The 17 essential vegan-friendly restaurants in Austin, Texas

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The 17 essential vegan-friendly restaurants in Austin, Texas

Foodie City Guides

The 17 essential vegan-friendly restaurants in Austin, Texas

If you’re one of the half million music lovers flocking to Austin this October for Austin City Limits, one of the world’s best and biggest music festivals, don’t miss out on the city’s incredible vegan food scene. Sure, Texas may be “cattle country,” but Austin boasts some of the nation’s best vegan fare. From Tex-Mex tacos piled with vegan chorizo and cactus nopales to juicy vegan burgers to fresh-pressed juices, Austin’s vegan food scene offers something for everyone.

Given Austin’s eclectic tendencies, this list includes eating establishments fit for all tastes and budgets: trucks, elegant sit-down restaurants, ice cream parlors, bakeries and fast-casual eateries. To make sure no highlights were left out, we consulted Matthew Prescott, 20-year vegan, Austinite, and author of Food Is the Solution: What to Eat to Save the World.

Here are the 17 vegan-friendly restaurants you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Austin:

The Vegan Nom

Austin’s first-ever all-vegan taco truck, The Vegan Nom, is located in the city’s hip East Austin neighborhood. Make sure to try the Three Amigos taco with vegan sausage and the Rockin’ Vegan Migas topped with vegan cheddar and tofu scramble. While tacos are the truck’s (vegan) bread and butter, the mac ’n cheese nachos and quesadillas are all worth ordering. Bonus points: The Vegan Nom is located on East Cesar Chavez Boulevard, named after the legendary farmworker advocate and ethical vegan.

BBQ Revolution

Austin is known as one of the best cities for barbecue, so it’s fitting that it’s also home to the all-vegan BBQ Revolution. Think ribs made from tempeh and brisket made with wheat protein, heavily slathered in barbecue sauce. Don’t miss out on classic sides like potato salad, mac ’n cheese and coleslaw.

Biscuits and Groovy

If you love breakfast food, you have to try Biscuits and Groovy. Just about every dish can be made vegan, thanks to vegan buttermilk biscuits, sausage, bacon and cheese. The restaurant’s best-seller, the Gloria Gaynor, is topped with thick gravy, sausage, chives, jalapeños and cheese. And the Aretha Franklin (RIP) is made with chives, white-pepper gravy, vegan sausage, bacon and cheese. Plus, you have two locations to choose from – one near the University of Texas at Austin and the other by Barton Springs, Austin’s iconic public swimming pool.

Nada Moo

I started seeing Nada Moo ice cream pints popping up in the frozen aisle of Whole Foods a few years ago, so I was excited to learn that Nada Moo had opened a brick-and-mortar location in South Austin, where it has been based for 14 years. Using coconut milk as the base, it crafts both unique and classic flavors, like maple pecan, rocky road and vanilla chai. Vegan doughnuts and milkshakes are also on offer.

Veggie Heaven

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What could go wrong when ordering the whole menu? 😝

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In business since 1998, Veggie Heaven is an Austin vegan staple, serving up pan-Asian cuisine. You’ll have dozens of options between the comprehensive appetizer and entree menus, including curry buns; pot stickers; and veganized classic dishes, like garlic chicken, General Tso’s chicken, Mongolian beef and much more. Veggie Heaven is so good that eating at the restaurant even made it onto this list of “35 Things Everyone Should Do in Austin, Texas Before They Die.”

Citizen Eatery

With a clean, modern interior and affordable pricing, Citizen Eatery is great for a date or takeout. Located in North Austin, Citizen Eatery serves up American food, but totally vegan. Menu highlights include the Citizen Burger (smoked green chili burger with grilled onions and aioli), pecan pesto noodles (zucchini and butternut spaghetti noodles with house pesto and vegetables) and cheesy cauliflower bites. Citizen Eatery serves brunch on the weekends, too.

Doggie Style

There are few vegan hot dog stands in the world, so make sure to get to Doggie Style in South Austin before your trip ends. Opened in 2016 by a couple from Columbus, Ohio, who claim their Midwest upbringing inspires their menu, Doggie Style spotlights house-made vegan hot dogs on sesame buns with a variety of toppings, from sauerkraut to tangy coleslaw to spicy sport peppers to golden cheddar. The food truck is located in the South First Food Court, which is dog-friendly and BYOB.

Cool Beans

Featured as one of Austin’s best taco joints, Cool Beans food truck was founded by Rolando Garza, a native of Brownsville, Texas, and Priscilla Jerez, a Los Angeleno who said, “Delicious vegan Mexican food is possible, and it in no way takes away from our cultures.” Try the award-winning Warrior taco and the street corn, which is topped with homemade lime mayo and chilito spice. Cool Beans is conveniently located in Central Austin.

Arlo’s

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Too much is never enough!

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Arlo’s food is “designed to satisfy omnivores and herbivores alike,” and that it does. With three food truck locations, there’s no excuse not to try Arlo’s mouthwatering Bac’n Cheeze Burger made with a vegan patty, house-made bac’n seitan and melted cheeze. The menu also features a barbecue burger and a chipotle chik’n burger – each at only $8. Like just about every other food truck in Austin, Arlo’s also serves tacos.

Casa de Luz

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Casa de Luz is a community that feeds to heal! I love this place! Here is their philosophy: "The philosophy of how to live a great life (Macrobiotics) is the founding idea for Casa de Luz. This is an all encompassing philosophy, which includes all methods of supporting health and freedom. Our mission is to offer a sacred space for those that want to bring their disciplines to share with the community. Casa de Luz is open to all. Our reason for being is to practice and live in integrity. We believe that living with integrity includes practicing, learning, teaching, and sharing actions and philosophies to develop conscious living and cognition. It also takes commitment, authenticity, appreciation and openness to being wrong. The search of improvement is necessary, least we become arrogant and dogmatic. This is a place that is ever changing and colored by the practices that people bring to share. In order to fulfill its complete destiny, Casa de Luz will create a full spectrum village which will be designed to include smart living modalities. Humanity's recent industrialized development has created conveniences that have proven to be detrimental to the overall health of all things on earth. The automobile, while wonderful, has proven to destroy well being. Industrialized foods have been made tasty, attractive and cheap, yet not only do they lack nourishment, but they also cause illness. By design, a village can support well being for all. Those in Casa's community are the designers of the emerging village. My prayer is that I may live in such a place sooner than later. Wayo" #casadeluz #casadeluzaustin #keepaustinhealthy #healingfood

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When you need a break from Austin’s greasy burgers, filling street tacos, and indulgent desserts, head straight to Casa de Luz, a dimly lit, zen-like eatery. For just $12, enjoy the daily salad; soup; and macrobiotic plate that features grains, beans and vegetables, as well as unlimited hibiscus tea.

Juiceland

Austin is hot. If you go in the summer, you’ll surely endure several 100-degree days, so the Juiceland locations sprinkled throughout the city will be your refreshing oasis. Juiceland, which is entirely plant-based, offers tons of healthy wraps and sandwiches, smoothies and juices. The Julio Verde – made with almond milk, orange, banana, mango and other fruits and vegetables – is especially tasty, like a healthier version of orange creamsicle ice cream.

Sweet Ritual

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LAST DAY THIS SUMMER FOR CONENUTS! ❤️💜🧡💛💚💙💖 Also, the #atxveganicecreamtour is 1/2 way over! Come celebrate the #vegsnicecreamcapital of the world and get your ice cream passport stamped today. . 🤚Featured Flavors available today: Matcha Made in Heaven – 🍃matcha green tea, elderflower & lemon (cashew) Santa Fe Mocha – 🍫🌶 Toasted Hatch chili & chocolate (coconut) Avocado Lime- 🥑 avocado and lime (sorbet) S’mores – 🍢 gf graham, @mydandies, chocolate (coconut) Chocolate Coconut 🍫 – Keto/Paleo, no sugar added, stevia sweetened . 👉Always Flavors with bases listed, all GF👈 Vanilla Soft Serve 🍦 (coconut & organic soy) Chocolate Olive Oil 🍫 (almond butter) Rocky Road 🍢 (almond butter) Peanut Butter Cup 🥜 (peanut butter) Sunflower Butter Chocolate Chip 🌻 (sunflower seed) Salted Caramel 🍯 (coconut) Cookies & Creme (coconut) Unicorn Poop 🦄💩 (coconut) Toasted Coconut 🥥 (agave sweetened, coconut) Mint Chip 🍃 (coconut) Cubano Coffee ☕️ (cashew butter) Mexican Vanilla 🍨 (cashew butter) . We have a full menu of shakes, sundaes, toppings, cones, pints and ice creme cakes available for dine in or takeout. . ⏰ Open 12-10 pm!! . #sweetritual #atxvegan #KeepAustinEatin #veganicecream #atxeats #veganicecreamcapital #dairyfreeicecream #veganicecreamshop #foodallergy #atxicecream #texasicecream #madeinatx #bestofvegan #happycow #bestofveganicecream #atxveganicecreamtour

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Sweet Ritual owners Valerie Ward and Amelia Raley take ice cream seriously. They squeeze vegan doughnuts onto ice cream cones; offer unique flavors, like sunflower chocolate chip and Santa Fe mocha; and make my favorite dessert: ice cream cakes. But they don’t want to corner the market on vegan ice cream. In fact, they’re actively helping future competitors by running the Cool School, a one-week intensive course for anyone wanting to open their own dairy-free ice cream shop.

Sundaze

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Spicy Lem Pep Vegan Sandwich is my new fav #lemonpepperwet #vegan

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Sundaze specializes in vegan chicken sandwiches, so don’t miss out on this gem. Known for its “No-Frick’n-Chick’n” sandwich, this trans-owned business also makes vegan Buffalo bites that look to die for.

Bouldin Creek Cafe

In any major city, it’s easy to find vegan lunch and dinner, but not always breakfast. This is what makes Bouldin Creek Cafe stand out. My favorite dish, and perhaps Bouldin Creek’s most famous, is the Renedict sandwich (available until 2 p.m.), its vegan take on eggs Benedict. The restaurant also boasts an extensive lunch menu that includes a vegan BLT and a barbecue plate.

Counter Culture

Counter Culture, which regularly shows up on Austin’s best vegan food lists, offers a wide-range of vegan comfort foods, like Southern-baked seitan, tempeh Reuben sandwiches, pastrami melts, pizzas and mac ’n cheese. It also has desserts like doughnut holes and key lime pie.

The Beer Plant

The Beer Plant is Austin’s first and only vegan gastropub, serving up its own take on pub food with dishes like Sriracha-glazed Brussels sprouts, a chicken and gravy plate and crème brûlée. The ambiance is beautiful, too, and the drink menu is extensive.

Capital City Bakery

Located in East Austin, Capital City Bakery is Austin’s only all-vegan bakery and woman-owned to boot. While it’s open until 7 p.m. every day, don’t wait until too late. Many items sell out before the day’s end. You can’t go wrong with any dessert, but highlights include the chocolate chip cookie sandwich (with amazing vanilla icing), cinnamon buns and pop tarts. The bakery sells unique savory items, too – make sure to get a kolache, a Czech pastry stuffed with vegan meat and cheese. 

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