New Vegan Restaurants Opening in Texas

Veggie Grill

Veggie Grill: Fried (Gardein) chick'n, mashed potatoes, gravy, kale, or as I like to call it, the Wannabe Luann Platter

Fast casual vegan chain Veggie Grill plans to open at least two Texas locations in 2014. According to an article in the Los Angeles Business Journal, Veggie Grill is looking for appropriate locations in Houston and Austin.

I was lucky enough to try Veggie Grill in Portland while I was there for Vida Vegan Con. The menu strikes a great balance between hearty comfort food and health food. Who doesn’t love a plate of food that has both kale and gravy?


Buffalo Chick'n Sandwich from Green Vegetarian

As I announced recently on Facebook, Green Vegetarian of San Antonio is expanding to Houston. The food at Green is somewhat similar to Veggie Grill, except that Green has table service. I think both restaurants will find an audience that’s hungry for comforting, healthy food in Houston, seeing how few vegan restaurants Houston has for it’s large population. In the future, Green plans to franchise their restaurant.


Gluten-free vegan oatmeal cream pies from Reverie Bakeshop. Photo from Reverie Bakeshop Facebook

In Dallas, two friends are opening a vegan bakery, Reverie Bakeshop. The duo is currently hosting a Kickstarter fundraiser to help cover the costs of build-out and inventory. The grand opening is planned for September of this year.


Locali (perhaps a pun on local and low cal and California?), another Los Angeles-based fast casual healthy chain, is planning an Austin location according to Eater-Los Angeles. At first glance the menu isn’t that exciting. Sandwiches mostly. That is, until you notice almost every sandwich is vegan or can be made vegan, including a list of hearty breakfast sandwiches. Look out breakfast tacos, you’re going to have some competition.

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

50 Vegan Foods to Try in Texas: Part 1

There’s a huge variety of vegan food in Texas, and I know I’ve only nibbled a fraction of it. With a few recommendations from friends, I’ve made a list of 50 Must Try vegan foods that represent the best our state has to offer. I’ve split the list into parts for my sanity and your suspense. In no particular order…

1. “The Mitch” Tofu Club from Spiral Diner (Dallas or Fort Worth): A club sandwich that even Mitch Hedberg is allowed to eat. Three slices of bread, grilled tofu, lettuce, tomato, chipotle mayo (you know, because we’re in Texas), and bac’n bits all held together with frilly toothpicks. The combination of the chipotle mayo and the bac’n bits adds just the right amount of smokiness. The potato salad on the side is mashed and bright yellow. I can never decide if I like it or not, yet I always eat every bite. (True story: last night I had a dream that I had a gallon of this potato salad in my fridge and couldn’t decide whether to eat it or not.)

Arlo's Bac'n Cheez Burger. Source: mollyjade

2. Bac’n Cheese Burger from Arlo’s Food Truck (Austin): This cheeseburger is like its greasy counterpart at a national fast food chain, except healthier and free of animal products. Instead of beef, the homemade patty sports lentils with plenty of gluten to hold everything together. Add cheese, seitan bac’n, lettuce, tomato, mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, and lettuce, and you might be humming that song all night long.

Chole Bhature at Shri Balaji Bhavan. Source: Vegan Houston

3. Chole bhature at Shri Balaji Bhavan (Houston). Vegan Houston calls this “the best on the planet,” which is pretty high praise. If you’ve never had this dish before, it’s North Indian chickpea stew with fried bread, and it’s as awesome as that sounds.

4. Chimichurri seitan wrap from Conscious Cravings (Austin): The quality of this wrap varies. On its good days, it’s my favorite sandwich. But even on its bad days, it’s worth eating. Chewy chunks of seitan dressed with chimichurri sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, vegan mozzarella, and a squirt of sriracha, all baked up in a wrap that gets a bit crispy.

5. Neftacos Feliz from Zombie’s Food Truck (Fort Worth and Dallas): Named after Ranger’s pitcher Neftali Feliz, these tacos are the fan favorite at Zombie’s. Shredded seitan is served in a tortilla with all the fixings, including a drizzle of pepper pineapple ranch.

Vegan Platter at Kerbey Lane Cafe. Source: madam.furie

6. Pancakes at Kerbey Lane (Austin). Kerbey Lane isn’t the kind of place that makes you feel like family or the kind of place that leaves you writing embarrassing love notes about your meal on Yelp. It’s the kind of place where you can get vegan pancakes at 3 AM and slather them with Grade B maple syrup. And really, what else do you need from pancakes?

7. Kale salad from Central Market (Austin, Dallas, Forth Worth, Houston, Plano, San Antonio). Sold at the prepared food counter, this sweet, tangy, and crunchy salad is now a permanent part of my family’s holiday meals. The salad has inspired many copycat recipes, including this one from Hail Merry.

8. Pretzel bread from Tough Cookie Bakery (Bastrop and Dallas). This rich bread is great for sandwiches, though truthfully, I usually end up pulling off large chunks and find myself surprised that it’s all gone before I even got a chance to put avocado and tomato between two slices. For now, you can find Tough Cookie at farmer’s markets in Dallas and Bastrop, though they have plans to distribute to Austin soon.

Peach Kolache. Source: mollyjade

9. Fruit kolaches from Sinfull Bakery (Houston). The kolache is one of Texas’s iconic foods, but no city embraces the kolache like Houston does. You’ll find kolaches filled with everything from migas to barbecue. So it’s no surprise that Houston has the first vegan kolaches. Generally sticking to more traditional fillings, Sinfull Bakery’s fruit kolache fillings are all homemade and often local and organic.

Holiday Sundae at Sweet Ritual. Source: mollyjade

10. Sundae from Sweet Ritual (Austin). The ladies at Sweet Ritual make all their own syrups, and it shows in their sundaes. There’s nothing wrong with a milkshake or cone, but if you really want to get the full Sweet Ritual effect, start with a homemade waffle cone or bowl and end with a drizzle of salted caramel or chocolate sauce.

Vegan Drinks: October 2012

After an ice cream break at Sweet Ritual, ATX Vegan Drinks will be back at Cheer Up Charlies on Friday, October 5 from 7 PM to 9 PM. Same great food options as usual. (I finally tried that Via 313 pizza, review to come.)

DIY Guiness Extra Stout float and so-called Frito Pie at ATX Vegan Drinks.

Dallas Vegan Drinks will be Thursday, October 11. Location TBA.

And for the first time ever, Houston is hosting something similar to, but not the same as, Vegan Drinks. Join other Houstonites at a “Monthly Vegan Social Mixer”  following the VSoP Second Saturday event on Saturday, October 13. The location will be announced at the Second Saturday potluck, but expect somewhere with alcoholic beverages and vegan snacks.

Information for starting a Vegan Drinks in your city can be found at

Breakfast at Radical Eats

Vegan Tex-Mex favorite Radical Eats is going to serve breakfast. They’ll be offering breakfast tamales, cinnamon rolls, and locally roasted coffee. Breakfast service will begin August 14 beginning at 7:30 AM.

All this makes me wonder, is the breakfast tamale Houston’s answer to the breakfast taco? Or have I been sleeping through breakfast while everyone else gobbles up tofu migas tamales? Tamale experts, what’s the story here?

Vegan Pizza in Texas

Cartoon by Matthew Diffee

So I get this cartoon. Really. Texas is a wasteland of BBQ and chicken fried steak. Except it isn’t, exactly. Don’t get me wrong. You can drive along miles and miles of highway seeing signs advertising brisket and chicken fried chicken, and Texas isn’t exactly known for its fresh produce or vegetarian cuisine. But this cartoon always makes me a little wistful, because people who think like this are missing out on some great vegan pizza.

Here in Austin you can find vegan New York-style, deep dish, Detroit-style, Italian wood oven-baked, and French bread pizzas, among the many many options. That’s a lot of vegan pizza.

So partly in honor of this cartoon and partly in honor of the fact that “vegan pizza in _____” is always one of my top search terms, here are links to vegan pizzas around Texas.

Austin, by Red Hot Vegans
Dallas-Fort Worth, by Dallas Vegan
Houston by Vegan Houston
San Antonio: Fraolo’s Art of Pizza and ZPizza via San Antonio Vegans


I have a few favorite vegan pizzas in Austin that didn’t make the Red Hot Vegans list. The Spicy Vegan at Brick Oven on 35th (not to be confused with Brick Oven) for some reason doesn’t get much love. Maybe because there’s no cheese on the pizza. But there’s chipotle pesto, which I think is even better. FYI you can also get the chipotle pesto on pasta (ask for no cream).

Sagra also makes some great vegan pizzas, and recently they started making pistachio cheese for their vegan pies. The pizzas are Italian-style, not the Italian-American pizzas which are the norm in the U.S., which means you get more creative vegetable toppings including arugula, truffle oil, and asparagus. Their menu changes seasonally.

Texas Restaurant News

So much is happening across Texas lately that it’s too much for one person to keep track of. I’m always looking to add more voices to Lone Star Plate. If you live in Houston, San Antonio, DFW, or elsewhere in Texas and would like to contribute to Lone Star Plate, send an email to lonestarplate (at) gmail (dot) com

In the meantime, grab a drink and catch up on all the latest in vegan food in Texas: 


  • Arlo’s has reopened a few blocks away from their old location. They’re now just outside of Cheer Up Charlie’s! Get the best veggie burger in town and support the only veg bar in town. They’re still keeping bar hours (8 PM to midnight, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; 8 PM to 2 AM Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), but rumor is they’re contemplating adding daytime hours.
  • Counter Culture had their soft opening last week. The menu looks fantastic. I know you’re going to find this harder to believe, but Sue’s food has gotten even better. I got the Philly Seitan. The seitan is sliced thin, the cashew cheez is now creamy, and there were lots more grilled onions and peppers. My husband tried the seitan roast, and it came covered in one of the best gravies I’ve ever had. Counter Culture is only open for dinner currently (cash only), but they’ll be opening for lunch and accepting credit cards soon.
  • Austin’s much anticipated Capital City Bakery is holding a grand opening party on May 18. The trailer will be located at Rio Grande and MLK in the same lot as Conscious Cravings. You’ll also be able to find Cap City’s baked goods for sale at Counter Culture. We tried the Black Forrest cake at Counter Culture, and were in heaven. RSVP for the grand opening on Facebook.
  • All my life I’ve dreamed of waking up to vegan breakfast tacos. OK, really I’ve dreamed about getting locked in a library stocked with lots of great novels and a case of diet dr. pepper, but I should have been dreaming about tacos. Because the Vegan Nom just opened up in Counter Culture’s old location, and it’s a dream come true. They had their grand opening during the Austin Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale last Sunday, and sold out almost immediately! They’ll be opening full time (7 AM to 7 PM) very soon. Drool over their menu in the meantime.
  • CoolHaus, an ice cream sandwich trailer with a location outside Cheer Up Charlie’s in Austin, is opening another location in Dallas. Check out Red Hot Vegan’s review of the Austin location for an idea of what you can expect.
  • Denton is getting a new vegetarian (vegan-friendly) food truck. Eventually. Shiitake Swerve will be serving tacos and sandwiches featuring a variety of mushrooms. They’re hinting at vegan pancakes for brunch as well.  But it will be a few months before their truck is ready. I’ve always thought Denton was a good place for veg food trucks and hope this is the first of many.
  • Green Seed Vegan has their brick and mortar location. The photos of the restaurant look so peaceful. According to that article, they have expanded their menu. I can’t wait to try out their new spot.
San Antonio
  • Check out this tweet about the vegan platter at Bliss! That’s my idea of fancy vegan food. A variety of vegetables, beans, and grains done just right. Maybe this has been there forever, but I’m just finding out about it. San Antonians, this looks like a great option for a celebration dinner or fancy work meeting.

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!

Help Green Seed Vegan Expand

Jerk Tempeh Sandwich from Green Seed Vegan. Photo by mollyjade

Green Seed Vegan, maker of delicious and healthy sandwiches and snacks out of a truck in Houston, is aiming to move into a brick-and-mortar location. A permanent location will allow them to expand their hours and menu. And judging by the food I’ve tried so far, I really want to have even more delicious options.

Vegan options have been expanding so fast in Texas, largely because of community support. It can be hard for young business owners to get loans in traditional ways. So if you want even more vegan food options in Houston, consider pledging a few dollars to Green Seed’s Kickstarter.