Tagged: Top Austin Vegan Food

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 – Eat Yo’ (Fruit &) Veggies Edition:

Frozen Banana from Bananarchy

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Eating a plain banana can be pretty boring, but freeze it, and douse it in chocolate and nuts – and we’re sold! It’s a simple but powerful transformation that the banana artists at Bananarchy have mastered. Fans of Arrested Development (a hit TV show, for those of you who have been living under a rock), will be happy to find that this banana stand is peppered with references from the show. While it’s no visit to Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Stand on Balboa Island, you won’t be disappointed at Bananarchy, the revolutionary dessert trailer in South Austin.

Whole banana, dipped in vegan chocolate, with nuts and coconut from BananarchyHalf banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie special from Bananarchy

Ordering your banana is a simple, three-step process: first, decide whether you want half a banana or a whole one; next, pick whether you want it dipped once or twice (in vegan chocolate for us vegans); and finally, take your pick of toppings. The nuts, oreos, coconut, and cinnamon toppings are all vegan, and are labeled as such on the menu board. Bananarchy also runs specials that are sometimes vegan-friendly as well. On our most recent visit, we tried the vegan-friendly chocolate peanut butter pie special: a banana dipped in chocolate, rolled in graham crackers and nuts, and topped with organic peanut butter and chocolate drizzle. Yum!

Vegan G.O.B. from Bananarchy.A friendly Bananarchist

If you’re in the mood for a ton of food, try to finish off the biggest, baddest banana on the menu – The GOB. Pronounced Jobe, this massive, two-banana monstrosity is something the likes of which G.O.B. himself would order: double-dipped, with extra nuts, and with two sticks to support it all. Beyond Arrested Development references, you’ll also notice that Bananarchy has a few other funky little quirks up its sleeve. For example, the stick that supports your banana and gives you a handle to grab onto is also a spoon, which is very convenient for picking up any pieces of chocolate that fall off as you’re eating. Look closely, and you’ll see that the friendly bananarchists inside the trailer always proudly wear a spoon strapped to their heads.

Bananarchy Trailer at the South First Food CourtSouth First Food Court in South Austin

Bananarchy takes their frozen bananas pretty seriously, sourcing them from socially responsible suppliers like Turbana and EARTH University. You can find these yummy frozen desserts at the South First Food Court at South First and Live Oak – right next to Pulse Vegan. Bananarchy is open seasonally (typically closing at the end of October and reopening early March), and also closes whenever it’s not banana weather outside. So be sure to check social media before heading over, and remember: there’s always money in the banana stand.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Top 20 – Eat Yo’ (Fruit &) Veggies Edition:

Mochi Ice Cream from Frozen Rickshaw

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Vegan mochi ice cream on a stick from Frozen Rickshaw

Mochi ice cream! Clearly, this does not in any way resemble a fruit or a vegetable, but stick with us; we promise they’re in there somewhere. The rotating vegan mochi ice cream flavors at Frozen Rickshaw are all homemade with real fruit, and are the perfect light and refreshing complement to just about any meal. We know that’s a bit of a stretch, but who doesn’t love eating their fruit in ice cream form?

In case you’re not familiar with mochi, it’s an Asian staple which gets its name from the type of rice it is made from, known in Japanese as mochigome. This versatile concoction is pliable and chewy, and it works with just about any flavor you can throw at it. Wrap some mochi around a ball of ice cream / sorbet, and you have yourselves a mochi ice cream. Skewer it with a stick, or pick it up with your fingers — it’s delicious any way you decide to eat it.

Mochi ice cream and drinks from Frozen RickshawCross section of vegan mochi ice cream from Frozen Rickshaw

Mochi is used in a wide variety of sweet and savory treats throughout East and Southeast Asia, many of which are accidentally vegan. Mochi ice cream is one of the most popular ways to enjoy mochi in Japan and elsewhere, but unfortunately it’s rarely vegan. Frozen Rickshaw is one of the only places we’ve known to take on vegan mochi ice cream, and we’re so happy that they did. The vegan options at Frozen Rickshaw are listed as sorbets with fruit or coconut bases (coconut sorbet, a.k.a. vegan ice cream). There are always several vegan flavors available on the menu, and on our most recent visit, they were Lychee Coconut, Strawberry Passionfruit, and Blueberry Thai Basil. All three were amazing, and each did an excellent job of showcasing the beautiful natural colors and flavors of its ingredients.

In addition to delicious mochi treats, Frozen Rickshaw offers several beverage options which are usually either vegan or veganizable. Our favorite is the veganized tong sui, made with coconut milk and fresh taro, and served with little tapioca pearls. Depending on the season, they offer either a hot or a cold version, both with a rich taro flavor and just the right hint of sweetness. You can also get vegan sorbet by the scoop, if mochi isn’t your thing. But seriously, if mochi isn’t your thing, you either haven’t tried it, or there’s something seriously wrong with you. (JK, we love you Brittany!)

Frozen Rickshaw trailer on W 30th StreetSipping on a cold tong sui at Frozen Rickshaw

You can find Frozen Rickshaw on 30th Street just east of Guadalupe: within easy walking distance from Wheatsville Coop or Spider House. The trailer is open seasonally, so make sure to check social media or give them a call before you head over. The flavors are rotating, and new flavors pop up all the time, so we’re always excited to find out what’s new. We’ve been blown away by the level of creativity that goes into these seemingly simple little morsels. Give them a try, and you too will want to keep coming back to see what they think up next.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Top 20 – Eat Yo’ (Fruit &) Veggies Edition:

Cacao Cup from Mister FruitCup

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Traditional Mexican and Cacao Cup from Mister FruitCup

We’re taking a departure from the veggies for a moment to highlight another food group that we tend to neglect – fruit! Fruit, glorious fruit! Fruit is of course delicious, but how often do you actually go to town on an array of fruit?* Fruit all too often gets relegated to boring snack status: the squished grapes or banana haphazardly stuffed into your lunch sack, or the sad browning fruit salad sitting uneaten at a potluck. I’ve always considered fruit a quick snack, maybe a lazy dessert, but never something to put much effort into, that was until Mister FruitCup showed up on the Austin scene. These fruit cups are a huge departure from the cocktail cups of your childhood. They’re cups piled high with a wide variety of ripe fruit, covered in sauces and spices and then covered in toppings including nuts, coconut and lime. They’re the LeBron James** of fruit cups.

Tropical and Thai cups from Mister FruitCupTop view of vegan cups from Mister FruitCup

Since the Mister FruitCup trailer first opened up over two years ago, the menu has changed a bit. They’re currently located in the University Co-op Food Court, at San Antonio and W. 23rd, and cater to the hungry UT student population. A few of our past favorite vegan-friendly fruit cups have disappeared from the menu, but Mister FruitCup’s commitment to their vegan customers has not. They currently mark the fruit cups which are vegan or can be made vegan with modifications (agave for honey as an example), and are in the process of putting together a separate vegan menu. The flavors also change with the seasons, and our current favorite is the Cacao cup, comprised of mango, banana, orange, kiwi, cacao nibs, agave and fresh lime juice. The lime and agave elevate the flavors of the fruit perfectly, and the cacao nibs add a nice crunch to balance the cup out.

Mister FruitCup TrailerUniversity Co-op Food Court

If you’re looking for something a little less sweet, we recommend the traditional Mexican cup with its unique combination of flavors including watermelon, pineapple, cucumber and jicama topped with spices and coconut. For a nice breakfast, they have an “Energy” cup with fruit, granola and yogurt (vegan yogurt available). The Thai cup is another interesting flavor departure, with fruits such as watermelon, banana and mango, topped with peanuts and fresh herbs including basil, mint and cilantro, and served with chopsticks for a fun twist.

Because it is a food truck with limited resources, and because the ripening of fruit can be finicky, not all fruit cups are available at all times. The menu is so wide and varied, though, that there are always a few vegan fruit cups to choose from. The cups range in price from $4.50 to $6.50 depending on size, and all come with a generous portion of fresh fruit. And while the University Co-op location is clearly a great spot for students and UT employees alike, it’s also pretty convenient for those of us who drive by the area frequently, as there’s free parking (with validation) in the large parking garage directly across San Antonio Street from the trailer lot. So, whether you’re looking for an energizing snack, a light meal, or a yummy dessert, if you’re on or near campus, you should definitely look to Mister FrutiCup!

* Don’t answer that. I realize I’m probably alone in my delayed discovery of how amazing fruit can be.
** I know I wrote it, but I don’t actually know what that means. Basketball, right?

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Top 20 – Eat Yo’ Veggies Edition:

Tofu & Broccoli Salad from Bouldin Creek Cafe

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Never in my life did I think I would wax poetic about a tofu and broccoli salad, but that’s what happens when you start diving into the world of great vegetable dishes this town has to offer – you find things you never expected to find. I think before this series started, we ordered a salad at Bouldin Creek Cafe, errr, once. Maybe? We figured if we were going to drive across the river (we’re die-hard northies), we’re going to get a Veggie Royale or a Renedict. When we placed our order for the Tofu & Broccoli Salad, we had low, looow expectations – I’ve never been happier to report that we were wrong. This salad has become our new go-to.

The Tofu & Broccoli Salad is loaded with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, sunflower sprouts and seeds… you know, the standard salad fare. Where this salad really shines is in the crisp stir-fried broccoli and the firm sesame tofu – both flavored to perfection in a delicious savory marinade. The thing that seals the deal, and brings all the flavors together, is the ginger-miso dressing. Do not order this salad without that dressing! It’s imperative. We were so close to ordering it with just the garlic tahini dressing (because, tahini — yum!), when our table-mate and bestie Tenley, a Boulin Creek Cafe regular, saved the day and told us we needed the ginger-miso dressing. So we got both. The garlic tahini was no match for the ginger-miso. Tofu & Broccoli Salad + ginger-miso dressing = love at first bite!


Before we stumbled upon the tofu and broccoli salad, Dan and I were dead set on featuring the Kool Summer Sammich at Bouldin. It was a very close runner-up to the salad. It’s basically a salad sandwich. A stellar salad sandwich. Made up of tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, sunflower sprouts, field greens, and shredded carrots piled high on grilled ciabatta with a chipotle-pecan pesto spread. It’s made complete with an order of tofu bac’n or hummus. Tenley (Hey, Tenley! Are you totally not embarrassed by all of these these shout-outs?!) also wanted to make sure that everyone knew that the hummus is legit, and that she loved her Kool Summer Sammich in large part because of the pesto spread – so now you know. Order that stat!


I’m happy we found a new favorite at Bouldin, and look forward to switching it up more often now. I honestly don’t think you can get a bad meal at Bouldin; I mean, c’mon, everybody knows Bouldin’s the bomb! So if you’re stuck in a rut like we were, ordering the same dish time and time again, maybe it’s time to try something new? Hopefully you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as we were.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Top 20 – Eat Yo’ Veggies Edition:

Falafel Salad from Maoz

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Salad Box from Maoz

Love falafel? Who doesn’t? It’s a magical combination of chickpeas, veggies, herbs and spices all mixed up and fried into little balls. Maoz, an international chain of vegetarian falafel shops, has it down to a science. We’re lucky that Austin is one of the few US cities to have its own location, which opened up in The Triangle (Lamar and 46th) in early 2012. Grabbing a falafel in a pita is the standard go to, but we prefer grabbing a salad bowl. The bowl comes pre-filled with a little bit of lettuce and five falafel balls with plenty of room on top to spare for their rotating salad bar fixings: shredded carrots, red cabbage, green cabbage, beets, fried broccoli, cucumber and tomato salad, chickpeas, tabouli, olives, pickles and more. There’s a cilantro sauce at the end that I love to slather all over my salad, and a green chili hot sauce that Dan prefers. To top it all off, we grab the squeeze bottle of tahini and go to town.

Salad Bar at MaozVegan Shawarma at Maoz

The best part about Maoz is that they take their vegan customers seriously. Almost everything in the restaurant is vegan, and they’re not afraid to label it so. They offer vegan soups, and even have a vegan rice pudding dessert. Almost everything on the salad bar is vegan, and everything is clearly labeled vegan if it is. The fryer is a dedicated vegan fryer, so pile on that fried broccoli – it’s so good! Maoz is also incredibly gluten-free friendly, making their falafel balls gluten-free, and labeling the salad bar with gluten-free labels. They’re also trying out a new option of a vegan shawarma and vegan BBQ. When we were there, they mentioned that the shawarma is a chik’n style protein fried with onions and peppers, and the BBQ is a beef style protein marinated in BBQ sauce. The BBQ style was temporarily unavailable, but the shawarma was delicious and can be added in a wrap or salad.

Maoz Austin located in The TriangleInterior of the Maoz location in Austin

We live nearby, so taking our food to-go is pretty standard, and we love that there are dedicated 10 min and 30 min parking spots right out front that are almost always available. If you plan to eat in, the sandwich is a steal at $6, as you get a little box for salad bar toppings that you can refill as many times as you like. If you get it to-go, they give you a slightly bigger salad container, so it’s still a good deal. If you’re grabbing a salad bowl, you can do like we do, and stuff it to the max and then head home and transfer it to a larger bowl for easy eating. This is one superb salad that will fill you up.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Top 20 – Eat Yo’ Veggies Edition:

Quinoa Ranchero Salad from Juiceland

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Quinoa Ranchero and Smoothies from Juiceland

Juiceland, oh Juiceland, why are you so expensive*! I’d eat you for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could afford it. You make spinach juice taste good. You’re clearly working some sort of voodoo magic. When we’re looking to eat our veggies, we turn to you first. Your Quinoa Ranchero salad is a flavor explosion. Steamed quinoa tossed with corn, covered in a tangy ranchero sauce, and topped with cilantro and massaged spinach. It’s bold, and limey (as in, full of lime flavor – totally unrelated to the wonderful British people). We sometimes cheat on you with the Feast in the Middle East, the Double Rainbow Quinoa Salad and the Kale Salad, but we always come back to you in the end. You pair so well with a Peachy Green smoothie – which tastes more peachy than green, but looks more green than peachy, or an Applelily juice – the lovechild of an apple and cold-pressed green juice. Both are our go-to drinks when we want the benefits of downing our greens, without it tasting like we took a nosedive into a patch of grass.

Assorted salads, smoothies and a Mannawich from JuicelandOriginator and Peachy Green Smoothies from Juiceland

When we’re not looking to break the bank, we make sure to check out your daily specials board. Get a medium size Originator for $5.95? Yes, please! I’m drinking protein powder and spirulina, and yet all I taste is peanut butter & jelly. When we’re looking for something sweeter, we grab a Mannawich – which, both baffles and intrigues me. Who came up with the idea to put cinnamon date paste mixed with cacao and goji berries between two slices of manna bread? It’s like a cake sandwich. I have a love/hate relationship with this bizarre concoction that keeps me coming back for more.

Mannawich from JuicelandJuiceland on Burnet

Juiceland, it’s so swell that you’re doing well. I swear I blink, and another location opens up around town. I can find you at Barton Springs, Deep Eddy, North Burnet, Hyde Park (shoutout to Sweet Ritual!), Oak Hill, E. Cesar Chavez, Lakeway, Westlake, 29th & Guadalupe, and now I even hear you have a location in Brooklyn (NYC, not some new nickname for the East side)! Three cheers for world juice domination!

*I kid! I know why your delicious food is expensive. It’s because it’s full of expensive sh*t. And I’ll happily pay, because what’s the alternative? I get my own juicer dirty, and have to clean it? I don’t think so.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel (that’s us!), for whom vegetables are not an area of expertise. We scoured Austin to find veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. When not eating our veggies, we hone our skills at finding great oily, sugary, calorie-dense vegan foods, so if you’re into that too, check out last year’s Top 20 series. Happy eating!

Vegan MoFo 2014 is Here – Ready or Not!

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Vegan MoFo

Vegan MoFo is this month! The one month out of the year where hundreds of bloggers, out of a sense of fun and camaraderie, decide to blog at least 20 times in one month about vegan food. Some supervegans (aka people) have their act together and post all the time, but we can rarely make a blog post appear once a month, much less twenty, so this is truly a challenge for us – and we are so not ready!

Dan nomming on some donuts, ice cream, waffle cones and candy. The four main food groups, right?
Dan nomming on some donuts, ice cream, waffle cones and candy. The four main food groups, right?

Last year, Dan and I put together a list of our Top 20 Austin Favorites. A veritable list of all the most amazing vegan pizza, corn dogs, burgers and other insanely delicious food in this town. We didn’t really have to search high and low to find these dishes, because uhhm, we eat out a lot, and already frequented these fine dining establishments. If you fry it, we will come. We did notice that the list was lacking a certain something – namely vegetables. We eat vegetables, don’t get us wrong, but if we’re going to go out of our way to get some, it’s probably not going to be a salad. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some killer salads in this town, and this month we’re going to find them, along with some amazing stir-frys, bowls, sushi and even some fruity desserts. We’re calling it Top 20: Eat Yo’ Veggies edition.

The ideal way to get in your daily servings of vegetables - just add vodka. Bonus points if you add even more veggies on top - particularly the pickled kind.
The ideal way to get in your daily servings of vegetables – just add vodka. Bonus points if you add even more veggies on top – particularly the pickled kind.

We love that there are people in this town already dedicated to eating their veggies: the 80/10/10’ers, Engine 2 folks, and raw foodies, but this list is probably not going to be up their alley. We’re hoping to create a list of veggie-ful options for those like us, who’d probably rather be eating corn dogs, but are also happy to eat a salad if it’s tasty and filling. We’ve got a great list started, and hope we surprise you with a few of our finds.

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!