Each week, we’re offering a rotating list of places to eat right now. This week: Even hardcore carnivores will find something to enjoy at these restaurants specializing in veggie-friendly fare.
(*This is not a comprehensive list. Don’t see one of your favorties below? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add it to our online listings.)
Blue Dahlia Bistro. 1115 E. 11th St. 512-542-9542, BlueDahliaBistro.com. The shady back patio is something of a secret garden; the menu, an ode to light French cuisine.
Bouldin Creek Cafe. 1900 S. First St. 512-416-1601, BouldinCreek.com. One of Austin’s true temples to vegetarian and vegan fare, even the most avid meat-eater will be impressed with dishes like portobello fajitas or the zucchini migas.
Counter Culture. 2337 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-524-1540, CounterCultureAustin.com. The gluten and soy-free version of mac & cheese at this restaurant that started as a trailer will make you a believer in healthy eating, as will a healthy Philly "cheesesteak" made with seitan.
Casa de Luz. 1701 Toomey Road. 512-476-2535, CasaDeLuz.org. Dark leafy greens and beans, but no oil, abound at this place that’s part community center, part restaurant.
Daily Juice. Multiple locations. DailyJuice.org. In addition to organic smoothies and juices, the two locations also serve a selection of grab-and-go items like kale salad, Thai salad and quinoa korma.
Eastside Café. 2113 Manor Road. 512-476-5858, EastsideCafeAustin.com. Comforting dishes that take a light approach, relying on seasonal vegetables at this quaint house in East Austin.
Juiceland. Multiple locations. JuicelandAustin.com. These guys specialize in clever names (Clean and Soba Noodles), big flavor and being able to approximate meaty items with vegetarian ingredients (try the super happy fun bowl that tastes a lot like a spicy salmon sushi dish).
Leaf. 419 W. Second St. 512-474-5323, LeafSalad.com. Choose from one of a variety of Leaf’s salad options, or make your own with a variety of ingredients, some of which are locally sourced.
Mother’s Café. 4215 Duval St. 512-451-3994, MothersCafeAustin.com. Hyde Park’s original hippie cafe weathered a fire and still draws steady crowds with dishes like their spinach-mushroom enchiladas.
Mr. Natural. Multiple locations. 512-916-9223, MrNatural-Austin.com. Healthy meals with a Mexican accent (and a good veggie burger) at three locations around town.
Swad. 9515 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-997-7923. Swad specializes in vegetarian dishes from northern India. Favorites include masala dosa and chole bathura, or try the sampler and find your own favorites.
Veggie Heaven. 1914 Guadalupe St. 512-457-1013, VeggieHeavenAustin.com. Good vibes and pan-Asian vegetarian food (oh, yea, and quesadillas) at this small University of Texas campus-area restaurant. Try the basil tofu.
If you want to go upscale, some of Austin’s best restaurants — Barley Swine, Congress and Qui — will make vegetarian tasting menu options for you if you give them advance notice.