Although our family and personal lives are cemented south of the river, the East Side has become a nice extension of our life here in Austin. It’s where we headquartered our work life for two years and so we spent quite a bit of time lolligagging about in coffee shops and eating spots. We aren’t there during the work week as much these days, but make our way to our favorite spots whenever we can carve some time out:
Veracruz All-Natural – Trailer No. 1
1704 E. Cesar Chavez
Open Daily 8am-3pm
A taco is only as good as the tortilla that holds it and the women at Veracruz do it perfectly. I don’t crave tacos anymore, I crave Veracruz tacos. I usually order a beans + avocado on a flour tortilla off the breakfast and top it off with their house salsa. It makes for a simple, no-frills escape on a mild day and one of my favorite places to pop open a Mexican Coca Cola. This is an incredibly popular lunch spot, so I’d suggest calling in your taco order ahead of time if you are hoping to make it in and out in a flash. I’ve also heard fabulous things about their weekend chilaquiles.
2610 Manor Road
It’s been a bit cold the past few months to venture out here, but as soon as the weather warms up, we’ll be here on the regular. We love heading over after school for a snack. On cool days, I can grab a warm cup of tea and mmmpanadas. On warm days, an iced drink and/or fresh fruit do us right. There are plenty of veggie-friendly and vegan snacks in the case and rocking chairs on the porch to help you transition from work-day to play.
Mr. Natural – East Austin location
1901 E. Cesar Chavez
Whether you are looking for a full meal or stopping in for a honey-sweetened, agua fresca, Mr. Natural satisfies. They offer your standard Tex-Mex enchilada faire, but its best is at the cafeteria-style hot bar where daily specials offer more home-style Tejano food. Picadillo, the taco salad, milanesas, and tamales are strongly recommended. All offerings are vegetarian and vegan; baked goods included. 😉
2201 Manor Road
I’m noticing a pattern here – Tex-Mex and tacos from the Chicana. Mi Madre’s also has great tacos, but we love to head over when we are in the mood for a breakfast that requires silverware. I stand by my declaration that Mi Madre’s Migas are THE BEST in town. Hands down. Their vegetarian refried beans can go head-to-head with the best Tex-Mex spots (veg or not) and the migas plate portion is large enough to share between two people. Weekends are busy, but not impossible. Weekdays are nice and quiet… if that’s more your style.
NOTE: Not all of the restaurants reviewed above are exclusively vegetarian, but Austin is nice in that you can manage to eat a full meal (not just sides) at most establishments. Ask questions if you’re not sure if there is chicken stock in that rice or fish sauce in that stir-fry. By and large, servers and restaurant owners are really accommodating and helpful.
Please be sure to check out what the 100+ members of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance are recommending in their annual city guide:
Just looking to caffeinated? Be sure to check out Bake Me Away’s post on the best coffee shops that our dear East Austin has to offer:
- East Austin Coffee Shops – by Bake Me Away