So it’s been six months since January which means any New Year’s resolution to start eating healthy may have fallen by the wayside. Maybe the first few weeks were going great, but after a while, a Hopdoddy burger or a late night trip to Gourdough’s seemed a little too appealing. It’s ok, we’ve all been there! But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to hop aboard the clean-eating train while still getting a taste of Austin’s finest restaurants along the way.
In the age of all-natural, organic and vegan food options, there’s no shortage of healthy restaurants around the city. Eating right shouldn’t be a tough choice to make, so we’ve outlined some of the best healthy Austin eateries that would make even the most seasoned food Instagrammers mouth water.
9. Flower Child
This health-oriented bohemian cafe offers a trendy way to enjoy fresh salads, grain bowls, soups and wraps right in the heart of downtown Austin. Or if you live north of the city, they also have a location in the popular shopping mall, The Domain. The organic, gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly menu means there’s something for even the strictest of diets. Flower Child also offers a great pairing of flavored lemonades and kombucha on tap. With local, farm-fresh ingredients, it’s not hard to see why Flower Child can have you feeling recharged by the time lunch hour ends.
8. Blenders and Bowls
A sweet alternative to a cup of Amy’s ice cream can be found in a fresh acai bowl. For a great mid-day snack that also doubles as an antidote for triple digit weather, look no further than this local Austin chain offering smoothies and fruit bowls jam-packed with berries, nuts, granola and even spinach! Whether it’s sipped through a straw or eaten with a spoon, these fruity options offer some of the healthiest treats around.
7. True Food Kitchen
They had us at spaghetti squash casserole. Calling themselves “purveyors of nourishment for the wellness-aware”, True Food might just be the poster-child for clean eating. Touting what’s known as the “Anti-Inflammatory Diet”, the menu selects and prepares food based on science to help combat health issues like heart problems and Alzheimer’s disease. Just browsing the various options shows unique dishes, with standouts like Edamame Dumplings and the T.L.T (tempeh, lettuce, and tomato).
6. The Soup Peddler
Thanks to that one episode of Seinfeld, soup restaurants have gained a reputation for being a little, shall we say, overwhelming. Well, we can assure you that this is nothing like that. The chain’s assortment of broths, bisques, and chilis have plenty to offer, from the classic Chicken Soup with Rice to the veggie-heavy Green Detox Broth. Coupled with a sandwich or a side salad, The Soup Peddler brings a nice and balanced meal to the table.
Finally! A paleo-friendly menu catering directly to those specifically wanting to avoid any and all processed foods. We also have good news for those with allergies as everything Picnik proudly serves is gluten-free, corn-free, peanut-free and soy-free. Picnik is also home to butter coffee, which contains a blend of organic coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil, all known to contribute to sustained energy levels without the crash later. The brick-and-mortar location offers a full breakfast menu along with cocktails, wine, and cider for later in the evening. Piknic also features 2 food trucks. One is located in the heart of the 78704 neighborhood right on a very popular stretch of S Lamar. The second location is semi-new and is located on S Congress right before the St. Elmo intersection.
4. Casa de Luz
Hidden away amongst sprawling bamboo shoots and thick shrubbery lies a unique dining experience. Establishing themselves as a plant-based restaurant, patrons enjoy eating together in a communal dining room as “ideas, experiences, and love are shared and a higher purpose is created”. The menu is more on the lighter side, consisting of plenty of soup, salad and rice dishes. More than just a restaurant, Casa de Luz promotes a philosophy of giving back and living a fruitful life. There’s just a flat fee to get in the door, but the goal is for you to leave with something money can’t buy.
3. Counter Culture
As far as vegan pizzas go, this one takes the cake (or rather, the pie). Their signature White Pizza is made with creamy cashew sauce and almond cheese has very quickly become a preference even for omnivores. A vegan option doesn’t necessarily mean a healthy option, but Counter Culture goes above and beyond to bring organic, fair trade and locally grown food to you all at an impressively low price. Your wallet will stay healthy right along with you.
2. Café no Sé
This sleek, contemporary cafe offers a little bit of everything in regards to breakfast, lunch, and desserts. The list of rosé wines served all day is quite the added bonus too. Of course, no true modern cafe menu is complete without the holy grail of trendy health food: avocado toast. No expense is spared as each slice comes topped with an egg, heavy cream and Aleppo carrots (we promise the $13 price tag is excusable).
1. The Beer Plant
Austin’s first vegan gastropub combines the laid-back nature of bar food with the benefits of being health-conscious. Buffalo cauliflower wings? Yep. Sriracha-glazed brussel sprouts? Of course. The “chicken” in the Hillcountry “chicken” and gravy may be in quotations (it’s actually seitan), but that doesn’t mean it’s no less tasty than the real thing. The restaurant wouldn’t be worthy of its name if it didn’t also have dozens of beers on tap, ready to fill a frosty glass.