Mother’s Cafe and Garden – Austin, TX

Vegetarian dinner at Mother’s Cafe and Garden in Austin, TX

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a press junket, which is essentially back-to-back interviews. Some people find it boring answering the same questions over and over.  But I think they’re fun, especially when there’s really amazing food to fuel you!  Michael (one of our Surrogate Valentine producers) shares his Austin BBQ between interviews.  I gnaw on a rib while walking through the crowded hotel between rooms. And I can only imagine what that looks like to the other conference members.  Since my carnivore craving is now calm, I satisfy my inner hippie with dinner at Mother’s Cafe and Garden.


Mother’s is a vegetarian restaurant that’s been around since 1980. After a fire in 2007, they renovate it, and now the space is clean and cozy. It’s also in a cute neighborhood, far away from the craziness of SXSW.


Service is super quick! Immediately, complimentary chips and salsa are set in front of us.  Pretty much the second we sit down.


Because I’m still full of meat, I order the soup and salad combo. First, the greens arrive.  They come with spinach, carrot, mushrooms, tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, purple cabbage, cucumbers, red onion (which I didn’t eat) black olives, marinated artichoke hearts, and sliced almonds.


The Cashew Tamari is one of the best dressings, ever.  They actually sell them, in bottles, at local grocery stores like Whole Foods.  Although I had been picturing a creamy one, I love the texture of the chopped nuts. So forget the salsa.  This is now my chip dip.



Next comes the soup, which is a vegan lentil with spinach. And it comes with a hunk of tasty Honfleur bread.


Here I am, the Happy Omnivore!


For a city known for its BBQ, Austin actually really does vegan food well. I try a bite of Abe’s Bueno Burger (a seed, grain, and tofu-based patty).  It also comes with Daiya cheese.  And I’m happy to report, it is a top notch veggie burger.


We are both full, but I really want to try one of their many vegan desserts. One selection stands out, and that is Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie!  Plus, it comes with fresh strawberries.



Seems like they use natural peanut butter, which actually gives the pie a lovely, sweet and savory taste. Reminds me of something homemade, and made with lots of love.  Also, that crust!


Finally, in the end, Abe lets me have most of the dessert.  And I happily lick that plate clean and do a happy dance. If we ever live in Austin, this will be our favorite place.  Because seriously, the price of this check is reason enough to move here.


I’m in awe of this receipt.  Without a doubt, that is equivalent to the cost of a salad and drink at Cafe Gratitude!  Plus, we also had a killer dessert!  But honestly,  I actually don’t think Cafe Gratitude’s food is even half as good as the food at Mother’s.


18 thoughts on “Mother’s Cafe and Garden – Austin, TX

  1. Cindy

    I was a vegetarian during the years I lived in Austin. It was vegetarian friendly back then…and I’ve not lived there in 15 years. Mother’s Cafe was a regular stop. Even post fire it looks much as I remember it. Glad you are enjoying your trip and that your film is doing well.

  2. Ashley

    Excuse me , I want to know what time can I watch “Surrogate Valentine ” in Taiwan ? Or can I watch the movie in Taiwan ?
    Thank you!

  3. emily (a nutritionist eats)

    That is super cheap! Wow! Haven’t made it to Cafe Gratitude yet, maybe today? Or Unami Burger – vegan or burgers – can’t decide!

  4. katecooks

    what a good deal! sometimes i forget that a meal doesn’t have to cost $25 per person 🙂

    strawberries seem like a strange fruit to pair with PB pie though! now chocolate fudge sauce would have been a good match…excessive, but YUM.

  5. Olivia

    that restaurant sounds amazing! I loved reading your description of the night and you really can’t beat that pricetag! 21 bucks for a date night?! yes please!! (and that even included dessert!)

  6. lowandbhold

    When I was a vegetarian (living in Oklahoma) people always told me I needed to move to Austin because of all the great food options. Looks great!

  7. Chelsea

    I was in Austin for SXSW Interactive when I was preggers with Lu. I ate at a lot of the same places 🙂

    Now that we live in Boise, our checks look like that a lot. Our favorite place here, costs us $35 and that’s with a BIG beer for Shaun, entrees for the both of us, and food for Lu-including carrot sticks with ranch as an appetizer, ice cream for dessert, and a kid sized milk. This meal would cost twice that in the Bay Area-Love it! It’s easy to get used to though!

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