PIZZA CUPCAKES TURTLE POWER!
People who live in Austin are so lucky, in general, because it has amazing food and the nicest fucking vegans I’ve ever met — including the absolutely lovely dynamo Kristen Davenport of Austin’s Capital City Bakery. According to reliable and lazy sources, Capital City Bakery has some DAMN TASTY sweet treats; it’s almost enough to get me on a plane out there to eat everything.
Oh well, add it to the list of reasons Austin is the greatest and we should all move there immediately as soon as they get a giant air conditioner to cool the city year-round. With global warming, that might be sooner than we think!
Guest Post: Top 10 Vegan Restaurants in Austin! »
What comes to mind when you hear about Texas? Greedy republicans, oil industries, and humidity infused gigantic hair, probably. But my town is a bit different. Ahh, Austin. It’s a quirky wonderland of twenty-something hipsters with something (and nothing) to prove, baby boomer hippies who could recall Woodstock as if it were yesterday (and are happy to do so up request), and vegan hotspots that send you into a deep state of food coma-dom (speaking from past experience).
I’ve picked out the top 10 best vegan restaurants and cafes in the city. Big on flavor and even bigger in heart; these are “musts” for any visiting or resident vegan.
10. Vegan Yacht: How appropriate to start off with a food truck! Nestled in a food trailer park on the uber hip Eastside, Vegan Yacht is a great choice for vegans and omnivores alike. What to try: ‘Freeto’ burrito! Omg so good.
9. Sugar Tooth Bakery: Because even vegans have sugar cravings. What to try: Russian Caravan (almond cake).
8. The Parlor: Admittedly, on of the hardest parts about going vegan was giving up most all pizza. But the Parlor has brought my once favorite dish back to me! What to try: Build your own vegan pizza!
7. Wheatsville Food Coop: Okay, so this is actually a grocery store. But, I feel it absolutely must be on the list for it’s super awesome and relaxed community feel, and it’s top-notch deli in the back with really great vegan options. What to try: Vegan Saffron Pasta salad, Popcorn tofu. [Ed.: Speaking of THE AMAZING popcorn tofu, did you know that you don’t have to go all the way to Texas to get it?? That’s right, the recipe is available in this great vegan recipe zine that I just bought and that you can buy, too. Aren’t we all so lucky!? I wrote a little about it in my SF Weekly Week in Vegan column and now I will cut and paste that here because I’m the laziest. Since the entire state of Texas is on fire, that means the animals residents of Sunny Day Farms animal sanctuary in Le Coste, Texas are suffering. In response, awesome blogger Lazy Vegan Smurf and friends put together a great zine of delicious vegan recipes, with all proceeds going to Sunny Day Farms. I’ve been eating almost exclusively out of it for the past week and have gotten three compliments on my sweater today. Coincidence? Don’t answer that? Buy it so I don’t have to place a curse on your first-born.]
6. Beets Café: Self proclaimed “upscale raw-food dining experience”, without the pretension. What to try: ELT (eggplant, lettuce and tomato) sandwich
5. Gueros: Rumor has it that this taco bar is where Quentin Tarantino likes to dine when he’s in Austin, so obvi it needs to be on the list. And I suppose another reason is that they have a totally kick ass vegan menu. What to try: Soy Chorizo on a Corn Tortilla Chiquita.
4. Mr. Natural’s: A restaurant, bakery, juice bar and health food store all rolled into one. Here’s to efficiency! What to try: Tofu and Sunflower Seed Tamales
3. Mother’s Café & Garden: Just as the name suggests, the Mother’s experience basically feels like a gigantic hug from beginning to end. Comfort vegan food. Never leave hungry. Mmmm. What to try: Bueno Burger
2. G’Raj Mahal: A truly enchanting trailer park dining experience (yes, it IS possible), G’Rah Mahal is a charming Indian cuisine trailer that offers outstanding vegan options. What to try: Coconut Curry, Baingam Bartha. PS: It’s also BYOB if you’re feeling frisky.
1. Counter Culture: Yep, another food trailer. But it’d be unwise to underestimate the beauty in simplistic dining. This place is small but mighty, and bonus points for their creative vegan offerings. What to try: Philly Seitan Sandwich
Stephanie Nahas lives in Austin, TX (obviously), works in the social media industry by day, and writes for her blog/sews for her etsy biz by night! She also spends her time fighting for animal rights, vegan/vegetarian education, and googling REALLY important, high brow things like “were dinosaurs bored during the day?” She blogs at Veggie Stephie and tweets as @veggiestephie. This is her first post for Vegansaurus. Thanks, Stephanie! Popcorn tofu po’ boy photo from Yelp.
A zero-packaging grocery store is coming to Austin this year. I can’t decide if that’s brilliant, or just good marketing for “we sell bulk foods.” I would be psyched to shop there though, because I feel like a crazy person whenever I’m trying not to spill chickpeas on the ground as I funnel them into my empty pickle jar at Berkeley Bowl. It’d be way better if we all looked like idiots with chickpeas raining down the sides of our pickle jars.
In.gredients promises to only stock produce that’s in season and is trying to go zero-waste. Yet they’re planning to carry meat and dairy, which undermines the whole “let’s save the world” concept. I emailed their press people to ask about that decision but they never got back to me, so we can now hate on them with impunity.
In related news, it’s a good thing Austin isn’t in Chicago, because that fine city doesn’t allow any bring-your-own-container love. “We are worried about people bringing in containers that are not cleaned very well and then contaminating any surface that they might touch with that,” says a public health official to the Seattle Times.
Personally, I’m not worried about that. At all. More scary: E. coli and other bacteria in my sprouts. Insane people with giant knives wanting to cut my head off. Spam.
Despite their lack of commitment to go vegan, I wish the best to the In.gredients people. They’re still looking for funding, so all the moneybags out there should maybe donate.
Coconut Bliss, we love you! »
So, you’ve heard, we’re headed to SXSW! Vegansaurus is ready to take over Austin and eat everything in the city and tear some shit up. I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to tear up but it’ll probably be vegan tamales from Mr. Natural. Oh! Also, I’m speaking about veganism online. Fancy! If you’re attending, please come to the panel and be my friend. We’re gonna be doing all sorts of fabulous giveaways, too. Including an opportunity to win some free fabulous stuff from Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss (which we LOVE), one of our righteous sponsors! Yes! And when we get back from SXSW, we’re gonna do a taste test with their new flavors (you can also WIN SOME RIGHT NOW), which we are crazy excited about because HOLY SHIT MORE ICE CREAM PLZ.
We are thrilled that Coconut Bliss is one of our sponsors because we are nuts about the product and think they’re the greatest best. Woo!
Naked Almond Fudge, I love you the most of all.
If you’re in the mood for even more SXSW inspired deals, check out our Twig & Leaf Botanicals 20 percent off coupon!
Vegansaurus is speaking at SXSW! Are you an awesome vegan company who wants to sponsor us? »
Guess what? Vegansaurus is going to SXSW! I’ll be representing in a conversation about vegans online and online veganism with the lovely Stephanie of the delightful Lazy Smurf’s Guide to Life. I will also be eating all of the vegan food in Austin proper. You better lock up your chicken fried seitan and hide your tempeh reubens because I’m comin’ to getcha, TEXAS-STYLE.
Since this site is a labor of love, we are looking for awesome companies to sponsor our trip to Austin. In exchange we are willing to offer sponsored posts, hosted giveaways, and otherwise represent your company while at SXSW Interactive, one of the country’s largest tech conferences. This could mean hosting a meetup, giving away goodies at the conference, wearing t-shirts, etc. I love wearing logo t-shirts. Seriously, it’s a passion of mine.
This might be a pipe dream but I’m here to tell you, I will represent the crap out of you. I will be your official ambassador all night long. And all day. You know, the entire duration of the conference. Email Laura TODAY!
This is reader BW’s plate from Christmas day! BW says that “Some [dishes were] made by me, some made by family with my input on veganization. Going clockwise, starting at the bottom, is a seitan roulade I made filled with shiitake mushroom and vegan sausage stuffing. Then a huge helping of said stuffing and mashed potatoes covered in Tofurky-brand gravy because it’s easy and yummy. Then collards with tomatoes. Then a ridiculous garlicky beet salad, then a vegan version of this thing called “The Bread” which is basically a decent loaf of bread SMOTHERED in butter or in my case Earth Balance and broiled till it turns into something magical and delicious. In the center is corn!”
Isn’t it lovely when omnivorous families make vegan food for you, freaky hippie meat-forbearing children?
Also, if anyone wanted to make me The Bread sometime, I would NOT turn it down. DANG.