Austin’s Best Healthy Restaurant Options
All of the holiday cookies are gone, all of the champagne bottles are empty, and now you are looking at 2018 in the light of day wondering how you are going to stick to your resolution to eat healthier in the new year. Lucky for you, Austin is packed with delicious AND healthy restaurant options (it seems like an oxymoron, we know).
1. Casa de Luz
1701 Toomey Rd, Austin, TX 78704
This Austin ayurvedic gem is nestled away on a side street near Zilker Park. The macrobiotic restaurant serves organic, vegan and gluten-free breakfast, lunch and dinner. The set menu rotates daily, but always includes a salad, soup and an entree. The restaurant is apart of a mindfulness community center complete with a secret garden, tai-chi, yoga and dance classes, outdoor meditation spaces, and regular discussion panels on health, spirituality and nutrition. It is a one-stop-shop for all things Zen.
2. Mother’s Cafe
4215 Duval Street Austin, TX 78751
Since 1980, Mother’s Cafe has been serving Austinites vegan and vegetarian food so good you will forget it is vegan and vegetarian. The Hyde Park restaurant is known for its famous Bueno Burger. Voted the Best Veggie Burger in Austin, the Bueno Burger is made from bulgar wheat, seeds, fresh veggies, and tofu and is served on a vegan whole wheat sesame bun. Other favorites include the artichoke enchiladas, mushroom stroganoff and the vegan chocolate mocha cake.
3. Counter Culture
2337 East Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702
Where do you go for Austin’s finest comfort food? To the Counter Culture on East Cesar Chavez (not to be confused with the Counter Cafe a few blocks away on East 6th St.) The tiny restaurant offers meatless, dairy-free and raw meals, all made from scratch. Depending on your diet, they also have many oil-free, gluten-free and soy-free options. Does the spicy mac and cheese taste EXACTLY like it is made with real cheese? No, but it is not far off. The Pac Man, a kale salad with chia seeds and creamy garlic sunflower seed dressing and the Raw Butternut Tacos with dried cranberries, walnut chorizo and chili-sauce are to die for. And once you try the chocolate peanut butter cashew cheesecake with a chocolate almond crust, you will ask yourself, “is this really healthy?” It is.
4. East Side Cafe
2113 Manor Road, Austin, TX 78722
Much of the American cuisine prepared at this little bungalow off of Manor Road is made from the vegetables grown in the restaurant’s garden. Nearly every item on the menu is made in the kitchen from scratch. Yes, it is easy to get side tracked from your health kick with grilled meatloaf or the chocolate silk pie, but stick to the veggie enchiladas, beet salad or garden burger. You will not be disappointed.
5. Daily Juice
Several Austin Locations
Daily Juice has been supplying Austinites with freshly squeezed, organic juice since 2003. That is a lot of juice! They have something for everyone. If you are craving creamy, chocolatey and delicious try the Half Moon with almond milk, cacao nibs, almond butter, cinnamon, agave, banana, vanilla protein. Or try a double shot of wheatgrass followed by a Thai Curious made with carrot, ginger, beet, cayenne pepper, cilantro, lime and coconut water. If you truly want to go gangbusters on your New Year’s diet, Daily Juice offers several multi-day juice cleanses.
6. True Food Kitchen
222 West Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701
When one of Oprah’s frequent guests on nutrition and health decides to open a restaurant, you know it will be good. Renowned physician, Dr. Andrew Weil, helped establish True Food Kitchen in Phoenix in 2008 blowing up the misconception that healthy food and food that taste good are two different things. Overwhelmed with the popularity, True Food Kitchens began opening all over the country including one in Austin in 2016. The restaurant is in the first floor of the new Seaholm residence and is the go-to downtown restaurant for healthy food.
Whether you are gluten-free, organic, vegetarian or vegan, they have something for everyone and it is all delicious. All dishes are created in accordance with an anti-inflammatory diet in hopes to counteract chronic inflammation, one of the root causes of heart disease, many cancers, Alzheimer’s and more. If alcohol is not on your “must avoid” list, True Foods Kitchen makes seasonal cocktails with fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices.