UPDATE: Austin Gets Raw, Y'all

UPDATE: Austin Gets Raw, Y'all


UPDATE: Just got word that Borboleta is now offering bicycle delivery. The bicycle delivery service goes to downtown and Clarksville. It’s provided by Beat the Clock bike messengers. They will deliver to downtown or Clarksville for lunch or dinner. There is a $5 delivery fee and a $20 minimum. Please allow ample time for delivery (currently up to an hour).

Most Austinites are familiar with the raw food movement in some fashion, but many of these same Austinites still don’t “get it.” The reality is, most people like their meals cooked. Can’t say I blame you if you think it’s a bit weird, but I will say this – the “living cuisine” movement is super healthy, and when done well, actually pretty delicious.  And downtown dwellers are very fortunate to have a living cuisine restaurant right in the neighborhood (well, technically Clarksville, but RIGHT on the edge of downtown Austin). The name of the place is Borboleta Gourmet.

Borboleta’s food is organic, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, kosher, soy-free, and trans-fat free. Sounds like everything a true southerner would hate, right? Well, I’m here to tell you – it’s really good. I found out about the restaurant through an E-mail campaign from the restaurant , and I was intrigued enough to stop by.  I took the ‘Dillo to Whole Foods, and walked west 4 blocks.  Borboleta Gourmet is actually inside Bella Hair Salon (although the entities are not related, I’m told).

You walk in, and the atmosphere is quaint, but polished.  It’s a small cafe setting, with only about 6 tables. There are two large commercial refrigerators that house most of the food.  I think they are still in the process of “figuring” out the service, but when I ordered, I simply grabbed the covered plate of food I wanted from the refrigerator, gave it to the cashier (who prepped it and touched up the presentation), paid, and chose my seat.  The food was delivered only moments later.  Easy and quick!  And so good.

I like the atmosphere of the place, the fact that it’s raw, vegan, soy-free, etc etc, and that the menu rotates weekly (so it’s consistently different and interesting).   You can also order brewed coffee, so it’s not only a good place to eat lunch, but also just chill and read the paper.

Borboleta is the type of unique/eclectic small, local business that I want to see more of in and near downtown Austin.  It offers a unique food experience, is convenient, and supports the local economy with a function that a wide-array of folks can enjoy. And it’s just NEAT.  I don’t know of another place like it in Austin (with the possible exception of Casa de Luz, but Borboleta is really pretty different from the Casa de Luz concept and vibe, as well). I think downtown Austin residents are lucky to have these kinds of fun and different choices at their disposal and should support them accordingly.

Contact Info: 1221 W Sixth St, Austin, TX 78703, (512) 828-7404, www.borboletagourmet.com

Hours: Mon-Fri: 8-8, Sat: 10-5, Sun: Closed.
About amber gugino

Amber Gugino loves living downtown and has been an active board member of the The Shore Condo Owners Association, Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association and member of the Junior League of Austin. She adores her dog, Blog, and she learns something new about downtown Austin every day.


  1. I’m glad you enjoyed your meal here at Borboleta! Just a couple of comments: Regarding the ordering process, there are some things we’re still working on, but typically if you’re eating here, you order and we plate the food fresh and then bring it to you(we don’t expect customers eating here to get their plates out of the case, but the bottled drinks are in the case as are our smoothies and coconut water). Sometimes we have a plate in the case as a sample so people can see what a plate of an entree looks like, but we plate it fresh for them if they’re eating here. The granola parfaits are in the case for people to grab and go or eat here, and the desserts are in the case but we will dress them before bringing them to a customer’s table, though some people do prefer to grab a piece of fudge and eat it right then, which is OK with us :o)

    I know it’s pretty unique and perhaps complicated… We are finding out what is working best for people and trying our best to respond to that. I really appreciate your support of what we’re doing – and we are looking at expanding our offerings/options for downtown residents and businesses: by mid-August we will have bike delivery in place and also our beer and wine license. We do have seating for 20 people inside (7 tables) and 4 people outside (2 tables). It is tiny but hopefully that adds to the charm.

    Thanks again and look for more updates from us soon!

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