By Kate Buckle, Epicure & Culture contributor
Looking to eat vegan in Austin, Texas?
With an average of almost 230 days of sunshine per year, it’s no surprise that eating outside is big business in Austin.
Food trucks are everywhere in this quirky Texan capital. And despite being well-known for its barbecue, Austin has also become home to a booming vegan food scene.
In fact, when it comes to eating vegan in Austin, you can find absolutely everything:
Meat-free Tex-Mex tacos, dairy-free milkshakes, colorful Buddha bowls, satisfying smoothies, and even vegan soul food.
Truly, nothing is off the menu for vegans in Austin, as the city champions plant-based food of every variety.
Despite it’s rapidly growing population, Austin remains quite determined to keep things offbeat — and that’s a good thing for those who love eating local.
Entrepreneurs from many corners of the globe have set up shop here, and the “Keep Austin Weird” motto works to support small businesses and quirky ideas rather than large chains.
You’re just as likely, if not more likely, to find your average Austinite sipping a lovingly prepared refreshment from one of the city’s countless food trucks as a Starbucks Frappe.
Now more than ever it’s especially important to support small businesses while being mindful about what we put on our plates.
To help you enjoy delicious and nutritious local food, here are nine vegan restaurants in Austin worth checking out.
At the time of writing most establishments mentioned are open for delivery and takeout only due to the current situation with COVID-19.
Meaningful Travel Personality Quiz
Before we dive into how to eat vegan in Austin, we invite you to take our free Meaningful Travel Personality Quiz.
Answer a few short and fun questions, and your results will share your perfect meaningful trip based on your personality.
On that note, let’s dive into our delicious vegan guide to Austin.
Top Restaurants For Eating Vegan In Austin, Texas
1. The Vegan Nom
Austin is home to some of the best vegetarian restaurants in the American Southwest, as well as the best vegan eateries.
Mexican and Latino influences have a clear reach on the culinary scene throughout the city — and, actually, the whole state of Texas.
In fact, breakfast tacos have become something of a religion in Austin.
Luckily, being plant-based certainly doesn’t mean you should miss out on this Austin rite of passage.
Chris Rios founded The Vegan Nom in 2011, with 100% plant-based tacos, burritos, and nachos on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While you can’t go wrong with anything they serve, consider opting for the “Rockin’ Migas.”
This breakfast taco contains tofu scramble, cheddar, tortilla chips, bells, and roja sauce, with the option to add vegan chorizo, crema, and avocado. By the way, you absolutely should.
Don’t miss trying their legendary hot sauces!
2. The Vegan Yacht
Continuing on the theme of Tex-Mex, in the south of the city at The Vegan Yacht you can sample what many consider to be Austin’s best vegan burrito.
Operated out of a converted 1967 Airstream land yacht, The Vegan Yacht is a family-run affair and has been serving colorful, organic, and non-GMO Tex-Mex creations to loyal customers since 2010.
Their shiny silver and blue truck is hard to miss, and its very Austin-esque logo is a penny-farthing bicycle being ridden by a mustached Octopus.
Soon, The Vegan Yacht will be moving to a brick and mortar location in the same parking lot that their food truck is currently located.
As you’re probably starting to see, one of the top things to do in Austin is exploring the restaurants, and this one is one of the best.
Situated in East Austin in the same food truck park as The Vegan Nom, Curcuma‘s pastel-colored truck and superfood-packed menu emit serious “let food be thy medicine” vibes.
Rachel Musquiz’s passion for a wholesome plant-based diet was the inspiration for opening Curcuma.
The Ayurveda-inspired menu consists of simple and filling dishes — many of which can be made gluten-free — crafted with local organic and ethically-sourced ingredients.
A few vegan favorites include the Raw Pecan Tacos, Zucchini Pesto Bowl, and Green Detox Broth featuring spirulina, chlorella, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, chickpea miso, and cayenne.
Pair your meal with their nourishing teas, juice elixirs, and wellness shots.
4. Milky Way Shakes
Vegan ice cream never tasted so good!
Childhood besties Moni and Rachel, originally from North Carolina, realized a childhood dream of opening a dessert spot together when Milky Way Shakes set up shop in 2017.
Since then, the friends have been serving up an ever-changing menu of cosmos-inspired vegan shakes, like the Oreo Borealis and Star-Berry Lemon Cloud, which are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the taste buds.
The truck — which could previously be found at the Spider House Cafe & Patio Bar in North-Central Austin — was out of action for a while due to COVID-19.
In the meantime, the duo operated an online shop of vegan treats, from CBD caramels to packets of pretty star-shaped meringues which were available for local pick up or contact-free delivery in Austin and surrounding areas such as Cedar Park and Round Rock.
As of September the truck has reopened in East Austin, right next to The Vegan Nom and Curcuma!
5. Counter Culture
Technically no longer a food truck, Counter Culture is most definitely worth a mention, and a visit, as it was one of the first female-run vegetarian food trucks to make a mark on the city.
Counter Culture has enjoyed growing success since the original truck opened its doors — or hatches — in 2009, and has since moved to a brick and mortar restaurant in East Austin.
Here, diners can enjoy hearty and delicious vegan grub like vegan hatch chile burgers and bbq soy curl tacos to take away or enjoy out on their patio.
6. Vida Pura Juicery
Begin your day with a healthy blast of fresh fruit, a nourishing acai bowl, or a rich and delicious cafecito from this Latina-owned business.
Vida Pura Juicery is located in North-East Austin, with mango, avocado, lime and vanilla all featuring heavily on the menu.
Yum! No complaints there.
7. Cosmos Kitchen
If your craving for Mexican food isn’t satisfied by breakfast tacos, head to Cosmos Kitchen in Possum Park for some evening tacos!
You can order a plate of tacos filled with plant-based versions of Mexican meat options such as bistec and pastor.
Plus, these vegan tacos in Austin come served with the obligatory toppings of cilantro, onion, and lime.
8. Wasota Vegan Paradise
Originally named Wasota African Cuisine when it opened in 2011, Wasota Vegan Paradise is the brainchild of Nigeria-born Lawrence Eguakun.
And while the eatery has always been vegan-friendly, since making the transition to a completely plant-based diet around three years ago, Eguakun hasn’t looked back.
The vegan Austin restaurant serves up meat-free Nigerian and West African cuisine at its current Possum Park location.
Try out the Ultimate Vegan Sandwich, which is chock full of seasoned vegetables, with a side of ice-cold Mexican Coke or nourishing mango and carrot juice for the perfect vegetarian comfort meal.
9. Bouldin Creek Cafe
Bouldin Creek Cafe is a wonderful veggie option that has been serving up delicious and nutritious vegetarian and vegan grub to Austinites for a whopping 20 years.
Their menu features delicious eats like enourmous salads, stir fries, and even classically meaty sandwiches like BLTs and Reubens made vegan.
Bouldin Creek has a strong focus on creativity and community, with its walls featuring artwork and photography from local and up-and-coming artists.
What are your favorite restaurants for eating vegan in Austin, Texas?
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