Mother's Cafe and Garden

Overall rating: 4.0 stars 30 Reviews
Reopened in Oct 2007 after a fire, this place features a vegetarian menu with pasta, lasagna, enchiladas, veggie burgers, soup, salad, sandwiches, fresh juices, and weekend brunch til 3pm. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Mexican, American, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Delivery
4215 Duval St
Austin, Texas 78751
512-451-3994

Mon-Fri 11:30am-10:00pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am-10:00pm

more-less
  • Accepts credit cards
reviews

Reviews

First Review by VeganTex
lai.9292
lai.9292
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+30

Great Vegetarian Food

4 Posted on 08 / 19 / 2014

We stopped in the other night for a late dinner (grateful for veg establishments with later hours) We had the Jamaican stir fry and the BBQ tofu plate, both came out quickly and was a delicious combination. Grateful for the organic wine list, art, and lighting. What a cute atmosphere! It reminded me of Chicago style loftiness. I took off one point for not listing all of the organic sourced dishes, I like my food as pure as possible.

Pros: Variety, Clean, Good Lighting
Cons: Unsure of Which Foods Were Organically Sourced
KaylaRose
KaylaRose
  • vegan
Contributions
+35

Great Bueno Burger

5 Posted on 07 / 14 / 2014

I loved their Bueno Burger! Best burger I have ever eaten. I've only been here once when I was traveling, but I would definitely go back if I was in the area.

Pros: Good food, Good prices, Vegan options
SkipStein
SkipStein
  • vegan
Contributions
+107

One of the best Vegan Resturants anywhere!

5 Posted on 03 / 11 / 2014

On September 6, 2013 we were on our Vegan Road Trip USA and stopped near Austin to visit a friend. We found Mother's Cafe with Happy Cow and were thrilled with the lunch we enjoyed. It was SO good that we returned for dinner the same day. If we had stayed longer, we would have eaten here every meal. Service was excellent, décor is nice with a bubbling fountain. The food/menu variety is amazing and difficult to choose from all the variety.

Pros: Excellent, Great Service, Huge varity of selections
Cons: None!

nelsonba
nelsonba
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+15

Great Birthday Dinner

4 Posted on 08 / 31 / 2013

The food was amazing. My friends, husband, and I tried multiple dishes. We thought the enchiladas and lasagna were delicious. The dessert was superb.

Pros: Excellent Food, Good Value, Friendly Service
JRhodes
JRhodes
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+20

YUMMY!

4 Posted on 09 / 10 / 2012

Being from the Midwest, it was great to walk into any restaurant and not have to ask a lot of questions, like are your beans vegetarian, do you use chicken stock in your sauces, etc....but, even beyond the ease of knowing that everything on the menu was vegetarian, we really enjoyed our brunch at Mother's. We certainly do love adventure in our vegetarian meals but with an eight-year-old child, it's also good when there are just lots of options that are "normal food"....eggs, pancakes, burgers, sandwiches, etc. We enjoyed the chips and salsa and loved the spice level of the TexMex-style dishes. The service and atmosphere were also great. If visiting Austin again, we'll go back to Mothers!

Pros: all vegetarian, family friendly, good food
Creepyvegan
Creepyvegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+32

Okay

3 Posted on 09 / 03 / 2012

Been here twice and the second time was better. I liked breakfast better here when I had it. Staff kinda wonders especially when it is busy and you can be left waiting for more drink. Other than that it is a nice place to go and nom away but if given a choice of where to eat in austin there are better vegan places

Pros: Large portions, Good food
Cons: Staff wanders , Not the best
Guest
Guest

Disappointed

3 Posted on 08 / 28 / 2012

I've been to this restaurant twice in 2011 and decided I wouldn't be returning. The vibe is fun and all, but the food was terrible. I had the artichoke as well as the spinach mushroom enchiladas and it was awful, way too much goop in it and not very tasty.

Pros: hipster fun vibe, a nice sit down place
Cons: didn't like the food, service was a bit slow
Namaste2u
Namaste2u
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+19

Home cooked meals

4 Posted on 06 / 15 / 2012

When my (non-vegetarian) parents come visit me in Austin, we usually go eat at Mothers. The food is good, and their brunch is very good! It's a nice little place to take your non-vegetarian friends, there's nothing really crazy on the menu. I love the Bueno Burger, the veggie Ruben, and the (vegan) pancake of the day during their brunch - always good!

Pros: Friendly staff, Nice atmosphere, Garden room
mv3
mv3
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+20

Favorite Restaurant in Austin

5 Posted on 06 / 05 / 2012

When my family lived in Austin, I used to beg to go to Mother's for every special occasion. We went for my birthday, my graduation from high school, when I was accepted to college, and many other times. We were very sad when the garden room burned down, but it's since been rebuilt and is actually much cleaner-looking than it used to be.

They give you chips and salsa to start which are really yummy -- the salsa is nicely spicy and limey, closer to smooth than chunky so you don't have to eat big hunks of onion or tomato plain. By far, the best thing on the menu is the Bueno Burger. Truly, the best veggie burger I've ever had. The whole wheat bun is sweet and slightly toasted and goes brilliantly with the vinegary dill pickle. Their garden patch salad with cashew tamari or lemon basil (my personal favorite) is also tops -- unusual because of the sunflower sprouts, which are more robust and less bitter than alfalfa sprouts. They also make really good limeade, guacamole, and avocado sandwiches.

I love the koi pond at Mother's, the harpist who occasionally visits, and the great food...I miss being able to eat dinner at Mother's and then to get dessert at Quack's across the street!
Updated from previous review on Monday June 04, 2012

Pros: Bueno Burger is the best veggie burger, Friendly Staff, Reasonable prices
Cons: Desserts not amazing , Bad tofu enchiladas (soggy), Very sage-y beans in Peasant Meal
sirhin
sirhin
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+80

A Great Go-To Place

4 Posted on 05 / 21 / 2012

I've been here a handful of times, as I used to live in the neighborhood. It was a great way to go out and be able to order anything off the menu (I'm not vegan). Of the items I've had there, they all never failed me, but it seemed like I could have made them at home if I felt inclined to - so nothing out of this world. It was just convenient and the choices were classics.

The place is usually crowded, the atmosphere nice, and the waitstaff friendly and helpful, so I would still go, but it's not my first choice to take vegetarians who have had the 'usual fare'. I guess it's a good thing most of the people I know aren't.

As it is, because my only true 'complaint' - if it could even be called one - is that they could change their menu a smidge, I still give them 4 Cow Heads. :)

Pros: good atmosphere, delicious & convenient, good service
Cons: food variety can be expanded
andreacarioca
andreacarioca
  • vegan
Contributions
+37

Great option for all!

4 Posted on 03 / 05 / 2012

I took 2 coworkers and a client to have dinner there, and all of us were very satisfied with our dishes. I definitely recommend the Southwestern Stuffed Pepper (main dish) and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie (dessert). The location is easy to get, the place is fun and super clean, and the service was excellent!

Pros: atmosphere, tasty food
Cons: too much cheese
Risa and Aaron
Risa and Aaron
  • vegan
Contributions
+26

maybe worth a trip

3 Posted on 01 / 08 / 2012

As a lifelong veggie Austinite, I have been to Mother's Cafe countless times. It was one of the first options available to the community and was always like a home. That said, I think it has slipped behind. I'm not sure if the quality here has fallen or if our options in Austin have just gotten so much better - honestly, it is probably a little of both. I still eat here sometimes but I'm not excited about it.

Pros: It is a quality business (from what I can tell) all of their water (from drinking water to veggie rinsing water) is filtered. They use (or at least they did... I can't find anything offhand to back this up) a fair amount of organic and locally sourced ingredients. They now use Daiya Vegan Cheese - which is delish! The cashew tamari dressing is a classic (and for good reason) but you can also buy this in bottles at the grocery store to use on your own salad at home.

Cons: I can honestly say that I have eaten every vegan dish on their menu at least once. While many of them satisfied me, none of them wowed me. I don't know that their menu has ever changed or even expanded; at least not in recent years. It is always a struggle to decide what to order, but only because nothing is really what I want to eat. I think my biggest problem is that I could make anything from their menu at home (easily and with more taste).

Good for:
*people passing through that want something 'home cooked' but don't have a home nearby.
*weekend brunch - mimosas and coffee and vegan breakfast options.
*days when they serve the tomato artichoke bisque.
*free chips and salsa
*a pretty nice atmosphere to sit and catch up with friends or family over food.
*the man that periodically (maybe around 6pm?) sets up and plays the harp. He is great and I always seem to be leaving when he is arriving.

Pros: vegan food, atmosphere, local
Cons: meh
earthville
earthville
  • vegan
Contributions
+754

Mama's got a mixed bag

3 Posted on 01 / 26 / 2011

In our humble opinion, Mother's Café and Garden is a bit of a half-baked cake: there's something to love about it, and something left to be desired. We can understand why some reviewers love it, some are unimpressed, and some of the regulars say, 'you have to know what to order.'

The atmosphere is lovely and, despite two large rooms, the place is often packed. The staff were very friendly, though we got the impression the communication between them may not always be clear: we ordered a vegan Rueben (without cheese) but we got the cheesy version instead. They of course replaced it, but we can't help but feel that a veg place really should be more conscientious about vegan orders and take greater care not to make such mistakes in the first place. When we finally got the vegan rueben, it was just so-so, but their 'bueno burger' with guacamole was fantastico. The pina colada smoothie was a treat, too.

Unless we had a big group in tow, we'd have to recommend nearby Counter Culture instead.

Pros: Bueno Burger with guac
Cons: Could be more vegan-friendly, Inconsistent quality, Can be hard to park or get a table
mathimp
mathimp
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+49

Everything is good but the food.

2 Posted on 12 / 27 / 2010

Sad to say this place is not very good. It has everything going for it, menu, atmosphere, service... but you can't have a good restaurant if the food doesn't taste good. The funny thing is, I keep going back, thinking maybe I just had a bad experience, and I've tried dozens of items on the menu. But I've yet to be pleased with the taste. I think I've given Mother's its last chance.

Pros: menu
Cons: food, taste, flavor
Sonja and Dirk
Sonja and Dirk
  • vegan
Contributions
+3094

veggie restaurant with variety

4 Posted on 09 / 18 / 2010

After going tubing on the river with friends (and cleaning up!), we were ravenous to eat and two other members of the group were veggie, so they suggested Mothers. The restaurant has a nice atmosphere and chips & salsa are complimentary. The menu is about half vegan/half veggie with some of them veganizable. We all ordered very different entrees as the menu was so diverse. I got the spicy tempeh enchiladas with a scoop of guacamole and it was tasty! Dirk got the tofu lasagna which was also excellent. One friend got the Jamaican stir fry, another got the BBQ tofu sandwich and the last one got a bueno burger as that's her favorite. They all got additional side salads or soups as well. Everyone enjoyed their meals, but be forewarned that the BBQ tofu is just coated in it, not really marinated in it. My friend was fine with it, but some others may not be. Dirk had to have the chocolate cake per the waitress' recommendation and it was truly awesome. While it would be great if the place was all vegan, the food we did have was really good and we would definitely return.

Pros: tasty diverse food, nice atmosphere
Cons: not all vegan
tanyaviola
tanyaviola
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+69

Amazing food and ambience!

5 Posted on 08 / 15 / 2010

Went there for the first time while visiting Austin. We had the vegan Tomato Artichoke soup which was so good! We ordered the Vegetables Rancheros and the Spicy Tempeh Enchiladas, both vegan(or veganized). They were both delicious, but it was a ton of food for the two of us and we had to bring some back to our hotel. I ordered the Belgian Chocolate Cake (vegan) for dessert, to go...and it was absolutely amazing! I'll definitely go back. This place is awesome.

Pros: great ambience, delicious vegan food, friendly staff
lpeterson
lpeterson
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+20

If you know what to order....It's the Best!

5 Posted on 05 / 03 / 2010

I love the House Salad with Cashew Tamari any day of the week. If you want something a little "heavy" order the Reuben but ask for it "With Wheat Roast". I recommend going halves with someone and getting the side salad too. The Bueno Burger is amazing. But if your looking for something hearty and healthy pick the Peasants Meal (beans+rice and a side salad) it is simple but delicious. To top it all off....get a piece of chocolate cake with strawberries, you will thank me later.

Pros: Food, Service, Location
christopher byron
christopher byron
  • vegan
Contributions
+87

bland and ok

2 Posted on 01 / 19 / 2010

the food is overpriced, the portions are small and to honest the food is just ok. Everything tastes very bland. I had the bbq tofu dish... which was just 3 slices of tofu with marinara sauce on top of it. I wouldnt recommed going here if youre in tow

Pros: ...its a veg restaurant, friendly staff
Cons: pricey, long wait, food not tastey
oompaprincess
oompaprincess
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+27

Ok

2 Posted on 03 / 07 / 2009

Not my favorite, my friends food was 'good', they got some sort of roast but mine was pretty much inedible. If you go I'd stray away from the mexican food.

Pros: cute location, large menu
Cons: bad chips, dry enchiladas
AliVegan
AliVegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+58

ehh it's alright

2 Posted on 12 / 16 / 2008

I live in Dallas, but travel to Austin frequently. I've never been impressed by Mother's. The last meal I had (BBQ) was dried out like it had been sitting under a heat lamp for hours. Or maybe days.

Pros: variety & selection, desserts
Cons: poor quality food
Veghead74
Veghead74
  • vegan
Contributions
+58

Tasty with peaceful atmosphere!

4 Posted on 11 / 12 / 2008

I have loved everything I have tried here from the house veggie burger to the tofu bbq to the lasagna to the enchiladas. This was a relaxing break during our travels and made us happy. The vegan desserts were just icing on the cake. I also enjoyed the flower boxes in the outdoor dining area.

Pros: Atmosphere, Tasty, Friendly
Cons: not 100% vegan
kbdragon
kbdragon
  • vegan
Contributions
+43

Great food

5 Posted on 08 / 26 / 2008

This place is great. Around half the menu is vegan and another fourth of it can easily be made vegan. The spinach mushroom enchiladas with veganrella are to die for! And the desserts are pretty good too. Plus you get yummy chips and salsa before the meal. Friendly staff also.

Pros: Great enchiladas, Friendly staff, Very vegan friendly
Cons: I live too far away
ellyn.arsenault
ellyn.arsenault
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+24

Awesome enchaladas!

4 Posted on 07 / 15 / 2008

I had the Tempeh enchaladas they were perfectly spicy and totally filling.And the vegan tortilla soup was SOOOO good. The best part was the Vegan Chocolate cake it was to die for!

Pros: Good Service, good food
  • Jeffrey Jeffrey

    Hi Ellyn, I liked your review of this restaurant. It's funny how some people think their food is awesome and others think it is the worst! I'll try it for myself and find out.

    more-less
rockervegan
rockervegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+19

A Few Gems

3 Posted on 04 / 11 / 2008

Mother's has been an Austin staple for years. But unfortunately I don't think the menu has changed in 30 years. Lots of tofu, beans and massive amounts of cheese on everything. They do offer vegan options but they feel like a bit of an after thought and not the focus of very many entrees.
The cashew-tamari salad dressing is wonderful though if you get a salad be sure to try it!

But their biggest saving grace are the vegan pancakes on the weekend. They are amazing - and they have vegan margarine and tasty syrup on the side. Tofu scramble is pretty decent too.

Pros: Salad dressing, Vegan breakfast options, Friendly staff
Cons: Too much cheese, Terrible desserts, Bland menu
meganmydear
meganmydear
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

it is ok...

3 Posted on 04 / 09 / 2008

besides the chocolate cake and beuno burger w/ guac I find mother's to be nothing more than mediorcre. It doesn't help that they serve guiness which is not a vegetarian beer.


SynthVegan
SynthVegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+2506

Two words: BREAKFAST TACOS!

5 Posted on 03 / 22 / 2008

Two words: BREAKFAST TACOS! I don't know what Austin is doing to me, it's making me eat breakfast...they're so good at it here :)! The breakfast tacos were sooo good, they were in a soft shell with vegan meat, potatoes and tofu! My friend had the Vegan Banana Walnut pancakes...AMAZING and like eating cake [that was in my friends own words]. Overall the decor was very open and clean, very nice appearance. The brunch here is definitely a must!


Guest
Guest

Great Austin Spot for Veggie Eats

5 Posted on 03 / 12 / 2008

Tucked away in a cool, quiet Austin neighborhood, Mother's has some tasty options, is all veg, and vegan friendly. There are a lot of good Southwestern-style options on the menu. The guacamole is a great start to a meal here- it's excellent. I tried the veganized Vegetables Ranchero, and it was delicious, especially the sage mashed potatoes. My non-veg dining companion also enjoyed the food very much. This place has a nice, relaxing atmosphere. Great service. Give it a try if you are in Austin.

Pros: great food, cool atmosphere, clean
Guest
Guest

One of my favorites!

5 Posted on 12 / 30 / 2007

In addition to having an amazing brunch (with vegan pancakes - pretty much the only ones in Austin!), Mother's has a decent selection of other awesome food. A large portion of the menu can be prepared vegan (if it isn't already so), with the substitution of tofu, VeganRella cheese, etc. For brunch, the pancakes and breakfast tacos with scrambled tofu are winners, and I love the BBQ Tofu (either as a plate or on a sandwich) for the sheer southern comfort food feel. They also have a large selection of fruit smoothies (I like the Energizer) and desert (oh my gosh, try the Belgian Chocolate Cake!)

Pros: Vegan Pancakes!, Huge selection of vegan items
Cons: No vegan ice cream for deserts
gr8vegan
gr8vegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+1633

Weekend Brunch get there before the end!

2 Posted on 12 / 05 / 2007

The banana walnut pancakes are good, but get there before they run out of bananas and walnuts... That and a side of vegan potatoes is about all you can get if you're vegan.


Cons: needs more vegan brunch items
  • apryl_knight apryl_knight

    *So* not true - every brunch item which includes eggs on the menu can be made with tofu instead. I get their pancakes for brunch, but I also love their breakfast tacos made with scrambled tofu. Also, every menu item with cheese can have VeganRella substituted. The only things on the brunch menu that can't be prepared vegan are the cheese omlette and the French toast. Check it out - http://www.motherscafeaustin.com/5034797_38253.htm

    more-less
VeganTex
VeganTex
  • vegan
Contributions
+156

Mother's Cafe and Garden

5 Posted on 11 / 19 / 2007

Great restaurant, fantastic menu! Vegan options available. Definitely check this place out if you are in Austin or driving past on I-35.
-VeganTex



 

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Last updated: 2013/03/15

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

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