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If you live in or happen to be visiting Sydney, there are so many fantastic plant-based restaurants, bars and cafes to check out. Here is a list of some of my favourites, as well as a few that aren't strictly plant-based but have a great selection of vegan items on the menu.
Bodhi Restaurant is one of my favourite Sydney spots, particularly for special occasions or 'treat yo-self' style dinners. They offer an incredible vegan yum cha by day and menu service by night, with a lovely combination of faux meat, fresh vegetables and lots of tofu. All of the food is free of garlic and onion, too, so Bodhi is a solid choice for anyone following a low FODMAP diet.
Recommended dishes: Steamed Gao Dumplings, Stir Fry Green Bean and Vegan Fried Chicken Sliders.
Location: 2 -4 College Street, Sydney
Alibi is hidden within a hotel, and is made up of a trendy bar and restaurant with a full vegan menu. Choose from dishes like mac and cheese balls if you're at the bar, or something a little more substantial from the restaurant. They also offer a high tea which makes for a lovely special occasion feast.
Recommended dishes: Open Chick'n Waffle and Kimchi Dumplings
Location: 6 Cowper Wharf Roadway
Yellow is a modern, fine-dining establishment that offers a five or seven course set menu. It's expensive but you'll get to enjoy seasonal dishes made with the utmost care.
Recommended dishes: Roasted Cauliflower + Mushroom + Pomelo and Kiwi + Coconut + Gin
Location: 6 Cowper Wharf Roadway
If you're looking for a well-made meal in a cute setting, Yulli's is a great place to visit. The menu has a range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free meals, served with a drinks menu filled out with their own brews.
Recommended dishes: Edamame and Coconut Moneybags and Brussel Sprout Sambal and Cashew Cream with Pan-fried Roti
Location: 417 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Bad Hombres is a small, Mexican-inspired restaurant with a fully plant-based menu. They offer everything from tacos to cauliflower chorizo, and have a large portion of gluten-free dishes available. Once you've finished with your nachos and charred corn, indulge in one of their traditional desserts.
Recommended dishes: "Pastor" Mushroom Tacos and "Alambre" Mexican Style Stir Fry Oyster Mushrooms
Location: 40 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills
Situated near the famous Bondi Beach, Eden Bondi the perfect spot for a fresh lunch, special dinner or fruity cocktail. They offer a combination of classic meals; veganised, and healthy dishes like buddha bowls and salads.
Recommended dishes: Popcorn Cauli and The Ultimate Burger
Location: L106/180 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Peppe's is a small Italian restaurant that specialises in pasta and antipasti dishes. It's the perfect spot if you're looking for a winter-warmer or big bowl of pasta, and a matching glass of wine, of course.
Recommended dishes: Mamma's Spag al Pomodoro and Arancini
Location: 261 Bondi Road, Bondi
Gigi Pizzeria was previously a regular pizza place with a range of vegan options, but has since transformed into a fully plant-based pizzeria. If you're eager to try their woodfire pizzas, calzones, salads and plenty for cocktails, be sure to get there early to avoid standing in the inevitable long queues.
Recommended dishes: Funghi e Radicchio and Salsiccia Panouzzi
Location: 379 King Street, Newtown
Lentil as Anything is a restaurant with a clear mission: to provide plant-based food to those in need. With a pay-what-you-can policy, just walk on in, enjoy a simple and tasty meal and leave an optional donation on the way out. They have communal tables, so you might even make a few new friends!
Recommended dishes: their rotating menu changes every day, but they always do a delicious curry
Location: all over Sydney, including 391 King Street, Newtown
Soul Burger is a chain of vegan burger joints, with so many options to suit all tastes. They have Beyond Burger meals, crispy falafels, and even mushroom steaks for those who prefer a more veggie-based dish. Enjoy your meal with fries and a vegan milkshake, for good measure.
Recommended dishes: Battered Fish, Satay Tofu and Southern Fried Chicken.
Location: all over, including 111 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Little Turtle Thai is a restaurant that takes Thai food to a new level. They make delicious baos, dumplings, noodle dishes, curries and stir-fries, with a focus on tofu, tempeh and vegetables. If you're not a huge fan of fake meat and enjoy healthy food, give it a try.
Recommended dishes: Complicated Noodles, Sago Dumplings and Grilled Caramelised Eggplant in Panang Curry
Location: 10 Stanmore Road, Enmore
Vandal Taqueria isn't a Mexican restaurant, rather, it's a tribute to the Latino food trucks commonly found in Los Angeles. Their menu is packed with the same kind of fresh, tangy and wholesome food you might expect from a Mexican spot like tacos, quesadillas and nachos, with some extra surprises like their cheeseburger flavoured spring rolls! Pair your meal with one of their many cocktails, which alternate regularly with the seasons. They also have plenty of gluten free options.
Recommended dishes: Carne Asada Nachos, Baha and Guacamole
Location: 403 King Street, Newtown
The Green Lion is an amazing vegan pub, specialising in all things fried, salty and sweet. They serve burgers, pizzas and even soft serve ice-cream, in addition to the kind of pub foods vegans usually can't enjoy, all made with faux meat and plant-based ingredients. They offer takeaway food and sell 'take-me-home' pastizzis, meals and desserts.
Recommended dishes: Bolognese Style and Mashed Potato Pastizzis and Just Like Butter Chicken Sauce with Chicken Style Pieces
Location: 14 Chalder Street, Marrickville
A cute vegan deli in Surry Hills, Shift Eatery sells sandwiches, snacks and bowls for the hungry vegans of Sydney. Once you finish your meal, pick up some of your favourite vegan slices, muffins or snacks from their takeaway fridge.
Recommended dishes: Big Bad Bowl and Say Cheeeeese Toastie
Location: Shop 4/241 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills
Flyover Fritterie offers amazing Indian street food, with a rotating menu that can even be delivered if you're staying nearby. Each week they sell a street-style salad, fritters, burgers, khichri and lots more. You can even order a large serving of chai over soy milk to enjoy at home.
Recommended dishes: Pao Burger and Sabzi Sando
Location: 1 Temperance Lane, Sydney
Cafe Nowa is a Nepalese-inspired cafe with a varied menu. They serve up salads, burgers, pancakes and their popular specialty: momos (vegan dumplings).
Recommended dishes: Popcorn Cauliflower, Chorizo Tacos and Tofu Momos
Location: 109 Crystal Street, Petersham
With a focus on plant-based wholefoods, Iku Wholefoods is a chain with a difference. Their mission is to produce high-quality vegan, gluten-free and refined-sugar free meals and treats, all of which are healthy, hearty and filling. Each branch has minimal seating but everything on the menu is available as a takeaway option.
Recommended dishes: Rice Balls, Laksa and Choc Chip Cookies
Location: all over Sydney!
Greasy fast food never looked so good! Lord of the Fries is the ideal spot for the vegan who wants to indulge in burgers, hot dogs, fries (in three different sizes: classic, chunky and shoestring!), shakes, ice-creams and even spiders. The food is cheap, tasty and cruelty free.
Recommended dishes: Chick'n Burger, The Lot Burger, Sweet Potato Fries
Location: all over Sydney!
If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy a little indulgence, Comeco Foods is an essential spot. Everything on the menu is vegan and gluten-free, including their sourdoughnuts and their incredible sushi platters. They take online orders, so if you're short on time, simply visit their website and pick up your treats on your way through.
Recommended dishes: 6 Pieces Sourdoughtnuts Skewers and Organic Cinnamon Sugar Sourdoughnuts
Location: 524A King Street Newtown
Lebanese food is usually a safe bet for vegans, with most restaurants offering multiple vegan options. Vegan Lebanese Street Food is an even safer bet, with an incredible menu of plant-based salads, skewers, shawarma, wraps, dips and more. You'll find all of your favourite dishes, plus the ones you usually can't have with their vegan meat substitutions.
Recommended dishes: Original Baked Falafel Wrap, Skewered Plate and Sizzling Loubieh
Location: Shop 5/152-162 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Vina Vegan Restaurant is the perfect summer spot, where you can enjoy fresh, vegan, Vietnamese food. If you enjoy faux meat, this place serves vegan duck, chicken, beef, fish and even ham, as well as tofu and of course, lots of veggies.
Recommended dishes: Salt and Pepper Tofu, Vina Pancake "Banh Xeo" and Peking Not DuckRolls
Brainwave Cafe is situated in a small alleyway in Ultimo, serving up modern Asian cuisine that as of August 2020, is completely vegan! The menu is extensive, including breakfast bowls, smoothie bowls, hotcakes, burgers, curries and lots more. Like Vina Vegan Restaurant, they specialise in vegan meat (even pork belly!), but have plenty of options for those who prefer less processed ingredients. Have you meal delivered, take it away, order it for a catered event or dine-in.
Recommended dishes: Japanese Katsu Don, Spicy Prik Khing Fried Rice and Avoholic
Location: 94/ 732 Harris Street, Ultimo
Verd is a salad-lovers dream. They specialise in fresh, sustainable and locally-sourced meals that put the side salads you're sick of eating to shame. In addition, they have a few other fresh menu items including laksa, dahl and even some healthy sweet treats.
Recommended dishes: Omega Greens and Tijuana Bowl
Location: all over Sydney, including Shop 5 Scotch Row, Barangaroo
If you like carbs, you'll love Planted and Co. This spot offers gourmet sandwiches, salads, breakfast plates, pastries, cookies, doughnuts and well-made coffee, all of which will leave you full and oh so happy. It's the perfect spot for a hearty breakfast or lunch.
Recommended dishes: Posh Scram and The Parmy Sanga
Location: 10-12 George Street, Leichhardt
Buddha Bowl Cafe is a cozy spot that sells exactly what you'd expect: bowls of vegan goodness! They're known for their veggie lunch bowls, but if you're in the mood for something else, you can also try something from their breakfast menu like granola, French toast or a burrito.
Recommended dishes: Bedouin Bowl and My Mushroom Sourdough
Location: Shop 1/60 Enmore Road, Newtown
We Are Nutie is a cafe with a killer brunch menu, as well as a rich range of vegan desserts and snacks. They serve up toasties, fritters and bowls, but it's hard to go past their array of treats which includes smores, dessert tubs, donuts and muffins. They offer delivery and takeaway options.
Recommended dishes: Smashed Pea Toast and Wagon Wheel Pancakes
Location: 44 Holt Street, Surry Hills and 13 Beattie Street, Balmain
Herb and Sprout is family-run cafe that's easy to miss but definitely worth a visit. They make moreish burgers with curly fries, veggie bowls, homemade treats and boutique coffee. The food is well priced and delicious.
Recommended dishes: Vegan Schnitz Sandwich, Pink Super Oats and Berrylicious Pancakes
Location: 331 Maroubra Road, Maroubra
Golden Gully is a small bar with a big menu, perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy Australian spirits, beer or wine in a relaxed setting. Their menu is vegetarian and largely vegan, and includes typical bar food with a modern twist.
Recommended dishes: Salt & Vinegar Potato Scallops. Sundried Tomato Ketchup and Choc Chip Cookie. Chocolate & Coconut Custard. Roast Pear Puree. Rosemary Salt.
Location: 153 Norton Street, Leichhardt
With an ayurvedically-balanced menu, Heart and Soul Cronulla is a cafe made for those who enjoy balanced, wholesome food in a calming environment. They're located in a sunny Cronulla, so you can enjoy a slow day with good food and exploration.
Recommended dishes: Peanut Butter Banana Toast and New H&S Vegan Burger
Location: Suite 6/17 Gerrale Street, Cronulla
Badde Manors is a very casual cafe that serves up no-nonsense, affordable and filling meals from breakfast to supper. You can grab a burger with friends, sip a chai while reading or celebrate just about anything with a big bowl of nachos.
Recommended dishes: Satay Tofu Burger and Vegan Big Breakfast
Location: 1/37 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Alem's House is a vegan Ethiopian cafe, one of very few you'll find in Sydney. They serve beautiful plates of food, packed with authentic and healthy bites, as well as spiced coffee, smoothies and tea.
Recommended dishes: Fresh Platter and Misr Wat
Location: 132 - 134 Parramatta Road, Camperdown
Gigis Balmain (not to be confused with Gigis Pizzeria, the aforementioned vegan pizza restaurant) is a pizza place that serves woodfire pizza, fresh pasta, salads, antipasti and and of course, wine, beer and cocktails. Although they're not exclusively vegan, they have a separate vegan menu that's full enough to stand alone. It's small, simple and offers a space for vegans and their non-vegan friends to dine together.
This place gets busy so be sure to make a reservation if you're planning a weekend visit.
Recommended dishes: Gnocci alla Barbabietola (beetroot gnocci) and Funghi e Radicchio Pizza
Location: 239 Darling Street, Balmain
This trendy bar and restaurant has a surprising menu, made up of a combination of traditional meat and substantial vegan dishes. Choose from fresh pasta, starters, sides and rich desserts, and enjoy a drink from their impressive spritz and aperitivi range.
Recommended dishes: Lasagne Vegana, Cheesy Caramelised Cauliflower and WarmSonoma Sourdough Rolls with Chef Nicole's Yummy Tomato & Chilli Jam
Location: G08, 38-52 Waterloo Street, Surry Hills
A Newtown favourite, Shinmachi Newtown is a Japanese tapas spot serving unique, artisan food. Their ramen is a popular choice for locals, with four vegan options made from freshly-made broth. They also offer vegan curry, dons, tapas, sushi and dessert.
Recommended dishes: WTF Spicy Vegan Ramen and Vegan Teriyaki Eggplant Don
Location: 1/239 King Street, Newtown