May 22, 2017
Though it’s true that Texans have a love affair with all things meat, some of us are downright in love with the veggie-friendly fare that Austin chefs are turning out. From brunch to fourth meal, our friends at Yelp rounded up Austin’s best spots for meat-free eating.
Just because you’re a vegan/vegetarian doesn’t mean you can’t have a bacon cheeseburger… right? Arlo’s moved over to Red River with the likes of Cheer Up Charlie’s and they’re churning out vegan-friendly variations on burgers, among other meat-free deliciousness like tomato-basil dogs, chik’n tacos, and chili and cornbread. So, why does your cheeseburger taste like meaty, cheesy goodness? Only the cooks know. 900 Red River St., 512-402-2667
This is truly a place where you can “eat the rainbow.” They build gorgeous plates brimming with fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein—if you so choose. Expect sashimi tuna atop purple sticky rice, shredded carrots, cabbage, and peppers; tofu with lentils and a spicy vinaigrette; and strawberries, mangoes, grapes, and field greens with a balsamic soy dressing. Bonus: you can enjoy rooftop views of the city while you eat. 501 S. Austin St., Fourth Fl., Georgetown, 512-554-2060
Eschew tikka masala and take a walk on the north Indian side. Swad, an all-vegetarian Indian restaurant, is tucked in the ultimate nondescript strip mall. Their menu consists of several traditional North Indian dishes and, as of the new year, Indo-Chinese options, too. Imagine dosas as big as a small child stuffed with shaved paneer, cilantro, and curried potatoes. If you’re intimidated by what can arguably be a tricky experience, just go with the Thali plate—it has samples of many of the options. Then pick your faves and go back like a pro. 9515 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 156, 512-997-7923
Weekend brunches at this adorably named restaurant include favorites like the stuffed French toast layered with cashew cream and the country biscuit bowl, which comprises tofu scramble, golden gravy, and roasted potatoes. Their mac and cheese, Southern baked seitan, and the jackfruit BBQ sandwich are the stuff of legend. This place and its food are creative, casual, and totally Austin. 2337 E. Cesar Chavez St., 512-524-1540
Even if you’re not down with the pescetarian lifestyle, you can still enjoy an incredible dinner at Uchiko. In addition to the everyday veggie options on the menu, there’s a monthly vegetarian dinner that may ruin you for all other meals. This month’s menu featured abalone mushroom with potato and Swiss chard, cauliflower with aerated egg and espelette, a daikon vichyssoise, and a rose apple sunomono salad, among other mouthwatering bites. 4200 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 140, 512-916-4808
While a vegan reuben may seem like sacrilege, the folks at this food trailer are making some serious inroads on items that are traditionally reserved for meat lovers. Their most lauded item is the Harvey P Reuben, made of seitan pastrami and vegan Russian dressing, served on marbled rye bread. They’ve also got mock tuna, falafel patty melt, vegan potato salad, and kombucha. 913 E. Cesar Chavez, 512-529-1882 – closed for the winter; will be open again soon
PHOTOGRAPHY BY VIA YELP.COM USER JULIA H. (SHHMALTZ); VIA YELP.COM USER JELENA Z. (ARLO'S); VIA YELP.COM USER JASON B. (NANCY'S SKY GARDEN); VIA YELP.COM USER JIN C. (SWAD); VIA YELP.COM (COUNTER CULTURE); VIA YELP.COM USER ANNIE B. (UCHIKO)
Kelly Stocker is the Community Director for Yelp in Austin, Texas. She works locally to develop a community of passionate Yelp evangelists, assists businesses manage their online presence, manages Yelp Austin's social platforms, sponsors local events and speaks to students and professionals about community building and social authenticity.
Kelly also provides guidance for local startups, contributes to CultureMap, has a radio show on KGSR, hosts Action Packs for the Alamo Drafthouse and squeezes in cocktails, karaoke and Pinterest projects as often as possible. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.