: This is the headquarters of Whole Foods, and their flagship store. There are both indoor and outdoor seating areas. On Thursdays you can order a whole pizza with 3 toppings for only $10.

    Breakfast: The breakfast taco bar is a good bet with vegan-friendly options including tofu scramble, vegan chorizo and vegan cheese. Pair your tacos with some freshly brewed coffee or juice, and you’re good to go.

    Lunch/Dinner: Choose from one of the many food kiosks including pizza, sushi, sandwiches or the hot bar. Most kiosks are vegan-friendly, though currently none go out of their way to provide interesting vegan options.

Additional businesses with locations in downtown Austin –

East Austin:

  • Pizza from Bistro Vonish

    Bistro Vonish:

    Business Website

    Vegan trailer serving fancy veggie dishes, pizza, pasta and dessert. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: Trailer is tucked on the side of Brass Ovaries (vegan-owned pole dancing class studio), next to BBQ Revolution (see above), with an outdoor seating area.

    Brunch: Available on Sundays, the french toast is not to be missed.

    Snack/Dessert: A Texas treat – try one of the rotating kolache flavors.

    Lighter Option: The menu is always changing, but there is generally a rotating vegetable dish, with croquettes or risotto and seitan as an add-on option that is always delicious. We’re also fans of the rotating soup selection.

  • Burger from Counter Culture

    Counter Culture:

    Business Website

    Vegan restaurant serving lighter versions of comfort classics including burgers, pizza, mac and cheese, sandwiches and salads.  (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: There is a large indoor seating area as well as a covered outdoor patio. The menu caters to many different diets including Raw, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free and Engine 2 (no added oil), so there’s something to please everyone. Head there for happy hour to get half-off appetizers.

    Breakfast: The Country Biscuit Bowl (with gravy on the side) is our go-to order. To mix it up we’ll get the East Side Quesadilla or Breakfast Burrito.

    Lunch/Dinner: The spicy baked artichoke dip is a delicious appetizer to share. The Southern Baked Seitan is our go-to order, with a side of cornbread and Caesar salad (with extra dressing). The Philly Seitan sandwich is another favorite. To mix it up we’ll get the Cold Cuts Sandwich or the Mac and Cheeze.

    Lighter Option: The Raw Bruschetta, Beet Mushroom Walnut Burger, and the Pesto Rawviolis are all delicious and heavy on the veggies.

  • Fiery Vegan Dog from Fire and Soul

    Fire and Soul:

    Business WebsiteRHV Blog Post

    Vegan-friendly trailer serving corn dogs, fried avocado, and fries. (GF, LN, DF)

    Tips: The trailer is parked in a large lot with many other food trucks, including Baton Creole. There is outdoor seating in the lot, or you can bring your food to a nearby bar. Has a dedicated veg. fryer.

    Lunch/Dinner: If you love corn dogs, look no further than the Fiery Vegan Dog. Be sure to upgrade your fries to the sweet potato option – not normally something we would do, but trust us; they’re much better.

  • Brunch at Mr. Natural

    Mr. Natural:

    Business Website

    Vegetarian restaurant with two locations. Has a large vegan-friendly menu full of Tex-Mex classics, and a large whole-wheat baked goods case. (GF, DF)

    Tips: Both the east and the south locations have indoor and outdoor seating. Almost everything on the menu can be made vegan, with the substitution of vegan cheese

    Brunch: There is a vegan-friendly breakfast menu mid-week, but the First Sunday of the month vegan brunch at the east location is where it’s at. $17 for an all-you-can-eat feast. Be sure to get the enchilada pie, biscuits and gravy and chik’n with agave mustard if they are on the buffet line.

    Lunch: There is generally a lunch buffet that is vegan-friendly and a good deal, though we prefer to order off the regular menu.

    Dinner: We’re all about the Taco Salad. It’s technically a salad, but it’s really just an open face burrito. Be sure to order it with the refried beans – they are addictive. The Burger Boss is also fantastic, as is the Milanesa – both are our other go-to orders.

    Dessert: Try the vegan Tres Leches cake, or the coconut cake.

  • Nice N Ful


    Business Website

    Vegetarian soul food truck serving burgers, nuggets, soul rolls and sides. (GF, DF) 

    Tips: Truck is parked in a lot with outdoor seating (next to Wasota African Cuisine). The lot is known for hosting awesome Jazz festivals.

    Lunch/Dinner: We’ve really enjoyed the soul rolls, chik’n nuggets and dirty rice.

  • Sagra


    Business Website

    Vegan-friendly Italian restaurant serving drinks, appetizers, pizza and pasta. (GF)

    Tips: Sagra has a large indoor dining area and limited patio seating. There is a large parking lot behind the restaurant. Ask for the vegan menu. Happy Hour is a great deal with half-off pizzas and $2 off specialty drinks every day.

    Lunch/Dinner: We’ve noticed that often the same dish comes out differently every time we order it, so it’s hard to recommend one particular thing. The pizza is generally a safe bet. We have really liked the Funghi pizza and the Macaroni al Forno when the the house-made cashew cheeze is stocked.

Additional businesses with locations in East Austin –

South Austin:

  • Bananarchy


    Business WebsiteRHV Blog Post

    Vegan-friendly frozen banana stand. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: The cart is parked in a food truck lot next to Rabbit Food Grocery’s location. There is outdoor seating available.

    Anytime: Everything is good, just pick your size and then pick your toppings. A halfsie is a good snack size. The GOB is a monster of a banana, and not something you can finish on your own. Sometimes the specials are vegan-friendly, so keep an eye out for that.

  • Breakfast at Casa de Luz

    Casa de Luz:

    Business Website

    Vegan macrobiotic restaurant serving a rotating weekly menu. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: There is generous indoor and outdoor seating available at communal tables. Everything is organic and gluten-free. Meal cards are available to purchase that are a good deal if you’re a frequent diner.

    Breakfast: Our preferred meal at Casa de Luz, as it’s cheaper, simpler, and you can serve yourself. The options are generally the same – homemade tortilla, beans, veggies, porridge, soup and twig tea. The porridge can be a little plain, so if you choose to get it, we recommend topping it with lots of granola.

    Lunch/Dinner: Every night is something different. Check the website to see if tonight’s menu looks good to you. They will charge extra for second servings of the lunch/dinner meal.

  • Tacos at Gueros


    Business Website

    Vegan-friendly Tex-Mex restaurant serving margaritas, tacos, enchiladas and chalupas. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: This restaurant has a large indoor, and small outdoor seating area. It’s located in the touristy section of South Congress, and is also a known celebrity hang-out spot, so it can get very busy at times. There is a separate vegan menu that you have to ask for.

    Lunch/Dinner: For a small bite to eat, get two Soy Taquitos al Pastor, and wash them down with a margarita. For something a little bigger, get the Tacos de Salud platter with chorizo and refried beans, or the Chalupas a la Celeste.

    Lighter Option: Most of the vegan menu items are chock-full of veggies. The dishes are all fairly similar, with the same ingredients served in different ways, so just choose what looks best to you.

  • Croissant at Thai Fresh

    Thai Fresh:

    Business WebsiteRHV Blog Post

    Vegan-friendly Thai restaurant and bakery serving Thai food, ice cream, and a rotating baked goods selection. (GF, DF)

    Tips: Restaurant has a large indoor and outdoor seating area, and a small parking lot. Street parking is often necessary, and easy enough to find. All ice cream flavors are vegan, and most baked goods are vegan and gluten-free. Many of the dishes on the Thai food menu can be made vegan, but the desserts are where Thai Fresh shines. Vegan cooking and baking classes are often offered, and can be found online.

    Breakfast: The bakery case is always changing, but be sure to try the croissants if they have them fresh. There are also often donuts, muffins and parfaits that are good for breakfast, as well as a large coffee/tea menu.

    Dessert: This is where Thai Fresh really shines… Try the Thai Ice Tea ice cream over sticky rice, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, the Chocolate Diner Pie, the Almond Wedding Cake, or any of the other number of delicious rotating baked good selections. Most items are gluten-free, but you’d never guess it.

  • Tofu Salad at Unity Vegan Kitchen

    Unity Vegan Kitchen:

    Business Website

    Vegan trailer serving salads, sandwiches, rotating specials and dessert. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: This trailer is parked in a lot with many other trailers, which has a large seating area.

    Lunch/Dinner: The specials are where it’s at. Every other week they break out the fryer, and make a rotating selection of chimichangas, buffalo chik’n platter, chik’n and waffles, and other insanely delicious creations. Check social media for the current special. If the special doesn’t suit you, try the lasagna or the pesto and tofu sandwich.

    Lighter Option: The sesame salad is delicious, and a regular order of ours. The specials can also be pretty light, including the taco salad and rotating soups, so keep an eye out for that.

Additional businesses with locations in South Austin –

Multiple Locations/Farmer’s Markets:

  • East Side King

    East Side King:

    Business Website

    Vegan-friendly Asian food with five locations. Serves asian fusion bar food. (GF, LN, DF)

    Tips: ESK has five locations scattered around central, east and south Austin. All but one location is a truck parked in the back of a bar, so there is generally a mix of indoor and outdoor seating. There is an actual brick and mortar ESK on South Lamar. Each menu is a little different, but all vegan options are clearly marked.

    Dinner: The Veggie Meshi is a favorite (also really spicy).

  • Mac and Cheeze from Happy Vegan Baker

    Happy Vegan Baker:

    Business WebsiteRHV Blog Post

    Vegan baker offering sweet items including cupcakes, cookies and biscotti, and savory items including mac and cheeze, chick’n salad, shepherds pie and bread. (GF)

    Tips: You can find them tabling at many different farmer’s markets around town, and at multiple coffee shops. You can buy the delicious Mac and Cheeze by the pound at In.gredients. Many of the sweet and savory creations are also gluten-free.

    Anytime: We’re big fans of the mac and cheeze, chick’n salad, biscotti and oatmeal cookie sandwiches.

  • Quinoa Ranchero from Juiceland


    Business WebsiteRHV Blog Post

    Vegan-frienldy juice shop with a selection of salads, snacks, and pre-made juice in addition to made-to-order juice and smoothies. Has 12 locations around town. (GF, LO, DF)

    Tips: Most locations have indoor and outdoor seating. There are so many locations around town, that whatever part of town you’re in, there’s likely a Juiceland nearby. The lines can get very long at peak times, but the turnaround is fairly quick. There’s a daily smoothie offered at a lower price, that they often make in bulk, so they tend to come out faster.

    Anytime: Everything’s good, but we have our favorites: For a salad, we like the Quinoa Ranchero, but we’ll also regularly get the Feast in the Middle East and the Double Rainbow Quinoa Salad. For a snack we’ll get the Manna bread or the Ranch Kale Chips. For a smoothie we’ll get the Peachy Green or the Originator, and for a juice we’ll get the Rosie Cheek or Applelilly.

  • Pancakes at Kerbey Lane

    Kerbey Lane Cafe:

    Business Website

    Vegan-friendly cafe, specializing in pancakes. Has 6 locations around town, most locations open 24 hours. (GF, LN)

    Tips: Kerbey Lane is an Austin institution, with locations all around town. All locations have a large indoor seating area, and a few have outdoor patios. There is a vegan menu you can ask for, but the main vegan dishes are labeled on the main menu.

    Breakfast: Vegan Breakfast Platter is our go-to order (with verde salsa on the side to liven up the scramble). A good friend (thanks Matt!) figured out that you can veganize the Eggs Francisco by replacing just about everything with vegan versions (toast, scramble, soy sausage, and vegan queso). It’s not an official Kerbey dish, so some servers might get confused, but it’s worth a try as it’s really good.

    Lunch/Dinner/Late Night: I’ll still eat the Vegan Breakfast Platter at night, but if you’re looking for something more savory, the Hipster Burger and Southwestern Salad (with vegan mods) are good too.

  • Cupcakes from Skull and Cakebones

    Skull and Cakebones:

    Business Website

    Vegan craft bakery specializing in cakes and cupcakes made with local ingredients. (GF)

    Tips: These cupcakes can be found at multiple grocery stores and businesses around town. The cupcakes are lighter than a traditional cupcake, and come in unique flavors from partnerships with other local craft businesses. There is a gluten-free Bing Bong chocolate cupcake pack often available.

    Anytime: We’re partial to the cupcakes, and love to pick up the four packs when at Wheastville. Everything they make is good, but the Herb pack with Happy Hemp/Basilberry combo, and the Garden Pack with Chocolate Beet/Carrot Cake cupcakes are our favorites.

Hope you find this helpful! Feel free to shoot me an e-mail with any feedback. Print this post for a travel-friendly version!

Other handy guides:

  • If you’re planning on checking out a movie at Alamo Drafthouse, be sure to check out our “Eating at Alamo” guide.
  • Looking for food after 10pm? Check out our late-night guide.
  • Can’t make it out of the hotel? Pizza delivery is always a good option. Check out our pizza guide.
  • Sweet Tooth? We’ve highlighted our favorite dessert places above, but we also have an exhaustive list.
  • Want a more detailed must-visit list? Take a look at our Top 20 Favorites.
Disclaimer: This Ultimate Vegan Guide to Austin is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (the team behind Red Hot Vegans!). We’ve picked the dishes that work best with our taste-buds, and hope you love them as much as we do. Happy eating!

Top 20 Austin Favorites:

The Renedict from Bouldin Creek Cafe

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The Renedict with tofu 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.

Bouldin Creek Cafe sports an all vegetarian menu, where pretty much everything can be made vegan with the substitution of tofu scramble or vegan cheese. To complete your brunch, try one of the delicious drinks like the Tokyo Fog (green tea chai and vanilla, steeped in steamed milk of choice) or the Benny (available iced: a chai latte with a shot of espresso). With soy, almond and rice milk options, there is something for everyone.

Chick Pea "Chik'n" Salad SammichBouldin Creek Cafe

While brunch is clearly the hot time to head to Bouldin, and they serve breakfast all day, it’s also a great spot for lunch and dinner. The Veggie Royale Burger with the basil aioli is a favorite of ours when we visit later in the day. The specials are also always worth checking out, from the BBQ plates to the biscuits and gravy, we’re always looking to the specials board to see what’s new. With so many great options to choose from, this South Austin institution at South 1st and Mary is one place that everyone can agree on.

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!

Top 20 Austin Favorites:

Austin Cream Pie Donut from Red Rabbit Bakery

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Austin Cream Pie 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.

Of all the amazing donuts that Red Rabbit Bakery makes (they’re all vegan!), I keep coming back to the Austin cream pie. It’s a take on the classic Boston cream pie, but with the flavors switched up – a vanilla glaze on the top, and rich chocolate mousse filling. I love the Austin cream pie a lot, but my love doesn’t stop there. The apple fritters are top notch, and on many occasions the rotating flavors blow me away as well. Did you have a chance to try the strawberry cheesecake? How about the peanut butter and jelly or the spicy Thai glaze? They were all ridiculously fantastic. I’m such a fan girl, I get sad when I go out of town and miss a seasonal flavor. Key lime pie. Missed that flavor, and still kicking myself.

Red Rabbit Donuts at the Mueller Farmer's Market Raspberry Filled, Apple Fritter and an Austin Cream Pie donut from Red Rabbit Bakery

Red Rabbit Bakery Trailer (now closed), formerly located on East 53rd St.As if Red Rabbit Bakery wasn’t already awesome enough, they also make sure to source local ingredients, and are a worker-owned cooperative. They’re found in coffee shops around town, and at Wheatsville. Like all donuts, they’re best enjoyed at their freshest, so I highly recommend finding them at the farmer’s market, or just after they’ve been delivered. They can sell out quickly, so to ensure that you get the donuts you want, place an online order for pickup by 5pm the day before. Most importantly, keep checking social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) for the latest flavors. It’s a sad, sad day when you realize you’ve just missed out on an amazing donut (see you next year, key lime pie donut!).

* Side note: I’ve just realized how dramatically vegan donut options have changed in the last few years. I remember the days when I would fly to Vegas just to get some Ronald’s donuts (and bring suitcases home full of them). Now it seems like every major city has at least one vegan donut shop, and I’ve personally tried at least a dozen different bakers’ vegan take on this classic. In the end it really doesn’t matter who does it the best, because what’s really important is that we have so many incredible options!

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!

Top 20 Austin Favorites:

The Vegan Del Rey Taco from The Vegan Nom

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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 on North Loop. 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” for SXSW 2013, and it proved popular enough to earn a permanent spot on the extensive menu of “Rockin Vegan Tacos”.

To complement our order of fish tacos, we often add the Rockin Vegan Migas, a taco stuffed with tofu scramble, grilled tortilla strips, vegan cheese and fresh sprouts, or the Vegan Jalisco, which features marinated vegan chicken and grilled veggies. There is, of course, an abundance of other outstanding vegan tacos on the menu; taco cleansers and other taco afficionados will feel right at home with the myriad options available. The Vegan Nom also has rotating monthly special tacos, which are always delicious — when the next monthly special rolls around, it’s hard to decide whether to be sad that the last taco special is gone, or excited that a new one is available.

The Vegan Nom Trailer located on North Loop

Magical vegan tacos ready to take home.

The Vegan Jalisco Taco from The Vegan Nom

All tacos are made to order, so it may take some time to get your order ready: call ahead to get a head start on the wait. The tacos are always affordable ($3-$5) and delicious, and can be topped with your choice of signature sauces. Most of the tacos have a bit of a kick to them, but modifications can be made for those with a lower tolerance for spicy food — just ask. The Vegan Nom is cash-only, so if you don’t have any on hand, there’s an ATM in the convenience store across the parking lot. This store is particularly convenient, as it also offers a wide selection of cold beverages to sip on as you enjoy your delicious tacos from this amazing little blue taco trailer.

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!

[This post was edited on 8/30/2014 to reflect the Vegan Nom’s move back to their original location.]

Top 20 Austin Favorites:

Vegan Bac’n Cheezeburger from Arlo's Food Truck

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Vegan Bac'n Cheezeburger from Arlo's Food Truck

To kick off our Top 20 Austin Favorites series for Vegan MoFo, we’re starting with the king of burgers: The Bac’n Cheezeburger from Arlo’s Food Truck. With two locations – one at Cheer Up Charlie’s on Red River Street, and the other at Radio Coffee and Beer on Manchaca, Arlo’s has been a mainstay in the Austin vegan scene since 2012. 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.
Menu at Arlo's Food Truck Wrapped Package of Vegan Love

Cheer Up Charlie's, the current home of Arlo's Food Truck.I highly suggest pairing your magical Arlo’s burger with a fresh juice cocktail from Cheer Up Charlie’s (alcoholic and non-alcoholic options available), with my personal favorites being the Rosy Cheek and the Golden Ticket. If you’re not in the mood for a burger (blasphemy!), the chik’n tacos are also fantastic. For those with finicky diets (allergies are a drag), the street tacos are a great soy and gluten free option. If you’re an Austin vegan who has never heard of this burger, then you should probably get out from under your rock and try one, maybe even this Friday at ATX Vegan Drinks!

[Edited to reflect the new locations]

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!

Vegan News Bites

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Kaki-Age from The DojoVegan Ramen from The Dojo

Restaurant News:
– I noticed that a new Japanese restaurant in town called The Dojo mentioned they were working on a vegan ramen on their Facebook page, but when a friend emailed me pictures of the menu from their soft opening, I was shocked. 12 menu items were clearly marked with a vegan icon. Vegan ramen was just the beginning: edamame, pickled vegetables, seaweed salad, sunomono, spinach salad, tofu caprese, tomato croquettes, kaki-age, tofu steak, veggie gyoza and even homemade coconut ice cream were all marked vegan! The Dojo is Austin’s first izakaya, a kind of Japanese bar where food is meant to be enjoyed at a slower pace while ordering drinks and hanging out. Their tentative hours are 5pm to 2am, so this could potentially become one of the few late-night vegan options up north. I’m excited to see that another Austin restaurant has put so much thought into their vegan offerings, and can’t wait to check it out myself. (Above photos taken by awesome vegan food finder Aaron Reiser!)
Red Rabbit Coop Bakery Truck in North LoopRed Rabbit Cooperative Bakery has opened their first location in a trailer on 53rd St near Airport. Currently serving donuts from 7am to 1pm (or till sold out), this trailer is a welcome addition to the North Loop neighborhood! It’s the perfect morning stop on the way to work… maybe even grab a few extra for your co-workers who will be undoubtably impressed by these stellar vegan donuts.
The Vegan Nom, everyone’s favorite North Loop taco trailer, announced plans to open a second trailer sometime soon. When, where, and with what menu is still a mystery that I hope we will know the answers to soon!

New Menu Items:
Vegan Pizza from Sauced in the Highland MallSauced, in the Highland Mall Food Court, tried out vegan pizza on their menu for the first time last weekend, and it was such a huge success that they’re doing it again this weekend. If this is something you’d like to see as a permanent menu item, make sure to go out there and show your support! With a crispy thin crust and two faux-meat options, I was really happy with the newest addition to the vegan pizza scene. I know I’ll be spending more time in the Highland Mall with pizza options like theirs around.
Mr. Natural is rolling out a new menu soon. They put out a Facebook teaser with a photo of a monster vegan Texas burger with fakin’ bacon, daiya, BBQ, jalapeños and more. If the new burger is any indication of what’s to come, I for one am looking forward to trying their new menu.
Jambalaya on a Stick from Baton CreoleBaton Creole, an adorable pink trailer on E 6th St, has been cranking out new and exciting vegan options lately. There is a vegan jambalaya on a stick on their regular menu, and a rotating vegan special once a month that will coincide with ATX Vegan Drinks on the first Friday of the month. Last month’s vegan special was a “crab” cake, with okra creole over rice on the side. I’ve also heard that there may be a partnership between Capital City Bakery and Baton Creole, with the possibility of vegan beignets in our future. Everything Baton Creole has made so far has blown my mind, so I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Build-Your-Own Sundae Bar from Sweet RitualEvents:
ATX Vegan Drinks will be at Sweet Ritual this Friday with a build-your-own sundae bar, donuts from Red Rabbit Bakery and cookie dough from Celeste’s Best! It will be a BYOB event, so grab some drinks to bring, or take advantage of Juiceland’s large selection of non-alcoholic juices, smoothies and kombucha!
Counter Culture has posted an exciting Soul Food and Music event on Wed, July 24th. With food specials including fried seitan & gravy, BBQ tempeh, mashed potatoes, fried green tomatoes, creamed greens, deep south slaw, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato pie, peach cobbler and more, I can’t wait to try them all while listening to southern soul music.
– CityBoy Cuisine will be starting a new event called Bistro Vonish, which will be a vegan fine dining supper club. These vegan multi-course dinners are hopefully the lead up to Chef Craig Vanis opening a brick-and-mortar vegan fine dining establishment, which is one thing that would certainly be a welcome addition to the Austin vegan scene.

Hungry After Dark:

Late-Night Vegan Options in the ATX

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I’ll be honest: I am not a morning person. I can adapt just like anyone, but given the opportunity, my body will naturally migrate to a bedtime of 2am or later. In a city filled with young “slackers” like myself, where ubiquitous live music shows and other evening entertainment often don’t even commence until 10 or 11pm, and sunrises often indicate that it’s time for bed, I know my particular circadian rhythm is not unique. Let the rest of the world begin their daily rush at daybreak; Austin (or a good chunk of it, anyway) will wait until a more appropriate hour.

So while I have plenty of fellow night owls in my city, there is one issue that presents itself, especially as a vegan: food. When one wakes up late, it’s not uncommon for dinnertime to occur when the PM hours are in the double digits. Most veg-friendly establishments, especially during the week, close before 10pm. So what’s a quasi-nocturnal vegan Austinite to do?

Fortunately, when researching for this post, I came across a plethora of previously unknown options (though many of them only keep their doors open late on weekends). I drew upon my own experience a bit to compile this list, but the vast majority of it comes from the guides of Lazy Smurf, Capital City Bakery, VegAustin, and Vegans Rock Austin. Many thanks to them.

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