In the land of BBQ, brisket, and beef tacos, vegans and vegetarians will delight in knowing that Texas is home to a slew of veggie-forward restaurants, cafés, and food trucks. And no, they’re not all located in Austin. Here are the top vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the Lone Star State.
Billed as “the world’s first plant-based gastropub,” The Beer Plant in Austin serves scrumptious bar food like chorizo-loaded fries, crab cakes, eggplant parm, and chicken and waffles—all of which pair nicely with the 40 craft brews on tap. But if you can only try one thing on the menu, make it the Nashville Hot & Crispy, a perfectly battered king oyster mushroom covered in purple cabbage, pickled celery, and a tangy remoulade that's served on a crisp pretzel bun.
In a city brimming with vegan and vegetarian-friendly noms, Conscious Cravings—a small, unassuming food truck, with locations on South First and Airport—stands out. Their signature hot wraps are out-of-this-world delicious, with fillings like Indian-style chickpeas, spiced black beans, wheat protein nuggets, and seasoned pan-seared tofu. Homemade sauces include cilantro- and parsley-based chimichurri and agave-ginger BBQ. Prepare to have your taste buds rocked.
Let’s be real, good vegan pizza is tough to find. That’s why Li'l Nonna’s is such a delight—you’re unlikely to find better vegan pizza anywhere else in the state. It’s their housemade vegan mozzarella, cooked-to-perfection crust, and organic tomato sauce that makes all the difference. You can’t go wrong with any of the pies here, but the supreme pizza (smoky tempeh, mushrooms, olives, bell peppers, and shallots) is a standout.
If you know someone who inhales red meat for every meal and outright scoffs at vegan food, take them to The Vegan Nom. The animal-free tacos at this East Austin food truck taste like the real deal; tempeh, vegan chorizo, and tofu have never been so creatively utilized. Their signature tacos include the Korean BBQ Taco (“chicken,” sriracha crema, cabbage, cilantro, and chili-lime vinaigrette) and the La Bodega (grilled hot “sausage” links, cheddar, caramelized onions, beans, queso, onion, cilantro, crema, and chipotle).
Bouldin Creek Cafe has been around for 20 years, and they’re still just as adored as ever thanks to their ever-reliable ability to churn out simple yet highly flavorful vegetarian and vegan food. In addition to classic dishes like their Veggie Royale (still the best veggie burger in town after all these years), Fajitas Italianas (silky strips of portobellos, zucchini, onions, and their must-try chipotle-pecan pesto), and the South Austin Stir Fry (a savory mix of rice noodles, heaps of vegetables, and a teriyaki ginger miso sauce), they have a wide range of drink options (including locally roasted coffee, beer, wine, and over 25 teas). Oh, and their (incredible) breakfast menu is served all day.
Nestled inside a former, century-old church, Tough Cookie Bakery in Bastrop has been serving the community for nearly 10 years. This locally-owned cafe/bakery/coffee shop only sells vegetarian or vegan food products, with mouthwatering items like vegan BLTs, vegan biscuits and gravy, curry chickpea salad, and African peanut stew.
After brothers Ramses and Anubis Avalos went vegan, they wanted to share their newfound passion for plant-based foods with the rest of their town. A first for Brownsville's dining scene, they opened the Chile de Árbol food truck to sell vegan burgers, tacos, and Indian-inspired fare. Everything is made from scratch, and their tacos, which incorporate homemade tempeh and seitan for traditional bistec and pastor, are particularly inventive.
Get your organic juice fix at the Northgate Juice Joint, the only juice and smoothie bar in the Brazos Valley. Crafted from local ingredients, their liquid concoctions are mighty tasty. Get the Apple Pie (coconut milk, apple juice, banana, whey protein, vanilla, pure maple syrup, cinnamon) when you’re feeling decadent; opt for the Brain Boost (cabbage, celery, carrot, apple, berries, banana, ginger, honey, turmeric) if you need a mental re-charge. They have an excellent food menu, too, with wraps, salads, bowls, and snacks.
A relatively new spot near Bishop Arts, Vegan Food House dishes out an eclectic array of Creole-style vegan cuisine, like po’boys, fried oyster mushroom sliders, a chopped “veef” jackfruit sandwich, and country-fried cauliflower steak. The signature dish on the menu, however, is The OG Buffalo Mac & Cheese Chick’em Sandwich, a tantalizing combo of deep-fried oyster mushrooms, house mac & cheese, buffalo sauce, pico de gallo, and smoky ranch.
Kalachandji’s is Dallas’ longest-running (and most beloved) vegetarian restaurant. And it’s not hard to see why, when you try their lovingly prepared, Ayurvedic dishes while soaking up the unique atmosphere here. Kalachandji’s is located inside a Hare Krishna temple in East Dallas, and their pay-as-you-wish buffet is easily one of the best in the city, vegetarian or no. They also offer Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, and cooking classes in the garden.
Spiral Diner is the centerpiece of the Dallas-Fort Worth vegan food scene. This beloved eatery has been around since 2002, attracting diners of all diet preferences for their “Ultimate Comfort Menu” of delectable fare. Come for their homemade pancakes topped with vegan butter and agave nectar; stay for their famous loaded nachos, which come smothered in creamy nacho “cheese,” quinoa, black beans, pickled jalapeños, and more.
When you imagine plant-based baked goods, a gooey, rich piece of chocolate cake may not be the first image that pops into your brain—but it should be. At Skull & Crossbones in Dripping Springs, their desserts are all-vegan and non-GMO, and they’re totally delicious. You can’t beat their cupcakes; the divine-tasting Garden Pack is chocolate cake made with roasted organic beets, chocolate chips, and vanilla beet frosting.
The Queen’s Table (El Paso)
The Queen’s Table, El Paso’s first full-service vegan restaurant and market, serves soul food so good you’ll never know the difference. Think deep-fried unChicken Drumsticks, Mango Cauliflower Tacos, Spicy Jalapeño Oyster Mushroom Florets, and Battered unShrimp—and those are just the appetizers. Their Sunday brunch is easily one of the most buzz-worthy in town, thanks to menu items like Fluffy Southern Biscuits and the unBacon Waffle: strips of juicy “bacon” covered in homemade butter and served atop a steaming pile of waffles.
One may think it would be hard to replicate most Vietnamese dishes veggie-style—after all, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and shrimp paste are all major ingredients of Vietnamese cuisine. And yet, Quan Yin in Houston has done just that, with more than 80 classic dishes that run the gamut from vegan eggless egg rolls to vegetable pho to canh chua tom, a sweet-and-sour “shrimp” soup.
It’s plants-only at green seed vegan, but something tells us that you won’t miss having meat on your plate. What started as a popular food truck has since transitioned into a brick-and-mortar location in Houston’s Museum District. Their healthy, wide-ranging menu includes everything from fresh-pressed paninis to brown rice wraps to raw plates.
This isn’t just one of the best vegetarian Indian restaurants in Houston; it’s one of the best Indian restaurants in Houston, period. Tucked away in the Hare Krishna Temple & Cultural Center in the Heights, Govinda’s uses high-quality ingredients to create affordable, sumptuous Indian dishes. Their menu changes daily, but some of their rotating items include chana masala, tofu curry, saag paneer, paneer tikka masala, and bhindi masala. On Wednesdays and Sundays, they serve all-vegan fare.
For some of the best vegan Mexican food in the state, look no further than La Botanica in San Antonio, whose dynamic menu offerings are rooted in the traditions of New Mexican, Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Gulf cuisine. Many of the ingredients come from the on-site garden. Some sample dishes include black bean empanadas, bean and “cheese” nachos, and portobello fajitas; even the strawberry donut desserts are made without dairy products. Don't leave without trying one of their refreshing, house-made cocktails (prickly pear margaritas, anyone?), which are best enjoyed on the lovely patio.
Viva Vegeria (San Antonio)
A true gem on the San Antonio vegan food circuit, Viva Vegeria is a bright, cheery eatery with a diverse selection of Tex-Mex-style offerings, like mushroom chicharon street tacos, vegan pozole, mole poblano (cauliflower, mole, and corn tostadas), and their Luchadora Nachos (homemade tortilla chips, beans, avocado, pepper-jack, quinoa, and kimchi). Be sure to indulge in one of their daily desserts.
Binge Kitchen (San Antonio and San Marcos)
Offering tasty plant-based comfort food in both San Antonio and San Marcos, Binge Kitchen is popular among vegetarians and diehard carnivores alike. Binge opened in 2017 as San Marcos’s first vegan food truck, and it’s since expanded into a brick-and-mortar with two locations. On the menu: rich, Southern-style cuisine like fried chicken and gravy, smoked drumsticks, barbecue and crispy chicken sandwiches, and meatloaf—all vegan, of course.
There’s no need to chow down on greasy, stomach ache-inducing burgers and fries when you’re on the road—just hit up Earth Burger. Not only does Earth Burger offer 100 percent plant-based fast food, they also have a zero-waste initiative, using sustainable, compostable products in all of their packaging. Popular menu items include the Spicy Chik-N Sandwich, the Fishless Sandwich (a crispy breaded fillet on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomatoes, and tartar), and The Ranchero, a quarter-pound veggie burger smothered in pickles, fried onions, and their signature BBQ Ranch.