Over the years (including during the five years that I lived there) I have made it my duty to seek out the best vegan restaurants in Sydney and, needless to say, it is an exciting time to survey the city’s plant-based eateries.
For one thing, venues such as the pizzeria Gigi and desserts boutique Gelato Blue have gone from nonvegan to vegan in the past few years. Located in Newtown—one of the most left-leaning suburbs in the world—they have found that demand for vegan dishes was so great (and in the case of the owner of Gigi, a relative suggesting the owner watch Earthlings), they changed all but overnight and are now thriving more than ever.
Other places in Newtown, such as Green Gourmet (and their store), Golden Lotus, Sadhana, Vina, Superfood Sushi, Lentil As Anything, Blossoming Lotus, Green Palace Thai, and Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher at the northern St Peters end, are terrific.
Various nonvegan places also provide amazing options: Mad Pizza, Basil’s, and Rocketboy for pizza, and dozens of venues, many of them Asian, are in prime position up and down the length of King Street.
Further up in and on the fringes of the CBD are such recommended places as Hari’s, Nourishing Quarter, Yulli’s, Mother Chu’s Vegetarian Kitchen, Lord of the Fries for fast food, Peace Harmony, Iku Wholefood, Bodhi, as well as the Cruelty Free Shop.
At Bondi there is Earth to Table, Dandylion, and Funky Pies; at Randwick not far off is the delectable Soul Burger; and at Cabramatta in the west is Loving Hut, World Vegan Restaurant, Green Palace Thai, An Lac, and various vegan groceries (in a notably Vietnamese and otherwise Asian area).
This scratches the surface of restaurants in Sydney—if you want to take visiting guests somewhere vegan and classy (or you are these visiting guests), perhaps try Yulli’s or Bodhi in the city, or Gigi followed with Gelato Blue for dessert at Newtown.
Most other places are more relaxed and informal-feeling (though merely in comparison—Golden Lotus, for example, is as modern and charming as the best restaurants, and in many respects is similar to Yulli’s but Asian rather than serving varied cuisine, yet it is a little more laidback than others).
Lord of the Fries—which originated in Melbourne—or Funky Pies or Suzy Spoon’s are great if you are in the mood for something more indulgent or in the sphere of junk food, and every one of the restaurants mentioned above is delicious and also essentially good value for money (in the case of Lentil As Anything, the restaurant is “pay as you feel”).
I have heard many people remark that, living in Sydney or Melbourne nowadays (just to be nonchalant and reductive after an especially good meal), you have to go out of your way, in fact, to not be vegan. Perhaps a majority of my readers are vegan, and know that the challenges tend to be social rather than brought about by the venue. (Even where choices are limited—in Manila and Bangkok, for example, animal product-centric meals are easily updated (and are on offer at a range of vegan restaurants), the fruits and vegetables have a wonderful depth of flavour that is absent from some produce (in my native Australia), and the coconut ice creams and plant-based cheeses were amongst the very best that I have tasted.)
With what we know about health, the environment, social justice, and animal suffering, why would you not choose these restaurants and, beyond this, a plant-based meal whenever you sit down to eat? It is certain that most of us have a weakness for food but hopefully, with time and greater knowledge, more people will give a focus to meal choices that are healthier, more environmentally friendly, and kinder to the other creatures with whom we share the planet.