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Feb 24, 2012 05:38 PM

Austin restaurants that use natural ingredients

Any suggestions besides Chipotle and Whole Foods? My son cannot eat artificial ingredients. Last time, i researched Kirby Lane but even though many of their items are organic they do use artificial ingredients. We are going to try Stubbs since their marinades and BBQ sauce are all natural and we use them at home. Thanks!

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  1. Can you define "artificial ingredients" please?
    By that I mean the term all natural means nothing so I need a clearer definition.

    1. There are a bunch of places I'd recommend.... East Side Cafe is probably mostly if not all natural. I know they emphasize fresh and local so my guess is they shy away from artificial anything, but you could call and check.
      Conscious Cravings is probably almost all natural... its a vegetarian trailer They have a location by campus on weekdays and their stuff tastes like it doesn't have anything artificial in it.

      Noble Pig makes alot of their food from scratch.

      I know there are a bunch of places at the Farmer's markets that are natural... at the downtown market (on Saturdays) Dai Due serves food that I'm pretty certain lacks artificial ingredients... they even make their own hot sauces and other condiments from scratch... Cake and Spoon at the market makes alot of pastries, tarts, cakes, etc. All their stuff tastes natural (and amazing) and you can talk directly with the people who make it if you have questions...

      I know the Cuban trailer Miguel's The Cubano makes their bread from scratch and I'm pretty certain everything else is fresh too. The guys are super nice and I love their sandwiches.

      Lick Ice cream makes everything fresh and don't think they use anything artificial.
      Counter Cafe tends to be very local and so is 24 Diner. 24 makes the best veggie burger in town (IMHO) and its is from scratch... however, if you don't like beets, I'd skip it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: shan

        He cannot have the following:
        Synthetic food dyes (such as FD&C Yellow No. 5, Red 40, etc.)
        Artificial flavorings (including vanillin)
        Synthetic sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, cyclamates)
        Three preservatives: BHA, BHT, TBHQ, whether in the food or a component of the food, such as cooking oil.

        Thanks for those suggestions! I forgot about East Side Cafe!

        1. re: cchavez

          I also thought of Wild Woods Cafe... they are in the process of moving locations but they specialize in Gluten free and trend towards all natural ingredients.
          Daily Juice also has alot of natural items and I'd suggest Sweet Ritual which is a vegan ice cream place.
          There's also Mr. Natural and I think P.Terry's uses alot of natural ingredients in their burgers and may hit your requirements

          1. re: shan

            Monument Cafe is all natural and as local as you can get. Snackbar too I think.

      2. As long as you avoid fast-food chains and their sit-down equivalents, it seems like a pretty low barrier to entry, assuming you're able to speak to a well-informed member of the staff. And even with places like Kirby (which you should avoid for other reasons), it seems that it would be relatively easy to safely navigate the menu... eggs, salads, simple pastas, juices, etc. Within my regular small rotation of spots (including places like Ruby's, Franklin's, Lambert's, Counter Cafe, 24, La Canaria, Barley Swine, Takoba, Uchiko, etc.), it seems like it'd be pretty easy to order a safe meal. And in the case of Ruby's, Franklin, Lambert's, you could spare your son the bbq atrocity that is Stubbs. (BTW, I'm a pretty fanatical label reader and could swear that certain Stubbs products contained caramel coloring and various gums, at least as of a few yrs ago.)

        I know that Ruby's and Franklin use steroid and hormone-free brisket as well. You might want to avoid the packaged white bread, though... who knows what's in that stuff. But if he can eat packaged white bread, that opens up more options... 5 Guys, etc.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steven Dilley

          I ditto this. Well put. Also for more exotic taste at an OK price try Garaj Majal (sp?), get the lamb.

        2. It's a bummer that Somnio's closed, because that would've been a perfect place to check out. Also, I'm not sure how old your son is (some kids are picky eaters, but then again so are plenty of adults!), but Casa de Luz is an extremely healthy, tasty place to check out if something a bit more out there compared to Kirby or Stubbs.

          If you've never been, it's a vegan/macrobiotic place that is pretty fanatical over gluten free/all natural/all fresh, etc. I'm a guy who loves artery-clogging pork and pretty much anything cooked in animal fat, but I also love going to Casa. I always leave feeing really good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: popvulture

            Thanks so much for the awesome feedback! I think we are going to have brunch at either Eastside Cafe or 24 Diner. He loves French Toast. I would rather eat at Franklins but we don't have hours to wait with two young kids and since he devours Stubbs BBQ, we decided he would be happy there.....Their meat does contain hormones/antibiotics but to research Ruby's.

            1. re: cchavez

              Our favorite BBQ at the moment in Austin is Stiles Switch. If you are looking for something in the Stubbs area, there's also Ironworks... its not my favorite place, but the BBQ is pretty solid. I don't know much about how they prepare the food.
              I haven't had the French Toast at Eastside but I seem to remember liking it at 24. My husband is partial to the French Toast at Bacon which may also work for you but I'm not sure.