For some restaurants this means expanding the menu to offer more plant-based foods. Gone are the days of one or two token meat-free dishes! For others, they’re committed to having every dish cater to this dietary lifestyle. Whether the restaurant is exclusively plant-based or expanding their selection of dishes, chefs are also being asked to elevate these meat-free meals. They are encouraged to be more creative when accommodating for the restrictions and to do so without sacrificing flavour or quality.
If you are looking to get inspiration on how other chefs are changing their menu – or maybe you have started incorporating a more plant-based diet yourself – here are some of the top restaurants across Australia.
Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Melbourne
Melbourne, arguably the culinary capital of Australia, does not disappoint when it comes to vegan and vegetarian restaurants. We recommend heading just north of the city centre to Fitzroy. From the rock’n’roll themed Smith & Daughters to Red Sparrow Pizza, you have passionate kitchens keen on breaking the stereotype that you need to sacrifice taste for a plant-based lifestyle. (Since you’re already in the area, feel free to visit Vegie Bar, which opened over 30 years ago!)
If you are looking to multi-task, the price of your meal can go towards doing a good deed at Lentil As Anything. This not-for-profit organisation has a Pay-As-You-Feel system, where the patron decides the cost based on their circumstances, providing yummy food to everyone in three locations across Melbourne.
A peek at the bloody tasty Smith & Daughters X Rosheen Kaul menu. We seriously can't get enough of this menu so you'd want to get on this as soon as possible. You'll regret it if you don't! Orders are open until midday Wednesday. Link in bio to order! @rosheen_ @theisolasiancookbook
Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Sydney
Plant-based eating has hit Sydney with full force! There are many restaurants dedicated to vegan and vegetarian dining. They span a variety of cuisines – giving vegans an opportunity to be overwhelmed with options. If you’re looking for contemporary European dishes, Yellow is an award-winning vegetarian bistro in Potts Point. The Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide 2019 said it cooks “the most artful expression of vegetarian foods in Sydney,” making it a great place to start.
For the nights when you are unsure of what to eat and need a bit of inspiration, head over to Newtown. There are a handful of incredibly popular vegan restaurants within a stone’s throw of each other to pique your interest. Gigi Pizzeria and Lonely Mouth (famous for its ramen) are just two. Sneaking in a fourth recommendation: if you have room left for dessert, head on over to Comeco Foods (an egg, dairy and gluten-free Japanese doughnut shop).
Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Brisbane
For those living in or travelling to Brisbane, there are yummy plant-based restaurants scattered throughout the CBD and stretching into the outer edges of the city centre.
Grown is in the inner-city suburb of West End and primarily utilises produce that is sourced from local farmers no more than 400 kilometres from Brisbane. The restaurant has a strong sustainability focus and is a ‘Must Visit in Brisbane’ according to the Travel Agency Flight Network.
With the claim of being the fastest growing international vegan fast food chain in the world, Loving Hut is 100% plant-based and does not use any animal products. Just a short drive south of the CBD across river, their expansive menu is sure to make everyone happy. When you just want a good burger, Grassfed has you covered. Priding themselves on not overcomplicating things, they have a small menu that works off the motto ‘size doesn’t matter.’ Their burgers and ice cream are sure to satisfy any cravings.
Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Perth
If you travel all the way to Western Australia for some vegan and vegetarian restaurants, we’re happy to say you won’t be disappointed. Not only do they have chains such as Loving Hut, but there are a handful of local restaurants and cafes worth trying too. First up is The Little Raw Deli. Their menu is focused on plant-based goodness and entirely wheat, meat, dairy, and refined sugar free. They make their own granola, sauces, spreads, ‘cheese’, and condiments. If you look closely, you can find Flora and Fauna. A small, tucked-way boutique café in Northbridge that serves locally roasted coffee along with vegan brunch and baked goods. Everything is freshly made in their kitchen. Whether you go for a meal or a treat, you’re sure to be pleased with their plant-based menu.
Raw + More was recently rebranded and renamed to Mother. This restaurant’s menu is perfect for a group as it offers nibbles, plates to share, and sides. Sustainability and the environment are a key focus of everything they do at Mother. From a conscious practice of waste minimisation to watering plants with leftover table water, their goal is to make the greatest impact possible on lowering carbon emissions, rates of pollution, land degradation, and more.
OMG. We want to give you free VEGAN COOKIES This Monday Funday Let us treat you one of our famous Vegan Oat Cookie babies this Monday, 19th! Complimentary with the purchase of any coffee or tea (hot or iced). We are now open 7 days again (that means we are open every single day until we break for Christmas Holidays!), and we are kicking it off in style. Come hang with us, xx.
Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Darwin
While it might be a bit hard to find restaurants that are exclusively vegan or vegetarian, many kitchens in Darwin offer plant-based dishes on their menu. Start off with Pee Wee’s at the Point, their menu aims to showcase the produce, climate and mulculturalism of the Northern Territory. Their menu clearly marks vegan options. If you’re looking for a tapas restaurant, head over to the Moorish café. Inspired by food around the world, they bring a Territory twist by adding the finest local ingredients to their dishes. They have won Darwin’s Gold Plate Award fifteen times!
For a taste of South East Asia, check out Chow! This Vietnamese restaurant has plenty of vegetarian options, and some dishes that can be made vegan as well.
Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Canberra
If you’re craving Vietnamese food but are in Canberra instead of Darwin – you’re in luck with Au Lac. This vegan restaurant offers all the traditional, yummy dishes with vegetarian or faux meat options. Their attention to detail, quality ingredients, and gorgeous presentation will make your eyes and stomach happy. An Nguyen is another Vietnamese and Asian style restaurant. With a more casual atmosphere, this expansive menu boasts over a dozen entrees. They serve noodle soup, rice noodles, stir-fry noodles, curry, vegetables, and tofu with soy meat and seafood.
If you’re looking for some classic fish n chips, Fish Shack has you covered. Their menu is plant-based by default, unless specified, and they are careful to not cross-contaminate dishes. From seafood packs to burgers, they will make sure you have plenty to eat. Be sure to save some room for their epic fries!
Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Tasmania
There are dozens of vegan restaurants all across Tasmania. From Launceston to Hobart (and everywhere in between), you could plan your whole trip around plant-based restaurant hopping. VegOut has two locations and is a plant-based, allergen-friendly café. They have a gorgeous breakfast menu from Monday to Thursday and an all-day menu on Friday. The Lotus Thai Vegan House is a celebration of the senses, offering Thai cuisine with a completely vegan, plant-based menu. They use soybean protein in their dishes as imitation meat to recreate classic stir-fried dishes, curries, and soups.
In Hobart, you’ll find great little cafes like Straight Up Coffee. They take a straight up approach with their business and are dedicated to low waste with composting and recycling as well as a root to tip approach to cooking. You can find a more expansive guide to vegan friendly restaurants, cafes and eateries by Vegan Tasmania here.
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Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Adelaide
For the last city in our whirlwind tour of plant-based restaurants across Australia, we find ourselves in Adelaide. Starting at the Adelaide Arcade’s, Two-Bit Villans puts a vegetarian spin on American cuisine. Just a short walk from there, you have the Zenhouse Vegetarian Yum Cha. For plant-based food packed with flavour, Nagev (vegan spelled backwards), has you covered! From salads to burgers to dessert, you have plenty of choices to keep you full and happy.
If you are looking for more information on different plant-based diets, our understanding plant-based diets article in the Pro Centre covers a variety of dietary options, alongside a tip on maintaining bold flavours when cooking vegan and vegetarian.