13 Austin Women-Owned Restaurants

Where to fuel up on A Day Without a Woman and beyond

As part of today’s A Day Without a Woman, organizers are encouraging participants and allies to only support small minority and women-owned businesses. Here are 13 of our favorites.

Veracruz All Natural

This sisters behind Veracruz All Natural epitomize the American dream. Reyna and Maritza Vazquez grew up in Veracruz, Mexico, later moving to Austin with their family. Their passion for cooking led them to create their food trailer Veracruz All Natural. Serving tacos, tortas, and aguas frescas – native foods from their hometown – the pair have grown their business to two trailer locations and a brick-and-mortar. Today they are an essential part of Austin’s culinary scene.

Rayna (l) and Maritiza Vazquez (Photo source: Veracruz All Natural FB)

Sala & Betty

Life is hectic, especially for women whose workload often extends far beyond 9 to 5. That was inspiration behind Sala & Betty – Teresa Wilson’s restaurant combining a full-service dining room and a drive through. It’s not an everyday concept, but Wilson knows a thing or two about what Austinites want – helping to define fine dining in the Aughts with the classic French cooking of Aquarelle and now helping the revitalization of Airport Boulevard into a restaurant row.

Teresa Wilson (Photo courtesy of Sala & Betty)

Bribery Bakery

As a child, Jodi Elliott always loved baking – learning the fundamentals from her grandmother. That passion led her to a career that has included stints at acclaimed restaurants Per Se, Gramercy Tavern, and Parea, creating the types of elevated desserts that get noticed by The New York Times. With Bribery, Elliott is back to the basics: cinnamon rolls, cookies, blondies, and chocolate cake – often taste-tested by her daughter.

Jodi Elliott (Photo courtesy of Bribery Bakery)

Garbo’s Fresh Maine Lobster

You could say that lobster is in Heidi Garbo’s blood. Her father and uncle ran a large New England supplier long before she set out to create her first food trailer in Key West. After getting married, she moved to Austin and realized this food city had few places to enjoy a classic lobster roll. She has since grown her business to two traveling trucks and a Wells Branch brick-and-mortar, where the Garbo name is still synonymous with superior seafood.

Heidi Garbo (Photo courtesy of Garbos Fresh Maine Lobster)

SPUN

Another successful sister act, Christina and Ashley Cheng grew up in the hospitality business (both their aunt and father still run restaurants in the Austin area), so it wasn’t a big surprise when they announced SPUN – their Eastside liquid nitrogen ice cream shop specializing in seasonal organic and local ingredients. Now that they have some time running that business under their belt, they have become a force for good in the community, raising money for nonprofits through the CHIX brunch series with Anjore and Texas Keeper Cider.

Ashley (l) and Christina Cheng (Photo by Aaron Montana/ courtesy of SPUN)

Picnik

Naomi Seifter started her Picnik trailer with a goal to bring nourishing foods to those suffering from food allergies, but quickly became a cult favorite with South Austinites who loved the quick energy fix of their paleo-friendly on-the-go meals. Now with an additional storefront on Burnet, Seifter is quickly changing the stereotype that healthy food has to mean boring food.

Naomi Seifter (Photo courtesy of Picnic)

Eastside Cafe

A local classic opened in 1988, Eastside Cafe was doing farm-to-table before it became de rigueur in Austin. It’s difficult to imagine today’s locavore scene without the early contributions of chef and owner Elaine Martin and former co-owner Dorsey Barger, now the proprietor of HausBar Farms. That the Manor Road cafe continues to innovate almost 20 years later continues to inspire us.
Photo courtesy of Eastside Cafe

Baby Greens

Owned by a former City Council candidate and member of the mayor’s sustainable food policy board, Baby Greens is quietly redefining the way Austin eats. That’s why the return of Sharon May’s salad restaurant was one of last year’s best comebacks. The healthy fast food concept is a reboot of May’s popular concept that closed in 2009, and remains one of the only good things that happened in 2016.

Sharon Mays (Photo by John Anderson)

Sundaze

The food truck is full of the DIY spirit of musician Raine Hopper. When corporate America proved to be a less than welcoming environment for her as a trans woman, she and her sister Cara drained their life savings to create their own rules. We are glad they did. Sundaze has become one of our favorite places for a comfort food fix.

Raine Hopper (Photo by John Anderson)

Eden East and Hillside Farmacy

When Austin began getting national attention as a food city, one name stood out among all the Pauls, Neds, and Bryces – Sonya. Chef Sonya Coté has been such an indispensable part of Austin’s culinary scene for so long, her name has become somewhat of a mononym. Her two restaurants are still the standard for Eastside dining.

Sonya Coté (Photo by John Anderson)

Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop

The name says it all. Owner Olivia O’Neal’s delicious cupcakes, cookies, and pastries are some of the most coveted sweet treats in Austin. But the bakeshop’s commitment to giving back to the community, using fair trade ingredients, and reducing waste is even sweeter.

Olivia O'Neal (Photo by John Anderson)

Yard Bar

If you’re as obsessed with dogs as most Austinites, this place is the perfect spot to grab a drink. And you owe owner Kristen Heaney a big “thank you.” A trained architect, Heaney worked as a host while she was interning at design firms – making Yard Bar the perfect culmination of all her experience.

Kristen Heaney (Photo by John Anderson)

This is just a taste of the women-owned restaurants in Austin. March on Texas has a map of many more.

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