We’re lucky to live in a city where local restaurants think beyond the bounds of flavorless bowls of iceberg lettuce and mindless plates of steamed veggies as the only way to enjoy a healthy meal.

Many of us are looking for healthy fare to curb the hunger monster in our belly, but we crave more sustanance than a bowl of leaves and greens.  We need hearty servings of house-made, mindfully sourced dishes that are delicious, health-conscious and packed with enough wholesome ingredients to give us a food coma we won’t regret the next day.

We’ve selected 7 of our favorite hearty and healthy restaurants in Austin to prove that eating light doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat like a light-weight.


Citizen Eatery

This adorable spot in Rosedale maintains a strong focus on a farm-to-table menu that boasts vegetarian, organic, gluten free and paleo fare with the bar offering organic coffee and tea infustions, craft beer, healthy spirits and organic wines.  Inside you’ll find a modern, bright and welcoming atmosphere with white and wood finish trim.  Meat eaters will actually be pleasantly surprised, as the veggie burger is a fantastic spin on an otherwise heavy item.  5011 Burnet Rd.  


Picnik Harvest Hash And Picnik Cobb


All menu items at Picnik are always gluten-free, corn-free, peanut-free and soy-free and includes a selection of “Anytime Plates” with dishes such as a breakfast risotto, a produce-heavy harvest hash, and a Quiche Lorraine.  Build your own tacos from a choice of meats, vegetables, and sauces or order from their selection of shareable plates and pastries from a rotation of gluten-free, grain-free pastries as well as their butter blondie, which has traditionally been a customer favorite at the trailer location.  4801 Burnet Rd. and 1700 S Lamar Blvd.


bowls and salad - flower child

Flower Child

With a variety of organic, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan chef-driven items available for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, Flower Child’s menu is thoughtfully designed to support a healthy and balanced life.  The space is reminiscent of a modern bohemian abode that’s fully equipped with seasonal iced tea and lemonade station, Kombucha, local beer and organic wine on tap, and a buzzy open kitchen exuding energy through the space where guests can watch as chefs swiftly prepare orders to-go or for the table.  11721 Rock Rose #160 and 500 W 2nd St Suite 160


Related imageSnap Kitchen

If you’re looking for quick, convenient and healthy to cover you during the work week, Snap Kitchen offers pre-packaged vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and sodium conscious meals that are also gluten-free.  There is no one-size-fits-all diet; everyone has to discover the food that fits them best and Snap will make things easy wheather you need a quick bite or a long-term meal plan that fits your routine. Photo by Snap Kitchen.  9 Locations in Austin.


Blue Dahlia

Blue Dahlia

Blue Dahlia has become one of Austin’s favorite east side spots, with a focus on simple, healthy and flavorful dishes boasting a menu of local and organic ingredients.  The atmosphere uses a mix of communal tables to share a friendly meal with your neighbors, and small, cozy tables along with an adorable outdoor patio with a soothing water fall that provides a proper mix of therapy and charm in a cozy ambience.  Two locations in Austin.


MezzeMe Bowls

MezzeMe Medierranean Kitchen

Mezze Me is a fast-casual global eatery focusing on organic, locally sourced ingredients and authentic Mediterranean cuisine with a contemporary approach.  The menu includes Old World recipes updated with high-quality, seasonal ingredients prepared-fresh-daily specialties, providing the Austin community with a healthy alternative to the usual fast-casual offerings.  Diners have the option to relax with friends or co-workers in the charming, homey atmosphere, a chic version of Grandma’s kitchen that’s adorned with reclaimed décor elements and artwork from local crafters.  4700 W Guadalupe St #9


Chicken skin tacos - Cultivo

Cafe Cultivo

This adorable little cafe focuses on locally sourced and seasonal influences boasting a charm all its own in East Austin.  The small but eclectic rotating seasonal menu highlights Austin favorites like salads, empanadas and quiches served alongside specialty items like crispy chicken skin tacos and “green” eggs and ham fried rice along with house made baked goods.  Guests may enjoy drinks outside in the garden of local beer, wine, cider and brunch favorites like fresh citrus juices, Micheladas and Mimosas.  2512 E 12th St.


About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher

Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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