Monday, May 20, 2024

The 17 Best Vegan Restaurants in Sydney, Australia

Vegan menus used to be rarities in Sydney. You once had to visit a Buddhist restaurant or macrobiotic cafe to find an animal-free meal. Today, vegan diners have access to many cuisines and types of restaurants, including plant-based sushi, cheese, croissants, souvlaki, pho, and pizza — and that’s just on one street in inner city Newtown, aka the famous Vegan Mile.

Some pioneering institutions like Iku (established in 1985) and Colin Yiu-Kwing Fung’s Green Gourmet (launched in 1998) have persevered and shapeshifted over the decades. But ditching dairy and meat has become so mainstream that the concept is just as prevalent among fast food (U.S. chain Mr. Charlie’s has just opened in Redfern), and even restaurants that aren’t fully meat-free offer meaningful options: The signature jollof rice at Little Lagos is flavored without traditional animal products, while refugees at Kyiv Social happily flex how Ukrainian cuisine goes beyond creamy, meaty staples (think green borscht with sorrel, dill, and potatoes).

Credit changing attitudes, environmental concerns, and culinary invention as drivers behind the city’s ever-evolving and growing scene. When you say “vegan food” and “Sydney” today, people might think of burgers, bakeries, dazzling tasting menus, or multicultural market stalls — all signs of how inspired and diverse the city’s plant-based options have become.

Note: Not all of the restaurants on this list are strictly vegan. Confirm items fit your dietary needs directly with restaurants.

Lee Tran Lam is a Sydney-based freelance journalist, podcaster, and editor of the New Voices On Food books.

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