Austin – Food Paradise
November 16, 2017
Last week I went to Austin, Texas for the first time. I’d heard major hype about Austin and was curious to finally check it out! Once a year, a group of friends get together in a new city to explore, grow professionally and personally, and rekindle our friendships from living across the country. Austin won for this year’s retreat and it was a great trip! I didn’t want to be too obnoxious with my camera in my friends’ faces, so I only pulled it out during select times when I felt I wouldn’t bother anyone. Coincidentally (or not!) 99% of the time I whipped out the ole Canon was during meal time. One of the most impressive things about Austin was its food scene. Having recently gone vegan, I was nervous about finding restaurants that would suit my palate and be vegan-friendly. Note: I promise you, the following places are delicious on another level and I had 1, if not 2, non-vegan friends eating with me who thoroughly enjoyed everything I ate as well.
I’ve captured some of my favourite spots below in case you ever find yourself in Austin.
Eddie and I landed in Austin and realized we needed to grab a bite to eat before meeting the rest of the group at the Airbnb. I quickly popped onto Yelp while waiting for our bags and found a highly-rated vegan-friendly spot merely 6 minutes away from our Airbnb. We got in our Lyft (because I’m still protesting Uber) and went straight to Arlo’s. Something I found fascinating about Austin, was the number of food trucks with permanent spots all throughout the city. Arlo’s had proper seating, canopies and bathrooms accessibly at its location in the Red River district. In fact, they call themselves a ‘curb-side kitchen.’ They are 100% plant-based and soy-free.
I got the Bac’n and Cheeze Burger whilst Eddie got the Chik’n Chipotle sandwich. We got a side of regular fries and sweet potato fries to try. (I recently developed an obsession with making sweet potato fries at home so I’m always keen to learn about new techniques). Whilst both meals were incredible, the Chik’n Chipotle sandwich might’ve won despite initial thoughts! If you’re keen to try an incredible (I mean INCREDIBLE!) plant-based burger at home, go to your local Whole Foods and get yourself a Beyond Burger. You can thank me later. All of my non-vegan friends are so impressed with how these burgers tastes just like (if not better than<– yes, they have said that) a regular burger.
Okay, but to my regularly scheduled post…
The murals on walls in Austin are rampant throughout the city. Feels very LA in that regard. We had to stop for a quick photoshoot and show you how I was rockin’ my thrifted pieces.
You’ve seen these jeans before. Both the jacket and shoes were also thrifted.
I discovered The Last Line jewelry company from a friend of mine’s website, The Strategy, and fell in love with all of their pieces. The company’s motto is giving the consumer what they want while removing the middle man. If you can’t already tell, piercings are a weakness of mine and always have been. At the age of 15, I begged my mum to take me to get my first non-lobe piercing. For my 16th birthday, she gave me a parental consent form signed and I’ve been hooked ever since! I’ve already got my next 3 piercings planned (sorry mum!).
I’d been looking for a solid gold safety pin earring for some time now but had never pulled the trigger. After going to a Reformation X The Last Line piercing party last month, I finally got to feel one of these babies in person and knew I was meant to have it! Needless to say, I have yet to remove it from my ear.
Thrifted Jacket (similar here)
The Vegan Nom:
On Friday the group had preordered BBQ from one of the best BBQ places in Austin. It’s called La BBQ and typically has a line wrapped around the building lasting at least 2 hours. This was the case on Friday, but thankfully one of our friends, who is a frequent visitor of Austin, knew this and preordered everyone’s meals. I was just going to pop to a local place next door and grab something that I could bring over to enjoy while everyone ate BBQ. Again, did a quick Yelp and found a place called The Vegan Nom. Their Yelp page was filled with incredible reviews and it was literally a 2 min walk from La BBQ. When we arrived, I recognized the Rockin’ Vegan Tacos sign from an Instagram account I follow and had it on my list of vegan places to visit but thought the place was called ‘Rockin’ Vegan Tacos’ not The Vegan Nom. I was so excited that I accidentally stumbled across a place I’d been wanting to visit! It’s the little things, folks…
Again, this is a permanent food truck spot that was a popular location for vegan and non-vegans alike. We grabbed our tacos and walked back to La BBQ to enjoy our meals together.
I ordered 2 tacos (they were small enough to consume 2): The Gracias Madre (pictured below with avocado on top) and the feature of the month which was a Maple – Miso – Sweet Potato taco with a verde sauce. Both were just delicious with my side of pear kombucha and guacamole!
Eddie got a kick out of this sign: It says $2.15 for Unleaded Gas and $3.99 for Kombucha on Tap. I loved the amount of places with new and interesting kombucha flavours available.
We then walked to a local coffee shop called, Flat Track, where we could watch fresh batches of coffee being brewed in the back of the shop.
They had great aesthetics too.
Not pictured in this blog are meals that we either cooked at home or ate out where I didn’t have my camera. Some of those meals included:
Flower Child – which is a healthy food chain that I discovered here in LA. We grabbed lunch here one day in between presentations.
Lenoir – This was our first dinner out. Lenoir has Mediterranean and Indian influences in it’s dishes. Not very vegan-friendly, but delicious nonetheless.
Emmer & Rye – We went out with a bang on our last dinner out. Emmer & Rye beat the pants off of every restaurant we went to. It’s a very tapas/family style restaurant where everyone gets to taste all dishes. Why they were so exceptional? They created a separate 9-dish vegan tasting menu entirely for me! My mind was blown! Not only did they do that (and I noticed many other Austin restaurants were incredibly considerate with this) but every dish was absolutely delicious. On top of all of this, their customer service was the best we’d seen all week. I would highly recommend you make a reservation here if you’re in Austin. It’s right at the end of Rainey Street which is a popular hang out spot for tourists and locals alike.
Odd Duck – Brunch on the day we left Austin was at Odd Duck. Again, they created a separate vegan menu just for me that was also delicious. I’m positive that the rest of my friends would say their meals were delicious too.
As you can tell, I ate my way around Austin (like I do with most new cities) and would absolutely go back to do it all over again. If you get to Austin and decide to try any of these places, please let me know! I’d love to hear how you enjoyed your visits there.