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 each major city.
Adelaide, South Australia
This is a new and barely spoken of spot in Adelaide. Fine dining for vegans with a 10 item chef’s menu to impress. They showcase local produce and really elevate what we’ve come to expect from vegan dining. The dining room is small and intimate giving you impeccable service. Oh, and they wine match too. Very important, if you ask us.
We’ve all seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding. When she tells her new mother-in-law she’s a vegetarian the response is ‘Is ok, I make you lamb’. They said it couldn’t be done: a truly authentic tasting Greek yiros that happens to be vegan. Well, Staazi & Co have mastered it. Not just yiros, but a whole vegan Greek menu. They’ve upgraded their travelling food truck to a bricks and mortar business right in the city. And we couldn’t be happier.
Previously known as Vego n Lovin’ It. Though official ownership has changed, those at the helm of the kitchen are still the same. This semi-hidden Adelaide cult classic churns out a variety of amazing fast food style dishes, so you can once again indulge in all your favourites.
Proving that plant-based is for everyone. The owner 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 this special eatery. 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. 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.
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, it’s 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, it’s become quite the cult classic. Try the Au Lac Pho or the Mongolian sizzling ‘lamb’.
Sydney, New South Wales
Sydney’s first vegan fine dining restaurant. This 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. Unlike many fine dining spots, you can still eat à la carte (except on Saturday where youwhere, you can have a 5 or 7 course set menu). They also provide specifically paired wines, 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.
Perth, Western Australia
A vegan take on karaage chicken will often draw the masses (especially when it’s THIS good) but the most famous dish here is the shoyu truffle ramen. The food here isn’t entirely vegan but there is a very extensive vegan menu. So everyone at the table can find something to fall in love with.
One to feed your tummy and your soul. This is another institution with a not-for-profit focus. Here you pay what you feel for their takeaway menu, to the volunteer staff. The views are stunning and theirand, their curries, thali plates and other amazing dishes come to just $15pp to dine in. The recipes have been passed down through family generations, so you just know you’ll be fully satisfied when you leave.
Thank goodness this pop up was so popular they decided to keep the doors open. They use indigenous, local ingredients with a focus on sustainability. This means the Ten Acre Block team source a lot of imperfect produce to save it from going to waste. But you’d never know that when the food hits your plate. Yes, it’s attached to a hotel but don’t let that deter you from this adventurous 5- course dining experience. The carrot tartare is a real summer favourite.
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. But we will say this, they just launched a breaky menu that is drool-worthy. Sign us up for the ‘Threesome with Bagel’. Cheeky.
This tiny, unassuming café 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 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 four delicious vegan sundaes including the Fudge My Brownie, which you really should make room for.
An unusual one in that most people choose a plant-based lifestyle but, having a dietary intolerance or requirement on top of this can really make dining out difficult. Not at this little spot. The entire menu is gluten free and vegetarian with the additional possibility of turning every dish vegan. Talk about inclusive.
Light, bright and gorgeous. Veg Bar is the perfect Instagrammable eatery. If you want to keep it healthy but can’t decide on a cuisine this is the spot for you. There are burgers, wraps, gyros, bowls, curries, stir-fries and some epic smoothies. There’s also a great selection of beer, wine, cocktails and coffee. People love this place so much they’re even buying merch there too. The 80’s inspired designs say ‘cool to be kind’ and ‘eat your veg’.
This is vegan bagel heaven. We’re talking cashew cream schmears galore. Schmears with pineapple. Schmears with jalapeño. Garlic schmear. The bagels are made in the traditional way (boiled then baked) thanks to the owner’s American upbringing. The sweet treats are also to die for. Be sure not to miss the signature ‘bakkas’, which is fried brioche tossed in cinnamon sugar.
Darwin, Northern Territory
There aren’t a lot of fully vegan venues in Darwin, but this is one of them. Go for the sunset menu and enjoy what this place is really about. The Tofish and Chips add to the marina vibes or you can go all out with the Portobello linguine. There’s a small breakfast menu too, if you’re more of a sunrise type of person. Whatever the time of day, you’ll drift off to a tropical paradise with their great music selection and comfy white lounge chairs.
One of the top-rated places for vegan options. Although this Vietnamese restaurant does still serve meat, the plant-based options are super delicious. There’s even a vegan banquet, it’s not actually listed on the menu, so be sure to ask. The laksa alone is outstanding but we’re a sucker for a great pad Thai, too. Sip on a whole coconut and pretend you’re in the bustling streets of Hoi An.
Sweet Brew & Co Another spot with great vegan options, or dishes that can be made vegan. The out of this world coffee is what you really show up for, but you’ll stay for the all-day brunch and love things like the ‘Beets Me’ or the ‘First Homeowner 2.0’, aka fancy pants smashed avo. It has a stunning monochrome aesthetic making it perfect for the ‘gram if you’re that way inclined.
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.