Being vegan in Texas can be hard sometimes. Cities like Austin are becoming more and more vegan-friendly as time passes, though. If you’re headed to the Texas state capital this summer and you happen to be vegan, I’m sure you’ll be in search of some cruelty-free frozen desserts while you’re here. Austin is one of the best places in Texas to satisfy your ice cream cravings!
Sweet Ritual is a fairly centrally-located vegan ice cream parlour inside of the Juiceland in Hyde Park. They’re open every darned day and have rotating flavors in addition to their absolutely wonderful vanilla soft serve. Toppings include house made strawberry and chocolate sauces, their signature salted caramel sauce, peanut butter shell, sprinkles, and Chick ~o Sticks, a buttery toffee candy that is also made in Texas. The owners meticulously maintain their menu and ensure that they never sell anything made with animal ingredients. Gluten-free, soy-free, and agave-sweetened ice creams are also available. Located at 4500 Duval St.
Thai Fresh, a coffee bar and restaurant, offers up coconut milk based vegan ice creams in many flavors like sweet potato pie, salty tamarind, and dark chocolate. Be sure to try some of their vegan baked goods, too. Located at 909 Mary St. W.
Coolhaus is an unconventional ice cream truck. The premise is pretty straightforward, though. You build a gourmet ice cream sandwich by selecting different types of cookies and ice cream flavors, they assemble, and you devour. Their vegan offerings are always labeled and advertised on their social networks. As I’m writing this, their daily vegan sorbet is strawberry mojito! Currently located at the Midway 1905 S. Capital of TX Hwy. Visit the website for daily location and flavor changes, or at www.twitter.com/coolhausatx.
Lick is a traditional ice cream parlour in terms of its dairy base, but not in its gourmet flavors and ingredients. They produce some coconut milk based ice creams for the lactose intolerant and vegans, and change their menu fairly regularly. In times past I have seen multiple vegan ice creams on the menu. Currently, though, the only vegan flavor listed on their website is for Curried Squash & Coconut. Note, while a number of coconut based ice creams may be on their menu, not all of them will be vegan (they may use eggs). Located at 2032 S. Lamar Blvd.
If you’re more of a home body, you can purchase cartons of locally made and nationally available vegan frozen desserts from a number of Austin retailers. Whole Foods, with four locations in Austin, carries products made by So Delicious, Nada Moo, and Soy Dream. Wheatsville, with two locations, sells some of these products as well, but also keeps in stock cartons of Sweet Ritual’s flavors, Coolhaus sandwiches, and Lick brand ice creams, though the previously mentioned two may not be vegan. Be sure to check your labels. Natural Grocers and Sprouts carries a variety of these items, too.
And if frozen yogurt is more your thing, there are two national chains offering vegan versions in Austin. Tutti Fruitti (www.tfyogurt.com) on Brodie Lane carries soy-based frozen yogurts while TCBY (www.tcby.com) carries a chocolate and a vanilla almond based yogurts made with Silk brand milks.
WIth so many options in Austin you’re sure to have a great summer! Remember, if you try any of these ice creams on for size you should leave your opinion in a HappyCow review. Have some vegan ice cream and stay cool!
Edit: Sweet Ritual announced after the publication of this guide that they are no longer producing their vanilla soft serve. The company stated that the recipe for their hard vanilla is identical for those who may be interested in a replacement.
About the Author: Lizz Clements is an Austin-based vegan food blogger and cookbook author. She shares original recipes, restaurant reviews, cookbook recommendations, and personal stories through her blog at www.lizzdelicious.com.