With borders ever-changing in the current climate, it’s probably best to be prepared for wherever your holiday is able to go. Perhaps a new adventure is on the cards, maybe work means heading to a new city, or perhaps a more personal sea changed has occurred. Whatever the reason, wherever you’re heading, here are some plant-based favourites of ours in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
Vegan tapas. Not something you actually come across so much in Spain. But that’s the beauty of You Came Again. They bend traditions to suit all lifestyles and the results are delicious. Everything here is also gluten free, so plant-based coeliacs can rejoice! It’s really hard to pick a favourite to recommend, so you might have to visit a few times to try everything.
Dicki's is a tiny, unassuming café that is worth seeking out. The build your own baos with sticky ‘duck’ are really different for a vegan option, but if you want the dish everyone talks about, go for whatever waffles are on the weekly specials menu. Indulgent? Yes. Worth every calorie? You betcha. You can choose to get this in the half size if you didn’t wear your stretchy pants.
When you say ‘limited menu’ this one really takes the cake. Or burger, as the case may be. Just six mouth-watering vegan burger options to pick from means that life looks a little simpler at Grassfed. Each burger is the kind you’ll need two hands and some napkins for. Not a great spot for a first date if you’re trying to look glamorous as you’ll be too engrossed in the flavours to care that you’ve probably got sauce in your eyebrows. If you aren’t full enough they have special sides and delicious vegan sundaes, including the Fudge My Brownie, which you really should make room for.
Dive into the rustic rock and roll vibe at Sweet Bones. Enjoy the Mexican-inspired menu with dishes for the health conscious and those who are ready to indulge. They’re also whizzes at cake making. If you can, make sure to wrap your mouth around their piña colada cupcake or the infamous peanut butter jelly option.
This retro-inspired spot likes life fast, loud and rebellious. Though the menu is not just plant-based, Lazy Su really worth a visit to this pop culture haven. If it’s too hard to decide, we recommend opting for the vegan banquet. It’s not shy on dishes so you’ll be rolling out of the door after an evening full of laughter, no doubt.
They describe their food as ‘royal vegan cuisine’ but the prices are certainly suitable for us mere commoners. The menu spans several Asian cuisines with a particular focus on Vietnamese. Being the first restaurant in Canberra to provide a vegan Asian menu like this, Au Lac has become quite the cult classic. Try the Au Lac Pho or the Mongolian sizzling ‘lamb’.
Proving that plant-based is for everyone. The owner of Smith and Daughters, Shannon Martinez, isn’t vegan herself but she adores the possibility and inventive nature of vegan food and this love pours into everything you’ll eat. The menu has changed from a Latin American to Italian focus, and each dish is outstanding. Try the ‘beef’ ragu on polenta.
Lucky for you, there’s not just one but three locations for Lentil As Anything. Don’t think ‘chain restaurant’ but rather, that this is a social movement. This volunteer-run, Indian-inspired restaurant lets you pay what you can, meaning inclusion and accessibility for all. The bonus is all their food is downright delicious. The curries and dosas change seasonally to ensure they’re using locally available produce.
Put on your dancing shoes and head back to 80’s New York at Evie's Disco Diner. This converted warehouse’s entire menu is vegan-friendly but mostly, they serve up fun. There’s bottomless brunch, Taco Tuesday, Wings Wednesday, comedy nights, drag shows and more.
Sydney’s first vegan fine dining restaurant. Yellow is the place to go if you’re looking to have a swanky, plant-based evening. The interior is stunning and has that wine bar feel to it, and you can choose from a 5-course or 7-course tasting menu. They also provide specifically paired wines or non-alcoholic beverages, which adds the perfect touch to your experience.
They say the Peppe’s gnocchi has a cult following. If their gnocchi is the messiah, we’re willing to worship it. There are communal tables, which give this spot a really casual vibe. With the friendly service and heart-warming food, you feel very much like part of the family. Pick from the limited food menu up on the chalkboard (there’s more than gnocchi, but really you must try it) and sip on a glass of wine or a cheeky Italian cocktail.
Tacos al pastor is something that sadly, those who have chosen a vegan lifestyle don’t often get to indulge in anymore. But the cool cats at Bad Hombres are bringing it back with style. The “Pastor” Mushroom w/ Cashew Crema, Pico de Gallo & Pineapple is a must order. To be honest, there’s nothing you shouldn’t order. This Mexican funhouse is as authentic as it gets… without a speck of meat in sight.
We know there are plenty more spots to be had, but these are just a few of our faves. Of course, we think it’s best each is paired with a glass of The Vegan Wine Project. And if the waiter doesn’t have it on hand? Tell them to give us a call. We’d love to help them out.
Want to try out some vegan-friendly restaurants in other parts of Australia? We've got a list for you as well! Find the blog article below.