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Old 11-16-2012, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Ohio
139 posts, read 73,351 times
Reputation: 39
Default Austin=Vegan Friendly?

Is Austin, TX really that vegan friendly? Not just all cowboys and beef?? I'm looking to relocate, and I want to move to a vegan friendly city-- other vegans, volunteer groups to join and meet other people, restaurants I can eat at, etc.

I'll be graduating with a mechanical engineering degree, and was told the industry is booming in TX!
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:48 PM
 
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There are vegan options, but I wouldn't consider anywhere in TX a shining bastion of vegan living. There will be a couple of restaurants, or restaurants that offer mixed fare, but options are pretty limited.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Vegetarian Times Magazine commissioned a survey that showed that 0.5% of the American public is vegan, and 3.5% is vegetarian. I think that proportionally, the representation of veg'an restaurants in Austin is way above the curve.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:57 AM
 
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True, Austin may have more than .5%/3.5% of it's restaurants as vegan/vegetarian. However, it's not exactly a vegan mecca. In fact, it is one of few "Top 10" lists that Austin has never appeared on.

Both my brother and mother are vegan. Invariably, when they come out to visit, we end up pretty much unable to go out to dinner, as we haven't found a place they enjoy. Even Dallas rates better for Vegan living, which was kind of shocking - kind of like Asheville, NC being on most of the Top5/Top10 lists.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Central
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The city of Austin is trying to shut down Casa De Luz...can't say this is the friendliest city to Vegans
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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Here is my disclaimer: I am not speaking poorly about Austin. I am only giving my experiences. This is my opinion only and may not reflect the opinion of others.

I don't think Austin is vegan- or vegetarian-friendly. In fact, I would guess it is the least vegetarian-friendly place I have ever lived. There are a few restaurants that cater to us. However, the vast majority of restaurants are not vegetarian-friendly and have nothing on the menu we will eat. I used to live in New York City, and also in Orlando. Both of these cities were very friendly to "different" diets. In both of those cities I was able to go into a restaurant and state my preference and many times a chef would come out to talk with me and would make me a delicious meal from items they had on-hand in the restaurant. I was never made to feel that this was an imposition.

I am married to a omnivore. He is diabetic, which means he needs a special diet too. When we go to a restaurant and state that he is diabetic and needs a low carbohydrate/low sodium meal, he is given meal options. We have had chefs come out to talk to him to make sure that he will be given something that he will like. We have even gone to buffets and the cooks will grill plain fish for him so that he wouldn't have to eat something fried or with sauce. Restaurants have gone out of their way for him, and we are both very grateful for this.

When I say I am vegetarian I am treated as if I am being difficult. I had one restaurant owner come out and yell at me because I ordered a salad without the meat. I've had restaurants serve food which included chicken stock, fish oil, fish stock, beef stock, or lard. When I have tried to explain that this is not vegetarian and I need the meal made without these items I am told it isn't possible. I have been told to eat salads and baked potatoes as many of the vegetables are cooked with meat items. I have never had a chef come out to discuss what could be made for me when a vegetarian meal is not on their menu.

My husband and I used to eat out constantly. However, since moving to Austin, I eat primarily at home. I also find it difficult to find a large selection of food at grocery stores. Central Market is ok for prepared and frozen foods. Whole Foods is good too. HEB is terrible. There are a few small grocery stores that you can drive out of your way for.

Austin has many positives, but being vegan-friendly is not one of them.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:25 AM
 
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In my experience there are plenty of vegan options, but unless you live in NY, LA or a majory city, you have to seek them out. And let's not forget that Austin is still in the middle of Texas, where bbq meat and chicken fried everything reigns. Other than casa de luz and a few of the popular vegan/veg friendly restaurans, many thai/indian/other asian restaurants are known to cater to vegan diets. I'm pretty sure there's even Austin vegan social groups and websites. As long as you dont' expect the same abundance of vegan options as a major city, I'd say Austin is more than doable to lead a vegan lifestyle.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:32 AM
 
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I am a long time vegetarian with two vegetarian children (one of which is extremely allergic to eggs). We have been very happy with the vegetarian and vegan options in Austin, especially for a city this size. I'm not sure where DittoDitto is going out to eat, but I can't think of any restaurants I've been to where I have had problems in Austin. Now San Antonio was a different story for us....

Check out Vegaustin.com and veganaustin.org. There are a couple of good vegan austin blogs that I read reguarly (Lazy Smurf's Guide to Life and Lone Star Plate).

For shopping, I'm a big fan of Wheatsville Coop. They have great vegan prepared food (popcorn tofu!) and I find their prices to be very reasonable. The Whole Foods downtown has delicious vegan donuts (we were just there this morning picking up some) and you can pick up all of your vegetarian staples there. The HEB's that I go to seem to be well stocked with vegan products as well.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Volcano
11,990 posts, read 9,748,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMJ27 View Post
I am a long time vegetarian with two vegetarian children (one of which is extremely allergic to eggs). We have been very happy with the vegetarian and vegan options in Austin, especially for a city this size.
That was my point, yes. In addition to the dozen or so restaurants that are specifically veg'an, there are probably 100 restaurants or more in Austin that list veg'an options. I think that's pretty good for a city this size. And Wheatsville and Whole Foods both have dine-in facilities.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Ohio
139 posts, read 73,351 times
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm looking for a city that is EASY to be vegan at, I currently live in Youngstown Ohio and we have 2 all vegan restaurants-- both very VERY small (although they're delicious), and most other restaurants are off limits unless they're ethnic (mexican, indian, thai...) so usually going out to eat means I'm put in a bad mood by restaurants that can't seem to serve anything vegan, or think outside the box.

No, I don't want to eat JUST A SALAD.

from a lot of this feedback, I'm not sure why anyone would ever even mention anywhere in texas as being 'vegan friendly' at all! I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with more of the same attitudes I get in Ohio-- Maybe I'll just stick to CA...

and I know someone mentioned Asheville, NC is pretty vegan friendly... or is that just another myth too?!
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