nori

If you’re looking for delicious vegan sushi in Austin, then look no further than Nori. This restaurant is quickly becoming the go-to spot for plant-based sushi lovers, and it’s not hard to understand why. As soon as you walk through the doors, you can feel the energy of this cozy eatery. With its lively atmosphere and mouthwatering menu options, it’s no surprise that Nori is quickly gaining a devoted following.

Nori offers classic sushi favorites like nigiri and maki. But what makes this place stand out is their all-vegan menu! All of their dishes are made with plant-based proteins, like tofu and mushrooms, that capture the flavors of traditional sushi without the use of seafood or animal products. Plus, all of their ingredients are sourced locally and sustainably. Even better, they offer several gluten-free options as well.

At Nori, the menu is filled with a variety of vegan sushi rolls that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. We tried the Hearts of Palm (tempura hearts of palm, avocado, bibb lettuce with tomato, caviart, microgreens, spicy mayo, and chili sauce on top; $18), the Spider (tempura beech mushroom, gobo, cucumber, sprouts, and yanagi; $12), Rainbow (heart of palm surimi mix, avocado, and cucumber with avocado, mango, tomato, mayo, and caviart on top; $17), and California (avocado, cucumber, “crab” salad, and sesame seeds; $13) maki. And the party was on when all the dishes arrived! As The Bride concluded, you really couldn’t tell that there wasn’t any fish. All of their rolls are made with fresh ingredients and topped with housemade sauces. Plus, they have a selection of sides like tempura vegetables and edamame that make great accompaniments to any dish.

In addition to offering up delicious vegan sushi dishes, Nori also serves up craft cocktails made with locally sourced spirits and housemade syrups. From mai tais to margaritas, there’s something for everyone on their drink menu. They also offer beers from local breweries like Real Ale Brewing Company and Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., so there’s plenty of options for beer lovers too. Our friend, adorned in a gorgeous cat dress, ordered the saketini while I tried a wasabi-based drink, both delicious. Sadly, Nori doesn’t post its drink menu, so you can’t peruse in advance.

We shared both of the desserts, the Lava Cake (chocolate molten lava cake with ginger-strawberry pure and icecream; $12) and the Peanut Butter Shake (Screwball Bourbon. NadaMoo vanilla ice cream, chocolate ganache, and candied peanuts; $15). Both were good, but the Peanut Butter Shake was one of the best things we’ve ever had.

One miss–and it was a big one–was the hostess, who interrupted a momentary lean-out to take a photo (hot tip: when a guest is staging a food photo, there’s a good chance they’re going to write about you later) and then ejected us from our reserved spot after 1.5 hours since they had booked another reservation for the table (industry standards allow 1.75 hours for a two-topper and 2 hours for a four-topper). We were about five minutes from getting up anyway, but the forced eviction was jarring (first time for me after 35 years of eating out).

One in our party, who was a big fan and invited us, said they would not be back. It would have been more acceptable if we had known the time limit up front (and, yes, we were on time to our reservation). While the food and drinks were great, the hospitality clearly needs some work.

web&where: Nori, 3208 Guadalupe Street, (512) 520-5775
what’s the deal? vegan sushi! (table service)
overall: *** (food***; drink****; atmosphere***; service*; instagrammability***)
cost: $$$

our scale:
–          meh [think twice]
*         OK [it’ll get the job done]
**       good [solid neighborhood joint]
***     damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
****   yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best] each $ = $10; cost is based on a typical dinner entrée and appetizer (no drinks)

each $ = $10; cost is based on a typical dinner entrée and appetizer (no drinks)

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