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Mother's Cafe and Garden

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 36 reviews )
Contact 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. Mon-Fri 11:30am-10:00pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am-10:00pm

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

Reviews (36)

First Review by VeganTex

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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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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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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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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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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ehh it's alright - Edit

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


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Tasty with peaceful atmosphere! - Edit

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


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Great food - Edit

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


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Awesome enchaladas! - Edit

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

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A Few Gems - Edit

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


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Two words: BREAKFAST TACOS! - Edit

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!


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Reviewer Avatar
Vegan

  Contributions +53

Great Austin Spot for Veggie Eats - Edit

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


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One of my favorites! - Edit

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


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Weekend Brunch get there before the end! - Edit

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

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