Best Vegan Food In Sydney: Top Places For All Tastes And Budgets

While Sydney (and the rest of Australia, if we're being honest) is pretty behind the vegan bandwagon, plant-based food in Sydney does exist if you know where to look.
 

Whether you're going casual or fine dining, there are hidden places around the city that are happy to make you Italian-style pizza with no cheese, Vietnamese soup with no shrimp paste, and pancakes with no milk or eggs.

So sit back and feast your eyes! This is the best vegan food in Sydney, and these gems are truly amazing.
 

1. Bodhi(Sydney CBD)

Sitting slap-bang in the middle of Phillip and Cook Park in the heart of the city, this one-of-a-kind Chinese-inspired restaurant is an impossibly peaceful escape nestled under an umbrella of Moreton Bay fig trees.

The specialty here kicks off at lunch time with vegan yum cha, but if you can't make for lunch, the dinner menu is brimming with dumplings, Peking 'duck', 'prawn' burgers, mushroom steaks, sliders, laksa, and a range of sweet options that are all 100-percent vegan.

I should mention that I usually steer away from mock meats, but at Bodhi I order as much as I can. I don't know how they do it, but the flavours and textures are so spot-on that even dedicated carnivores could be convinced. When it comes to Asian food, this is hands-down the best vegan food in Sydney.

Meals: Lunch and Dinner.

Cuisine: Chinese

Cost: $$-$$$

BYO: No – licensed venue with a liquor menu.

My Favourites

'Prawns': Salt, pepper, coriander, tempura konjaku ‘prawns’.

Tofu sliders: Tofu, cabbage jam, spicy 'mayo', tomato & cos lettuce.

Peking 'duck': Bodhi vegan peking 'duck' with hoisin sauce, cucumber, pancakes & handmade pancakes.
 


2. Yellow (Potts Point)

Yellow was the first major restaurant in Sydney to strip the menu of meat and start turning vegetables in to the stars of each dish. And with crunchy potato truffle tartlets, creamy avocado and pistachio tomatillos, seasonal ingredients sourced from local suppliers, and a five-course vegan tasting menu, what's not to love?

This place accommodates people of all dietary requirements, and is great if you're up for something a little fancier.

Meal: Dinner and Brunch (brunch is only available on weekends).

Cuisine: Modern Australian 

Cost: $$$

BYO: No – licensed venue with a liquor menu.

My Favourites 

Avocado + Pistachio + Tomatillos: Looks like half an avocado sitting on a pile of salt, but it's oh so much more. The filling is light (almost mousse-like, if you will), and has been combined with all sorts of seasonings and topped with pistachio – it's like nothing else I've tried.

Vegan Tasting Menu (yes, the whole thing): Changes seasonally, but it's like there's a party in your mouth every time.

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3. The Sultan’s Table(Enmore)

If you haven’t booked anywhere for dinner on Saturday night, these guys will fit you in. The Sultan's Table gets so busy that wait staff literally run through the restaurant. It's not exactly a relaxing experience, but the atmosphere is endearingly upbeat and energetic, and you're so full by the end it's a struggle to walk. Though Sultan's Table isn't strictly vegan (they don't even advertise it), they make it on to the list of the best vegan food in Sydney because lots of Turkish food is inherently vegan. Hummus, falafels, grilled vegetables, pita, and vine leaves are all normally made without dairy or eggs, so it's a win win!

Meal: Lunch and Dinner.

Cuisine: Turkish

Cost: $$

BYO: Yes.

My Favourites

Falafels: Green and seasoned and not too dry, I would go as far as to say they're the best falafels in Sydney.

Vegetarian Kebab Plate: Pita, dips, grilled vegetables, and more.

4. Baja Cantina(Glebe)

Love burritos and tacos but find the servings too small? Baja Cantina will fix that right up. Their large selection of nachos, enchiladas, burritos, and quesadillas with salsa, avocado and more will satisfy Mexican cravings 10-times over. Meals here are huge.

Baja Cantina isn't technically vegan, but as with The Sultan's Table, they make it on to the list of the best vegan food in Sydney because vegetarian Mexican food tends not to include dairy or eggs (just ask for no cheese or sour cream). With a large seating area, beer garden and sizeable drinks menu (sangria, anyone?), this place is always alive with a-thousand-and-one very happy-looking people.

Meal: Lunch and Dinner.

Cuisine: Mexican

Cost: $$

BYO: No – licensed venue with a liquor menu.

My Favourites

Burrito Grande: Giant flour tortilla stuffed with rice, beans, cheese & salsa. Served with guacamole & a side salad.

Sangria: Comes in three varieties, and in jugs! Red Sangria – Red wine, fresh fruit, Triple Sec, fruit juices. White Sangria – White wine, fresh fruit, apple juice, citrus liquor. Sparkling Sangria – Sparkling wine, fresh fruit, mixed berries, strawberry liquor, lemoncello & fruit juices.

5. Speedos Cafe(North Bondi)

Two words: Vegan. Pancakes.

I'm not a huge pancake person, but these ones are sweet and fluffy cloud cakes topped with syrup, nuts, berries, passionfruit, coco-whip, and edible flowers. Because who doesn't like eating flowers for breakfast. These are top of the range as far as all pancakes go – vegan or not – and you get to stare at beautiful Bondi Beach as you gorge yourself.

If you're not really in to pancakes, you can change the menu up so your meal doesn't include eggs or cheese.

Meal: Breakfast and Lunch.

Cuisine: Modern Australian

Cost: $-$$

BYO: No – this cafe is unlicensed.

My Favourite:

I've never ordered anything except the Caramelised Banana + Chia Pancakes with coco whip, but I've been with people who have ordered the Veggie Patch, and the Poached Eggs + Smashed Avocado, and had excellent things to say!

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6.Golden Lotus(Newtown)

It's difficult to imagine how pho (Vietnamese soup traditionally cooked with bone broth) could work as a vegan dish, but the people at Golden Lotus have made it happen. These Saigon-inspired noodle soups are sweet, sour, and a bit spicy, with an array of fresh vegetables, tofu and lime – there's so much flavour in these that even traditional pho-loving folks can be converted.

There's also an assortment of other Vietnamese-inspired dishes, including papaya salad, curries, faux meat hot pots, fried rice, laksa, and banquets to suit everyone.

Meal: Lunch and Dinner.

Cuisine: Vietnamese

Cost: $-$$

BYO: Yes.

My Favourites

Saigonese Sweet & Sour Soup: Tamarind broth with banana blossom, abalone mushroom, pineapple, tomato, celery, bean sprout and basil leaves. Served with dried onion. Fresh chilli and soy sauce on the side.

Pho (vegan chicken or tofu and veggies): Southern style pho broth, saw-leaf herb, rice noodles, onion and Tofu & Veggies or Chicken. Bean sprouts, fresh basil, fresh chilli and lemon/lime served on the side.

Papaya Salad: Fresh papaya, greens, lime, and fried onion.

7.Lentil As Anything(Newtown, and multiple locations in Melbourne)

This not-for-profit pay-what-you-feel eatery is truly unique in the Sydney food scene, focusing on the community aspect of food and dining, rather than profit. With a volunteer-run kitchen and ever-changing set menus of international (vegan) food (from Italian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern, to Sri Lankan, Japanese, and Greek), the place is always buzzing, and seats spill out on to the street.

The philosophy is pretty simple: "Our restaurants have no set prices, and anyone is welcome to come and join us for a meal. Eat your fill, experience what the community has to offer, and pay as you feel into one of our contribution boxes."

And while I wouldn't walk in expecting a mouth explosions, Lentil As Anything make it in to the list of the best vegan food in Sydney because the food is so fresh and hearty, their business model is unique and centred around community and positive ethics, and the atmosphere is unparalleled.

Meals: Brunch (weekends only), Lunch and Dinner.

Cuisine: Mixed international, depending on the day.

Cost: $

BYO: No – this restaurant is unlicensed.

My Favourites 

Since the menu changes daily, I have no specific favourites, but their Sri Lankan-inspired food is always excellent, and you're given a cracking cup of chai when you walk in.

8. Gigi Pizzeria(Newtown)

Gigi's almost always makes it on to lists featuring the best vegan food in Sydney, and with good reason – this place is totally unique. While they got a lot of flack in 2015 for going from a semi-vegetarian-friendly pizza joint to a full-vegan establishment overnight, patrons continue to line up out the door at 6pm every evening, so the new menu really speaks for itself.

Pizzas are all wood-fired with minimalist toppings, focusing on taste rather than quantity, and shifting the focus from cheese to vegetables – turns out that layers of truffle-infused potato, dairy-free gorgonzola, and herb-infused olive oil still tastes great without being smothered in cheese – who knew?

Meal: Lunch and Dinner.

Cuisine: Italian

Cost: $$

BYO: No – licensed venue with a liquor menu.

My Favourites

Patate: Thin-sliced roast potato, garlic, rosemary and black truffle pate with extra virgin olive oil.

Funghi e Radicchio: Swiss brown mushrooms, garlic, dairy-free blue cheese, parsley, radicchio, roasted walnuts and extra virgin olive oil.

Focaccia all’aglio ed origano: Garlic, extra virgin olive oil, oregano, sea salt & cracked pepper.

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9. Gelato Blue(Newtown)

While many plant-based humans around the world have given up on the idea of being able to eat vegan ice cream while out and about, Gelato Blue harpooned that idea for Sydney-siders with the creation of the city's first plant-based gelateria.

Located on the main drag of Newtown, Gelato Blue boasts a comparatively enormous selection of gelato (including sugar-free and gluten-free options). Literally everything in the store, from the ice cream sliders and sundaes to the Italian hot chocolates, is plant-based, hand-made, creamy, and full of flavour.

Meal: Dessert (2-10pm).

Cuisine: Italian/Modern-Australian

Cost: $

BYO: No – this shop is unlicensed.

My Favourites 

Salted Belgian Chocolate; Caramelised Macadamia; American Peanut Brownie; Pear and Salted Caramel.

Other Options

 I haven't made it to every vegan place in Sydney, so here are a range of other places with excellent reviews that I'm dying to try!

Green Lion (Rozelle - Sydney's first vegan pub!); Funky Pies (Bondi – Australians are a little pie-obsessed, so the fact that a vegan pie shop exists is kind of a big deal); Bliss and Chips (Newtown – A vegan fish and chip shop! Yes, chips are vegan, but the fish... I'm curious.); Pana Chocolate (Alexandria – vegan dessert store devoted to all things chocolate); OTTO Ristorante (Woolooomooloo – not strictly vegan, but they do have an Italian vegan degustation menu).


So that's my guide for the best vegan food in Sydney!

These will probably change a bit as more and more places open, so make sure you check in from time to time to take a look.

Did you find any of these suggestions useful? Tell me all about it on FacebookInstagram, or in the comments.


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