A reader asked me for suggestions on things to do while visiting my fair city of Austin. Since Austin is my favorite place in the world, I was happy to oblige!
Austin is the best city to be vegan! Most restaurants are very accommodating of special diets, and there are many places that are all vegan or offer an entirely vegan menu.
- Whole Foods on 5th & Lamar: The Whole Foods flagship store is enormous and has many many mini restaurants/food counters inside. The Green makes vegan and raw vegan food. There is a great field roast burger at The Grill. The vegan dragon roll sushi and any of the other vegan sushi and wraps are incredible. You can get Daiya cheese on pizzas at the pizza place, and soyrizo and Daiya on tacos at the taco bar. All the donuts are vegan, they have infinite packaged and frozen vegan food, and the juice bar is delicious in that super healthy way. Kelly and I eat here ALL the time; they have great patio seating and lots of indoor seating all around the store. Best part? You can crack open your wine or beer as you shop or chill at Bar Lamar in the back of the store.
- Wheatsville Co-op: Like a baby Whole Foods, Wheatsville has yummy vegan sushi, popcorn tofu, sides, vegan desserts, and vegan frozen food. Beautiful produce selection.
- Vegan Yacht (food trailer on East Side): Best vegan trailer hands down. The couple who run it, Mike and Danielle, are the sweetest! Try the mock chick'n sandwich!
- Bouldin Creek: A coffee house and restaurant on South 1st that has many vegan offerings.
- Mother's: A semi up-scale vegetarian restaurant north of campus. Great food and there is usually a harp player!
- Veggie Heaven (on campus): THE BEST "healthy" vegetarian Asian food restaurant. They deliver, but eat there because it's such a gem of a place.
- Conan's Pizza: Best vegan pizza in the city! And they deliver! Get the thick crust with vegan cheese, not the soy cheese (has eggs). We also get onions, black olives, jalapenos and green peppers. We definitely eat here at least once a week!
- Ken's Donuts: The donuts aren't vegan, but they have VEGAN SAMOSAS.
- Kerbey Lane: 24 hour diner with a vegan menu. Enough said.
- Mr. Natural: Vegetarian restaurant and bakery. Good tacos!
- G'Raj Mahal: Late night Indian trailer with gorgeous outdoor seating; will deliver to some of the bars on Rainey Street.
- Fast food: (Disclaimer - we don't do much deep research on the vegan-ness of french fries, but we do pass on McDs.) We get fries at Whataburger, Chik Fil A, Jack in the Box, and P. Terrys. P. Terrys has a great veggie burger. Taco Cabana has black bean burritos, a salsa bar, and margaritas!
- Beauty Bar on 7th has good shows and outdoor seating.
- Cheer Up Charlies is the coolest queer bar on the East Side. Lots of dance parties and live music and good DJS.
- Disgusting, dirty dubstep night on Sundays at Barcelona on 6th.
- Barbarella: queers and dancing, always packed.
- Elysium: Austin's goth bar!
- The Yellow Rose: my fav strip club.
- Rainey Street has lots of houses converted into bars that have fun outdoor seating and activities like ping pong tables and hula hooping.
- Jumpoline: Indoor trampoline park! $7/hour! Best use of $7 you'll EVER find!
- The Alamo Drafthouse theater serves dinner and drinks while you watch your movie. SO MUCH FUN! They have several vegan entrees.
- Bingo! Austin bingo halls (I go to Big Star and B12) are BYOB, you can win big bucks, and it's a super fun thing to do with friends on birthdays (only a penny to play on your bday!). You may or may not get shushed for laughing.
- Pinballz Arcade: skee ball, pinball, video games, and BYOB!!
- Mount Bonnell: the highest point in Austin. Great place for a picnic.
- Barton Springs: the best swimming spot in Austin. Circus practice on Sundays on the Robert E. Lee side.
- Town Lake: you can find joggers, a dog park, Stand Up Paddling, canoeing, Acro Yoga, trails, and beautiful views of the city in this area.
- Green belt: gorgeous hiking. Sometimes has water to swim in!
- McKinney Falls: exquisite camping right in Austin.
- Toy Joy is an incredible toy store with a vegan ice cream counter!
- South Congress has great boutiques & vintage, street vendors and restaurants.
- The Domain is an upscale outdoor mall with designer stores.
- The drag on campus (Guadalupe St) has a few decent clothing stores like Urban Outfitters and American Apparel.
- I love shopping at Savers, which is a well organized thrift store.
- If you're into athletic wear, check out Luke's Locker on west 2nd. High quality clothes and great service.
My fav head shops
- I go to Briza at True Blue on Red River.
As for events, Amber Demure has the hookup! Austinites, what are your favorite things to do in this beautiful city?