I was in Austin last week for a conference, and was impressed with the good music and food everywhere. Texas doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being fabulous for vegetarian eating, but Austin was really great, and the food was surprisingly cheap at every restaurant we ate at.
When we arrived, we wanted to get some Mexican food for dinner. We went to El Sol y La Luna, where we had lots of free chips and salsa and great service. I ordered the Tofu Plate – the tofu and vegetables were rather bland, but the beans and rice were very good. My friends got the Chipotle Chicken Plate – similarly, they thought the chipotle chicken part was so-so, but they also loved the beans and rice.
The next night, we had dinner at Koriente. I had a hard time deciding what to order since so many things sounded good, but I ended up having the Mixmix Bibimbap with tofu, miso soup, and a honeydew bubble tea made with soymilk. Everything was delicious and there was so much food that I couldn’t finish it all, as much as I wanted to! My friends got the Koriente curry with chicken and loved it. I would eat here frequently if I lived in Austin.
One day we had lunch at Downtown Burgers, a popular burger trailer located right next to the Austin Convention Center. I had the Veggie Burger Combo, which included a fairly standard veggie burger with lettuce, tomato, and pickles (could have had jalapenos and onions on it too, if I was in the mood) along with lots of fries and a soda (root beer for me). It was a very junk food-ish meal for me, but very enjoyable! The hamburgers are apparently very good as well.
I also had lunch at Jo’s (downtown location). This is another restaurant that I would frequent if I lived in Austin. I had the Vegeterian BBQ Sandwich, which was basically a seitan pulled pork sandwich. It was sooo tasty (and messy)! They also have veggie chili dogs, veggie burgers, and yummy breakfast options.
For our last night in town, we had dinner at the Magnolia Cafe, a quirky restaurant with a huge menu in the South Congress area of Austin. I had the Magnolia Stir Fry with tofu. My meal could have been more flavorful, but the rest of my group loved their seafood dishes and bison burgers.
While we were in South Congress, we had to stop by the Hey Cupcake trailer. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a couple of vegan cupcake flavors. I had an awesome vegan orange cupcake with lemon frosting.
And we ended the trip with a fancy breakfast at the 1886 Cafe and Bakery at the Driskill Hotel. Like the rest of this swanky hotel, the cafe is lovely to behold. But the prices are quite high: $6 for a glass of orange juice! The Texas-shaped waffle is probably the coolest thing on the menu.