Vegan Guide to Austin, Texas
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Austin has been ranked as one of the best vegan cities many times over so to say I was excited about eating my way through this Texan city is quite an understatement. I found myself in Austin for the first time last September for a travel conference. I’d been wanting to visit for a long time so I decided to stay a little bit extra and practically scheduled my entire week around what I was going to eat. Eating vegan in Austin is incredibly simple but maybe a little dangerous for your waistline. But since when do we care about that around here?!
Psst: Looking for more information on Austin? Check out a few of our other posts!
- The Perfect 3 Day Itinerary for Austin, Texas
- How to Ethically See Animals in Austin (coming soon!)
I was in Austin for the first ever TravelCon – a travel blogging conference put on by Nomadic Matt – and then stayed several extra days with my friend Jenn from Coleman Concierge. She graciously put up with my obsessive eating tendencies and had the best damn vegan tour of Austin she’ll probably ever take.
Vegan Restaurants in Austin
Eating vegan in Austin is easy when there are over 10 all-vegan spots to check out! I didn’t get to eat at all of them sadly but I tried my hardest.
Capital City Bakery
Capital City Bakery is woman-owned, completely vegan and features locally-sourced ingredients and recyclable boxes. I didn’t get to visit the actual storefront but found their products at the NadaMoo ice cream shop! What started as a home business 2010, grew to a food truck for two years before turning into a brick and mortar at the end of 2012. They’ve been baking and selling vegan goods ever since.
Even if you’ve never been to Austin, you may already be familiar with NadaMoo! ice cream as they sell their products in stores all over. NadaMoo! was started in Texas in 2004 by making small batches of coconut milk based ice cream.
NadaMoo! is USDA organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and fair-trade certified. I’m not entirely sure it gets much better than that. It’s also family-owned and they regularly give back to their local community.
This is the perfect treat if you’re eating vegan in Austin – especially in the hotter months!
The Vegan Nom
Tacos pre-Austin? I could take em or leave em. I never thought they were just amazing or that I couldn’t live without them. Tacos post-Austin? I still sit here sometimes late at night and think about these tacos from The Vegan Nom. If you’re eating vegan in Austin, do not miss this spot.
You can get all sorts of tacos here from this stationary food truck. I decided to try the Birdie Sanders and that buffalo chicken is no joke.
One of the things that Nashville’s vegan scene lacks is an all-vegan Asian spot so I was pretty excited to try Veggie Heaven. The menu is extremely extensive and our eyes may have been a little bigger than our stomachs. Veggie Heaven has been around for quite a while – since 1998!
My favorite dish was the tangerine mushroom dish and I’d definitely eat that again!
Walk around the corner to visit Mean Eyed Cat – a Johnny Cash themed bar!
Blue Cat Cafe
We tried to visit Blue Cat Cafe three times. We literally drove there and sat in the parking lot but it was never open. It seemed they had some kind of flooding emergency so it was just horrible timing. I love visiting cat cafes though and this one happens to have an all-vegan food menu.
Counter Culture was the first all-vegan spot I ate at in Austin and it set the bar for the rest of the trip. Counter Culture has all your typical comfort foods but without any animal products. I especially loved these buffalo macaroni and cheese balls. Did I mention I love buffalo anything? So. good.
The Beer Plant
I, unfortunately, went to The Beer Plant when I was not the least bit hungry but I wanted to try it so bad so we squeezed it in. I got a couple side dishes to try and buffalo (of course) cauliflower bites to share. We were warned that the buffalo bites were very spicy. I can handle my spice but these were definitely hot – but still probably the best buffalo cauliflower I’ve ever had.
The Beer Plant is Austin’s first (and only?) vegan gastropub combining craft beer, wine, cocktails, and a completely vegan menu. They’re only open for dinner and their entire menu looks divine. I can not wait to go back and actually be hungry.
I’m going to go on record and say this is the best vegan burger I’ve had. Not only burger but bacon cheeseburger. I actually ate here twice – and probably could have eaten here every day if I didn’t want to check out so many other places.
Arlo’s has three locations located at different businesses – The Grackle (the location I went to both times), Cheer Up Charlie’s and Spider House. This is the perfect spot to fill that late night craving too as they’re open until 2am!
Other All-Vegan Restaurants in Austin
- Doggie Style
- Next Level Burger
- Nissi Vegan
- Casa de Luz
- ATX Food Co
- Plow Burger Food Truck
- BBQ Revolution
- Citizen Eatery
- Bistro Vonish
- Conscious Cravings
- Cool Beans
- Sweet Ritual
Vegetarian Restaurants in Austin
Eating vegan in Austin is even more possible by the extensive list of vegetarian spots in addition to all-vegan restaurants.
Bouldin Creek Cafe
This was the last place we ate and was such a good high to go out on. This dish was beyond delicious. I mean – just look at that big hunk of vegan ricotta.
Bouldin Creek Cafe is an all-vegetarian restaurant in Austin with an extensive vegan menu in a cafe setting.
Mr. Natural is an all-vegetarian restaurant and store with two locations in Austin. I really loved the seitan fish taco and the cinnamon roll from their bakery!
I didn’t make it to Juiceland which is ridiculous because they are ALL OVER Austin. They have tons of smoothies, juices, coffee and 100% plant-based meals. Despite being a juice place, they have quite a large food menu too. The only reason I’m putting them in the vegetarian category is because they do use honey and bee pollen in some smoothies – just ask them to leave it out of yours! There are 24 locations in Austin with several more in Dallas and Houston.
Alcohol + ice cream. Where can you go wrong? Prohibition Creamery is super unique in that they serve alcoholic milkshakes, ice cream and so on. And, because Austin is so awesome at being vegan-friendly, they’ve got options for us too!
Spun is locally-owned and is ice cream from season, local ingredients that are spun to order using liquid nitrogen. I have had liquid nitrogen ice cream before and I didn’t really like it at all but Spun was completely different. It actually was creamy like ice cream instead of frostbitten like I’ve thought before. This is near Arlo’s so it’s a good dessert afterwards!
Paper Route Bakery
Paper Route Bakery has a permanent pop-up located at Cenote – a coffee shop on E. Cesar Chavez. You can find vegan baked goods here daily until 3pm!
Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Austin
There are going to be hundreds of vegan-friendly restaurants in Austin so I’m only going to list the ones I made it to or I had on my list to visit but couldn’t squeeze it in.
Sundaze is another permanent food truck with a small menu. They are not completely vegan-friendly but what they do have is delicious. You can get a vegan chicken sandwich, seitan nuggets, a chicken salad, and french fries.
Violet Crowne Cinema
So, what happens when you finish your entire planned itinerary and have an afternoon still open but you’re exhausted and it’s raining? Go to a movie, of course! We went to an adorable small cinema downtown and I was so surprised to find they had vegan options! Quite a few options, actually.
I actually went to Frank’s twice because it was right across from the conference venue and I was spending time with omnivore friends. This was a delicious option downtown though! You can get a Field Roast sausage with choice of toppings and chili-cheese fries.
True Food Kitchen
This was the very first spot I ate at in Austin. They focus on locally sourced ingredients and have several vegan options. I got this tempeh version of a BLT and it was very delicious. You could tell everything here is extremely fresh.
Vegan ramen in Austin? Here ya go! This wasn’t my favorite meal in Austin but it was still pretty good. They have several other vegan options as well. This is actually a chain all over the country with two locations in Austin – one downtown and one in ‘The Domain.’ It’s a good option if you’re looking for healthy food and are dining with non-vegans.
No visit to Austin is complete without a visit, or five, to Voodoo Doughnuts. This chain started out in Portland (3 locations) and has expanded a bit with locations in Eugene (Oregon), Austin, Orlando, Denver, and Hollywood. I’ve been to three of them now and they’re consistently some of the best donuts I’ve had.
This location is open 24 hours, 7 days and accepts cash only. They have a list of vegan donuts (it’s long) and will be able to tell you as well.
Cenote is a vegan-friendly coffee shop located in a historic house on Cesar Chavez Street. There’s also a second location located in Austin that I didn’t get to visit. You can find vegan-friendly drinks here along with a full food menu with options. On-site you’ll also find Paper Route Bakery that has vegan options.
This a super cute small juice and smoothie shop with a small food menu. You can also get coffee and tea here too.
You can find plenty of juices, smoothies and pre-made meals at Jugo. It’s just around the corner from The Squeezery and right next door to where I stayed – Firehouse Hostel – so it makes a good way to start the day. There’s also more room so you could set up and get some work done here!
Other Vegan-Friendly Options in Austin:
- Daruma Ramen
- Yummi Joy
Grocery Stores, Health Stores, & Markets
Rabbit Food Grocery
An all-vegan grocery store! I’m so jealous of this and think we need one in Nashville, stat. You can also order all the items online which is great for all of us not fortunate enough to live in Austin.
Austin also has several Whole Foods, Sprouts and Trader Joe’s stores.
The state-wide Vegfest is held in Austin. The next one is on April 6, 2019!
Ethical Animal Tourism
Looking for ways to interact with animals in Austin that doesn’t harm or exploit animals? I always loved going to the zoo because I loved animals and now I don’t because I love animals. I find other ways to experience animals that I feel better about and you can too!
I’ll be doing an entire article on ethical animal tourism in Austin so keep a look out.
Ironically, this place doesn’t give the best impression with its name but I actually highly recommend supporting this spot. I first heard about them through the Austin Vegans FB Group and I was surprised that like-minded people were suggesting a zoo. But, surprise – it’s not a zoo. It’s a sanctuary with an unfortunate name. They take in animals that have been kept as exotic pets, confiscated from illegal operations and so on and give them a home since they can’t safely be returned to the wild. It is a non-profit like a sanctuary.
Blue Cat Cafe
I touched on this spot earlier since they have a food menu. I love visiting cat cafes but make sure you’re visiting ones that are housing adoptable cats and not buying, selling and so on. Cat cafes are about the only type that I trust as well. Cafes that have exotic animals are not rescuing these animals and adopting them – at least not that I’m aware of.
Congress Bridge Bats
You can see this one of a kind phenomena in Austin. These bats call the Congress Bridge home during the day and all fly out at sunset for a sight that is extremely unique and hard to explain.
Central Texas Pig Rescue
I was going to visit this sanctuary but there simply wasn’t enough time but they are close enough to the city for a half day trip!
Austin Animal Activism
Interested in taking part in vegan activism in Austin? Here are a few great options!
Local Vegan Resources
Here are some Austin specific resources – whether it be groups or non-profits that help the vegan community!
ATX Vegans is a non-profit that builds community through events, activism, fundraising, and education.
Local Facebook Group
I love utilizing Facebook groups when traveling to new places. Locals give you the best advice on where to eat, sanctuaries to visit and where to stay away from! Check out Austin’s group.
Psst: Looking for more vegan guides? Check out a few of our other posts!