Austin, TX is considered by many to be the paleo capitol of the world. And I’d have to agree with them. Austin is home to a number of yummy paleo eateries as well as the popular yearly convention, Paleo FX. So yeah, it’s a pretty paleo-d out place.
It also happens to be where my immediate family has lived for the past 8 years. So lucky for Farmer Jeff and me, we get to visit this incredible city quite often. And during our most recent trip to Austin, we discovered more amazing real food destinations than ever before!
I wanted to share some of these paleo hot spots with y’all, so that if you ever do get the opportunity to visit the paleo promised land, you’ll know where to go. Now, I’m sure there are many additional wonderful real-foodie approved establishments that didn’t make this list. And if you know of any, PLEASE let me know in comment section. I’m always looking for new restaurants to try when I’m in the area. So without further ado, here are the top (mostly) paleo destinations in ATX (in no particular order).
If you haven’t already heard of Picnik Austin, you’re most likely either a) new to the paleo scene or b) living under a rock. But seriously, this place is worth checking out. It’s 100% paleo and 100% awesome.
I love Picnik for their amazing paleo treats and drinks, but they also have delicious pre-made lunches prepared with farm fresh, garbage-free ingredients that they source locally.
My favorite drink from Picnik is The Yeti. It’s made of iced coffee, MCT oil, chocolate Primal Fuel, and maple syrup. I like it so much that I’ve never even been able to stray from it and order anything else. Jeff got the Strawberry Banana Bliss (coconut water, frozen strawberries, frozen banana, and vanilla Primal Fuel) and we split the Butter Blondie (almond flour, grass-fed butter, dairy-free & soy-free chocolate chunks, and coconut sugar). SO SO good! In addition to their tasty treats, the atmosphere of this place is bursting with laid-back coolness — definitely an Austin “must” for the real food enthusiast.
Live Soda Kombucha
A few days before our trip, I saw a tweet from Live Soda promoting their factory tours and immediately shot them an email. I was promptly responded to by the wonderful Alicia Ward, their Director of Marketing, who ended up giving us the tour when we visited.
During the tour, Alicia showed us the brewing and bottling process, let us sample their plain kombucha (so yummy even without flavoring), and told us all about the company and their kombucha-making practices. We were super impressed with their commitment to making the most pure, tasty, health-promoting kombucha on the market!
Everyone at Live Soda was so kind and welcoming — they even sent us home with some super cool Live Soda goodies! After touring their facilities, I have an even greater respect for this company. Plus, their products are reeeeally good. Seriously. If you haven’t tried them yet, you probably should.
We even got to meet the Live Soda founder Trevor Ross! Such a nice guy with an incredible story.
My parents’ fridge was stocked with Live Soda for the remainder of our visit…they loved us for it!
Jack Allen’s Kitchen
Jack Allen’s Kitchen is fairly new to the Austin area but has quickly become one of my go-to’s for their delicious happy hour and drinks. But that isn’t even the best thing about Jack Allen’s — this place is extremely dedicated to supporting and sourcing from local farms and providing guests with super fresh and unique dishes. Here’s what they have to say on their website:
Local in source, Texan in Spirit not only in the kitchen, but in the community, is what Jack Allen’s Kitchen is all about. Executive chef and owner Jack Gilmore, along with partner Tom Kamm set out to provide Central Texas with fresh, locally sourced food that puts smiles on faces while simultaneously giving back to those who need it most.
Jack Allen’s Kitchen isn’t technically a “paleo” restaurant, but plenty of the items on their menu are. My go-to is the Bacon-Wrapped Texas Quail with Jalapeno Jam and Green Fig Salad.
I was also a huge fan of their soup of the day, a delicious coconut chicken blend.
And since we were celebrating mine and my grandpa’s birthdays, they brought each of us a dessert of our choice! I got the Flourless Chocolate Cake — mmmmm! Yummers.
Wholly Cow Burgers
Although we didn’t make it to Wholly Cow on this most recent trip to Austin, it’s usually one of our staples.
Wholly Cow sources local, pastured, grass-fed, beyond organic beef as well as locally-grown organic produce when in season. Yeah — awesome.
They also have an amazing burger called The Fit Cross which consists of a hamburger patty, bacon, grilled onions, tomato, lettuce and pickles all sandwiched between 2 portabella mushroom caps. Don’t you wish every burger joint had one of these? I kinda do. But then again, it’s what makes Wholly Cow so gosh darn special.
HG Sply Co.
Okay, this restaurant/bar is actually located about 3 hours away from Austin in the cute little community of Greenville in Dallas. But I couldn’t not include it. And it’s totally worth the sidetrip — promise!
choosing a drink from their super funky and unique selection of cocktails was a challenge. Eventually, I went with the Double Under, which consisted of beet infused Dolce Vida Organic Tequila, fresh lime, and rosemary syrup — best alcoholic beverage I’ve had in my life. Hands down.
Deciding on what do get for dinner wasn’t much easier. But I ended up getting one of their signature bowls called The Hunted. It came with Duck confit, sweet potato hash, spicy broccoli and bacon. Great choice by me. Loved it!
For dessert, we had the Paleo Cookie which was topped with with bacon, dairy-free ice cream and candied pecans. See..I told you this place was worthy of a side trip! 😉
Lick Honest Ice Cream
Jeff and I stumbled upon Lick completely by chance, and I’m so glad that we did! I was sold on this place after checking out their unique assortment of ice cream flavors, including staples like Dark Chocolate with Olive Oil & Sea Salt, Too Hot Chocolate, Goat Cheese, Thyme, & Honey, and many others (including some that vary by season).
And after reading up on the values behind their “honest ice creams”, I knew I’d be a customer for life. Lick is committed to using real, pure, crap-free ingredients sourced from local farms. The milk and cream they source is non-homogenized and pasteurized at a low temperature. I loved this paragraph from their website…
All of the milk and cream used to make our ice creams comes from a local dairy and as for everything else, we know where every ingredient originates. We know each of the farmers and food artisans we source from. We adore our local farmers, visiting them frequently to personally pick up fresh ingredients weekly from their farms or market stands. Watching the cows graze at their leisure in the beautiful Central Texas pastures never fails to bring smiles to our faces. As small local business owners, we have the pleasure of witnessing our milk and cream as it journeys from the cow to your scoop.
Jeff and I ended up sharing a bowl of Pecans & Cream, Milk & Cookies, and Roasted Beets & Fresh Mint. Can’t wait to go back and try more of their fun, fresh flavors!
On our last night in Austin, we were on the hunt for a decently priced but tasty happy hour joint. Searsucker met all of those requirements and more — easily the best happy hour I’ve been to…maybe ever.
Again, not all of their items were paleo, but plenty of real food options here. I started the evening off with the Jale Berry (strawberry jalepeno tequila, lime, and agave) and Jeff got the Leopard’s Tail (apricot whiskey, all spice, lime, orgeat, pineapple, and bitters).
Next, we split some Duck Fat Fries with Prosciutto Dust along with the Eggs & Bacon “Tender Belly” + Hollandaise (in case you’re wondering, I didn’t eat the bread).
We also ordered the Farm Bird Lollipops and another round of drinks. I think we made it out of there for under $45 — very well worth it considering their high quality food & drinks and fun atmosphere!
Whole Foods HQ
This list wouldn’t have been complete without the Whole Foods capitol of the world, which happens to be located in the heart of downtown Austin — definitely a must-visit! From their website:
Located just blocks from where Whole Foods Market began as a small neighborhood grocery store over 30 years ago, the flagship store at the corner of Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard is one of the largest, at 80,000 square feet. Though much bigger in size, the store retains the charm and accessibility of our first location, with an intimate, village-style layout and passionate, attentive Team Members eager to assist our guests.
Now I’m going to turn this over to you. Ever been to any of these places? If so, what did you think? Did I forget anything? Let me know with a comment!