Being back in Austin for the month of November resulted in a whole lot of lunches and brunches, just the way I like it. Austin has had so many amazing, new restaurant openings, so I was excited to be here for long enough to try them all out. I’m more of a lunch and brunch person than a dinner person. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dinner date, but there’s just something cheerful about daytime dining.
Lunch and brunch dates are my favorite for a few reasons:
- The food choices are usually lighter than dinner entrees.
- I can drink juice or coffee and it’s normal, or opt for a cocktail and it’s equally as normal.
- It’s light out which makes for the best photos!
The last point is only halfway a joke.
With so many options in Austin, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite spots when you’re looking for a delicious, fresh meal that is also gorgeous with good ambience!
Juice Society was already one of my favorite places to work out of (think coffeeshop but with healthy juices, awesome music & great vibes), but they’ve recently added TOASTS which make it an ideal lunch spot. Their avocado toast has vegan pesto on it (finally a pesto I can eat), and the cashew butter toast is the perfect combo of nutty & sweet. Toasts not your thing? Don’t worry you can also pick up a smoothie or bowl like their avocado mousse or banana cashew cream bowls!
My Faves: The General Juice, Golden Girl Juice, Activated Lemonade Juice, Avcoado Toast, Cashew Butter Toast
1100 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704
This Austin newcomer has not only been the highlight of Instagram as of late, but also tastes absolutely amazing. Every single thing I have tried here has been incredible, with the highlights being the best veggie burger and CASHEW MILK ICE CUBES for your cold brew. Sit out on the patio or cozy up inside the gorgeous, small cafe.
(Please note that the avocado toast is not available during weekday lunch, but is only available for breakfast daily until 11am and during weekend brunch).
My Faves: Superfood Bowl, Pumpkin & Butternut Toast (seasonal), Avocado Toast, Veggie Burger, Liege Waffle, Brussel Sprouts (available during happy hour), Iced Cashew Milk Latte
98 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701
So, is the Domain officially the new hotspot? Flower Child, why did you have to open up here?! If Flower Child was downtown, I would definitely be eating here a few times a week as it encompasses everything I love. Healthy options that are GREAT for my lactose intolerance, Juice Society juices, organic wine on tap, vegan desserts, and absolutely gorgeous decor. Perfection!
My Faves: Vegan Ingredient Salad, Mother Earth Bowel, Spicy Japanese Eggplant, Roasted Butternut Squash, Yuzu Brussel Sprouts, Organic Non-GMO Tofu, Seasonal Lemonades, Juice Society Juices
11721 Rock Rose Ave, Austin, TX 78758
New to Burnet Road, Citizen Eatery is a vegetarian’s dream. I’m not even a vegetarian, but I found myself wanting to order everything on the menu because it all looked SO good! The veggie burgers are hearty enough for even a meat lover to love, the housemade sunflower butter on the Early Toast is salty, nutty, good, and the salad was light and fresh. And can we talk about the Tumbleweed Fries?! VEGGIE NOODLES made into french fries… swoon. Citizen Eatery makes my lactose-intolerant heart happy with all of their healthy substitutions fit for those with dietary restrictions, or not!
My Faves: The Early Toast, Bitters Salad, Roasted Carrots with Citrus Vinaigrette, Green Chile Burger, Paleo Burger, Texas Tumbleweed Fries
5011 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756
Being from California, I was so excited when True Food Kitchen opened in Austin because it was one of my favorite restaurants back home! This has always been my go-to for a fresh, healthy, flavorful lunch date, and I hope to try their brunch soon as well. There is something for everyone with menu items ranging from juices to salads to pizzas to bowls. Especially since I am lactose intolerant, I love how they are able to accomodate your dietary needs and swap ingredients out so that you can enjoy many different dishes.
My Faves: Kale Guacamole, Seasonal Ingredient Salad, Ancient Grains Bowl, Grilled Fish Tacos, Kale-Aid Drink
222 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701
True life: I have an actual obsession with this place. Every single time I am home I come here, and I would probably eat here every day. Their avocado toast is among the best I’ve had, their Bloody Mary’s are SO good (bacon salt rim, yep) and strong, and it’s just a fun, casual place to hang out on the patio. Although I often come here for brunch, all of the goods are available during weekday lunch as well!
My Faves: Harvest Mix, Avocado Toast, Nutella Toast, Local Salad, Sangria
506 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701
It is extremely dangerous that I now live a block from here, because it is Austin, trendy Mexican food at its finest. First off, the space is absolutely gorgeous in its design and decor (and a lovely patio with great people watching!) Secondly, the food and cocktails are done so well. The flavors are fresh and unique yet authentic. Make sure to get the Guacamole Tasting sampler to start, and try one of their many craft cocktails… all of which are exquisite!
My Faves: Guacamole Tasting, Mixta Con Pollo Rostizado, Acelgas Tacos, Alma Blanca Cocktail, El Cubico Cocktail
400 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701
If you’re looking for a fun vibe for your lunch, Culinary Dropout is your place. I was honestly extremely impressed by the food here considering I went into the experience thinking it would be upscale “bar food”, but it is so much more than that. Everything from the antipasti plate options (choose as many as you want!) to the saucy Thai chile chicken wings to the fried chicken with mouthwatering biscuit to the fresher, healthier salmon and salad options was delicious. Don’t forget to try a craft cocktail and come back at night for live music!
My Faves: Antipasti Brussel Sprouts, Thai Chile Chicken Wings, Butternut Squash & Kale Salad, Fried Chicken, Roasted Salmon, Jalapeno Honey Limonada Cocktail, Room Service Cocktail
11721 Rock Rose Ave Suite 100, Austin, TX 78758
Safe travels y’all!
Chelsea Rose Martin