Austin, TX

My last trip to Austin a few weeks ago led me to a few new restaurants which served exclusively vegan menus.  The food was so good and so fresh!

We stayed in the Domain because that is where the Austin 10/20 race was held that I ran that weekend. I always like to be within walking distance of the start line!  So, in the Domain we ate dinner the night we got in and breakfast the next morning at The Steeping Room.  For dinner, I had the Buddha bowl which featured cranberry beans, red quinoa and kale that night.  I, of course, ate it with the cashew sauce.  I could probably eat a grain, bean and green bowl every night for dinner, so I thoroughly enjoyed this dish.  Nicky had a curry dish, which she really enjoyed, as well.  We ordered the mocktails, Mojteato and the Kasbash Cooler.  They were both very good, but I prefer a hot tea over anything else.

We returned the next morning because we were starving after our run and the restaurant was a five minute walk from the hotel.  I ate, this will shock you, the breakfast bowl with cashew sauce.  Again, it was delicious and tasted even better after a run!  Nicky is more adventurous than me and had the scramble with tofu, which was delicious.  We, of course, ordered hot teas and sweets to take with us.  The vegan double chocolate cupcakes were ridiculous!  So good!

Saturday afternoon, we visited Casa de Luz based on a friend’s recommendation.  This restaurant is one of the most calming, unique places we have ever eaten.  It is beautifully landscaped and upon entering the grounds, you feel immediately transported to peaceful place.  It reminded me of the Buddhist temples we visited in Japan.  The menu changes daily, but is the same dish for everyone.  You serve yourself and clear your own table, so it has a very communal feel.  That day, the soup was a carrot soup.  I don’t usually like soup, but it was so good!  They had a fresh salad, as well.  The main course that day was kale, beans, rice, beet salad and sauerkraut.  We also split a slice of walnut pie (think pecan, but with walnuts).  The food was fresh and left us feeling very satisfied.  This is a place that you must visit when in Austin.
Saturday evening we ventured out to Beets Cafe.  The restaurant itself has a cool, 50’s diner kind of feel, but it’s 100% raw vegan cuisine.  We started with guacamole and some of the freshest salsa ever.  I ordered the “ELT” which was an eggplant bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich served with sweet potato chips and sauerkraut.  Had it been acceptable to lick my plate, I probably would have.  Nicky ordered the taco plate and loved it!  We also indulged in a blueberry and lavender “cheesecake” and Mint Chocolate Chip “ice cream.”  Ridiculously delicious!  We took several items with us, too, including superfood bites (chocolate, goji berries, etc) which I ate after the race the next day, some vegan chocolate hearts for the boys and two small brownies.  All raw, vegan and so good.  Another not to be missed restaurant when you are in Austin.



Finally, Sunday after the race, we returned to Bouldin Creek Cafe for a post race meal with one my favorite people, Chris.  Nicky and I met him and his beautiful wife there last year after I ran, as well.  We have decided to make it an annual event.  I ordered the Farmer’s Plate again which consisted of either 2 or 3 organic sweet potato pecan tamales, served with beans (organic red and black beans or refried black), avocado, fresh salsa and warm tortillas (whole wheat, flour or corn).  I love tamales, but have a hard time finding vegan ones anywhere!  Chris ordered the same thing, but Nicky ventured out and ordered the Fajitas (vegan).  Chris reminded me that I ordered a giant stuffed oatmeal cookie sandwich the year before.  I had to get another one for the car ride home.  Just typing that makes me want one…right now!

It is extremely easy to eat vegan in Austin.  I always like to eat at restaurants that serve predominantly vegan food if I can, though.  I want to support their businesses and I feel “safer” eating the food.

Do you have a favorite Austin restaurant that serves tasty vegan food? Please share your recommendations.