Mother's Cafe and Garden

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 38 reviews )

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


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!


Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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.

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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!


Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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!

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

  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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great option for all! - Edit

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

maybe worth a trip - Edit

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Mama's got a mixed bag - Edit

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Everything is good but the food. - Edit

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

veggie restaurant with variety - Edit

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Amazing food and ambience! - Edit

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

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

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

bland and ok - Edit

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Ok - Edit

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

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to Austin Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details / Review guidelines
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has Mother's Cafe and Garden closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 6130 times.

Keep HappyCow Growing Strong!

I would like to support