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Even though you may have a dietary restriction doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste when eating out. We’ve put together a list of the best places to eat in Austin if you’re gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, keto, paleo, and everything in between. These allergy friendly restaurants are great spot to eat at even if you’re not on a restricted diet.
I know what you’re thinking. A movie theater, for a strict diet? Here us out! All of their vegetarian and vegan options are labeled on the menu — and the options are delicious. Their buffalo cauliflower with vegan ranch is probably the best we’ve ever had. Alamo Drafthouse also has cauliflower crusts and vegan mozzarella if you’re feeling pizza. While all of their decadent shakes still include dairy, get down on one of their vegan chocolate chip cookies for your sweet tooth fix.
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The Beer Plant
You’re with a bunch of friends (a few of them have dietary restrictions, a few don’t) and y’all want hearty bar food. Head over to The Beer Plant and we guarantee this place will blow everyone’s minds, especially those that don’t have any dietary restrictions. With a completely vegan menu, this gastropub serves mac n cheese, burgers, and their take on a “Nashville Hot & Crispy,” which is a giant battered king oyster mushroom. This farmhouse pub atmosphere also offers an extensive beer and cocktail list.
Bouldin Creek Cafe
1900 South 1st
No matter what you are craving, Bouldin Creek Cafe will have it. This quirky South Austin staple is completely meat-free and they do a damn good job making you think you’re eating meat. Though they are meat-free, they are not vegan. However if you are vegan, they have plenty of substitutes like tofu scramble on their Breakfast Sammich or vegan cheese on the Portobello Melt. All gluten-free options are labeled plus they have a completely gluten-free menu. Vegan desserts are pretty tough to make and Bouldin Creek nails them, especially the peanut butter cup.
CAVA is like Chipotle, but better. You start with a base, pick some spreads, choose a protein (they have 7 options!), get crazy with toppings, and finish it off with a dressing. With so many options, you could easily create a new bowl combination everyday. If you need to check out their dietary information, their “Allergens” tab on their website has everything you need to know from gluten-free, to dairy-free, to soy-free. Plus, they use zero peanuts, tree nuts, or any other kind of nuts in their food AND everything is egg free. With six locations around Austin and online ordering, you can get your delicious lunch super fast.
High Note Kitchen
3000 South Lamar
Kerbey Lane has opened a sister restaurant and it’s catering to all kinds of dietary lifestyles. This casual, cute place serves all meals: brunch, lunch, dinner, drinks, and desserts. Some favorites: Dip Trio with salsa, edamame, and cashew queso or the Kimchi Beef with rice, veggie slaw, and the fixings. All menu items are labeled if they’re gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan. High Note also has a great happy hour during the weekdays which includes apps, wine, beer, and their fresh pressed juice cocktails.
Fresh, colorful, delicious — just a few words to describe Honest Mary’s food. A great spot for a casual or to-go lunch, this local, healthy restaurant focuses on simple, yet tasty options. You can build your own bowl with bases like rice, quinoa, or lettuce, or choose from one of their pre-made bowls like the Butternut Spice Bowl or the Aloha Poke. All menu items are labeled vegan, paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free. If you’re not sure what to order, the staff is incredibly helpful. Honest Mary’s is exactly what their name says: honest. There’s no refined sugars, no artificial ingredients of any kind, and all meat is antibiotic and hormone-free.
Picnik exists to accommodate all dietary restrictions. Founded in 2013, the owner opened up the food trailer in lieu of her personal history with fighting food allergies. The food trailer on South Lamar is a grab and go kind of place. Coffee, breakfast tacos, their specialty bone broth, and more. There’s also a trailer location off Saint Elmo plus Picnik’s flagship store off Burnet. The menu for this sit-down restaurant is 100% gluten, corn, peanut, and soy free. All three locations are great places if you have a dietary restriction as the entire menu is labeled with that it contains: dairy, nuts, eggs, rice.
909 West Mary
This neighborhood Thai eatery focuses on simple ingredients and simple cooking. Lunch, dinner, and brunch are all served with fun Thai twists. Take their Chicken and Waffles. They serve the dish with toasted sesame seeds and this lemongrass tamarind sauce that is out of this world. Or stick with a classic like Pad Thai with crispy pork belly. Bonus for the dessert lovers that can’t have dairy – all of their ice creams are vegan and come in wild flavors like pandan leaf and lavender caramel swirl. Most of their other desserts and pastries are vegan and if they’re not, they are clearly labeled. Plus, their entire bakery is totally gluten-free.
True Food Kitchen
This has got to be my favorite restaurant when dining out with a group of friends and everyone has some type of dietary restriction. True Foods Kitchen was designed around the eating habits of avoiding inflammation and eating food to make you feel better without sacrificing flavor and indulgence. The menu rotates regularly and can accommodate any kind of dietary needs. The staff at True Foods are extremely knowledgeable and if they don’t know the answer, they will find someone that does. The all encompassing menu features pizzas, turkey burgers, lasagna, and much more. Go for brunch and order the Antioxidant Mimosa for a detox, then a retox.
Never been to the buffet or food stations at Whole Foods? Then you are definitely missing out. The market has so many different things to eat it can be a little overwhelming when it’s lunch and you’re hungry. There’s a taco station, a pizza by the slice station, ramen station, and build your own sandwiches station. If none of those look appetizing, there’s 3-5 long buffets featuring in-house prepared hot and cold food. Build your own salad with every ingredient you can imagine or build your own Banh Mi. Since all the food is made in-house, every dish is labeled for food allergies. Buffet food is priced by the pound, while everything else is priced individually.
Featured photo from Honest Mary’s Instagram.