The 15 Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Austin
As more and more barbecue joints continue to open and thrive across Texas, it’s no secret this state likes its meat. But being a vegetarian has never been easier in Austin, and there are a number of delicious, plant-based options throughout the city, from meatless bar food to vegan pizza to veggie soul food.
Whether you lead an exclusively meat-free existence, are following a vegetarian cleanse protocol, or just like to keep a healthy balance of veggies in your life, here are our top picks for the best vegetarian restaurants in Austin, including:
- Bouldin Creek Cafe
- Casa de Luz
- Counter Culture
- WHYLD’s Vegan Kitchen
- Bistro Vonish
- Wastota Vegan Paradise
- Vegan Yacht
- Sassy’s Vegetarian Soul Food
- Lil’ Nonna’s
- Beer Plant
- The Vegan Nom
- Citizen Eatery
- Honest Mary’s
- Mr. Natural
Let’s get started!
1. Bouldin Creek Cafe
This woman-owned vegetarian restaurant opened in a little shack on South 1st Street in 2000 to immediate popularity. These days, the organic cafe is located in a larger building just down the street, where it remains just as busy! Locals love Bouldin Creek Cafe’s all-day breakfast, with offerings like scrambled tofu, herbed potato hash cakes, and their iconic vegan blueberry cornbread. After 10 a.m., this cafe’s extensive lunch menu also becomes available, with plates like massaman jackfruit curry, a Greek quinoa bowl, and bountiful salads.
2. Casa de Luz
The spirit of old-school Austin lives on at Casa de Luz, a hippie health food haven tucked into a side street just west of Zilker Park. Since 1991, this cafeteria-style restaurant and community center has been feeding Austin organic, vegan, and macrobiotic fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Pay one price to enter and you’ll receive a plate of house-made soup, leafy salad, whole grains drizzled with nut sauce, beans, fermented vegetables, and more. Second helpings are available upon request. Don’t forget your dessert, made with fresh fruit and just a touch of agave or brown rice syrup.
3. Counter Culture
This eastside vegetarian and vegan restaurant specializes in soulful diner food with bold flavors, like barbecue made with shredded housemade seitan, spaghetti and beetballs, lentil loaf with tahini sauce, and a seitan sub supreme with cashew cheese.
Be sure to check out Counter Culture’s weekend brunch, which offers tofu scrambles, pancake plates, tempeh bacon, sunflower sausage, and raw oatmeal banana splits—along with the occasional live music act!
4. WHYLD’s Vegan Kitchen
Longtime restauranteur Ryan Whyld moved to texas and opened WHYLD’s Vegan Kitchen during the COVID-19 pandemic, proving that wholesome, nutritious food doesn’t have to be bland or boring. In addition to creative and fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies, and lassis, he offers innovative plates like “The Waffle Situation,” a savory masa waffle topped with grilled veggies, cashew queso, corn relish, turmeric cashew sour cream, and carrot habanero hot sauce. Be sure to leave room for vegan and gluten-free desserts like the best-selling chocolate chipotle pepita cookies!
5. Bistro Vonish
This long-standing North Loop food truck produces elegantly and artfully plated vegan creations like collard-wrapped black-eyed pea dumplings with butternut squash puree and housemade gnocchi with arrabiatta cream sauce and seitan sausage.
Each Sunday brings a new take on brunch at the Bistro Vonish food truck, with rotating French toast and kolache flavors, garbanzo scrambles, and a decadent meatless Monte Cristo. Make sure you ask about Chef Craig’s vegetarian holiday specials as well!
6. Wasota Vegan Paradise
Chef Lawrence Eguakun has been sharing veggie-friendly West African cuisine with Austin since the early 2000s but decided to transition to a fully vegan restaurant (and lifestyle) five years ago. He turned all his traditional recipes into plant-based, vegetarian versions, like akara (black-eyed pea fritters), egusi soup, jollof rice, and a spectrum of delicious and perfectly seasoned veggies (cabbage, spinach, green beans, plantains, and more).
You can even opt for a platter of all the veggie sides offered, or get them on a sandwich. Wasota Vegan Paradise’s housemade veggie burger is also a fan favorite!
7. Vegan Yacht
This Airstream-turned-brick-and-mortar has been serving Austin’s vegan community since 2010. The name of the game at Vegan Yacht is burritos and bowls, chock full of ingredients like brown rice, beans, soy curls, barbecued tempeh, and organic veggies.
They are also well known for their Freetoh Pie, made with organic corn chips and tempeh chili, and housemade (nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free) queso. If you forget to save room for dessert, you can always take one of Zucchini Kill Bakery’s cookies, moon pies, or oatmeal cream pies to go.
8. Sassy’s Vegetarian Soul Food
Soul food isn’t usually known for its nutritional benefits, but Andrea Dawson is looking to change that—without sacrificing flavor and comfort. She began “veganizing” her favorite childhood recipes before opening her Sassy’s Vegetarian Soul Food trailer to share delights like the Soul Bowl (sweet potato fries loaded with creamy black-eyed peas, greens, vegan bacon, and spicy relish) and her vegan “pokechop” sandwich.
Regulars swear by her creamy vegan Cajun mac and cheese and sweet fried cabbage. You can also build your own bowl by picking from her many veggie sides.
9. Lil’ Nonna’s
The all-vegan pizza at Lil’ Nonna’s is so good that even meat-eaters go crazy for it! In addition to New York-style pies and gluten-free crust, they also offer thick Sicilian pieces by the slice. Choose your own adventure with an array of toppings, or opt for one of their specialty pies, like the Meat Out (topped with beeteroni, Italian seitan sausage, smokey tempeh, red sauce, and vegan mozzarella) and the Verde Bianco Rosso (VBR) made with herbed EVOO, fresh cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic baby spinach and arugula, a lemon spritz, and a balsamic glaze.
Best of all, the food truck is right outside The Austin Winery, so you can complement your meal with one of their light reds.
10. Beer Plant
Dine on all the plant-based bar food of your dreams at this vegan gastropub in Tarrytown. Beer Plant favorites include Nashville Hot ‘n’ Crispy oyster mushrooms, crispy buffalo cauliflower, and BBQ pulled spaghetti squash—which are all even tastier when accompanied by one of the craft beers on tap.
11. The Vegan Nom
Even if you order tacos without meat, most taquerias still use lard, and cross-contamination with meat products is very likely. Enter The Vegan Nom, where all the tacos, burritos, and nachos created by Austin native Chris Rios are happily free of meat and dairy products.
Dine on breakfast tacos made with scrambled tofu, “fish” tacos, Korean barbecue burritos, loaded nachos, or grilled avocado tacos with kale, black beans, and caramelized onions.
12. Citizen Eatery
This Burnet Road cafe features a short but sweet menu of meatless dishes. Breakfast items are always available, like scrambles, omelets, sandwiches, flapjacks, and granola. Citizen Eatery also offers starters like hen of the woods mushrooms with house barbecue sauce and tamari Brussels sprouts with spicy aioli.
For your main, you can go with handhelds like an Indian spiced veggie burger and “chik’n” tacos, entrees like pecan pesto noodles and chickpea masala, or veggie-packed salads and power bowls.
There is also a kid’s menu here with simple vegetarian offerings like sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwiches and bean and cheese tacos.
Downtown Austin is historically lacking in wholesome food options, so Koriente has been a beacon of health for vegans and vegetarians since it opened in 2005. Though it’s not a strictly vegetarian restaurant, there are a wealth of delicious plant-based options, like the Koriente curry, garden handrolls, japchai, mixmix bibimbap, and the obake bowl with tofu added as the protein.
Pro tip: Substitute chewy Korean rice medallions for sticky rice to enjoy a whole new world of texture!
14. Honest Mary’s
Nelson and Mary Monteith created Honest Mary’s to fill a gap they perceived in healthy, delicious, fast-casual food. This counter-service spot in the Arboretum specializes in colorful, nutrient-packed bowls.
While it is possible to add meat and fish to them, veggies are the stars of their signature bowls, like the Sedona Lime (basmati rice, spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, toasted pumpkin seeds, cashew lime crema, and a lime wedge) and the Golden Grain (tricolor quinoa, wild arugula, apples, roasted beets, crispy chickpeas, local goat cheese, toasted pecans, and apple cider vinaigrette).
15. Mr. Natural
This healthy, fast-casual bakery and cafeteria, with two locations (one east and one south), focuses on vegetarian and vegan cuisine, along with gluten-free baked goods. Order a la carte off the all-day menu or opt for the lunch buffet, which is typically filled with Tex-Mex options. Mr. Natural’s Cesar Chavez location also features a popular vegan brunch buffet on the first Sunday of each month.
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