Despite living in a city that prides itself on diverse menu options, it can be hard to dine with some of my vegan/vegetarian friends that choose to live the animal-free lifestyle. I’ve been living in Austin long enough to realize that everyone isn’t a carnivore like me, but I’m certainly happy that the city’s dining scene has become increasingly friendly enough to accommodate my vegetable eating friends. Nearly every restaurant in the city offers a multitude of menu items that prepare extraordinary creations using only things that grew from the earth. Citizen Eatery is one of the few restaurants that has crossed the reservation to create an innovative, fully meatless menu that will make even die hard carnivores like me put down my steak knife for a a meal or two.
Citizen Eatery is a Vegetarian/Vegan restaurant in Central Austin that focuses on using farm to table ingredients to develop a creative menu that’s based on familiar cooking and flavors with a striking and pleasing balance that’s unpretentious but accessible for just about anyone. It also doesn’t hurt that the space is visually and aesthetically appealing, with a minimalist vibe, featuring wood fished accents, and beautiful local art on the walls.
Favorite Dish – The Nest
The inventive and flavorful menu should easily win over the hearts and minds of vegans and possibly carnivores alike, especially with dishes like The Nest; which features two poached eggs over fried veggie noodles, over wilted kale. Don’t scoff at the fried part, they use olive oil and coconut oil served on a bed of super fresh wilted kale. I usually never talk about a particular dish that will “change your life”, but this one will at least make you question your religious devotion to meat. If you’re already a vegetarian, this will most likely become your new favorite dish.
Runner-Up – Bitters Salad
I’m the type of guy that will try nearly anything on a well crafted menu, but I also find it a little cliche to order a salad when you visit a vegetarian restaurant. When Co-owner Aimee Walden Moyer passionately made her case for the Bitter Salad, I was a little hesitant but I told her to bring it on. Fortunately I was not disappointed. The colorful salad is beautifully loaded with rocket (arugula), endive, radicchio, chick peas, olives, citrus vinaigrette and cute little edible flowers. It’s vibrant, colorful, and probably the most Instagramable dish on the menu. It’s also insanely delicious and super nutritious, so it will basically fill your veggie quota (my veggie quota) for the day.
For Burger Lovers – Smoked Green Chili Burger
Locavores may blink twice but If you’re a meat-eater and you’re in the mood for a great burger, Citizen Eatery’s Smoked Green Chili Burger is a must have. It may not be a carnivore’s first or 12th choice in Austin’s bevy of burger selections, but if you’re a vegetarian it has serious potential of becoming your favorite burger on the planet. It features a burger patty made with white beans, hatch green chilies, mushrooms, and Citizen grain mix topped with a toasted gluten-free bun. As a life-long meat lover it would be highly unfair for me to compare it to any other burger in town, but I feel comfortable enough to call it the best vegetarian burger I’ve ever enjoyed.
Citizen Eatery the type of place where you’ll feel virtuous in your dining, and your body will thank you for it when you’re done.
5011 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756