Story by Raven Cortright
Photos by Thea Robinson
Even iron-willed vegans crave sauce laden, sugar coated, homestyle comfort food. Curbing those cravings can be nearly impossible on a plant-based diet, but there is no reason to breakdown and digress from veggie-based fare when hunger hits. Austin has a number of restaurants that serve up animal free foods that leave your belly and soul satisfied.
It might seem that “barbecue” and “vegan” should have no business on the same page, but it’s true that even vegans sometimes crave the smokiness of good grilling. Thankfully, BBQ Revolution, a game-changing food truck on Webberville Road, offers a purely vegan menu of barbecued proteins. They offer veggie “brisquet,” “ribs,” and smoky soy curls, all of which could satisfy any carnivore. Side dishes like their ranch style beans and potato salad add to the home-style experience. BBQ Revolution tastes like dad’s backyard grilling of simpler pre-vegan times.
2421 Webberville Rd.
Austin, Texas 78702
When it seems like all you need in life is a big breakfast plate of scrambled eggs next to a stack of fresh tortillas, make your way to Bouldin Creek Cafe. Enjoy your morning and sleep in late because they serve breakfast all day. At this vegetarian heaven, the tofu scramble can satisfy any scrambled egg craving. If the thought of fajitas is mouthwatering, try the portobello fajitas with corn tortillas, or replace eggs with tofu in any of their other breakfast taco options and ask for it to be made vegan. “Bouldin Creek Cafe is my favorite vegan comfort food place so far,” vegan graduate student Cassie Stuurman says. “They're really good for breakfast. Their tofu scramble is really well done and they can make a vegan lavender mocha latte.”
While not everything on their menu is vegan, almost everything can be altered as such. The indie atmosphere makes for the perfect place to enjoy a heart-warming brunch, a cup of coffee in a homey ceramic mug and some good conversation.
Bouldin Creek Cafe
1900 S. First St.
Austin, Texas 78704
Most people flinch at the idea of vegan dessert — after all, it is called ice cream for a reason. Sweet Ritual is challenging the negative connotations associated with vegan dessert. This local spot is a lacto-vegetarian haven where the entire menu is vegan, offering everything from banana splits and sundaes to simple scoops of ice cream in fresh waffle cones. “Sweet Ritual is so good. I first thought there was no way vegan ice cream was going to be good,” vegan student Emma Heitmann, says. “It is. It’s amazing.”
Sweet Ritual is a great place to go with friends, whether or not they are vegan. “I have friends that are not vegan that love going there as well,” Heitmann adds.
You can find Sweet Ritual inside the Hyde Park Juiceland on Duval, but it’s also served up at some other local restaurants like Bouldin Creek Cafe and Mother’s Cafe.
4500 Duval St.
Austin, Texas 78751
Kerbey Lane Cafe is much more than just a hangover hot spot. The 24-hour diner offers delicious vegan pancakes with rotating flavor options throughout the week and even offer a generous side of vegan butter. With a cup of coffee and a buttered stack of flapjacks, it’s easy to forget that the meal is free of animal products. “Whenever I want homestyle food I always just want butter,” sophomore Benjamin Ludolph says. “And the pancakes here are absolutely delicious. I didn’t expect them to be delicious but they actually had a lot of different flavors.”
Kerbey Lane Cafe
2606 Guadalupe St.
Austin, Texas 78705
This is just a glimpse of the local vegan food scene. “The nice thing about Austin is that, in general, there’s pretty much vegan options almost anywhere you go,” Heitmann says.