Where to Get the Best Vegan and Vegetarian Food in Austin
Healthy and delicious.
Texas may seem like the most intimidating place a vegan or vegetarian could find themselves in. Not only do barbecue and steak rank supreme in the Lone Star State, but the UT Longhorn logo seems to further mock the plant-based from every possible corner. However, we are lucky enough in Austin to have a great selection of sanctuaries for those who are meat and dairy-free to get their nosh on—from pizza to soul food to Mexican, and everything in between. The quality is so high you could swap out your cowboy-boot wearing, brisket-loving uncle’s usual with one of these alternatives and we bet he wouldn’t even know the difference.
Specializes in: Comfort food
One of Austin’s OG Vegan haunts, Counter Culture has been serving delicious plant-based and dairy-free foods, all made from scratch, for over 10 years now. Their cheery atmosphere is evident from the moment you spot their turquoise-blue outside walls—and, inside, you will find food that is charged with that same sense of good energy. Local favorites include their Buffalo Mac & Cheeze Balls (don’t forget a side of Ranch) and their spinach artichoke pizza, which is topped with smoked tempeh bacon and is served on a cornmeal crust.
How to order: They have a few tables open outside for dine-in and you can also order online for curbside pick-up or delivery.
Specializes in: Fancy vegan fare
The thing about vegan food is, you already have to be creative... so why not go whole seitan? Bistro Vonish features an ever-changing, always seasonal, locally sourced menu whose dishes push the limits in the best way. This truck gives brick-and-mortars a run for their money with items like hearts of palm po-by, sweet potato arepas, and hearty hot soups. Don’t skip the brunch either, if the idea of kolache dough-douts sends your heart aflutter.
How to order: Preorder online through their website—note that they don’t do same day orders, so be sure to get your selection in well before you want it. As well, pick-ups are only available from Wednesday to Saturdays, 5 - 8 pm. You can also grab their food and, in particular, their brunch items, at Dear Diary Coffeehouse and Rabbit Food Grocery.
The Vegan Nom
Specializes in: Mexican
Tacos are the lifeblood of any self-respecting Texan, and there’s no reason to change your taco ways when going animal-free. Consider the 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 Vegan Nom's open late night, too (until 11 pm!), so stop by for a Korean barbecue taco or a Birdie Sanders (a buffalo chicken-inspired creation) post-beverage.
How to order: You can either dine-in, by ordering at the truck and sitting on the tables outside, or call 512-497-3147 to place a take-out order.
Casa de Luz
Specializes in: Macrobiotic family-style dining
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 every day of the week, all of which are vegan, gluten-free, and 100% organic. The dining at this community center/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 order: Dine-in is available at Casa de Luz—both indoors as well as on their spacious outdoor patio. You can also order online for pick-up.
Bouldin Creek Café
Specializes in: Breakfast
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 for people dipping their toe in the lifestyle. Prime time is definitely brunch, when perhaps its most popular dish, The Renedict—a version of eggs Benedict that is also offered vegan—is available. 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, all-day breakfast.
How to order: Bouldin Creek is currently open only for curbside pick-up—you can order from them online.
Specializes in: Comfort food, Burgers
Arlo’s vegan offerings are the stuff of legend. Their trucks—which occupy patio space at Cheer Up Charlie’s and Spider House—boast vegan food that’s satisfying 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 delicious.
How to order: You can order online for pick-up.
Specializes in: Basically everything
One of Austin’s earliest 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 veggie burger, one of the best in town—it's available in traditional fashion, loaded with barbecue sauce and piled with “bacon,” or topped with a tasty medley of sautéed onions and spinach, avocado, and Monterey jack cheese. Want to try a little of everything? Swing by the Cesar Chavez location on the first Sunday of every month for the all-vegan brunch buffet.
How to order: Open for dine-in or order online for curbside pick-up.
The Vegan Yacht
Specializes in: Giant burritos & samosas
Any Texan knows an essential staple of the state cuisine is the ever-popular, ever-messy frito pie. Vegans and vegetarians alike can indulge in a guilt-free version of this dish at The Vegan Yacht—where the Freeto Burrito, with organic tempeh chili, organic corn chips, avocado, and cheese, is just one of their jam-packed, size-of-a-newborn vegan burritos to chow down on. Located next door, and operated by the same owners, is the new Maha Market. A plant-based version of your go-to corner store, their must-try is the warm and crispy Punjabi-style samosas with mint chutney.
How to order: You can pick-up in person or order online for take-out.
Specializes in: Organic everything
Fresh, garden-to-table fare is all you’ll find at Citizen Eatery. This modern cafe caters to vegan, gluten-free and paleo-only Austin crowds, so you can safely bring your whole family. Menu highlights include the wonderfully named “Egg McCartney” breakfast sandwich, pecan pesto noodles, and “pulled plant” sandwiches. For those looking to indulge, that full daily dose of veg pairs wonderfully with a glass of organic wine or a cocktail made with cold-pressed juice.
How to order: They are currently open for dine-in at 50% capacity—they don’t take reservations, but suggest you use the Yelp Waitlist app and add your name to the waitlist before you arrive. You can also order take-out online for pick-up or delivery.
The Beer Plant
Specializes in: Bar food
Normally the phrase “bar food” conjures all things meat-filled and greasy, but The Beer Plant is changing that with its 100% plant-based menu. Chicken wings and juicy burgers are swapped out for buffalo cauliflower wings, fries with seitan chorizo, and Hill Country “Chicken” & Gravy—all which pair perfectly with the 40 craft beers on tap. Homemade bread and veggies pickled on-site fit right in with the rustic chic, farmhouse vibe. After just one visit, you’ll be denying that you ever scoffed at the idea of a vegan gastropub.
How to order: They are open for dine-in, with both indoor and outdoor seating—you can make a reservation online. You can also order online for pick-up or delivery.
Sassy’s Vegetarian Soul Food
Specializes in: Soul food
If you despaired of ever finding meat-free hot and hearty soul food, your prayers have been answered by Sassy’s. Inspired by her own search for the same, Sassy set up shop using techniques learned in her childhood kitchen. Sit on down for some “Chicon N Waffles” (crispy fried chicken seitan with eggless waffles), vegan Cajun mac 'n cheese, and a brick of hot water cornbread.
How to order: Open for walk-up orders—keep an eye on their Instagram for details on ordering to-go as they are currently retooling their system.
Specializes in: Brunch and baos
You don’t have to be a vegan to drool over the Instagram-worthy, decadent creation that is Plow Bao’s French toast bao. This pillowy, sugary connection is just as it sounds—and even comes in a plant-based sandwich version as well for those who like to mix their sweet and savory. That’s not to discredit the rest of their menu, which includes such dishes as “Chick’n” and Waffle Baos, plant-based pan-fried “pork” dumplings, and, most impressive of all, a vegan version of arguably one of the top 10 foods of all time—crab rangoon.
How to order: Plow Bao is located in the Buzz Mill Coffee courtyard—you can pick up from them in person, order online for take-out, or get them delivered through UberEats.
Possum Pizza Food Truck
Specializes in: Pizza (duh)
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 vegan set, and in addition to regular offerings like pepperoni (seitan), the menu also features specialty pizzas. Take a walk on the wild (animal) side with the Buffalo Cauli pizza, or a Bac’n Mac’n Cheezer.
How to order: You can call or text 512-939-7787 to order for pick-up.
Specializes in: Charcuterie boards and deli sandwiches
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, which also features vegan meats, deli sandwiches, soups, salads, and gourmet grocery items. Feast on the Flake and Bake, with crispy bacon, cheddar, avocado, tomato, harmless egg on a local croissant; or the Greater Grinder with salami, ham, pepperoni, garlic aioli, mozzarella, pepperoncini, and Italian dressing. Again, to reiterate, the meats listed above are not actual meat—this is the vegan list, remember?
How to order: Rebel Cheese is currently closed for dine-in. However, you can order online for pick-up or delivery within a five-mile radius.
Specializes in: Coffee and dessert
Life is sweeter when you’re eating at Fat Cat Organic, because they specialize in out-of-this-world desserts and fair trade, organic coffee, tea, and ice cream. The fresh-daily baked goods—like adorable Campfire cupcakes or made-to-order Belgian Waffles—may steal the show, but there’s always room for a cafe cortado, a milkshake, or a vegan sundae piled high with toppings.
How to order: While they are currently closed for dine-in, you can order online for contactless pick-up or delivery (based on location).
Zucchini Kill Bakery
Specializes in: Baked goods
When you imagine vegan baked goods, decadent might not be the first word that springs to mind... but it totally should be. Zucchini Kill's punk-themed 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 any allergy or food restrictions in mind, and are 100% gluten-free.
How to order: Order online for contactless pick-up or local delivery. You can also buy their box mixes and spice blends for all your at-home baking needs.
Bodhi Viet Veggie
Specializes in: Vietnamese
Going meat-free can open up a whole new world, and in Bodhi's case, that world includes an active Buddhist community who believes that peace begins on your plate. Powered by 100% volunteers (including Buddhist nuns), all the food here is meat-free, from-scratch, and made with vegetables grown in their garden—we're talking fresh spring rolls, dumplings, meatless barbecue banh mi, and vermicelli plates, to name just a few standouts.
How to order: They are currently closed for dine-in, but you can order for take-out by calling 512-696-1807.
Atx Food Co
Specializes in: Alkaline menu
Using locally sourced ingredients and chef-prepared foods, ATX Food Co focuses on “body absorbing minerals to help maintain a healthy state”—which all sounds a bit woo-woo, but who cares when the food's this good? Brightly colored dishes like the Goodness Gracious Wild Stir Fry (wild mushrooms, kale, red onions, green goddess, tricolor quinoa, pickled cabbage) and the Lucky Squash Taco (Spelt tortillas, red onions, kabocha squash, zucchini, pickled cabbage) can't be missed.
How to order: They are open for outdoor dine-in only—or, you can order online for pick-up.