Greetings from Austin! I've wanted to come to Austin ever since I tried Arlo's Food Truck at the NYC Vegan Food Festival on Randall's Island last year. People raved about the vegan scene in Austin, which always confused me because I thought the South was very not vegan friendly. Turns out Austin is an exception! The summers are hot, and a lot of the food comes from outdoor food trucks, but it just makes eating more of an adventure!
Places to Eat:
Arlo's is one of the best vegan burgers I've ever had, and it's by no means healthy. This food truck serves up late night bites with its famous hashbrows (so crispy and fresh) and the bacon cheeseburger. You read that right. Bacon cheese burger made with a grilled patty, melted cheddar cheese stacked with housemade seitan bacon, ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, and red onions. If you've been blessed by the vegan gods, Arlo's will have their special, which is a mac and cheese bacon cheese burger. It's the bacon cheeseburger PLUS mac and cheese. I was blessed to eat it, so I hope you are too.
900 Red River
2908 Fruth St
1700 E 6th St
Tacos aren't just for Tuesdays anymore, and you can tell from the long lines at The Vegan Nom. They're the first all ever vegan taco truck in Austin, Texas, serving up their famous tacos, all with a spicy kick. After Arlo's, the Vegan Nom was one of the top recommended spots for Austin! Featured here are three of their most popular tacos: Rocking Vegan Migas with tortilla chips, tofu scramble, cheddar, alfalfa sprouts; Vegan Del Rey Fish Taco: breaded lemon pepper fish, cabbage, avocado, cilantro-lime cream sauce; and the Birdie Sanders Buf'Chicken: made with buffalo chicken, pepperjack, onion, fresh cabbage, cilantro-lime crema, and roasted chipotle mayo.
Even though some of their tacos are spicy, they're able to modify it for those who are weak like me.
2324 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
If you're set on doing typical tourist activities while in Austin, barbecue is definitely on the top of most food-motivated people's list. BBQ Revolution serves up what one of my followers called "the best brisket he's ever had." I didn't eat a lot of brisket as a non-vegan, so I don't have a lot to compare it to, but this brisket sandwich is smoky and filled with flavor.
3301 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702
Beer and vegan food is the perfect meal for most people I know, so Beer Plant doesn't disappoint. Even my non-vegan boyfriend loved eating here! Some standouts include the buffalo cauliflower (that actually had a crisp), skillet mac and cheese, and sriracha brussels sprouts. These are all appetizers, but when you eat three dishes of apps, they basically equal an entree.
3110 Windsor Rd, Austin, TX 78703
Another Austin cult-favorite includes Bouldin Creek Cafe that kind of sums up the phrase "Keep Austin Weird." It's an old-school cafe with a lot of colorful stickers, students studying at the tables, and vegetarian eats. A lot of the menu can be made vegan including the Tofu Renedict featured in this photo. Nostalgia can be found here, even if you didn't grow up in Austin.
1900 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
Everyone suggested the popcorn tofu sandwiches (buffalo sauce side available), so that's what I got. People also suggested the vegan doughnuts, so I got that too. Wheatsville has a lot to snack on, mostly because it's actually a supermarket/co-op! Surprise! You can shop for groceries while double fisting a popcorn sandwich and some doughnuts. It's an ideal situation.
4001 S. Lamar Blvd. Austin, Texas
3101 Guadalupe St. Austin, Texas
If you traveled to Austin with non-vegans, they probably want to hit up this ~ fancy ~ Japanese restaurant called Uchi. They're known for their fresh sushi, but they also have a whole vegetarian menu where a lot of the items can be vegan. My non-vegan boyfriend said the vegan options were better than some of his fish options, so bonus points! However, being surrounded by raw dead fish can be overwhelming, so that's something to consider.
801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
There's an all vegan grocery store in Austin, and it's full of my favorite brands! You're probably not going to take a jar of peanut butter home from Texas, but it's fun to browse. I was looking for something more local to snack on though, and they have a fridge of grab and go items that are unique and tasty.
2425A Exposition Blvd, Austin TX (two blocks from Beer Plant)
Places to get Dessert:
This all vegan ice cream shop in Austin does something a little special on the third Thursday of every month. They take the doughnuts from Wheatsville, put it on top of their cone, and then top if off with their vanilla soft serve. I brought my own doughnut because I'm extra, so you can too. They also have regular ice cream with fun seasonal flavors, so look out for that!
4631 Airport Blvd #125, Austin, TX 78751
You can get healthy, gluten-free friendly Thai food from Thai Fresh, but the stand out for me is the vegan ice cream. They have a coconut base and highlight authentic Thai flavors like Thai ice tea, basil, lemongrass, etc. They're opening their own ice cream shop in Summer 2018, so look out for that!
909 W Mary St, Austin, TX 78704
Our favorite grocery-store freezer aisle has a scoop shop in their home city, Austin! They have some of my favorite flavors like birthday cake, but they also test new flavors like pina colada and spicy mango. They also can make milkshakes, kombucha floats, and serve up scoops on colorful cones!
1701 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Neighborhood favorite Capital City Bakery is known for their cupcakes, which are so cute! The cupcakes are soft, the right amount of sweet, and festive for the season like this July 4th-themed cupcake!
2211 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Places I didn't get to go to but was highly recommended:
Counter Culture - vegan comfort food
Mr Natural - vegetarian Mexican food
The Vegan Yacht - vegan burritos
Voodoo Doughnuts - doughnut chain with vegan doughnuts
Things to Do
1.5 million bats come out at sunset under this bridge! I've never seen anything like this, and it's beautiful to see a bit of nature in the urban city. I met someone who said this was on their bucket list, so make it on yours too! I recommend standing under the bridge (it does smell, and they poop in the air so close your mouth!), so you can see them all come out!
305 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
A natural spring in the middle of Austin! The water is always 60-70 degrees F, and when the temperature in the summer is over 100 degrees F, it's good for a dip. It costs money to enter, but the natural spring is so well maintained, clean, and fun that it's worth the couple bucks.
2131 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746
Vegans love Whole Foods (at least I do), so I had to visit the flagship store. It's huge (but it's Texas), and has a fried chicken hot bar with popcorn tofu. Honestly, it's pretty similar to all the other Whole Foods, but there's a novelty that comes from going to the Flagship store!
525 N Lamar Blvd Austin, TX 78703
Another bar lined with streets popular among college students. One of the more fun bars I went to was Pete's Piano Bar, where two pianists sing popular songs, play with the crowd, and battle each other! There's an entrance fee, but the live music can't be beat.
It's a colorful mural (the featured image for this blog post) that is great to show everyone that you visited Austin! It's also pretty close to Bouldin Creek Cafe, so there's no reason not to visit.
The famous movie theater chain known for strict theater etiquette (no talking, late arrivals, or cellphones) started in Austin. It's pretty much just a regular movie theater with better behavior...and FOOD! They serve food (with a vegan menu!) and drinks right in your seats, so if you come to Texas in the summer like I did and need to escape the summer heat - this is a good place to hide.
My Vegan Austin Map
Blue = Places I ate in Austin
Orange = Places recommended to me that I didn't get to go
Pink = Places to see
Check out how I plan vegan vacations like this one.