A Guide to Vegan Austin

It’s a proverbial land of milk and honey for those who adhere to a plant-based diet


The Beer Plant (Photos by John Anderson)

The state of Texas may be known for bar-be-cue and brisket, but the city of Austin has just as much to offer in the way of meat-free fare. As one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the U.S., it's a proverbial land of milk and honey for those who adhere to a plant-based diet. Here's where to fill your plate in Austin, vegan or not.

Arlo's

Various locations
www.arlostruck.com
For the veggie burger that sets the standard to which all other veggie burgers are held, head to one of Arlo's three food truck locations for lunch, dinner, or late night. The bac'n cheezeburger, complete with seitan bacon and Arlo's signature soy- and gluten-free made-in-house patty, is a top seller, but don't discount the street tacos. And those tater tots!

BBQ Revolution

2421 Webberville Rd., 512/584-7659
www.fb.com/bbqrevolt
Because there's nothing better than smoky protein covered in sweet sauce alongside a pile of pickles and onions, BBQ Revolution is a vegan paradise. The smoky curls are the bestseller, but the tempeh and seitan used in the ribs and no bull brisket are both produced locally. And since no barbecue plate would be complete without a side or two, scarf down some house-made mac n cheeze, baked beans, or Cajun corn salad.

The Beer Plant

3110 Windsor, 512/524-1800
www.thebeerplant.com
Buffalo cauliflower is a beautiful thing. Fortunately you can always get your fix at this vegan gastropub. In fact, there's a plethora of hearty plant-based meals: Sink your teeth into a Reuben-esque sandwich or beer-battered hearts of palm. And when you're finished, polish it off with a raw chocolate torte and wash it all down with one of the restaurant's 40 beers on tap, curated wines, or botanical cocktails.

Bistro Vonish

701 E. 53rd, 203/982-7762
www.bistrovonish.com
You won't find hot dogs and fish sticks at this food truck. Instead, feast on blackberry kolaches, pizza with house-made cashew cheese, and black garlic bruschetta. The menu is seasonal and changes frequently, so there's always something new to try. And since vegans love brunch, too, diners can nosh French toast, cinnamon rolls, tofu scramble ... you name it.

Blue Cat Cafe

95 Navasota, 512/766-5003
www.bluecatcafe.com
Cats and vegan food, what's not to love? Order food, sip coffee, snuggle kitties, repeat. The cafe's punny menu includes a Purrito, TacOcat, and CanHaz Bac'n Cheezeburger. Order your food at the trailer outside, pay a $5 cover charge ($3 if ordering food or drink), and head inside to play with the cats while you wait. If you find a feline as delightful as the food, most of them are available for adoption, so take home a doggie bag and a kitty carrier.

Capital City Bakery

2211 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/666-7437
www.capitalcitybakery.com
Vegans with a sweet tooth, rejoice! Capital City is an all-vegan bakery where you can satisfy that need for sugar no matter what form you're craving. Cupcakes? Check. Cheesecake? Check. Whoopie pies? Check. Cookies, scones, cinnamon rolls? Check, check, check. It's all made fresh daily, and if you want a whole cake for a special celebration, they'll do that, too. All without dairy, eggs, or cholesterol.

Conscious Cravings

1311 S. First, 512/582-9182
4209 Airport, 512/582-2124
www.consciouscravingsaustin.com
With two locations to choose from, these food trucks offer a tasty protein-packed meal atop quinoa or lettuce or in a wrap. The spicy chickpea will set your mouth ablaze, and house-made blueberry lemonade will cool it right down again. Chimichurri seitan and pan-seared tofu are always a hit, too. And if you just want a refreshing beverage on a hot Austin afternoon, grab a real fruit smoothie and be on your way!

Counter Culture


Counter Culture
2337 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/524-1540
www.countercultureaustin.com
What started as a food trailer became one of Austin's most popular brick-and-mortar lunch, dinner, and brunch spots. There are always classics like the lentil loaf and the tempeh Reuben, but daily specials like seitan and shiitake phyllo purses and taco Tuesday will fight for your affection. Did we mention the restaurant serves brunch and homemade desserts?

Curcuma

2207 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/956-6550
www.eatcurcuma.com
This food truck is not only plant-based, but paleo and gluten-free friendly, too. The owner takes a modern approach to ayurveda-inspired food, believing in the power of food to heal. But that doesn't mean it tastes like medicine; the popular kitchari bowl and signature sweet potato toast are flavorful twists on classic Indian flavors and spices. The drinks – like golden mylk with turmeric and coconut milk or a super matcha latte – aren't shabby either.

Casa de Luz

1701 Toomey, 512/476-2535
www.casadeluz.org
A nonprofit community education center and vegan restaurant in one, Casa de Luz lets nature be their menu planner. The set three-course menu changes daily and includes soup, salad, and an entrée. It's all plant-based, gluten-free, organic and unprocessed, including desserts, which are often even sugar-free (as in, no sugar or sugar substitutes in any form). It's cafeteria style, so grab your silverware and pick a table.

Cool Beans

2908 Fruth, 512/887-8139
www.coolbeanseatery.com
Bedecked with a red sunburst, this food truck has your Mexican fix. Nachos, homemade chorizo, freshly made guacamole, tamales! And the tacos aren't just beans and salsa in a crusty ol' shell. There's al pastor with seared pineapple, portobello with caramelized onion, and potato and red onion. All natural, organic, and mostly gluten-free.

Doggie Style

603 W. Live Oak, 740/407-5808
www.fb.com/doggiestyleatx
Craving a hot dog? Just because you gave up meat doesn't mean you have to give up this summer staple. The Kickstarter-funded food truck makes their dogs from scratch, which sets them apart from most of the other places you might find a vegan wiener in the city, and offers classic toppings like sauerkraut and coney sauce (aka chili), but also dairy-free cream cheese and house-made queso. If you can handle it, the stacked fries are a meal in themselves.


Curcuma

The Great Y'all

1208 Chicon, 512/902-0707
www.thegreatyall.com
Opened just last year, this food truck serves up Asian-inspired bar food. The menu includes items like jackfruit roll-ups, cashew tofu cream cheeze rangoon, bao, and fried cauliflower gobi-wings. The menu specials offer even more East-meets-West options and it's BYOB, so settle in at one of the picnic tables with a six-pack of local brew and enjoy.

Revolution Vegan Kitchen

1905 Capital of TX Hwy. S., 512/943-6718
www.fb.com/revolutionvegankitchen
Serving lunch on weekdays and lunch and dinner on weekends, this food truck brings the State Fair to West Austin: notzarella sticks, carnay asada, seitan and chick'n burgers, even shrymp tacos and cheezecake bites. Hot dawgs and mac & cheeze keep the kids happy. It's just the right thing for your cheat day.

Sweet Ritual

4631 Airport #125, 512/666-8346
www.sweetritual.com
Nothing beats ice cream on a 104-degree day, and Sweet Ritual has all the dairy-free flavors a person could possibly want. Ice cream bases range from coconut to soy, almond to cashew, and they even offer a sunflower seed option. Sure, they have the classics like chocolate and cookie dough, but why stick to basics when you can have Unicorn Poop or durian? The flavors rotate, so there's always a surprise in store.

Unity Vegan Kitchen

1210 Barton Springs Rd., 512/409-0420
www.unityvegan.com
With lasagna, muffulettas, quinoa tofu salad, and cobbler, here is a food truck that serves up some seriously filling comfort food. Throw in changing daily specials like cheezesteak tacos or buffalo cauliflower sandwiches and you've got yourself the perfect pick-me-up for a gloomy Monday. If that wasn't reason enough to visit, the food truck serves their signature chickun & waffles on the weekends. Happy days are here again.

The Vegan Nom

2324 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/497-3147
www.thevegannom.com
And nom nom nom. These guys are serving up all the varieties of tacos you'd expect at a more conventional taco truck, but all meat- and dairy-free. Migas, mock fish, queso, and, of course, breakfast tacos all day. Because Austinites should never be denied tempeh bacon and tofu scramble tacos just because it's after 10am.

Veggie Heaven

1611 W. Fifth, 512/457-1013
www.veggieheavenaustin.com
The once-campus favorite has been reborn on the west side, but they still set the standard for vegan pan-Asian cuisine. Try one of the stir-fries with trio rice (white, brown, and black). The spicy kung pao chow mein and the tangerine mushroom are both sure bets.

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