Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
Jul 17, 2006 12:25 AM

LA Hounder coming Austin

Hi All, I'm coming to Austin in August for a wedding and want to hit the best place in town - we are Vegetarians and work in restaurants in LA so we want fine dining with amazing service and Austin vibe - any recs? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's been a while since I've lived in in Austin, so my memory is rusty and maybe the info I'm giving is outdated, but I'd try Magnolia Cafe. Definitely an Austin experience. They have some vegetarian plates. And good breakfasts.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bananalime

      Oops. Sorry, missed the fine dining requirement there. What I mean is that it's Austin in vibe.

    2. simonepier,

      Magnolia Cafe is definitely not fine dining, so you ought to skip it.

      I feel I should warn you that "fine dining" is perhaps the least interesting restaurant category in Austin. And you won't find a specifically vegetarian place that does it.

      I'd suggest, however, that you try Vespaio. Their menu is very innovative, their execution consistent, and the flavors intense. You'll find vegetarian offerings amongst the pastas, pizzas, antipasti, and appetizers. My favorite dishes are the risotto, the supplì, the fish specials, and the pizzas (not all of which are vegetarian, I know). I've never had a really good dessert at Vespaio, however, and some of their pasta dishes and antipasti are problematic. You can do a search for "Vespaio" on this board to see what other 'hounds like there.

      I would also suggest Uchi, but there's no need to try Austin's version of fusion-sushi when you (1) are vegetarian and (2) have access to better versions of same in L.A. Ditto for Wink, which is the only restaurant in town doing ingredient-driven cooking inspired by Alice Waters. Simple food like this has to be perfectly prepared, however, and their kitchen has execution problems. You can do a search for each of these restaurants to see more opinions of them.

      I hope this helps.


      1. I didn't want to be the first to say it, but now I'll pipe up and agree with MPH. Magnolia Cafe is definitely NOT what you're looking for. I'm an omnivore and a seeker of low-priced deliciousness, so I don't feel qualified to make recommendations for vegetarians looking for fine dining, but I certainly do feel qualified to recommend against Magnolia Cafe. It is low mediocre, at best.


        1. zoot i think would be a good destination for vegetarians wanting fine-dining. they have a vegetarian as well as a chefs tasting menu. does wink have the same? or is their tasting menu just the chefs?

          1. I'm going to suggest you try Castle Hill Cafe. It's got an Austin vibe, excellent service, a great wine list and vegetarian entree choices. I'll also second the recommendation of Zoot.