The Austin Chronicle

Top 10 Stops When We’re on the Vegan Wagon

No animals were harmed in the making of this list

By Adrienne Whitehorse, December 30, 2016, Food

1) Bouldin Creek

The Veggie Royale is one of those burgers that infiltrates our dreams. Smeared with the smoky chipotle-pecan pesto, it's hands-down the best veggie patty in the city. It's so good that it's hard not to order this sammy every time we're at Bouldin, but we do occasionally branch out to their other fantastic dishes like the zucchini migas or the tofu broccoli salad.

2) Curcuma

A meme posted on the food truck's Instagram says it all: "I've got 99 problems, but turmeric solved like 86 of them." Named after the Latin word for turmeric, Curcuma's menu is inspired by the ancient Ayurvedic principle that all healing begins with the digestive tract. But this isn't your crusty cousin's health food. The kitchari bowl (a blend of quinoa and mung beans and spices topped with avocado, massaged greens, and ginger), paleo-friendly sweet potato "toasts," and warm Golden Mylk are all otherworldly.

3) JuiceLand

The sublime chai chia smoothie is a treat, no doubt. And there's nothing like the Medicine Man shot to cure what ails ya. But we are the most addicted to JuiceLand's always vegan packaged grab-and-go lunches. We just can't quit the savory and nourishing quinoa ranchero salad, with massaged organic spinach and that tangy poblano sauce.

4) Asiana Indian Cuisine

Although not a vegan restaurant, Asiana has copious animal-free options and we've never left hungry. Start with an order of spicy fried Cauliflower 65 before feasting on the protein-rich dosa, the savory South Indian crêpe made from fermented rice and lentils – inherently vegan and gluten-free. The Mysore Masala Dosa, stuffed with potato, onion, and a spicy chutney, is nothing short of divine.

5) Casa de Luz

For 27 years, the nonprofit "House of Light" has been providing the community with vegan, macrobiotic, gluten-free, whole-food meals that aid in digestion and nourish the soul. If weather permits, we love sitting outside in the tranquil bamboo gardens, listening to the meditative sounds of wind chimes. One can also volunteer hours in the kitchen in exchange for a free meal and a closer connection to our food.

6) The Parlor

Starting with thick, soft, and chewy dough, the Hyde Park mainstay offers the largest selection of house-made mock meats we have seen locally for their pies. We dig the Follow Your Heart vegan cheese with a plant-based Italian sausage pizza, which just happens to go oh-so-well with (512) IPA (or any of the other 19 beers on tap).

7) The Beer Plant

You've heard it before from your omnivorous friends: "I could be vegan if it weren't for cheese." Those folks obviously haven't tried the nut-based bleu cheese at the Beer Plant. The texture and flavor is the best impersonator we've come across – and that's just one thing to recommend. HOPs 'n' Chips (battered and fried hearts of palm standing in for fish) is genius. The 40 beers on tap seals the deal as one of our favorite new pubs.

8) Thai Fresh

This joint makes our list because of the entire case of vegan coconut milk ice creams, in exquisite flavors like lemongrass ginger, Thai tea, and Thai basil mint. For a more substantial meal (What, we can't just have ice cream for dinner?) the coconut vermicelli with tempeh or pineapple fried rice with tofu and veggies are both standouts. And any of the curries make our bellies happy.

9) The Vegan Nom

This fantastic Tex-Mex operation now runs two trailers serving breakfast tacos all day. Vegan migas, country sausage, chorizo, tempeh bacon, and seitan brisket are all made in-truck.

10) Capital City Bakery

We'll end our list on dessert. Ever since we attended the delectable grand opening over two years ago, it is always a treat to stop by Capital City Bakery for one of their incredible cinnamon rolls or to get our vegan ham & cheese kolache fix. Their layer cakes with custom messages are also wonderful for birthdays and other special occasions. Like every Wednesday.

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