Austin is well known for its amazing restaurants, as well as its variety of alternative vegetarian food trucks who’s offerings are truly awe-inspiring. If you happen to find yourself in or near Austin and get hungry, here are some tried and true, tasty food opportunities to tickle your taste buds. It would be so worth a trip just to try them!
The Vegan Yacht
Austin’s longest-standing vegan food trailer, the Vegan Yacht, offers organic, vegan comfort food, including mock chicken tacos, gluten-free “freeto” pie, smoothies, and still more. The menu isn't huge, but everything is made from scratch and delicious, and almost everything is organic. All ingredients are cruelty-free and GMO-free, they don't microwave anything, and they use only fluoride-free water.
Since the Vegan Yacht is a trailer, if the weather’s really horrible, they close up shop. And occasionally, they even sell everything they’ve got well before 6 and go home - the food is that good. Currently, the Vegan Yacht is next to Soma Vida at 2324B E. Cesar Chavez, surrounded by tables, with hours from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
An amazing fact: even some meat lovers say the Vegan Yacht has the best burrito in Austin!
Originally a food trailer, Counter Culture now has a comfortable building where they also serve vegan comfort food, but theirs has an international twist. Food is prepared daily on the premises, and offerings include appetizers, salads, international plates, sandwiches, pizza, and even deliciously fresh juice.
Counter Culture features a nice variety of beer, wine, fresh juices and - take note! - locally made kombucha. An impressive array of desserts is available, too, including Avocado Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Covered Donut Holes, and Brownie Bites, all of which are date-sweetened, like most of their desserts. Prices are mid-range, very reasonable for sit-down specialty food.
Counter Culture is located at 2337 E. Cesar Chavez St. (at Clara), and they’re open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 7 days a week. Don't miss their celebrated weekend brunch, served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
A beloved grandmamma of Austin’s natural food restaurants, Mr. Natural has served an extensive array of vegetarian breakfasts, appetizers, sandwiches, and Tex-Mex since 1988. Their chef, Jesus Mendoza, Jr., follows a vegan, gluten-free diet, himself, and brilliantly specializes in baked goods free of gluten, soy, nuts, sugar, and/or dairy. Bakery items for special diets have a reputation for being pretty icky, but Chef Mendoza proves otherwise! And who knew vegan Tex-Mex could be so delicious? Even staunch meat eaters love Mr. Natural.
A good variety of kids’ offerings makes Mr. Natural popular among families, and snackers adore appetizers ranging from ceviche (made of soy protein) to guacamole to vegan queso & chips. Veggie burgers, crispy tacos, vegan BLTs, and veggie barbecue share menu space with big salads and a variety of hearty soups. If you like spice, the chipotle soy albondigas are not to miss. Variety is truly the spice of life at Mr. Natural’s.
So Many More!
There are literally dozens more outstanding, earth-friendly restaurants and trailers in Austin. Good lists of them abound on the web, but one that’s a great start to look at is the Austin REAL25 list of the top 25 most healthy restaurants in Austin, Texas. Check it out!
If you’re currently a vegetarian, you're certain to love these three gems. If you eat meat, don't be scared off…give them a try! It takes less of the planet’s resources and makes less pollution to feed people with plants than with animals, which is why some environmental groups suggest eating less meat as one way to tread gently on our earth. Great vegetarian restaurants like Vegan Yacht, Counter Culture, snd Mr. Natural show that eating without meat can be not just painless, but delightful. Its pretty sweet that saving the planet can taste so delicious.