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SXSW Vegan Eats

If you read PETA’s blog, The PETA Files, you probably already know that I and many of my coworkers were attending South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, over the last week. Because of my obsession with Mexican food and our proximity to the border, I had planned on consuming one of my favorite cuisines for every single meal while in Austin—until I came down with the flu, that is.

Before the sickness set in, I was able to check out a few Austin veggie joints and indulge in only one Mexican meal! Here are a few food highlights from my trip:



  • Mr. Natural: This all-natural vegetarian restaurant features some of the healthiest Mexican food in Austin. At the Cesar Chavez location, I sampled vegan tamales, brown rice, refried beans, and a carrot-coconut salad (pictured here), all of which were delicious.
  • Mothers: I technically didn’t get a chance to visit this restaurant, but my friends were sweet enough to deliver one of Mothers’ “TLT” sandwiches (tempeh, lettuce, and tomato) to me. The restaurant’s menu is quite diverse, featuring veggies, salads, sandwiches, lasagne, stir-fries, and a variety of Tex-Mex options, of course.
  • Veggie Heaven: A small vegetarian restaurant that focuses on Asian-inspired dishes. I had to go for the tofu noodle bowl, but other popular menu items include the Protein 2000, bubble teas, and sweet buns.
  • Whole Foods: The megastore on Sixth and Lamar was pretty much our home base during the trip. The expansive salad and hot bars offered a ton of vegan options on a daily basis that we couldn’t pass on. A few highlights include the grilled pineapple and tostones.

    Other than that, I pretty much survived on Clif bars and The Bad Girls Club while fighting through a 103° fever in my hotel room. I guess there’s always SXSW 2009 to look forward to, when I can try again to fully explore the Austin food scene and try to make my “all Mexican meals” goal a reality.

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    • Sara says:

      My favorite macrobiotic teacher and author, Jessica Porter, of the “Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics”, will be speaking at Casa de Luz and also giving a cooking class the weekend of October 3rd. If you have the chance, go hear her speak on how vegans can incorporate macrobiotics into their life!

    • Ida Lupino says:

      ooh I love sxsw.

      You may want to enter some of your yummy veggie southwestern recipes in this veggie recipe contest on MSN. It’s Tex-Mex / Southwestern themed this time…

    • indycar01 says:

      vegan by design!… YAAA crank em up!..

    • Deanna Root says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the food Austin has to offer! There are lots of yummy vegetarian and vegan specialty restaurants here in town, but also places that are happy to cook something veg-friendly for you if you ask, and even more that have it all ready on the menu!

      I agree that Dhaba Joy is a great suggestion next time you are in town, or Kebablicious!

    • Allie says:


      I went to SXSW with Amy and had the chance to go to Dohba Joy! I had the hummus and avocado sandwich and the vegan mac-n-cheese . . . to die for!


    • Vianca says:

      If you are ever in Austin again and want to obtain some vegan baked goods or sandwiches that are awesome, Dohba Joy is the place to be. I suggest the Tempeh Ruben. THE GREATEST! Also check out toy joy while your there. <3