Tagged: Top Austin Vegan Food

Top 20 Austin Favorites:

Buffalo Popcorn Tofu from Wheatsville Co-op

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Buffalo Popcorn Tofu on Ciabatta from Wheatsville Coop

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

Buffalo Popcorn Hoagie from Wheatsvlle Coop Vegan mac and cheeze, spicy greens, soy sausage and biscuits and gravy from Wheatsville's hot bar.

Wheatsville Coop's North LocationWhen you want to switch things up, try Wheatsville’s always vegan-friendly, and always delicious hot bar. My favorite hot bar combo is on Sundays, when they break out the biscuits and gravy, vegan sausage crumbles, spicy greens and the other Wheatsville fave – mac and cheeze (also available during the week, as well as in the cold case).

Wheatsville will soon have two locations where you can get your Popcorn Tofu/hot bar fix. We have our tried and true north location on Guadalupe, but South Austinites have a very exciting second location coming at ’em any day now. Yay for more Popcorn Tofu in this world!

* Why sub ciabatta you may ask? Well, as you can see from the pictures above (top is ciabatta, below is hoagie), you get the same ingredients either way, it’s just how you prefer them to be distributed. If you like to eat your sandwich like a burrito, where each bite comes with a different ingredient, then go for the hoagie, but if you’d rather eat your sandwich like a sandwich, and taste the combinations of flavors and textures with each bite, go for the ciabatta. Obviously I have my preference, but it really is great either way!

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:

Vegan Ramen at Ramen Tatsu-Ya

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Vegan Ramen with oolong tea, side salad, and extra garlic at Ramen Tatsu-Ya.

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

Ramen Tatsu-Ya has two locations (one north, one south), and both are strictly dine-in only – the only way to ensure that your soup and noodles get delivered at precisely the correct temperature and texture. Anybody who’s passed by during business hours has probably noticed the line of hungry customers wrapping around the corner, waiting to get in. While the line may look daunting, Ramen Tatsu-Ya has the process so streamlined that the wait to get in the door is rarely longer than 30 minutes. Ramen Tatsu-Ya only makes the vegan broth and noodles for dinner on Sundays, so be sure to check what day of the week it is before you head over to get your ramen fix. If you can’t make it for Sunday dinner, come any time during the week for lunch and try the brothless vegan ramen. It’s a good idea to come hungry, as the generous portions will leave even the most ravenous of eaters with a full belly.

Ross and I dig into bowls of hot ramen.Lines commonly stretch around the corner at Ramen Tatsu-Ya.

The vegan ramen bowl is the only vegan entree offered for dinner, but you can customize it if you like: a few of the extra toppings are vegan (we highly recommend the fresh garlic, which comes to your table with a fun garlic press), as well as some of the “bombs” (scoops of sauce paste to mix into your broth). However you choose to enjoy your bowl, the experience is sure to make you want to come back week after week, until you too rename Sunday to “Ramen Day”.

* The tofu and Brussels sprouts are deep-fried in a communal fryer.

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:

Mixmix Bibimbap from Koriente

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Mixmix Bibimbap with tofu and avocado from Koriente

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

The vegan miso soup (a free add-on) at Koriente is a perfect pairing for the bibimbap, and a vegan bubble tea is a lovely sweet note to end on. When I want to switch things up, I’ll order the Noodle Garden (similar to the bibimbap, with mung bean noodles instead of rice), or the Rice Medallion Saute (unsweetened mochi with sauteed and fresh veggies, and noodles). You really can’t go wrong at Koriente: just pick a dish that sounds good, and it will be.

Free Vegan Miso Soup at Koriente Vegan Bubble Tea at Koriente

Koriente as seen through their garden.Other great things about Koriente: free parking out back, a rare downtown pedestrian garden (yup, they grew all of that), affordable entrees (prices starting at $6), super quick service, gluten-free friendly options (ask for the wheat-free sauce) and their quirky sense of humor (Quote painted on the wall as you walk in: “My mom started this restaurant b/c she hates to cook.”). One last thing to note: don’t be thrown off (sometimes literally) by their chairs. When you first sit on them, you’ll assume that you’re the lucky winner of a broken chair, but they’re actually just made that way – you’ll come to love them just like everything else about Koriente.

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:

Vegan Jambalaya on a Stick from Baton Creole

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The Vegan Jambalaya on a Stick from Baton Croele

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

Baton Creole is a relative new-comer to the vegan-friendly scene on East 6th street, but since showing up a few months ago, they have been turning out one fantastic vegan dish after another. While the jambalaya on a stick is a mainstay on the menu (and my personal favorite), there are also rotating specials which are often vegan friendly, that have been killer as well. The Vegan Crab Cakes with a side of Okra Creole were to die for, and the Vegan French Onion Soup fulfilled a personal goal of mine to find a legit veganized French onion soup.

The Vegan Crab Cakes Special from Baton Creole

Vegan French Onion Soup Special at Baton Creole

Baton Creole Trailer Parked on East 6th StYou can find this adorable pink trailer at the food court at E 6th street and Waller. If you weren’t already excited enough, the vegan special this week is panko crusted eggplant on top of a bed of bowtie noodles tossed in a creamy cashew & almond sauce with roasted red peppers & hearts of palm! Love creole food? Let them know your favorite dishes that you’d like to see veganized. Lynzy, the owner, is super sweet and always looking for suggestions. I’ve heard there might be some vegan gumbo and beignets specials in our future!

* FYI: Baton Creole uses a communal fryer, so if that doesn’t work for you, look out for one of the non-fried rotating specials which are cooked on dedicated-veg equipment.

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:

Fiery Vegan Dog from Fire & Soul

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Fiery Vegan Dog at Fire & Soul

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

If hot dogs aren’t your thing, try the deep fried avocado, which is covered in the same delectable batter as the Fiery Vegan Dog (just ask to hold the ranch). The Fiery Vegan Dog has won over sworn hot dog haters like my wife, though, so it’s still worth consideration, even if you’re a hot dog skeptic. Whichever you decide to get, we highly recommend shelling out an extra dollar to upgrade the side of fries to the crispiest, most incredible sweet potato fries you’ll ever taste. You won’t regret it.

Fire & Soul Trailer Parked on East 6th St

Me worshipping the corn dog gods.

Fire & Soul often moves their truck around for catering events (check their Twitter feed to find out where they are), but their home base is at the Eastside Fillin’ Station food trailer lot on East 6th and Waller, next to Baton Creole, and across the street from Via 313. Clearly, this area is home to some of the tastiest vegan fare in town. There is plenty of seating at the food trailer lot, but if you’d prefer to enjoy your food at a bar, there are several in the area. Cool off with a drink or two while enjoy your piece of vegan deep-fried nirvana.

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:

Vegan Detroit-Style Pizza from Via 313

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Vegan Pizza from VIA 313

The next up on our “Top 20 Austin Favorites” series is the Detroit-style pizza from Via 313! This authentic Detroit-style pie is unique in many ways, from the rectangular shape, to the thick crust, to the upside-down toppings. This unusual pizza stole our hearts with just one bite of its crispy, pillowy goodness.

The rectangular shape with 4 corner slices is from the unique pan: an industrial steel pan traditionally used for automotive parts. The crust of a Detroit style pizza is thick, with a crispy/fried texture on the outside, and a light and airy (think focaccia) inside. It’s commonly described as an upside-down pie because the toppings are layered on first, followed by the cheese (or Follow Your Heart cheeze in this instance), and then topped with fresh crushed tomato sauce, poured in two strips down the center of the pie.

Via 313 pizza box containing pizza gold.

Closeup of the herbivore pizza from Via 313.

Via 313 trailer parked on East 6th St.
There are a lot of different vegetable toppings to choose from, but to make life simpler you can always order “The Herbivore” (just ask for it vegan), with cremini mushrooms, sweet onions, green peppers and black olives. Via 313 does not offer delivery, but you can always call ahead and carry out, or dine in at their brick and mortar in Oak Hill, or head to one of the many bars near their two trailers (E 6th and Rainey) to enjoy your pie. With only a small handful of restaurants outside of Detroit serving up Detroit-style pizza, and I imagine many fewer serving up vegan versions, we Austinites are pretty darn lucky to have access to such a phenomenal pizza.

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:

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!