Austin’s animal-free ambiance

Faith Lawrence, Reporter

Austin takes pride in being friendly to all lifestyles, so naturally, there are plenty of vegan restaurants in the city. 

I tried the vegan restaurants Flower Child, Cool Beans, Arlo’s Curbside Kitchen, Capital City Bakery, Koriente and even the vegan burger from the AISD food truck Nacho Average Food Truck. While all of the places I tried were great, Capital City Bakery and Cool Beans stood out from the rest with having the best food and experience. 

Cool Beans is an all vegan and mostly gluten-free taco truck that advertises “authentic Mexican, vegan cuisine”. Despite its menu featuring things like queso and chorizo, the food truck is entirely vegan and makes these things with animal product substitutes.

Cool Beans’ menu is mostly tacos, but it has other options like nachos as well as chips and salsa. I got an order of The Pioneer taco, which has beans, queso, guacamole, tomato, cilantro and lettuce on a homemade flour tortilla. The Pioneer was probably the best vegan dish I’ve had in a long time. The rice from Cool Beans was great, but the beans were just mediocre with a weird aftertaste. I also loved the flour tortillas they make fresh every day, which is the only item on the menu that is not gluten-free. 

The atmosphere at Cool Beans was very fun. The taco truck really embodied what I think Austin is all about, really relaxed, cute, healthy and environmentally friendly. 

The second vegan place that I enjoyed was the Capital City Bakery. The bakery is completely woman-owned, and it started out as someone making cakes out of a home. It then turned into the first vegan bakery food trailer in Austin, which then moved to its permanent location downtown. 

The bakery features things like brownies, cupcakes, cheesecakes, and cookies in the shop and cakes you can custom order Online. 

I ordered a triple chocolate brownie and a pumpkin carrot cupcake; the cupcake was very delicious and moist despite not having any animal products added. I loved the mix of the pumpkin and carrot since it tasted like a fall dessert. The brownie was not as good as the cupcake, but it was still great. Both treats went beyond my expectations for what I thought a vegan dessert would taste like. 

Capital City Bakery had such a cute atmosphere and the look could probably be found on Pinterest. I loved all the decor and style of the bakery. The people working at Capital City Bakery were very sweet and eager to answer my questions about their desserts and told me about their most popular items.  

I had a lot of fun trying a bunch of vegan food and now know where to go when wanting some healthy meat substitutes. My absolute favorite restaurant that I tried was the Capital City Bakery, mostly because I enjoy desserts more than food,  and they had amazing desserts, but I had a good experience at all of the places.