To call Austin, Texas the Vegan Capital of the U.S. would be an understatement. Austin is the Vegan Paradise. Not only is Austin home to an entire vegan festival, it is also home to an all-vegan grocery store, many vegan restaurants, and several vegan food trucks. In addition to this, almost all the omnivorous restaurants have either an all-vegan menu you can request, labeled vegan items on their menu, or are willing to make something vegan for you per request. It’s amazing. You can literally walk into any restaurant or grocery store in Austin and ask if something is vegan and they will know what you’re talking about. There is no, “Wait, what is vegan? Like a vegetarian? Wait, no milk? So does that like mean, like, no butter?” None of that bullshit.
Here are some of Silver Spork News’ favorite all-vegan eateries in Austin as well as our favorite vegan item at omnivorous restaurants:
The Vegan Nom: Rockin’ Vegan Tacos
The Vegan Nom is an all-vegan food truck. As one can assume, food trucks move, so be sure to check out their website to find their current Austin location. This truck serves all-vegan tacos, and trust us, they are all good. Plus, the prices are reasonable, so you have no excuse to not try them all. If you have to choose, we recommend the local tempeh bacon and organic tofu scramble breakfast taco, and spend the extra dollar to add the vegan cheddar cheese to it–definitely worth it. Also, this breakfast taco pairs well with a hangover.
Mr. Naturals has several locations, but our favorite is the North Austin location (all of their locations have the same menu items, but every restaurant creates their menu items with their own personal flare). Mr. Naturals has a huge selection of baked goods and a primarily Mexican food menu. A majority of their items are vegan, though they do have some menu items that are vegetarian. The setting is very casual and welcoming and the staff at all locations are extremely friendly. Silver Spork News recommends all of their baked goods. Seriously, every damn one of them. We also recommend getting your baked good before the meal comes out so you can eat it while you wait for your food. Mealwise, we recommend the Vegan Texas Queso, which is technically an appetizer but it is large enough for a meal.
Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen
The Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen on Congress is phenomenal. The staff wears cute Asian-themed outfits and there are actually two swinging benches in the restaurant itself. They also have outdoor seating and are in a great location for people-watching. Most of the menu items are fish-based, but they’ll take requests for whatever type of sushi you may want. Silver Spork News recommends the vegan seaweed salad as an appetizer and the veggiepillar as your main dish. The veggiepillar is an all-vegan sushi roll filled with miso grilled eggplant, pickled cucumber, and carrots. It is topped with avocado, serrano, sesame seeds, and happiness.
Sweet Ritual is life-changing. This is an all-vegan ice cream parlor that will raise your standards for this sweet treat. The ice cream is all handmade, rich with flavor, and perfect in every way. The parlor has some standard flavors all the time, like vanilla, mint chip, and Cubano coffee, but they are always making new flavors and changing up their menu items. They have soft serve options, soy-based options, coconut milk-based options, and almond milk-based options. And have I mentioned the endless topping selection? There’s everything from toasted marshmallows to gummy worms. Silver Spork News recommends the Peanut Butter Cup Sundae with the Peanut Butter cup ice cream option if you enjoy rich chocolatey, peanut-buttery flavors. If you’re feeling crazy and want to have a sugar overdose, we recommend ordering off the kids menu and getting the Sock Money Sundae, which contains gummy worms, marshmallows, and sprinkles, with the Toasted Coconut ice cream.
Arlo’s is another all-vegan food truck. Arlo’s is well known for their vegan bacon and cheese burger. In fact, every vegan we spoke to recommended this burger to us. After trying the burger with a side of tater tots, we would like to highly recommend these tots. Though the burger was pretty good, the tater tots were perfection. They weren’t too greasy, they weren’t cold, they were goddamn perfect. So we recommend you go to Arlo’s for the tots and pick up a burger only if you’re still hungry after.
Bouldin Creek Cafe
The Bouldin Creek Cafe is located on South 1st St and has a very “Austin” feel to it. It is a must-visit if you’re in the area so you can understand what “Austin feel” means. This cafe gets extremely crowded during normal lunch and dinner hours, so we recommend stopping by at an odd time. This is another omnivorous restaurant, but it has many vegan and vegetarian options. In addition to this, they will go out of their way to try and veganize something for you if they can. Silver Spork News recommends ordering the Soul Food Plate. The Soul Food Plate consists of well-seasoned collard greens, a side of mixed red and black beans, and a vegan corn bread. We will type that again for, vegan corn bread. All you need to do is to request vegan butter with the bread, otherwise they will serve you cow-based milk butter. Gross. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, collard greens, beans, and bread sound bland. Fuck you, you’re in the south now. Eat your collard greens and experience the joy.
Post and Photos by Kylie Torres.