There’s never been a better time to eat vegan or vegetarian, with a frankly egregious number of cafes, eateries and bars popping up in just about every suburb of Sydney that cater quite specifically to this crowd. Dietary requirements are no longer on the peripheries of fine dining, finally becoming a part of the central conversation around where to go for a good Friday night bite.
Here’s a list of all our favourite Sydney-side vegan restaurants, for consideration the next time you’re taking out your vegan or vegetarian peers (or if that friend is you).
Meat and dairy are central to traditional Italian fare, so it’s a testament to the brilliance of Gigis that it deserves an honourable mention in our books as one of the most delicious pizzerias in Sydney’s Inner West, agnostic of dietary category. The vibe is chill, the staff are friendly, and the cauliflower pizza is a must.
Catering to your gluten-free friends too, Bad Hombres in Surry Hills are slingers of some of the best Mexican fare in the ‘burb. Best paired, obviously, with one of their selection of Natty wines, or of course, a silly little cocktail (of which there is a fun selection).
Potentially one of Redfern’s best late night / date night spots, The Sunshine Inn brings a lot more to the table than just great vegan and vegetarian food. It’s mood lighting and Aussie-focused booze galore. We’re
Don’t miss out on the cheese and charcuterie board trend, Newtown’s La Petite Fauxmagerie has you covered with a wide variety of vegan cheeses, pastries and other delicatessen to pair with a weekend wine. They also serve up some in-house sandos, bagels, jaffles and toasties.
Is there anything better than a beach-side hot pie? Funky Pies in Bondi are purveyors of some of the best vegan pies in the city, from Moroccan Tagine to Butter ‘Chicken’ to classic Mushroom, they’re the perfect post-swim pick-me-up, or a delicious winter warmer.
Paddington doesn’t boast too many vegan or vegetarian places, but Bootleg Italian on Oxford street is a quaint and delicious pit stop. From hassle-back potatoes to stuffed and fried zucchini flowers, there’s a lot more than just pasta on the menu here. Wash it all down with the restaurant’s signature ‘Bootleg Martini’, made with house-made Rosso vermouth.
Yulli’s in Surry Hills is is a South East Asian and Mediterranean fusion, boasting a menu that’s mostly gluten-free and entirely vegan. Think potstickers and dumplings, crispy tofu and smoked eggplant, punctuated with the odd pizza, arancini ball or slice of sticky date pudding.
8. Eden (Bondi)
Eden is truly an apt name for this restaurant, an elevated garden of earthly plant-based delights from open-faced ‘gyros’ to oyster mushroom ‘scallops’. A range of botanical cocktails compliment the menu, and of course a selection of wines, beers and non-alcohol refreshments.
Alibi is something of an indoor atrium, an alfresco dining experience sans the alfresco. Serving up delicious, plant-based Mediterranean fare, you’ll be spoilt for choice amongst paellas, braised ‘meatballs’, fire-roasted peppers or their chamomile spaghettini with summer squash.
An organic cafe that serves all-vegan sushi, mochi and other Japanese delicacies, Comeco Cafe is one of the Inner West’s most welcoming and charming spots. There’s also a delightful lineup of baked treats and sweets on offer, inclusive of vegan gelato and organic doughnuts.
Also making our list of the most romantic restaurants in Sydney, Yellow is certainly one of the more elevated vegan dining experiences you’ll find in the city. Their ever-evolving six-course vegan tasting menu (with optional added wine pairings) keeps the offerings fresh each visit, making for an exciting gustatory experience every time.
Vegan Thai food has never looked been so delicious, healthy or fresh. Little Turtle boasts a range of national dishes, from the hard-to-find northern Thai dishes like kanom gui chai, to Western favourites like pineapple fried rice.
Mark + Vinny’s is the perfect in-between, offering stock-standard Italian dishes with vegan alternatives, so that everyone at your dinner table remains satisfied with their options. If their full selection of wood-fired pizzas aren’t enough, try out the vegan truffle mac and cheese, or one of their handmade Gnocchi Del Giorno dishes. They also do takeaway.
Mary’s is the perfect city pit stop for a juicy, no-hold-barred burger and fries (or mash) combo to suit all dietary requirements. A sizeable vegan menu will make your vegan and veg friends feel like more than just an afterthought, and won’t confine them to a selection of salads. Located right above the iconic Mary’s Undergound music venue, it’s also a great way to kick start an evening of moving and grooving.
Fine wining and dining doesn’t get much better than Otto, a hatted Italian restaurant nestled into the harbour of Woolloomooloo. The restaurant offers a traditional and a vegan menu in tandem, both equally as tantalising and luxurious as one another.
It may not say it on the tin, but The Hive Bar in Erskineville has a menu stacked with vegan and vegetarian options – from vegan duck burgers to crispy tofu starters. House DJs and friendly bar staff are all on hand to keep the music and booze free flowing.
An institution of sorts, Golden Lotus in Newtown is a favourite amongst plant-based eaters for its budget-friendly prices and salivating takes on classic Vietnamese dishes.
Redfern’s Regent Street now houses Flyover Fritterie’s kiosk-style eatery, spotlighting flavours straight from the streets of Northern India, specialising in fritters, also known as pakora. Offering takeaway, dine-in, set menus and catering every day of the week, it’s hard to stop yourself going back time and again – even just to sample their latest ‘fritter of the day’.
This family-run corner cafe places focus on sustainable and season produce, using locally- sourced produce from small-scale growers to craft their seasonal vegetarian menu. You can dine in or takeaway, or opt to order one of their sweet-as-can-be picnic boxes to take across the road.
As any vegan will tell you, finding a good, dairy and egg-free pastry is one of the most trying parts of the diet, and Oh My Days bakery is here to fill that immeasurable void. Not only can you expect croissant, danishes, cruffins (or any other number of pastry hybrids), but you can also order cakes for your next vegan-friendly gathering.
An all-vegetarian menu and a carefully curated selection of natural wines round out the offerings at Marrickville’s Pizza Madre. They have a generous number of menu items that are either vegan or gluten free (or both), and a quaint neighbourhood vibe.
A Melbourne institution that’s spread to most of Australia’s capital cities, Lord of the Fries has a reputation that precedes it. When you’re craving the kind of comfort food that only a fast food outlet will satiate, this is the go-to. Shoestring fries, smash burgers, vegan hot dogs and faux-chicken nuggets, it’s got all the important hallmarks of your favourite junk food outlet, but without the things you don’t want (i.e. meat and dairy). They’re also open late, for that post-late-night-dance refuel.
Chacha’s at Bondi Beach is about as heath-conscious as gelato can get. Vegan, refined sugar free and gluten free, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re a new-wave fad – but in fact, they’ve been slinging scoops since the 80s! All your usual suspects are present, and accompanied by a rotation of seasonal flavours. You can also find them in select grocery stores by the tub.
Comfort food doesn’t have to mean junk food, and Govinda’s is proof that a warm bowl of dahl and some well seasoned kofta balls are all it takes. Nourishing, healthy, vegetarian food without all the fanfare, or the price tag.
25. INDU (CBD)
Celebrating Sri Lankan food and heritage, INDU is a slick and delicious gustatory experience in the heart of the city. While the menu isn’t strictly vegan or vegetarian, there are a healthy number of options, like Aloo Masala potato dosa and devilled chickpea and cashew stew. Gin lovers, let it also be known that they have an excellent and extensive range of spirits in store for you.
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