Austin, Texas. The land of live music, grackles, and yes — copious amounts of vegan food. This Central Texas city may be traditionally known for BBQ and queso, but times are a-changin’ and Austin is incredibly vegan-friendly, as evidenced in Austin’s many plant-based food trucks, sit-down restaurants with veg-friendly options, pop-up vegan markets, and even a 100 percent vegan grocery store that make up a now booming vegan food scene.
Visitors to the Texas Capital can take comfort in the fact that Austin offers something for every food preference, ranging from raw whole foods to indulgent vegan fare. Come hungry, and check out our favorite places to eat vegan in Austin, complete with a map of the best vegan options in Austin to make it super easy.
If you’re looking for the best vegan burger in ATX, you’ve definitely found it at Arlo’s. Austin is blessed with not one, but three Arlo’s food trucks around town with hours as late as 2 a.m. Their Bac’n Cheeze Burger is crafted to perfection and pairs best with a side of Tater Tots and Sweet Potato Fries. Yes, you’ll want to get both. Plus, gluten-free eaters need not skip this one. As a frequent vendor at VegFests far and wide, Arlo’s has made a name for itself across the country and has even won the coveted title of the “Best Plant Based Burger in America”, as voted by Miami’s Seed Food & Wine Burger Battle. We’d have to agree, because this is the go-to spot to bring doubtful omnis … if you want to blow their minds, that is. Pro tip: Arlo’s has a secret menu! Ask for mac n cheeze, chili, or pico de gallo added to your burger or as a side order to take your meal to new heights. $3 – $8; 900 Red River; 1700 E. 6th St.; 2908 Fruth St.
Bistro Vonish isn’t just a superb vegan food trailer, it’s one of Austin’s very best eateries — vegan or otherwise. Serving “elevated vegan cuisine” including the fan-favorite BBQ Seitan Sandwich, Black Garlic Bruschetta, and Southern-Fried Oyster Mushrooms, a meal had at Bistro Vonish is sure to inspire with Chef Craig Vanis’ fresh ingredients and inventive flavors. Vonish originally started the concept as a private monthly supper club, but with the opening of the food trailer in 2015, Bistro Vonish has been steadily serving upscale vegan fare to all and has no plans of slowing down. Nestled in the all-vegan Possum Park (along with Sundaze North, Franny’s Comfort Food, Wasota Vegan Paradise, and Zucchini Kill), this is one place plant-eaters don’t want to miss. $3 – $9.5; 701 E. 53rd St.
Cool Beans Eatery
Originally from the border city of Brownsville, Texas, Cool Beans Eatery brought its craft to Austin in 2014 with high quality, made-from-scratch Mexican food served out of a welcoming food truck setup. Local, organic ingredients and a whole lot of passion go into creating signature menu items like the super shareable Loaded Nachos, the authentic-style Piggy Smalls Taco, the award-winning Warrior Taco, and made-to-order Holy Guacamole. Easily among the very best vegan eateries in Austin, Cool Beans brings authentic Latin street cuisine to the masses from its centrally located food truck set up. Situated just north of UT, the truck shares turf with other vegan favorites Arlo’s and Milky Way Shakes at the Spiderhouse Cafe & Ballroom. No matter what you order, the eats from Cool Beans will never disappoint. $3 – $12; 2908 Fruth St.
The Vegan Nom
Specialists in dishing out “Rockin Vegan Tacos,” this well-liked spot located on the abundantly vegan-friendly East Cesar Chavez has skyrocketed to popularity as Austin’s first all-vegan taco trailer. Chef Chris Rios initially opened the eatery in early 2012 and quickly won the hearts of Austin’s plant-based community with Tex Mex delights that are always fresh and made-to-order. If ordering between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., go for the Rockin Vegan Migas and the Gracias Madre Tacos with the Hellas Vegan Quesadilla to share. Diners stopping by The Vegan Nom after 6 p.m. will enjoy a “build-your-plate” style late night menu that starts by selecting a plant-based meat (try the Al Pastor), adding it to one of five dish options like the Nomaste Bowl or the Beto Burrito, and finishing it off with add-ons like the game-changing Planet Queso. With a truly delectable nut-free, soy-free menu, The Vegan Nom has all your vegan taco cravings covered. $3 – $9 (day menu), $4.50 – $12 (late night menu); 2324 E. Cesar Chavez St.
With a slogan like “All Vegan All The Time” it’s hard to resist a late night pizza from Li’l Nonna’s. The pizza food truck made the jump to fully vegan in September 2018 following a successful month operating as a fully plant-based eatery curated by Austin’s own Planted Events. Established by craft pizza veteran Robbie Lordi and founder of Austin’s first vegan supper club, Elizabeth Crepeau, Li’l Nonna’s is open until midnight daily with the exception of Mondays. The food truck pizzeria serves up crowd-pleasers like the Beeteroni ‘n Cheese and the VBR (verde bianco rosso), plus a variety of one-off and rotating specials, including the Wild Mushroom, the Strawberry Alarm Clock, and ambitious collab pizzas with other local vegan restaurants. Located just south of the river near I-35, Li’l Nonna’s is the go-to spot for NY-style pizza with a modern, Austin twist. $4 – $21; 1505 Town Creek Dr.
Wasota Vegan Paradise
100. Percent. Vegan. Nigerian food. Need we say more? Wasota Vegan Paradise, Possum Park’s newest food trailer addition, brings authentic West African flavor to Austinites with dishes like Egusi Soup with Yam Fu Fu, Fried Sweet Plantains, and Akara Fritters. Don’t skip out on the oil-free offerings either, like the wildly delicious Sweet Potato Porridge. Formerly Wasota African Paradise (and even further back, World Beat Cafe), the establishment closed for a time and reopened with a fully vegan menu following owner Lawrence Eguakun’s personal transition to a vegan lifestyle. With generous portion sizes and all dishes priced under $15, you may find yourself tempted to get one of everything on the menu! $5.50 – $14.50; 701 E. 53rd St.
Fat Cats Coffee
With the removal of dairy milks from the menu, Fat Cats Coffee went 100 percent vegan in November 2018. Offering classic espresso and coffee favorites, 50 blends of teas, So Delicious and Nada Moo ice cream served by the scoop (with homemade syrups like Lavender, Cardamom, and Masala), a perpetually stocked case of vegan pastries, and fresh, customizable Belgian waffles, Fat Cats is the coffee shop. This spot even serves the ever-popular oat milk with five additional dairy-free milk alternatives to choose from. And yep, their decor is 90 percent cats and 100 percent awesome. Grab one of their many board games and hang out a while. Pro-tip: go all out and turn your favorite ice cream scoop into a milkshake or get your waffle a-la-mode! $1 – $7.50; 720 Easy Wind Dr.
Hankering for ice cream? Look no further than Sweet Ritual for artisanal dairy-free scoops, soft serve, sundaes, and shakes that’ll make you say “damn, that’s vegan?!” Opened in 2011, owners Valerie Ward and Amelia Raley take vegan ice cream to new levels with ice cream bases ranging from the usual almond and coconut to sunbutter, peanut, and even the occasional tahini. The ice cream purveyors originally shared space with local juice bar JuiceLand before moving into their own location on Airport Boulevard, where they serve Always Flavors like Mexican Vanilla, Salted Caramel, and the famed Unicorn Poop. With additional seasonal featured flavors as varied as Lemon Poppyseed Muffin, Death Metal By Chocolate, and Matcha Dew About Nothing, Sweet Ritual will keep your tastebuds overjoyed each time you visit. $2.95 – $9.95; 4631 Airport Blvd., Ste. 125
Bouldin Creek Cafe
A local vegetarian staple since 2000, this eatery on South 1st St. boasts the best of Austin: a dog-friendly patio, local art adorning the walls, organic fair trade coffee, and a radical commitment to sustainability. Most dishes already are or can be requested vegan at Bouldin, and the restaurant promises an experience that keeps folks coming back time and time again. Get their Breakfast Tacos with a side of Vegan Blueberry Cornbread for breakfast, the award-winning Veggie Royale Burger for lunch, and be sure to top it off with a warm slice of Gingerbread Pear Cake for dessert. Happy hour specials run every day between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., but visitors to Bouldin can expect an affordable, satisfying meal at any time of day. Pro tip: avoid the inevitable lengthy wait times around breakfast and brunch (because yes, it is that good) by securing your table on Yelp or the NoWait app before heading out to the restaurant. $4.50 – $10 (lunch specials), $3.50 – $13.25 (regular); 1900 South 1st St.
Zucchini Kill Bakery
Gluten-free sweet tooths, rejoice! This female-owned, punk rock-themed bakery is 100 percent free of both soy and gluten but loaded with rich flavors that’ll satisfy any desire for a cupcake, cookie, Swiss roll, and even Twinkies. Originally a pop-up bakery selling vegan goodies out of Counter Culture, the Buzz Mill, Arlo’s, and more, the bakery got its long-awaited brick and mortar in Possum Park (a.k.a. vegan eatin’ paradise) in September 2017. Zucchini Kill is a play on 90s riot grrrl band Bikini Kill and several products in the bakery have musically-inspired names in the most on-brand way. Get one of their Cream Coffins (looks like a Twinkie but tastes way better), a $5 MySteRy BaG, Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies, and treat your fur babies with one of their dog-approved “Puptreats.” Flavors change with the seasons, so check out their Instagram to see the goods ahead of time. Cupcakes: $4; Swiss Rolls $8; 701 E. 53rd St.
The Beer Plant
Located in an all-vegan center in Tarrytown, The Beer Plant is a local favorite for late-night beer pairings and fancy versions of the best vegan comfort foods. With a sexy atmosphere, chef-inspired menu and a seemingly-endless array of beers & spirits, The Beer Plant’s 100 percent vegan experience is perfect for date nights, celebrations and even some experimental dining. They opened their doors in September 2016, headlined by one of the best chefs in the country, Lou Mustachio (now the Executive Chef at Moby’s Little Pine in LA), and are Austin’s only vegan gastropub. When you go in, ask for the Buffalo Cauliflower, Nashville Hot & Crispy Sandwich and get the Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert. In addition to a hopping late-night vibe, they also have one of the best weekend brunch menus in the whole city. This is a no-regrets vegan restaurant. $9 – $18; 3110 Windsor
This food truck, located in East Austin, is a must-stop for anyone visiting central Texas. Their all-vegan, award-winning proteins are smoked using traditional methods and often sell out daily. BBQ Revolution offers “meats” made from seitan, soy curls and local tempeh, has many gluten-free options, and even a mock-version of a McRib! The menu resembles any traditional BBQ joint, minus the cruelty. Plates even come with pickles, onions and white bread. Our perfect plate: Tempeh Ribs with a side of Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad and BBQ Baked Beans. If you miss good quality barbecue, or are hosting out-of-town ‘carnivores,’ you’re in for a treat. $9 – $12; 3301 E. 5th St.
Sue Davis started Counter Culture out of a tiny food trailer in Central Austin in 2009. Later, she opened her brick and mortar, one of Austin’s first all-vegan sit-down restaurants, in bustling East Austin on Cesar Chavez. Serving an internationally-inspired diner menu, Counter Culture is the kind of place you can take anyone — omnivores, vegans, even those avoiding gluten and oil. She has the most diverse menu in the city, and a reputation for busting out some of the most interesting and flavorful daily specials. Our favorite Counter Culture staples: The Daily Cheeze Plate, East Side Nachos, Philly Seitan and The Meltdown, a garbanzo-tuna-melt sandwich that will have you daydreaming. Check out their weekend brunch, featuring the best pancakes in the city, and seasonal-veggie-stuffed tofu omelettes. $5.50 – $13; 2337 E. Cesar Chavez
Casa De Luz
Lovingly referred to by Austinites simply as “Casa,” Casa De Luz is a macrobiotic, prixe fixe (but affordable), healthy vegan restaurant located in a serene compound off S. Lamar and Barton Springs Rd. Dining here is one of the most peaceful and relaxing food adventures you’ll have in Austin. Their menu changes daily and is the same for everyone who walks in. First, you’ll pay $14 at the front counter, then walk into the dining room, choose your own seat, and pour your own tea, serve your own soup and salad. When you’re nearing the end of your self-served appetizer, you’ll be brought the main plate, which usually consists of rice, beans, vegetables, greens, nut cheese and pickled vegetables. Everything, from the dressings to the entrees, is made in their open kitchen (say “hi” to the staff!) and it’s all delicious, oil-free and gluten-free. Casa is one of our most favorite spots in Austin for its ease, healthy offerings and calm atmosphere. $14; 1701 Toomey
Citizen Eatery, located in central Austin on Burnet Rd, started as a vegetarian restaurant in 2017, but recently switched to an all-vegan menu, exciting vegans all over Austin. Their menu was designed based on a need from its owners: a place where anyone with any diet can enjoy a meal … together. Citizen is great for date nights or weekend brunches, with an artsy, clean atmosphere and giant windows with lots of natural light. From paleo to sweet-toothed, their offerings include some of the best veggie burgers in the city and an all-day breakfast menu (they’re one of the only places in Texas serving Just Egg products). Our favorites include the Pecan Pesto Noodles, Sausage Breakfast and Citizen Burger with a side of Texas Tumbleweed Fries. $7.50 – $12.50; 5011 Burnet
Capital City Bakery
This all-vegan scratch-made bakery is located on Austin’s East side, walking distance from some of the best vegan restaurants, like The Vegan Nom and Counter Culture. Its bright atmosphere and drool-worthy sweets are a must-try for visitors to the Texas Capital. From cupcakes to Pop-Tarts to cheesecake, Capital City Bakery has some of the most delicious and Instagrammable eats in all of Austin: they even have a full coffee bar and breakfast pastry selection, but stop by in the morning before they sell out of kolaches! Our favorites include their Sausage Jalapeno Cheeze Kolaches, Confetti Cupcakes and Breakfast Sandwich (Sausage, Tofu “egg” and cheeze on a toasted English muffin!). $2 – $5.50; 2211 E. Cesar Chavez
Rabbit Food Grocery
This spot isn’t a restaurant, trailer, bar or bakery — but it is one of the best spots in Austin for vegan treats, eats, goods and swag! Rabbit Food Grocery, located in Tarrytown (in the same center as The Beer Plant), has the biggest array of vegan products we’ve ever seen. They do all the work for us and research every product that comes through their doors, making sure that everything is 100 percent vegan, plant-based and cruelty-free. In their freezer section, you’ll find everything from Beyond Burgers to waffles, shrimp, bacon and even vegan crab! On their shelves, they have the full array of snacks, grocery staples, body care products and gifts; and in their refrigerated section, there’s every kind of cheese you can imagine, as well as grab-n-go products from Austin favorites like Counter Culture, Celeste’s Best and Capital City Bakery. RFG is the best place to go if you’re looking for original Austin vegan souvenirs, too! You just gotta check it out, y’all. 2425 Exposition, Ste. A
This delightfully named and adorably decorated vegan food trailer in South Austin is actually one of our most favorite places to grab a bite to eat in summertime, or literally any time. Their house-made seitan dogs are delicious, filling and, most importantly … meaty! Doggie Style boasts a creative menu with gluten-free options and tons of sides and toppings that make for a great meal, despite their “snacky” theme. Our favorites include the Jon Stewart (basically a reuben, but a hot dog), the Walking Taco (chili, queso, Fritos and green onion) and a side of their Stacked Fries or Wingman Nachos. They also host an annual Hot Dog Eating Competition, which is one of the best days of the year for vegans in Austin, and have crazy specials like Vegan Corn Dogs and Buffalo Cauliflower. They’re located in a spacious food park alongside other businesses with vegan options, including an ice-cream shop with cruelty-free sweets! $4 – $9.50; 603 W. Live Oak
Cheer Up Charlies
As the locals call it, “Cheer Ups” is one of the best places to stop by on your visit to Austin. Located in the Red River Cultural District, this all-vegan bar and social spot is a great spot for afternoon hangs, late night partying and even a great dinner option if you’re into delicious vegan cheeseburgers: there’s an Arlo’s inside their patio! Cheer Up Charlies is an LGBT-friendly space, totally vegan and hosts some of the best events in Austin, including showcases for SXSW, movie-screenings, guest DJs, storytelling nights, burlesque, live music and so much more. Check out their amazing cocktails while you’re there; our favorites are the Banana Hammock (rum, bananas, pineapple and coconut) and their Vegan Yeti (basically a Vegan White Russian, omg!). For non-drinkers, they have kombucha on tap and can make any of their drinks without the alcohol. All are meant to be eaten with an Arlo’s burger, though, let’s be real. $4 – $8; 900 Red River
Sassy’s Vegetarian Soul Food
This small trailer located on Austin’s East Side, is one of the newest and brightest additions to the city. Sassy’s is all vegan (despite the name!) and boasts a menu with genuine soul food, breathing a new life into Austin’s food scene. Its owner, a former travelling jazz and blues singer, Andrea Dawson, opened the trailer to fill the gap in Austin for vegetarian soul-food, and fill the gap she did. Her menu often changes, but the current all-stars are her Chicon n’ Waffles (named after Chicon street, where they’re located), and Three-Green-Medley with Kale, Collards and Mustard Greens. She carries classic soul-food staples, like Fried Cabbage and Hot Water Cornbread, too. This stop is perfect for vegans, those who love soul food and especially those who’ve never tried it. You will fall in love with the food and with the owner & chef herself. $5 – $12; 1819 E. 12th