Tex-Mex is as much a way of life in Austin as tacos are. This goes for the vegetarian contingent in town as well. Mr. Natural offers your standard fare (enchiladas and such), but its best is at the cafeteria-style hot bar where daily specials offer more homestyle Tejano food that we are accustomed to chowing down on en casa.
Mr. Natural (East Austin Location)
1901 E. Cesar Chavez
I am a faithful to the daily special. Crispy tacos filled with soyrizo and papas are my current favorite, but the albondigas and picadillo are most excellent. Tamales and gorditas are always on the menu if you are feeling a little shy about treading into unknown waters and all the specials come with a choice of salad and two sides.
If you are looking for a lighter meal, the Taco Salad is awesome. I dare say that its the best traditional taco salad that I’ve found out and about.
Notes: The menu is 100% vegetarian with vegan options throughout. Be sure to check in with the counter staff if you’re not sure. Also worth checking out – the bakery case and the agua fresca. They usually have an horchata, a green variety (pineapple-green) and at least one other flavor (watermelon, mango, canteloupe, etc.).
If you are hanging south of the river and can’t imagine trekking ALL THE WAY over the water, Mr. Natural’s location on S. Lamar (at Bluebonnet) will do you right.