Vegetarian Lovin' by Jacy Schleier

Although Austin is a very vegetarian and vegan friendly city, there are always those few unexpected dining destinations that serve both set of palates. Many of Austin's old and new restaurants are adding veggie options. Here are a few surprising restaurants that have crossed over into the vegetarian world:

The sausage and beer garden haven of Rainey Street is no longer just for the carnivorous set. They've recently added Beet & Goat Cheese Sausage, a Veggie BLT and a Tempura Battered Fire Roasted Eggplant & Red Bell Pepper Vegan Sausage. With specialty veggie sausages, vegetarians won't have to forego the lively outdoor atmosphere of Banger's any longer.

Blue Dahlia Bistro
Dedicated to using organic and local products, this French inspired bistro offers plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Their French goat cheese with olive tapenade and roasted red pepper sandwich is pretty tasty. For evening, the Plats du Soir menu includes items such as Porcini ravioli and mushroom crepes.

Elizabeth Street Cafe
In the mood for French Vietnamese? Elizabeth Street Cafe has a delicious array of Pho, Bun and Banh Mi vegetarian friendly options. Diners can opt for the vegetable broth Pho with cauliflower, bok choy, white miso and toasted seaweed, or the roasted mushrooms and grilled tofu Bun rice bowl. Feel like an avocado and sprout baguette? They've got that too (it's just called Banh Mi).

Food Heads
This quaint cafe has a separate vegetarian "make your own" sandwich menu. Complete with veggies like fresh elephant garlic, roasted sweet potatoes, and eggplant, vegetarians are sure to find something scrumptious here. Not to mention, they make their freshly baked breads and condiments from scratch.

If you can beat the weekday lunch rush, this is a spot you definitely don't want to miss. Leaf focuses on serving fresh, tasty salads at an environmentally conscious business. Their dressings are made from their original recipes and fresh produce is displayed throughout that gives it a farmer's market feel.

Hillside Farmacy
Known as an eatery and grocery, Hillside Farmacy is cookin' up some amazing sandwiches, breakfast plates and salads. For the day, you can try "The Forager" sandwich with roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, brie, arugula and truffle oil. For dinner, they serve a Mac & Cheese plate to share and even have "The Seasonal Vegan" entree with a selection of East Austin vegetables. Yum!

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