November first is World Vegan Day, so in honor of that, I’m starting a vegan blog series! I will be sharing with you all the best spots I found while eating my way through each city. First in the series is a personal favorite: Austin, Texas.
Austin is a vegan gem in a state well known for its meat and animal products. I was surprised to find so many great vegetarian and vegan food options and 100% veg restaurants. These are my top picks for a day in Austin. Believe it or not, I ate at all of these places in one day…. I also walked about 8 miles, so my excuse is that I worked up an appetite in between. (I do have a large appetite, but I was not alone in this feast! All of the food was shared with my partner, which we love doing because we get to try a little bit of everything.)
Lunch at Mr. Natural on Cesar Chavez
This place is down-to-earth, delicious, homestyle vegetarian and vegan food. Their menu is clearly marked for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free diets and they are very accommodating for vegan requests. I enjoyed the cowboy scramble, a mix of tofu, pico, potatoes, soy chorizo, salsa ranchera, and Daiya cheese served with a side of tortillas and beans. This was followed by my first dessert of the day, a vegan Belgian waffle topped with mixed fruit.
What I didn’t get: They have a huge selection of açai bowls, smoothies, juices, as well as organic fair trade coffee with vegan milk and sweetener options. They also have daily lunch specials that appeared to be really popular with the regulars.
Dessert at Capital City Bakery
Capital City Bakery had me at vegan s’mores cheesecake!! They have a nice selection of 100% vegan sweet and savory treats, including some amazing cupcakes and cheesecake. To top it off, everything is made fresh daily with locally sourced/organic ingredients when possible. Honestly, I wanted to try one of everything in the bakery case!
Second Dessert at Sweet Ritual
This place is an AMAZING vegan ice cream shop!! They make every flavor and topping from scratch, and you can tell they are passionate about their craft. Their ice creams are made from coconut, cashew, almond, peanut, and more. They use no dairy, eggs, lactose, or animal products of any kind; and, they even have gluten-free cones. Bonus: they even have vegan soft serve! I loved their scooped ice cream, but they gave us a free sample of the soft serve and it was just as delicious. (My partner and I fell in love and ended up walking out with three pints to take with us when we left town!) You can’t go wrong with anything you order here, and non-vegans will be sure to love it too.
Dinner at Arlo’s
You can’t do a food tour of Austin without trying out a food truck. Arlo’s is a food truck but with a bistro-style setting, as they are parked in the courtyard of a bar. (We ate at the one outside of Cheer Up Charlie’s.) Their menu is filled with delicious combinations of comfort food and vegan goodness. Plus, they support local, organic, and non-GMO products. It’s not on their regular menu, but I had the mac’n’cheeze burger which was basically their bac’n cheezeburger with mac’n’cheeze on it! It was messy and awesome. I also had an order of their chik’n taco, but of course, the burger was the centerpiece.
These are places that I found and wanted to go to if I had a second stomach... or more time.