Texas is intuitively speaking not the first state that comes to mind for vegan food – I do believe that BBQ is applicable to plants as well but most Texans would probably disagree here. The focus is on most and not all because Austinites form a wonderful exception to this rule.
I’ve traveled a little bit all over the US in the last 5 years and Austin has been my biggest vegan surprise so far. While I almost expect places like San Francisco and Seattle to be vegan friendly, I didn’t really want to make assumptions about Austin.
Let me tell you, Austin is a little vegan gem. I don’t even know where to begin but I would almost say there is a correlation between recycling, bike shares, tattoo shops and vegan friendly food in cities. Austin has all of the above an even more.
Multiple farmers markets pop up over town on Saturdays and Sundays. Produce stands are abundant and so are juices and vegan baked goods as well as desserts and tacos.
Austin is also the home town of Whole Foods and yes, I did spent an extensive amount of time venturing through their flagship store downtown. I was pretty much ready to move in full-time after I saw their bulk section and discovered bulk kale chips – what an amazingly fantastic idea! I hope NYC will catch up with that soon. Besides that, the salad bar had the freshest ingredients ever and 4 adjacent toppings bars!! I couldn’t resist and had to purchase some local raw chocolate 😉
Another highlight was definitely also Rabbit Food Grocery on 1st Street. The little grocery store is all vegan and has a comprehensive selection of all your vegan staples. Shout out to their vegan jerky and – drumroll – the first vegan white chocolate chips that I’ve ever purchased. The owner told me he has been vegan forever and confirmed that the plant based options were growing rapidly in Austin with an all vegan food truck being its latest addition.
Restaurant wise, I checked out Mother Earth Cafe (I had an overdose of the most delicious guacamole ever there!) and Bouldin Creek Cafe which we literally stumbled upon. Their hummus is really good and so are their veggie platter options. Everything there is pretty much vegan. Most amazingly, we found vegan food in absolutely non vegan places like the snack bar, a diner that has been around forever and even at the movie theater. I love cities where vegan options have their on dedicated spot on restaurant menus and where you feel like asking for an animal product free dish makes the waiter excited rather than concerned.
Thank you Austin, keep it weird and veganize on! 🙂