Food & Drink

The 9 Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in San Antonio

Published On 08/10/2016 Published On 08/10/2016
La Botanica

La Botanica

Tobin Hill

Priding itself on its commitment to both clean eating and respect for the planet, La Botanica makes food that is not just really good for vegan fare, but really good, period. Bright flavors, creative cocktails, and an extensive, thoughtful food menu put La Botanica in a class by itself.

Sweet Yams

Eastside

An all-organic menu with a Southern spin -- think comfort food, but without the guilt -- has made Sweet Yams a favorite of San Antonians looking for a spot to enjoy gluten-free, vegetarian- and vegan-friendly food that delivers on taste as much as on health benefits. The price can't be beat, either

Earth Burger

Castle Hills

There's no meat to be found at SA's only "veggie burger stand." Instead, vegans who feel excluded from the speed, variety, and low cost of fast food will revel in this no-fuss, no-frills, all-meatless alternative to the golden arches.

Salata

Salata

Stone Oak, Northwest Side

Most commitments to eating salad for lunch every workday fail for the same reason: lack of variety. Billing itself as "the next-generation salad bar," Salata provides options out the wazoo -- five kinds of lettuce or greens mixes, three dozen veggies and fruits, cheese, nuts, and pasta, plus a nice selection of chicken, seafood, and other proteins. Add one of several signature dressings, plus soup and lemonade, and there go all your excuses.

Green Vegetarian Cuisine

Green Vegetarian Cuisine

Northwest Side, The Pearl

If for no other reason than to try the amazing cauliflower hot wings, give SA's only 100% vegetarian, 100% kosher restaurant a try. No, you won't think you're actually eating chicken wings instead of cauliflower, but you honest-to-God won't mind. Seriously.

Viva Vegeria

Viva Vegeria

Westside

We have all come to expect massive portions from our Tex-Mex restaurants, and Viva Vegeria doesn't disappoint. But here, you can stuff your face with abandon, as there will be no food coma and bloated regret later on. Founded by a vegan chef who wanted to give San Antonians with food restrictions access to fresh, flavorful cuisine, Vegeria satisfies with dazzlingly colorful, inventive dishes that clearly represent the cook's love that is poured into each dish.

Adalante

Alamo Heights

Promising "enlightenment, one taco at a time," Adalante is the perfect spot for diners who desire a gentle introduction to healthy eating. Menu items at Adalante are familiar -- nachos, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and chalupas dominate -- and feature real cheese, but are lighter and fresher than standard fare and are veggie-centric, with a few chicken and tuna choices but no other meat to be found.

Senor Veggie

Señor Veggie

Southtown

Mexican and Tex-Mex traditionalists might balk at the idea of a vegan eatery co-opting menudo and street tacos. But hold your judgment until you try some of what Señor Veggie has to offer, which includes a fairly broad range of choices beyond Mex/Tex-Mex. The consistently friendly service is simply the icing on the (vegan) cupcake.

Simi's India Cuisine

Balcones Heights

Newbies to Indian cuisine will appreciate Simi's expansive lunch buffet, which includes 30+ choices every day. The dinner menu includes a huge variety of vegetarian appetizer, soup, and entree options. Open since 1989, Simi's is family-owned and has built up a loyal clientele thanks to its consistency, variety, and friendly service.

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1. La Botànica 2911 N Saint Marys St, San Antonio, TX 78212 (Tobin Hill)

When it comes to food, La Botanica keeps it simple with a few select Mexican dishes like black bean molette and mushroom ceviche -- the catch is, it's entirely vegan. You won't even find a shred of dairy or egg in their bite-sized strawberry donut desserts. But the fun really comes in at La Botanica is the bar and the patio, where the tequila flows to no end and you're always sure to find a live music set or dj.

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2. Sweet Yams 218 N Cherry St, San Antonio, TX 78202 (East Side)

A tiny little house with just a counter, a kitchen, and a few tables, Sweet Yams takes all the comfort, hospitality, and filling food from the South and makes it natural with steamy-hot bowls of chili, lemon-roasted chicken, and shrimp po boys made only from cage-free animals and sustainable ingredients. Vegetarians of the East Side, pay attention: this restaurant's looking out for you with a slew of salads, soups, and veggie sandwiches, too.

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3. Earth Burger 818 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78216

The vegan's ultimate answer to greasy, meaty fast food options, Earth Burger offers up thick and utterly passable chicken, fish and beef substitute patties on whole wheat buns and wraps. You can side them with hummus and carrots or a kale salad, but the french fries are irresistibly crispy and fluffy -- because even vegetarians get to indulge every now and then.

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4. Salata 11075 W Interstate 10, San Antonio, TX 78230

Up in the North San Antonio suburbs, Salata flat out defeats the notion that eating healthy is bland and repetitive. This next-level salad bar makes getting a salad a completely customizable experience, and more than 50 greens, meats, and toppings and 10 house-made dressings to choose from, you'll find it hard it fall into routine here.

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5. Green Vegetarian Cuisine At Alon 10003 NW Military Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78231

Unsurprising of this Elm Creek spot, Green Vegetarian serves up completely meatless and kosher dishes. But "green" isn't just a standard of food, no, it's a standard of living -- they've got sustainability down pat with repurposed furniture, a recycling dumpster, a bike rack, and they only supply free-range eggs and fair-trade coffee. If you've been living off veggie burgers for a while, get ready for something spicy -- this place's got Mexican food for days with mega-sized nachos and spicy cauliflower hot wings.

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6. ¡Viva Vegeria! 1422 Nogalitos, San Antonio, TX 78204

Texas is full of Tex-Mex restaurants of all kinds and calibers, but it's rare to find in a dish in any of them that's guaranteed to be vegetarian- or vegan-approved. Viva Vegeria, however, manages to pull not just one but a whole menu of entirely vegan and gluten free Mexican fare with big plates of sweet potato enchiladas, street-style mushroom tacos, and blue corn fritters, all house within the same vibrant-colored walls with gaudy decorations you'd expect to see in any self-respecting Tex-Mex haunt.

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7. Adelante 21 Brees Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78209 (Alamo Heights)

If you've ever left a Mexican restaurant with one too many taco in your stomach and feeling regretful at best (admit it, we've all done it), Adelante might be your solution. Providing "enlightenment, one taco a time," this Alamo Heights joint puts healthy twists on Mexican staples -- mostly enchiladas and quesadillas -- that are lighter and and a little less gut-busting. An ideal spot for vegetarians, this spot also opts to stuff many of its dishes with potatoes and spinach instead of meat.

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8. Señor Veggie 620 S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78210

Although Chef Jose Alfredo Cruz is highly trained in the art of classical French cuisine, he uses his training to dole out completely vegan (you heard that correctly) Mexican dishes at this La Vallilta-adjacent spot. A master of sauces, he creates spicy and flavorful blends that, drizzled over mushroom fajitas or tempeh chalupas, will make you all but forget you're not eating meat.

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9. Simi’s Indian Cuisine 4535 Fredericksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78201

Since 1989, Simi’s been the ultimate entry point for newbies to the Indian culinary world. The expansive lunch buffet has around 30 offerings every day, and you're likely to find milder stuff like chicken tikka, channa masala, and tandoori vegetables amongst the spicier curries of the bunch. At dinner, the tandoori meats take over, and you can order from the chicken, lamb, beef, fish, or veggie portion of the menu. Just remember that everything's better on top of a fluffy piece of naan.