Austin and Dallas: Vegan Best of Polls

There are few things more satisfying in life than being asked your opinion. So grab a hot beverage and get ready to tell the world who has the best vegan food in Austin and Dallas. And then let the satifaction of being right roll over you.

Vegans Rock Austin is hosting the second Vegan Best of Austin poll. You can vote in thirty-seven categories including Best Coffee, Best Late Night Grub, and Best Fried Food. Voting ends Wednesday, December 4.

Dallas Vegan has launched their own Best of Vegan Dallas poll with eighteen categories. For someone who only visits Dallas occasionally, I think I need to adopt the voting ballot as my to do list! I’m especially excited about the Best Bar category. Voting ends Monday, December 2.

One thing I really like about both contests is that they include a really great mix of vegan and nonvegan businesses. I love when the vegan movers and shakers get credit, but I also love an opportunity to tell nonvegan restaurants that we noticed they’re offering awesome vegan options and we appreciate it!


The Vegetarian Society of El Paso also voted on a Best Vegetarian of El Paso recently. They were so quick that I missed my opportunity to tell you to go vote. They’re announcing the winners this week, so keep an eye on their Facebook page.

World-Wide Vegan Bake Sale 2013

Savory Vegan Cornbread

Savory Vegan Cornbread. On the left, Zucchini Corn Bread veganized from this recipe. On the right, Corn Bread with Fennel Seeds and Currants veganized from this recipe.

It’s spring, and that means bake sale season! Let’s start the season right with World-Wide Vegan Bake Sales. Texas is hosting seven eight sales this year, including multiple in Austin and Houston. See below for a full list of Texas sales and info on how to participate.

I’ll be baking for the Austin sale at Monkey Wrench this Saturday. I’ve come into a motherlode of Dandies (that’s vegan marshallows), and despite my friends’ recommendations to EAT THEM ALL, I’ll be baking with at least some of them. I’m thinking chocolate-dipped marshmallow pops and some kind of cookie bar. Have you decided what to bake? I’ve been gathering some ideas over on Pinterest, if you’re still deciding.

A few bake sale tips:

  • Start with a clean kitchen
  • Individually wrap each item
  • Make it cute. Cute items bring in more money. Look for fun bake sale wrappers at a craft store.
  • Label your baked goods with their name and major allergens. (Think soy, wheat, gluten, peanuts, and tree nuts.)
  • Don’t neglect savory. I like to make corn bread with savory herbs and dried fruit.

2013 Texas World-Wide Vegan Bake Sales


Friday, April 26, 10 AM to 1 PM
UTA Central Library Mall
Benefiting Promise Worldwide
Sign up here 


Sunday April 28, 11 AM to 2 PM
Sign up here
Sunday, April 28, 11 AM to 2 PM
Sign up here


Saturday, May 4, 12 PM to 4 PM
Sign up here


Saturday, April 20, 9 AM to 1 PM
Union Plaza District


Saturday, April 13, 3 PM to 9 PM
Unitarian Fellow Ship of Houston Spring Music Festival
Benefitting VegFest Houston
Saturday, April 27, 5 PM to 8 PM
Reception Hall at K.C.E.L Church
Benefitting VegFest Houston


Wednesday, April 24, 4 PM to 8 PM

Vegan Pizza Comes to El Paso

TMNT pizza cupcakes from Capital City Bakery

A new restaurant carrying vegan cheese (at least some of the time) just opened in El Paso. The Healthy Pizza Company specializes in healthy pizzas on whole wheat vegan crust. They have the usual vegetable toppings as well as hatch chili peppers and cucumbers. You also have the option of substituting hummus or olive oil for the traditional marinara sauce. I’m imagining a Mediterranean-inspired pizza with hummus, vegan cheese, sun dried tomatoes, cucumbers, and kalamata olives. The Healthy Pizza Company is located at 3800 North Mesa, El Paso, TX.

Have you tried this pizza yet? Let me know what you think about it.

Edit. See the comments below for more info.

Rumor Mill: New Restaurants

Source: Tarrytown Facebook page

A few new vegan-friendly restaurants are slated to open in Texas this Fall. Austin Java is opening a new all-vegetarian location in Tarrytown, Austin. The coffee shop is in the strip mall owned by Jeanne Daniels, whose efforts to keep the shopping center cruelty free have received a large amount of press and vitriolic criticism. The coffee shop will serve dairy and eggs, but not meat. Austin Java’s current menu is only moderately vegan friendly, including hummus, veggie chorizo tacos, and a Thai noodle salad. Hopefully this new location will have a few more vegan options (I’m crossing my fingers for pancakes.)

Source: bookgrl

The Steeping Room, another vegan-friendly spot in Austin will be opening a new location on Lamar where Get Sum Dim Sum used to be located. (No news yet on a new location for Get Sum Dim Sum, but they’re still serving dim sum at Satay occasionally.) Steeping Room is a tea shop that serves breakfast, sandwiches, and salads. They have vegan scones, french toast, tofu scramble, and a number of other clearly-marked vegan items. Since the original location is in the Domain, this new location will have better parking and be more appealing to anyone who gets itchy just thinking about the lifestyle the Domain represents.

Macadamia nut cheese. Source: The Green Ingredient Eatery

And finally, I received news recently that El Paso would be getting its first all-vegetarian restaurant, the Green Ingredient Eatery. [Note: what’s with all the veg restaurants with green in their names?] Unfortunately, it looks like that’s an exaggeration. After corresponding with the restaurant owners, I found that they will be serving chicken and fish. Their focus is on healthy food, with a large amount of “raw food dishes, vegan and vegetarian.” Oh well. I’m still hopeful about that macadamia nut cheese on their Facebook page. Even if it’s not vegetarian, veg folks in El Paso will enjoy having more easily accessible vegetarian and vegan options.

As always, if you have a tip about a new vegan-friendly restaurant in Texas, you can let me know at lonestarplate (at) gmail (dot) com.

Veg Mexican Food in El Paso

The Vegetarian Society of El Paso writes that Mercado Mayapán is serving a vegetarian menu every Friday at their El Paso food court. How neat is that? The menu items sound pretty great and vegan-friendly as well: soyrizo and potato burritos, enchiladas, and stuffed cactus. Be sure to ask about cheese when you order.

Mercado Mayapán sounds like a pretty neat place itself. It was started by La Mujer Obrera, an advocacy organization that helps Mexican immigrant women. Mercado Mayapán offers a traditional Mexican indoor market that champions Mexican culture and provide employment for many people. Plus, tacos!

2012 Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale

2010 Austin Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti. Image by Lazy Smurf

It’s bake sale time again! Vegans around the world are heating up their ovens to make tasty treats to raise awareness about veganism and funds for their favorite nonprofits for the 2012 Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. Bake sales will take place between April 21 and April 29. There are a number of bake sales going on through out Texas (details below). If there’s not one in your community yet, then it’s up to you to organize one.

The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale site has great advice on how to set up a bake sale in your community. I’ve done a few of these, and believe me, you can do one, too! You need a location, a table, and some other bakers to help you. It’s as easy as that!

2011 Dallas Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon

It’s still early in the month, so many of these bake sales are still in the planning stages, but I wanted to get this info out as soon as possible so more people can sign up to bake and organize.

Date: April 24, 11 AM to 2 PM
Location:  Engineering Mall at UTA
Hosted by: Vegan Club at UTA
Benefiting: Serenity Springs Animal Sanctuary and a puppy named Justice

Date: Sunday, April 29, noon to 6 PM
Location: Monkey Wrench Books
Hosted by: Action for Animals, Capital City Bakery, Vegans Rock Austin, and Vegetarian Network of Austin
Benefiting: Sunny Day Farms
To Participate: See the Facebook event page

Date: April 28, noon to 4 PM
 Beauty Bar
Hosted by:
Dallas Vegan and Big A Little A Bakery
 United Farm Workers (UFW)
To Participate:  email dallasveganbakesale (at)

Date: May 12, 10:30 AM to 2 PM
Location: Ruli’s International Kitchen
Hosted by: Vegetarian Society of El Paso
Benefiting: TBD/local animal rescue group
To Participate: Contact volunteer (at)

Sunday, April 22, time TBD
Location: Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church
Hosted by: Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church

Date: TBD
Location: TBD (contact Vegan Society of PEACE if you have a location to suggest)
Hosted by:  Vegan Society of PEACE
Benefiting: VegFest Houston

Date: TBD
Location: TBD
Hostedy by: San Angelo Vegetarian Education Society
Benefiting: TBD

Saturday, April 28, 10 AM to 8:30 PM
Location: Vegeria
Hosted by: San Antonio Vegans
Benefiting: Sunny Day Farms
To Participate:  Contact veggiesue4 [at] gmail [dot] com

Planning a bake sale in Texas that’s not on the list yet? Tell us about it in the comments!