In Sydney, we all love going out to eat, just as we all love wearing our swimmers in public, preserving our beautiful planet, and keeping our bank account balance fairly healthy. And how do we bring all of these together in one lifestyle? Going green! (As in, eating plant-based). Luckily, Sydney is teeming with great vegan and veg-heavy restaurants, so put down the steak knife and check these delicious alternatives out.
Fine dining meets dumpling heaven meets 100% vegan eats in the CBD. Sheltered in a beautiful outdoor spot at the bottom of Hyde Park, Bodhi’s list of dumplings is nearly as extensive as the lanterns which line the tables and trees overhead. We recommend getting one of everything, but definitely don’t miss out on the “duck” pancake — by far the best in the city, and it’s totally meat-free! And since it’s within literal metres of St James Station, there are no excuses for why you haven’t visited.
This swanky bar and kitchen in Woolloomooloo really puts out plant-based vibe, fitted with hanging ferns, potted plants, and flower arrangements. And while the cocktails on offer make for interesting conversation pieces during a first date, the all-vegan food is what shines here. Created by internationally acclaimed vegan chef Matthew Kenney, the imaginative entrées and mains, like Kimchi Dumplings, Charcoal Steamed Buns with roasted carrot, and Sweet Potato and Taro Gratin with spiced coconut cream and cashew parmesan will have any nice dinner outing sorted.
The third restaurant endeavour from the award-winning team behind Bentley Restaurant & Bar and Monopole, Yellow does not disappoint! You’ll find it in the iconic Yellow House building in Potts Point, just steps away from Kings Cross station and in the heart of the new chic restaurant district. Yellow is a literal haven for vegetarians and vegans alike; there’s a huge a la carte menu, a couple of different tasting menus (vegetarian or vegan), a shared group menu, plus a seasonal weekend brunch spread. The pièce de résistance? Monthly ‘guest chefs’ from Sydney’s dining hot spots who come to Yellow to put their vegetarian cooking skills to the test. Sign up to the mailing list to see who will be cooking next, and be sure to book well in advance — tables at Yellow are hot property!
Have you been introduced to Sydney’s first vegan deli yet? Shift Eatery, a streetside café in Surry Hills, sells out of their classic breakfast bagel almost every morning — yet if it wasn’t named “The Best Vegan Bacon and Egg Bagel In The World”, many wouldn’t realise that the eggs and bacon between the sandwich are entirely plant-based. And that’s the point. Shift’s mission to help transition meat-eaters into dedicated veg-enthusiasts. Between the breakfasts (like chia pudding and avo edamame), toasties, and “tasty-AF sandwiches”, this deli makes being vegan easy.
For a seaside breakfast in the heart of the Sutherland Shire, Pilgrims delivers tasty fresh food and lip-smacking coffee with a side of beach vibes. From house-made pesto and baked beans to sweet treats in the form of banana bread and acai bowls, Pilgrims covers all the bases. And if you drop by after midday, they serve a tempting array of lunch options, including curry lentil and spinach or vegan pies, served with a side of hummus. Oh, and there’s a special menu for different dietary requirements, so take your most fussy food friend and discover the best part of South Sydney’s eating scene.
While there is no shortage of acai bowls and almond milk lattes down on Bondi Beach, Bondi Wholefoods is in a realm of its own. Serving up delicious and whole foods (the clue being very much in the name), BW has a place of honour as one of Sydney’s healthiest. While they do wonders with a little butter and organically raised meats, most of their all-day brekkie and lunch menus are vegetable-dominant, and they’ll usually have a vegan special on offer. Plus, their latte menu is mouthwatering and will have you forgetting all about your standard caffeine fix. Fitt Tip: try the golden turmeric — it’s amazing!
Long considered the epitome of unhealthy eating, burgers are making a comeback in a BIG way. We love Soul Burger for its balanced approach to eating, its prioritisation of local produce, and, of course, because there is no real meat in sight! And while you might expect a bunch of different lentil patties on the menu, the choice is a lot more interesting and diverse than that. Standard vegetarian options (tofu, falafel, cheese) are combined with plant-based “meat” burgers, which look and taste a lot like the real thing. So, you can have your burger and eat it too! As well as some sweet potato fries, obviously.
Simple. Fresh. Tacos. They’re three of our favourite food words, and you’ll find them all at Bad Hombres! Their whole menu is vegetarian, and there are some interesting flavour combos that you won’t find at a stock standard Mexican joint. For instance, Bad Hombres is all about a fusion of cultural cuisines, so you can find Japanese mayo and furikake, nori guacamole, and salsa verde with Chinese pancakes. There’s a rotating “taco of the week”, which is the perfect excuse to go back regularly. And it’s not Mexican restaurant without margaritas... by the jug. Bad Hombres absolutely delivers on the meal, alongside a killer wine list and some very authentic tequila options.
Another world-renowned vegan hot spot, Nalinis Ayurvedic Kitchen has been serving up the goods for more than three years in the hub of Bondi Junction and has since expanded to Bondi Beach and Bronte. The first restaurant to serve a fully probiotic, vegan, and 100% gluten-free menu, Nalinis is not your standard Indian takeaway. Choose between a variety of delicious dosa (Indian pancakes), thali (tasting platters), or curry-based wraps and bowls — but make sure you leave room for plant-based, low-sugar goodness that is Chachas “nice” cream!
There are not many places that can boast being 100% vegan and still taste this good. This Vietnamese spot has soups, salads, and maybe THE BEST street food Newtown has to offer — which is a massive call to make in such a foodie suburb. Grab a pho or a noodle salad, or take some rice paper rolls to go. And with a curated banquet menu (minimum four people), plus BYO wine (if you want to enjoy a drink alongside your delicious cuisine), Golden Lotus is the perfect spot to take your meat-free mates!
Another classic Sydney institution, Yulli’s serves a plant-based, mindful menu seven nights a week in vibrant Surry Hills. Drop by for lunch (Tuesday–Sunday) or dinner any night to tuck into delicious gyoza, stuffed zucchini flowers, vegetable croquettes, or braised artichoke. And if you struggle to pick from the overwhelmingly delicious options, go for the reasonably priced banquet and sample it all! Yulli’s also features a fully gluten-free menu, plus a takeaway option for when you want to tuck into your falafels on your couch in your PJs. No judgment.
As you can probably guess, meat is off the menu at Rozelle’s hippest vegetarian spot. What this spot does feature, though, is a stunning range of organic, locally sourced, and healthy options that will delight your taste buds in a way you never thought vegetables could. From the Cauliflower Castle to the Zucchini Boats, even the staunchest of carnivores will find a mouth-watering option to suit. And if they’re still skeptical, order them the lasagna and tell them the tomato and capsicum concassé is beef mince... they’ll never know the difference!