Mother's Cafe and Garden

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 38 reviews )
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512-451-3994
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4215 Duval St, Austin, Texas, USA, 78751

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

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Beer/Wine, Delivery, Take-out, Mexican

Reviews (38)

First Review by VeganTex

TEX MEX FOR THE WIN - Edit

Think Tex Mex, drive to Mother’s Cafe then order:
Spicy tempeh enchiladas...very smokey..I'd say this is THE dish to order.
Artichoke enchilada...almost like a veggie pizza flavor due to the mushrooms and tomato sauce..very nice...better with cheese (you can request vegan cheese). Enchiladas and Tex Mex is really the thing here.
Garden salad..big! Loved it.
Lemon vinaigrette is tasty and the cashew tamari is a very popular dressing
Sage mashed potatoes simple flavorful and if you like herbs don't miss it—I had them next to my enchilada!
Vegan desserts including fruit pies and a highly popular vegan chocolate cake—it’s awesome.
They have some Sweet Ritual vegan ice cream too which is always a MUST. (SR has a dedicated place you can also go to with more vegan ice cream flavors)
This place has been around since the 80s. They can answer ALL of your vegan questions. Ask for Tess the waitress..she was so cool and super helpful with the order and explaining the dishes. Enjoy!

Pros: TEX MEX, ENCHILADAS


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1st restaurant i tried in Austin! - Edit

May i start out by saying I LOVE AUSTIN! I walked half a mile to try this restaurant right after landing from my flight. I have nothing but good things to say. The salsa was spicy just how I like it. Chips fresh. I tried the energizer smoothie & it was delicious. My entree was spinach & mushroom enchiladas, made vegan with Daiya cheese by request. Exquisite.
Too full for desert, but the menu had 6 different vegan options.

Pros: Price, Vegan options , Quality of food

Cons: Literally NONE


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B- food, C- service - Edit

The restaurant is very clean and nicely decorated. We were greeted and seated immediately by the hostess. Our server brought us the menu and after sitting there a while and watching him walk by our table about 10 times without looking our way, I decided to get his attention. He repeatedly appologize and said he forgot he was our server. The restaurant was nearly empty and he was the only server so I'm not sure how he forgot.
Once we ordered, the food did not take long and it looked great! My sister and I ordered 2 types of enchiladas and they both had a sweet taste to them. We couldn't figure out what it was.
My other sister had a burger which she enjoyed.
We finished our meal and I guess our waiter forgot he was our server again because we waited and waited until another young lady appeared and asked if she could get us our check.

Pros: clearly labeled menu. most items can be made vegan

Cons: our waiter seem to not want to wait on us.


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Visiting Austin - Edit

Road trips are often difficult for my husband and I concerning meals, but we love driving through Austin because of the variety of vegan/vegetarian restaurants that are available.

Our first time trying Mother's: I would give it a 5.5 out of 10 overall. The Hibiscus-mint ice tea was good and the chips and salsa were nothing special. I ordered the Southwestern Stuffed Pepper and it was tasty, though I wish it had been fried like a chile relleno. The sides were yummy too: sauteed squash and black beans.

My husband ordered the Portebello Sandwich which was disappointing. The individual ingredients were fresh, but the sandwich over all was kind of flavorless. I would have made the sandwich more like a portobello burger by toasting the bun, adding vegannaise/mayonnaise, and giving it more spice or flavor.

The Belgian Chocolate Cake was good, very dense and chocolate-ly. But most of all I loved their coffee!

The ambiance and waitstaff are really lovely and I would definitely go again so I can try more from their menu.

Pros: Great ambience, Great quality, Menu variety

Cons: Lacking flavor, Averagely clean restrooms


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Our Favorite in Austin - Edit

My husband and I frequented this restaurant very often when we lived near Austin, and every time we go back to visit it is a MUST. We adore this restaurant. First off, they give you complimentary nachos and salsa every time, even if you go for breakfast. And they are delicious. You know the food is handmade and prepared right there, because the salsa always tastes a little bit different. Always yummy, but the spice level changes. The rest of their food is equally delicious. My favorite is the Bueno Burger, and I almost always get that. I also really enjoy the tofu and spinach lasagna. My omni husband mixes it up, but often gets the burrito or the mushroom pasta dish. Their desserts are also delish, and we've tried the chocolate Belgian cake (my husband's favorite) the almond tart, and the apple pie. They are pretty sweet, but they're yummy. If you go for breakfast, try the pancakes. They are HUGE and I can never finish them, but they are so awesome. I always get the strawberries on top! Seriously, this is by far the best vegan restaurant in Austin, and you should really go here if you are ever around. The price is great, the portions are awesome, and the staff is super nice too!

Pros: Complimentary nachos and salsa , Delicious food, Very affordable


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Nice big restaurant w/ lots of great vegan options - Edit

We started with a tropical sunset juice, which was tasty and refreshing.

I got the artichoke enchiladas, which was a really unique and creative dish, was great with the vegan cheese on top.

My partner ordered the savoury baked tofu, which was nice.

For dessert we shared the blueberry pie, the pastry was really amazing and they served it with vegan ice-cream, which isn't listed on the menu yet. On the menu it just says the ice-cream isn't vegan - it doesn't mention a vegan option for ice-cream.

Good service, nice big spacious restaurant - would be an ideal place to go if you had a big group.

Pros: Great blueberry pie, Serve brunch on weekends

Cons: Not all vegan, No vegan sour cream


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Nice, relaxed eatery - Edit

This is a nice place--the food was fine, some vegan choices, not fancy but certainly pleasant.

Pros: Pretty good food., Relaxed atmosphere

Cons: Not ardently health oriented


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delicious!! - Edit

When in Texas, eat Tex-Mex. So I wasn't interested in trying their non-Texan dishes. I got the huevos manchuras and it was the bomb. Super tasty and flavorful! My friend got the spicy tempeh enchiladas and that was excellent as well!

Pros:


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Great Vegetarian Food - Edit

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


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Great Bueno Burger - Edit

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


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One of the best Vegan Resturants anywhere! - Edit

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!


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Great Birthday Dinner - Edit

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


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YUMMY! - Edit

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


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Okay - Edit

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


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Reviewer Avatar
Vegan

  Contributions +33

Disappointed - Edit

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


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Home cooked meals - Edit

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


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Favorite Restaurant in Austin - Edit

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


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A Great Go-To Place - Edit

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


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