Austin Restaurants: Vegetarian-friendly

Mother’s Cafe & Garden, a vegetarian restaurant in Austin.
Mother’s Cafe & Garden, a vegetarian restaurant in Austin.

Restaurant listings*

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 modam@statesman.com 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.

If you are looking for more upscale options, Qui, Barley Swine and Congress will all create vegetarian tasting menus with advanced notice, and South Austin’s Lenoir offers three courses for $39, with three of the 9 options being vegetarian.

Austin Restaurants: Oysters

Foreign & Domestic sells oysters for $1 each on Tuesdays, along with a raw menu.
Foreign & Domestic sells oysters for $1 each on Tuesdays, along with a raw menu.

Restaurant listings

Each week in Austin360, we’re offering a rotating list of places to eat right now. This week: The old saying is that it’s best to eat oysters in months with the letter “r.” Well, you have three more months. So we’ve rounded up 13 options. And if you don’t have Valentine’s plans, oysters are always a good bet when it comes to romance. More restaurants broken down by category here.

Café Josie. 1200 W. Sixth St. 512-322-9226, CafeJosie.com. This elegant revamped restaurant serves large crispy Gulf oysters with horseradish aioli, Sriracha honey and sweet potato fries.

Clark’s. 1200 W. Sixth St. 512-297-2525, ClarksOysterBar.com. The oyster program at this sister restaurant to Perla’s is spectacular, with briny summersides from Prince Edward Island and creamy Wellfleets from Massachussetts. Also try a diverse sashimi plate, which on one visit featured slabs of hamachi, hirame, walu, halibut and tuna.

Evangeline Café. 8106 Brodie Lane. 512-282-2586, EvangelineCafe.com. Take a trip to the bayou at this Cajun restaurant in South Austin for gumbo, po’ boys and music by the likes of Charles Thibodeaux and the Austin Cajun Aces. Their Oysters Contraband are served on top of homemade potato chips and topped with spicy sausage remoulade sauce.

Foreign & Domestic. 306 E. 53rd St. 512-459-1010. FnDAustin.com. They only have them once a week, but $1 oyster nights on Tuesday at this North Loop restaurant is one of the best deals in town. Get there early.

Hillside Farmacy. 1209 E. 11th St. 512-628-0168, HillsideFarmacy.com. Pâtisserie and café in the morning, solid deli in the daytime and an evening menu full of bistro classics and oysters, this well-designed space has a little bit of something for everybody.

Jeffrey’s. 1204 W. Lynn St. 512-477-5584, JeffreysOfAustin.com. The popular crispy Gulf oysters at this Austin institution have changed a bit, but they’re as solid as ever, with parsnip puree & chips, grapefruit & celery slaw and habanero vinaigrette.

Kome. 4917 Airport Blvd. 512-712-5700, Kome-Austin.com. What started as a trailer called Sushi A-Go-Go has become a popular destination on Airport Boulevard because of a solid sushi list, and dishes like a panko-fried jumbo oyster with housemade tartare sauce.

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue. 401 W. Second St. 512-494-1500, LambertsAustin.com. They’re known as a “fancy barbecue” establishment thanks to items like pork shoulder and beef brisket, but don’t overlook an appetizer of broiled Gulf oysters with barbecue butter and creamed poblanos and topped with toasted breadcrumbs.

Parkside. 301 E. Sixth St. 512-474-9898, Parkside-Austin.com. This gastropub transports you to Boston or New York City, helped by a raw bar featuring about a dozen quality oysters from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island. Sit at the bar and watch the shuckers do their tricky work right in front of you.

Perla’s. 1400 S. Congress Ave. 512-291-7300, PerlasAustin.com. Feel like you’ve visited the East Coast when you sit on the expansive deck where the people watching pales in comparison to a star-studded oyster menu featuring about two dozen varieties from all across North America.

Quality Seafood Market. 5621 Airport Blvd. 512-452-3820, Qualityseafood.Wordpress.com. One of Austin’s most beloved homes of seafood, Quality Seafood features a huge oyster bar in the middle of the restaurant serving Gulf oysters and East coast varieties on the half-shell. And really cold beer.

Shoal Creek Saloon. 909 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-474-0805, shoalcreeksaloon.com. When the season’s right, you can get your Gulf oysters on the half-shell at this Louisiana-lovin’ bar and eat them down by the creek.

Sway. 1417 S. First St. 512-326-1999, SwayAustin.com. This home of Australian-influenced Thai food features oysters topped with the crunch and kick of crispy shallots and a sweet and mildly spicy green nahm jim (a chili-based sauce).