The 17 Best Austin Restaurants for Vegans and Vegetarians
From decadent mac 'n cheese and mushroom mole to tempeh, we've got you covered.
So we’re not exactly in a state where dietary requirements are completely understood (out-of-towners with Texan in-laws or pals that take you to state fairs will surely understand), but when it comes to vegan and vegetarian grub, of all Lone Star’s towns, Austin certainly knows how to accommodate.
This diversifying city isn’t all about barbecued brisket, meat-filled tacos, and bacon—not all the time anyway. The last few years have seen planet-based residents move over in their droves, and more and more veg-forward restaurants added to the scene. It’s a wise decision though, that many of them still cater to carnivores, because how else can the city nosh together in harmony? From vegan food trucks to trendy wellness hangouts, to once traditionally meat-centric eats that now have dedicated veggie menus, here’s where the herbivores and their pals can graze.
Whylds Vegan Kitchen
Ryan Whyld’s vegan food truck is all about wholesome ingredients whipped up into ultra tasty global fare. Take, for example, the Basil Mac n Cheese made with cashew cheese, gluten-free pasta, and mushrooms, or the Cashew and Ginger Tempeh Stir Fry with brown rice, baby greens, and black-eyed pea tempeh. Both are addictive, with zero cholesterol. Whyld’s also prepares fresh superfood smoothies, breakfast, sweet treats, and hot beverages.
How to book: Stop by for counter service, or get takeout.
The brand new South First branch is one of our favorite lunch spots, and every dish happens to be hyper-plant-forward. Yes, even the meat options, which are packed with better-for-you nutrition and tasty veggie sides that’ll turn on even the most ravenous of carnivores. The vegan cashew queso is better than real cheese, and their squash arrabiata is like it was made by a vegan Italian grandmama. Salads and bowls can be upgraded with organic tofu and healthy adaptogens like reishi. Don’t miss their sweet coconut matcha latte or wellness cocktails.
Austin’s Queen of Thai cuisine, Jam Sanitchat, doesn’t forget her dear veggie following when it comes to the menu at Thai Fresh, nor sister dessert shop, Gati. You’ll find a heap of amazing vegan and vegetarian bites and entree options, such as egg rolls stuffed with cabbage, mushrooms and celery; golden curried tofu, and veggie stir fries. Both of her properties also specialize in coconut-based ice creams that seriously challenge for best dessert in Austin—make sure to try the Thai Tea version.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, or get takeout via Toast.
The Well is a Cali-cool spot stocked with as close to a Zen environment as a restaurant could possibly get. Dishes are centered around top-tier nutrition using local and sustainable ingredients, and everything is gluten-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free. Meat and fish do appear on the menu, but plants shine and vegan eating reigns supreme. Standouts include Hemp Heart and Chickpea Falafel and Mushroom Mole. To drink, point your compass toward delicious cocktails spiked with cold-pressed organic juices and natural sugars like agave, honey, and dates.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms or order take-out via Toast.
Tso Chinese Delivery
There aren’t that many quality Chinese take-outs in Austin (sorry, but it’s true), let alone ones that can make plants taste as good as meat, but thankfully, Tso does a pretty impressive job, with options vast enough to garner its own dedicated menu page. Start with Veggie Spring Rolls and Spicy Edamame, then go for a tofu-twist on classics like General Tso, Sweet and Sour, Szechuan, and Lo Mein, and sweeten the deal with a dessert of Sesame Balls. Delivery is free, and the business proudly pays its staff a liveable wage, prompting a no-tipping policy.
Husband-and-wife team Merritt and Charissa Vaughn are a breath of fresh air to Austin’s meat-centric food truck scene—their colorful kitchen-on-wheels and spacious (not to mention dog-friendly) yard has been one of the hottest new hangouts of the last year. Sunny’s serves an innovative and tantalizing selection of 100% vegan pub grub, including Spare Rib Bulgogi Tacos, Impossible Burgers, and Beer-battered Waffle Fries loaded with cashew-based queso. Items like Korean Fried Vegan Chicken and Wonton Cheese Sticks add another dimension to the menu, influenced by the owner’s love for Asian street food.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.
One of Austin’s oldest vegan haunts, Counter Culture has been serving scratch-made, plant-based, and dairy-free foods for well over 10 years now. The cheery atmosphere is evident from the moment you spot the building’s turquoise-blue exterior—and, inside, you’ll find a menu charged with those same positive vibes. Local favorites include Buffalo Mac & Cheeze Balls (best with a side of ranch) and Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza, a heap of tofu blue cheese, spinach, cauliflower, and red onions on a cornmeal crust.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out via Toast.
The thing about vegan food is, you already have to be creative… so why not go full seitan? Bistro Vonish features an ever-changing, always seasonal, locally sourced menu where dishes push the limits in the best way. This truck gives brick-and-mortars a run for their money with items like BBQ Seitan Sandwiches, Sweet Potato Arepas, and hearty hot soups. Don’t skip the Sunday brunch either, if the idea of Spicy Seitan Kolache sends your heart aflutter.
The Vegan Nom
Tacos are the lifeblood of any self-respecting Texan, and there’s no reason to change your ways when going animal-free. Consider the Vegan Nom’s Nueva Onda, a glorious mashup of sweet potato hash-browns, scrambled tofu, and avocado. For something a bit heftier to start the day, try the Big Brunch Burrito and Breakfast Nachos. The spot’s open late night, too (until 11 pm from Tuesday to Sunday), so stop by for a Korean Barbecue Taco or a Birdie Sanders (a buffalo chicken-inspired creation) after adult bevys.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, call 512-497-3147 for take-out, or get delivery via Uber Eats and Favor.
Casa de Luz
Set back from the road and nestled in a lush, green garden, Casa de Luz inspires almost cult-like devotion. Every day is a little different here, quite literally—there's a set menu for each day of the week, all of which are vegan, gluten-free, and 100% organic. The dining at this community center and restaurant is family-style, and if you're struck by the communal vibe, you can also volunteer in the kitchen with no experience required.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out via Clover.
Bouldin Creek Café
When people say, “You wouldn’t even know it’s vegetarian,” they’re talking about places like Bouldin Creek. This all-veg diner is a go-to for both vegetarians and omnivores dipping their toes in the plant-based lifestyle. Primetime is definitely brunch, when perhaps the most popular dish, The Renedict—a version of eggs Benedict that is also offered in vegan form—is the hottest ticket in town. Besides that, you'll find a well-rounded portfolio with items ranging from a veg-friendly rendition of the BLT to fajitas, pastas, always-evolving seasonal offerings, and, most importantly, breakfast served all day. Note: they charge a fair wage surcharge to your bill, so there is no need to tip.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out via Toast, or get delivery via Favor.
Arlo’s vegan offerings are the stuff of legend. Their trucks—which occupy patio space at beloved bars Cheer Up Charlie’s and Spider House—hawk dishes that aim to please, whether you’re gobbling it up post-drinks at 2 am or sober on a Tuesday afternoon. The tacos and Chipotle Chik’n Sandwich are must-tries, but the real star of the show is the big-as-your-face Bac’n Cheeze Burger, which features a house-made patty stacked with seitan bac’n that even the staunchest carnivore will admit is pretty damn tasty.
How to book: Stop by Cheer Up Charlie’s or Spider House for counter service.
As one of Austin’s oldest vegetarian joints, if you’re eating with Mr. Natural, you can feel secure in the knowledge that everything is 100% meat-free. One especially noteworthy menu item is the Vegan Mr. Natural Burger, made with a homemade soy patty, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, and vegan mayo. Swing by either location on a Sunday for brunch (check their social media for announcements).
How to book: Get delivery via Uber Eats.
The Vegan Yacht
Any Texan knows an essential staple of the state’s cuisine is the ever-popular, ever-messy Frito Pie. And vegans and vegetarians alike can indulge in a guilt-free version of this dish at the Vegan Yacht, where the Freeto Burrito, layered with organic tempeh chili, organic corn chips, avocado, and plant-based cheese, is just one of their jam-packed, size-of-a-newborn vegan burritos. Located next door, and operated by the same owners, is Maha Market. A plant-based version of your go-to corner store, their must-try is the warm and crispy Punjabi-style Samosas with tangy mint chutney.
Possum Pizza Food Truck
Alluding to one of the least attractive creatures on the planet might not make your stomach growl, but don't let that dissuade you. Possum's foldable, New York-style thin-crust slices (self-dubbed as "vegan trash pizza") are hugely popular among the plant-based set, and in addition to regular offerings like seitan pepperoni, the menu also features specialty pizzas. Take a walk on the wild (no animals) side with the Buffalo Cauli Pizza or a Bac’n Mac’n Cheezer.
How to book: Stop by for counter service or get delivery via Favor.
Cheese is one of the most lamented eliminations from a vegan diet—but no longer. Rebel Cheese is Austin’s only all-vegan cheese shop, and also features vegan meats, deli sandwiches, soups, salads, and gourmet grocery items. Feast on the Flake and Bake, with crispy pig-less bacon, cheddar, avocado, tomato, and plant-based egg on a local croissant, or dive into the Greater Grinder, loaded with plant-based salami, ham, and pepperoni plus garlic aioli, faux mozzarella, pepperoncini, and Italian dressing. Again, to reiterate, the meats listed above are not actual meat—this is the vegan list, remember?
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via Toast.
Zucchini Kill Bakery
When you imagine vegan baked goods, decadent might not be the first word that springs to mind… but in this case it totally is. Zucchini Kill's punky shop on 53rd Street offers different desserts daily, including Cinnamon Roll Donuts, Vanilla Buttercream Churro Cupcakes, enormous Cookie Cakes, and Chocolate Crunchers topped with salty pretzels. Said baked goods are also made with allergies or food restrictions in mind, and are 100% gluten-free. Look out for their weekend pop-up behind the old Spider House on Fruth Street.