The Five Best Vegan Restaurants in Austin: Try Plant-Powered Living!

Casa de Luz (photo by Kacy Hulme)
Casa de Luz (photo by Kacy Hulme)

We have all heard the phrase “you are what you eat.” What better way to ensure that you are vibrant, energetic and powerful than to fill your body with food that is bursting with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants?

It has long been thought that people who don’t eat meat or dairy survive off a painfully bland diet of lettuce and rice cakes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. So, to help dispel this awful rumor, check out the five best vegan restaurants in Austin listed below and let your taste buds be your guide. Plant-based restaurants have been growing rapidly over the last several years here in Austin, Texas. Their menus are filled with rich, delicious, healthful food choices that will leave you feeling full, satisfied, vibrant and healthy. Make sure to bring your omnivorous friends, as this food will appeal to everyone.

1. Counter Culture – This is a full sit-down restaurant with cuisine described as “internationally inspired comfort food,” which means you will easily find dishes like mac and cheese, philly sandwiches and pizza. Clean choices that include kale, spinach, hemp seeds and vegetables are also abundant. Counter Culture serves a full menu, including desserts like coconut cream pie and donuts. It also serves french toast, biscuits and gravy and scrambles for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Pay Counter Culture a visit at 2337 E Cesar Chavez St, 78702.

Counter Culture (photo from facebook.com/counterculturerestaurant)

Counter Culture (photo from facebook.com/counterculturerestaurant)

Counter Culture (photo from facebook.com/counterculturerestaurant)

Counter Culture (photo from facebook.com/counterculturerestaurant)

Counter Culture (photo from facebook.com/counterculturerestaurant)

Counter Culture (photo from facebook.com/counterculturerestaurant)

2. Casa De Luz – This establishment is not just a place to eat, it is an experience. Each meal is created for optimum healing benefits based on the principles of the Macrobiotic lifestyle. Located in the dining hall of a peaceful, meditative community campus, the menu consists of one daily meal that is a well-thought-out spread of soup, salad and an entree. They use 100 percent organic selections as much as possible. For $12 you will be completely nourished from your toes to the top of your head. Located at 1701 Toomey Road, 78704.

Casa de Luz (photo by Kacy Hulme)

Casa de Luz (photo by Kacy Hulme)

Casa de Luz

Casa de Luz (photo by Kacy Hulme)

Casa de Luz (photo by Kacy Hulme)

Casa de Luz (photo by Kacy Hulme)

3. Juiceland – This place is a phenomenon and if you haven’t had a smoothie from here, your loyalty to Austin might just be in question. Equipped with dozens of dynamite fruit and vegetable combinations, this place is a plant-based powerhouse. Get your strength on and come grab a smoothie loaded with invigorating add-ons like wheatgrass, spirulina, ginkgo biloba, chia or hemp. If you’re in the mood to detox all the horrific choices you may have been making lately, Juiceland offers a guided juice fast, which means drinking only juice for one or more days. Talk about vibrant, energetic and powerful! They have too many locations to mention, but the original is at 1625 Barton Springs Road, 78704.

Juiceland (photo by Kacy Hulme)

Juiceland (photo by Kacy Hulme)

Juiceland (photo by Kacy Hulme)

Juiceland (photo by Kacy Hulme)

4. BBQ Revolution –  There is a special place in the hearts of Austin residents for trailer food. If you were to ask several people if trailer food was invented in Austin they might just say yes. And everyone knows Texas means BBQ. However, if healthful and mindful eating are important to you, old-school BBQ may have become more of a treat than a staple. No worries with the BBQ Revolution trailer because it contains zero animal or animal byproducts, which means no cholesterol and no trans fat. Come enjoy an authentic BBQ plate fully equipped with mac and cheese, cole slaw, onions, pickles, BBQ sauce and Brisket at 3111 Manor Road, 78723.

BBQ Revolution (photo from facebook.com/BBQRevolt)

BBQ Revolution (photo from facebook.com/BBQRevolt)

BBQ Revolution (photo from facebook.com/BBQRevolt)

BBQ Revolution (photo from facebook.com/BBQRevolt)

5. The Vegan Nom – Tacos. Tacos. Tacos. Try any one of these tacos and you will question your loyalty to your past omnivorous lifestyle. As was stated above, the idea that a person who does not eat meat will never again experience diving into a hearty, juicy, messy, sloppy meal is proven entirely false by this trailer. These tacos are the gorgeous and voluptuous beasts that their omnivorous counterparts could only hope to be. You have to eat to believe. Located at 120 N. Loop, 78751.

The Vegan Nom (photo from facebook.com/TheVeganNom)

The Vegan Nom (photo from facebook.com/TheVeganNom)

The Vegan Nom (photo from facebook.com/TheVeganNom)

The Vegan Nom (photo from facebook.com/TheVeganNom)

While fully plant-based restaurants are growing in number, it is well-known that the omnivore is often trepidatious about trying these haunts. So here are a few suggestions where omnivores and herbivores alike will find something they can eat, enjoy and still remain healthy.

  • The Steeping Room – Many of these choices can easily be veganized.
  • Zen Japanese Food Fast – Watch out for some of the sauces, but the veggies, noodles and rice are all legit.
  • Zocalo – If you pass on the cheese and sour cream and opt for the flour tortilla, some of these dishes are totally animal-free. Be sure to douse everything with the warm tomatillo and ranchero salsas, they are exceptional.
  • Unity Vegan Kitchen  – Great for sandwiches and a fresh and filling lasagna. Every week they have a special. Chicken and waffles, anyone?
  • Capital City Bakery – Got a sweet tooth?  This place hits the spot every time. Stocked full of cookies, cupcakes, cakes, brownies, cornbread, and not a single item made from animals or animal byproducts.
The Steeping Room

The Steeping Room (photo by Kacy Hulme)

Capital City Bakery

Capital City Bakery (photo by Kacy Hulme)

Unity Vegan Kitchen (photo by Kacy Hulme)

Unity Vegan Kitchen (photo by Kacy Hulme)

What about protein, you say? Don’t worry about protein. Plant-based food contains plenty of protein. For example, a smoothie with hemp seeds, can contain around 14 grams of protein. That’s about the same as two ounces of chicken. While a veggie reuben sandwich contains around 19 grams of protein, which is almost three ounces of turkey breast. Some black bean burgers can contain up to 23 grams of protein which is about the same as six eggs. With those numbers, anyone can easily reach the daily recommended dose of 40-50 grams of protein per day.

When it comes to our health, it is essential that we forget the stigmas of the past and do what is right for today, both personally and globally, and living a plant-powered life is sure to kickstart your body into optimum health. Give any one of these Austin places a try and you’ll never see fruits and veggies the same.

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