Austin >Restaurants >
Cafes >Mothers Cafe & Garden
4215 Duval St, Austin, TX | Directions 7875130.304383 -97.725956
Neighborhoods: Central Austin, Hancock
Mother's Cafe & Garden serves delicious, fresh vegetarian meals in a warm, friendly atmosphere. We feature only the highest quality ingredients in our individually prepared dishes, and you'll taste the difference! Most of our dishes are - or can easily be prepared -Vegan. Our broad appeal--to everyone from non-vegetarians and out-of-town visitors to people who just love good food--has made us one of Austin's most popular restaurants since 1980. Voted "Best Vegetarian Restaurant" in the Austin Chronicle Readers Poll every year since they started the voting!!
Mother's is such authentically hippie, old Austin, that you have to smile at their earnestly vegetarian menu options: Tofu Lasagna, BBQ Tofu, Tofu Enchiladas -- did I mention they serve a lot of tofu? Don't be scared, carnivores -- this really is delicious, down-home fare that hippies and cowboys enjoy equally.
Beautiful selection of vegetarian/vegan food. And you must try the weekend brunch! Cozy atmosphere. The cashew tamari dressing is perfect.
The food is average but the service is HORRIBLE – I keep trying to give Mother's a chance to change my perception, but the waitstaff continues to disappoint. As far as the food goes, it's pretty average. I haven't found anything phenomenal and nothing has been horrible. The menu items are pretty standard vegetarian/vegan dishes, there's plenty of room for creativity.
The waitstaff is terrible. It consists of a bunch of hipster kids who try harder to portray an image than to serve the customers. The last time I was there was the last straw. The server actually walked away while I was in the middle of ordering. I was picking a wine and he just walked off without saying anything. I've had bad service there before. They are just slow in general and don't seem to like their jobs. Even when they're not busy they act as though the customer is an inconvenience. I'm pretty easy to please too. I don't consider myself to be a high-maintenance diner. I usually pick things straight from the menu and rarely make complaints. There was absolutely no reason for the waiter to have an attitude, but he was rude through out the entire meal. I will not be going back.
There are plenty of places that offer vegetarian/vegan options for diners. I would never subject friends or family visiting to that sort of attitude. I would recommend trying the others over Mother's to anyone visiting Austin.
One of the best Vegetarian restaurants: Gotta try it! – Mother's is one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Austin. It has been around a long time, and for a very good reason.
You cannot argue with the quality of food they serve. I'm a meat-eater myself, but when I eat here, there is nothing lacking in substance and flavor. The lasagna is superb...try finding a recipe for lasagna that has pecans in it! Not out there, I looked!
The first course, a salad dressed with cashews and a talamari/soy sauce viniagrette is perfect.
Barbecued tofu is another gem. However, I can only comment on the dishes that I have tried. I understand they have vegan desserts, which can be important on a special day like a birthday, for example. Ambiance is great, and service is personal and prompt.
Great vegetarian food! – My roommate and two guys friends went here Sunday night and loved it! Not only was our server nice and dealt with the two guys we were with(we hadn't told them beforehand that it was vegetarian only) but she was very understanding of our unfamiliarity with the menu. Great vegetarian food and atmosphere.
Veggie-heaven – I've gone to Mother's before and after the fire, and though the last time I went were still working on the garden-area, it's the same (or on the road to being the same) ol' Mother's. Occasionally a bad server can be had, but we've always enjoyed the food. (I highly recommend the Bueno Burger with Guacamole.) It's truly an Austin institution, which, sadly, is becoming a rare thing these days:( So, if you want to support the local community and try some yum vegetarian delights, give it a try. But remember (and believe it or not, I know a few people who were surprised to find this out only when they sat down with the menu): there is no meat, only vegetarian options.
food great, help terrible – My first visit to mother's tonight was a letdown! After reading such good things about it, waiting for it to open after the fire, and finally getting there, my party of three experienced hell on earth at the hands of a very ill-tempered waitress. She seemed to hate waiting, and never checked on us, brought our orders wrong, and then charged for all forgotten items (of which there were 3).
Conclusion: avoid this place except for carry-out. Our waitress treated us like the peeled-back blister after a bad sunburn.
decent food but overpriced – The food is pretty good, but it is a overpriced and it is always a guess as to how stoned your server is. Only sometimes is this entertaining. I do like that my roommate and I can walk to it.
Don't vegetarians use salt? – I wish I liked Mother's. It's walkable for me, has that cool garden area, friendly staff, but every time I give it a try I have the *blandest* food imaginable! Mostly, the food needs salt and spice! Vegetarian food can be so tasty, but everything I've ever ordered is blah. Very disappointing...
Great for dessert – During my stay in Austin, we've gone into Mother's quite a lot. The ambience in the garden area is very nice, overall just a nice place to sit. The Pina Colada is great, so is the hibiscus tea. The dessert is very very good especially the blueberry pie and the almond chocolate cake. The service is average: on a couple of occasions we got a really sweet and attentive waitress, then there was a time when we had to go back three times because the server forgot what she was doing. The food is below average at best. Overpriced and bland. Once was fine and enough. The rest just tastes the same. Best to go for drinks and dessert.
The reason why vegetarian cuisine has a bad stereotype – First of all, for what it is, it is WAY overpriced. (I'd rather spent $2-$3 more, walk across the street and get a nice plate of vegetarian pasta at Asti.) Plus, you get served by "slacker girls." If that's your scene, you'll fall in love.
I got the BBQ Tofu, and it was the dryest, most tasteless tofu I had ever tasted, slathered in - get this - Peanut Butter and what they call their "special" bbq sauce. Bleeaaachhh. It came with the alleged "mashed potatoes", which was homogenously brown substance (with a "film" formed over it) that literally looked like a load of s***, and watery beans. With 4 pieces of said tofu, for $9.50. What a killer deal!!
My friend ordered the "special" - the butternut squash ravioli, for $10. A tiny plate came, with little ravioli swimming in copious, SEPARATED lemon juice and pure cream. They really should have called this a soup item. (She sent it back.)
Who cares if it's an "institution?" If you serve crappy food in an environment with dubious hygiene, and have the gall to overcharge, you should (and probably will) be shut down.
Sorry, we won't be back. I'm taking my vegetarian business over to NuAge (and Madras for Indian).
Best vegitarian food in the city – I have been coming to Mothers Cafe for years and I have seldom been disappointed. The soups are incredible!
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