If you’ve been crushing hard on cauliflower and cashew cheese for a while, you don’t need to be convinced that vegan food is the way to go. For everyone else, the time is now to get tasting the vegan way of life.
Plant-based and filling, ethical and fresh, vegan eats excite the tastebuds and look after our planet. Brisbane’s vegan scene has recently picked up the pace, and with that, has sprouted an array of restaurants, cafes and bars dedicated to veganism or, committed to having vegan options on their menu that aren't just a salad.
Have your food and forget the guilt. Here’s where to find the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Brisbane.
Fitz and Potts
The kitschy retro interiors of Nundah's Fitz and Potts might have you fooled that you’ll be up for a serving of shrimp cocktail or devilled eggs. No sir-ree! They are a self-proclaimed “vegan as f#*k” bar, where everything is vegan—the snacks, small plates, cocktails and even treats for your pooch. Dive straight in with either the jaffle platter or cheese platter. It’s a great way to sample a selection of vegan meats, cheeses and condiments.
She’s a classy lady, this one. You’ll find Miss Demeanour underground in Rowes Lane with moody lighting, live music and top-notch vegan food. From a vegan burger to banana peel bacon-topped loaded fries and a main of salt baked beetroot, she’s got it going on. We think breakfast is her speciality and the French toast—a mouth-watering combo of chia, maple, toasted almond and basil—is a must eat.
You Came Again
There isn’t much better than tapas. You get to nibble away at lots of different little dishes, usually with a drink in hand and a bunch of mates. Live the tapas experience fuelled by a whole lot of plant power at You Came Again, Brisbane’s own (and first) vegan tapas bar. Trust us, you’ll be screaming for more of their mushroom and walnut pate, glazed eggplant and the meetballs. Do yourself a favour and be sure to sample the cocktail menu.
Hay Gurl Plant Based Eats
Recent to open, Hay Gurl is a cheery cafe that serves healthy and casual eats, and they look as good as they taste. House specialties are the (Not) Salmon on Rye—the salmon is actually smoked carrot—and their selection of vegan baked goods. They also have fantastic coffee, which is a winning thing in anyone’s diet.
If you’re after a fine dining experience, Otto is the place for you. It’s Italian food, done simply and with the highest-quality local ingredients. They have a whole section of their menu dedicated to vegans which you can have for entrée or a main. There’s even a scrumptious pineapple granita for dessert, perfect for a hot Brisbane summer. Perched up high on Queen Street, it has a spectacular view looking out over the river and the Story Bridge to boot.
Fish Lane has established itself as a bit of a Brisbane foodie hot spot and it’s here that you will find Grassfed, a vegan burger joint dedicated to sustainable and local ingredients. These guys are the kings of turning something obviously non-vegan into a wondrously tasty alternative. Throw in some onion rings and top it off with a co-yo ice cream sundae and you’ll need someone to roll you home.
Open and inviting, Greenhouse's rustic yet modern interiors will draw you in. Their food is equally as enticing—basically, vegan food porn that looks almost too pretty to eat. And pretty much whatever you can think of is on the menu in vegan form here, from jackfruit rogan josh and spicy krabcakes to cauliflower mac 'n' cheese and eggplant parmigiana. Even your non-vegan friends will want to eat here.
The locals in North Lakes are already well aware of this one—it's their very own vegan and vegetarian haven. Tuesday through to Sunday, sit down and enjoy the soul-warming tastes of Asian cuisine at September 18. Think laksa, noodles, curries, deep-fried mushrooms and fresh sung choi bao.
Want to see just how exciting vegan food can be? Let Yavanna show you with the likes of spicy buffalo cauliflower wings, house ‘fluffies’ (aka pancakes) and the pesto schnitzel burger—where the chicken is not chicken but tastes just like it. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has drinks for every occasion, along with bright and leafy interiors and super friendly staff. If none of that excites you, we’re not sure what will.
Beer isn’t the only thing Tipplers Tap does well. Their all-American street food is damn good too and they cater for their vegan pals. All the usual suspects have been vegan-ified—burgers, hotdogs, chilli and even a Polish sausage. Hot tip: Go on a Tuesday for $2 tacos and order that extra guac.
This place has some seriously creative and fancy food. It is also known around the traps as one of Brisbane’s best vegan restaurants. Detour is not an exclusively vegan restaurant, but half of their menu is for the plant eaters out there with eight diverse and delicious meals to choose from. Got a fancy date or a special occasion to celebrate? Detour is the perfect place.
After a vegan brunch? Check out our list of Brisbane's best vegan cafes here.
Image credit: Tash Sorrenson for Urban List