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Seeking best coleslaw


I'm hosting a party with Rudy's BBQ as the main event. However I don't care for their sides. Any opinion on the best ready-made coleslaw in Austin? Preferably a non-mayo type as it's to be an outside party - in March - so maybe mayo would be okay, hard to say.


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  1. stiles switch has a lemon/vinegar slaw. I don't love it, but some do.

    my favorite slaw in town is from threadgill's. it's mayo based though. I get it to go often.

    1. The best vinegar based coleslaw that I have found is the Catfish Parlour.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Carmelapple79

        i am so glad you said this, because it is really good. for those who want a vinaigrette style, it hits the spot.

        1. re: Carmelapple79


          I'm leaning towards Catfish Parlor - still need to get up there and taste. Not to mention they are 1/2 the price of Ruby's.

          They will make any of their sides (they rotate daily) with advanced notice - any other ones to recommend? Vegetarian sides are a bonus.

        2. Actually, my favorite restaurant cole slaw is County Line, but it's mayo-based.

          Stiles Switch - you should go taste it first. Like ieathereforeiam said, it's a love/hate thing.

          If you're willing to do your own, I really like to do a German Potato Salad version of cole slaw. Basically, sub out the potato for the cabbage. It's really quite good and a quick, easy thing to do (just toss the cabbage to crunchy/wilt and it keeps for hours)!

          3 Replies
          1. re: amysuehere

            That sounds good - still on the fence to make or buy. Would you be able to share the recipe?

            1. re: anjgupta


              1/2 - 3/4 head red cabbage, roughly chopped
              1/2 - 3/4 head green cabbage, roughly chopped
              1/2 lb bacon diced
              1 cup onion, thinly sliced or diced
              1 T flour
              1/2 cup cider vinegar
              1/4 cup beef broth
              2 T light brown sugar
              1 bunch green thinly sliced green onions

              cook bacon (when it foams, it's perfect) and remove bacon

              carmelize onions in 1/4 cup of the reserved bacon fat (I actually use less when it's just me, but for most people the pork fat rules)

              stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes

              whisk in vinegar, broth and sugar until thick like cream gravy

              add cabbage and stir until cabbage is just short of wilted as you want it (I like mine pretty crunchy and it continues to wilt a bit after you take it off the heat)

              stir in the bacon and the onions when you're ready to serve.

              Whole process shouldn't take more than 10 or 15 minutes and you can put it in the fridge for a few hours and serve it cold, too.

              1. re: amysuehere

                for future reference, mann's broccoli slaw is also great for making your own at home. has some different flavors and textures than your usual cabbage variety. one of the few pre-packaged vegetables i buy.

          2. Central Market and Whole Foods usually have vinegar based no mayo slaw.

            1. i like RuBy's coleslaw, the creamy one.

              2 Replies
              1. re: TroyTempest

                That's funny, I like Ruby's vinegar coleslaw! It is usually nicely spicy with fresh peppers (jalapeno, I think, but maybe serrano).

                1. re: Ashforth

                  I like most all of ruby's sides. Usually it is our BBQ of choice simply because there are good sides for my vegetarian daughter

              2. Many thanks - will enjoy the tastings around Austin.

                1. Try the vinegar-based coleslaw with Feta at Zoe's Kitchen in the Arboretum.

                  1. J. Mueller's had great slaw if I remember correctly... unique (creamy with maybe chipotle in it?)

                    Not sure if LA BBQ nabbed that recipe in the great swindle and kept it on the menu.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: popvulture

                      Yes, it was chipotle-flavored and mayonnaise-based. Not too sweet. I loved it.

                    2. I like Salt Lick's coleslaw. it's vinegar based with sesame seeds. very straightforward, but i enjoy it more than their BBQ.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: topodrinko

                        Huge fan of the simple and delicious coleslaw at Salt Lick as well!

                      2. The slaw at Foodheads is my favorite. They made me a slaw convert. I haven't found a close second. It has a thin, light sauce that doesn't drown the crunchy strips of fresh cabbage. The peppery kick keeps it interesting. Oh, and plus, you get to eat at Foodheads.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: crothers

                          Yes! I think that is my favorite in town as well. Not sweet. A bit creamy. Peppery. Delicious. And that eggplant & lamb sandwich!

                        2. My favorite coleslaw is from Salt Lick. Pain in the butt to get it but dang it's good. I think you could even find a recipe to duplicate it online if you were feeling really motivated...

                          1. Hi,

                            In the end we got (way too much) mustard potato salad and vinaigrette coleslaw from Ruby's. Almost double the cost - but as it was a special occasion we liked Ruby's best after tasting Green Mesquite and Catfish Parlor. Thanks for the help!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: anjgupta

                              I win!

                              Kidding. But the vinaigrette coleslaw at Ruby's is really good.

                            2. The Noble Pig's Jalapeño Coleslaw was outstanding. Crispy, lightly dressed, sliced thin and the level of spice was perfect! Guessing the ingredients are purple cabbage, carrots, cilantro, jalapeño and possibly Savoy cabbage. If anyone has that recipe, I'd love it!