Plant-based and filling, ethical and fresh, veggie eats excite the tastebuds and look after our planet. Brisbane’s vegan and vegetarian scene has recently picked up the pace, with an array of restaurants, cafes and bars dedicated to veganism or, committed to having vegetarian options on their menu that aren't just a sad salad.
Here’s where to find the best vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Brisbane.
ZA ZA TA
ZA ZA TA went vegetarian in 2021, and has since become a staple for plant-based diners across Brisbane. Their menu is still a melting pot of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavours, but now you'll find the likes of slow fermented zaatar potato bread, silverbeet and feta borek with whipped tahini and green tomato, BBQ cauliflower shawarma, and sesame falafel with tahini sauce. There's a separate menu with 100% vegan versions of some of the top dishes, too.
Lovers of Mexican food, El Planta is the spot for you, with a delicious lineup of plant-based eats that changes weekly, and not a black bean in sight. Vegan or not, you’ll find plenty to tempt you on the menu here like tacos filled with red chilli jackfruit, flame-cooked oyster mushroom or fried 'chicken,' which come with housemade tortillas, salsas and sauces. It’s not all about the tacos though—you’ll also find a selection of snacks to kick things off, including guacamole or plant-based queso with crisp housemade corn chips and grilled corn rolled in chipotle mayo and ‘parmesan', as well as unreal margaritas to wash everything down.
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 first vegan tapas bar. Trust us, you’ll be screaming for more of their mushroom and walnut pate, pesto-stuffed mushrooms and the meetballs with romesco sauce and garlic chips. Do yourself a favour and be sure to sample the cocktail menu as well.
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 with a list of classics and regularly changing specials. 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.
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.
Rogue Bistro’s monthly degustation menus cater to just about anyone, and that includes our vegan and vegetarian friends. In fact they get their own menus. A different six-course menu is curated every month that showcases the best local, seasonal produce in truly inventive ways. If you're looking for a Brisbane vegetarian or vegan restaurant for date night or a special occasion, this is where you want to go.
Nonna's Nightmare is all about vegan Italian eats, with everything from the ‘Notzarella’ and feta to the spicy sausage a plant-based alternative. Hand-stretched pizza bases are topped with the likes of vegan ricotta and cashew cream cheese, while pastas come in meat-free creamy sauces and ragus, while dessert looks like Frangelico tiramisu. Sorry, Nonna, but this stuff's good.
While it's not 100% vegan or vegetarian, Naim has dedicated plant-based menus for both brunch and dinner, meaning you don't have to attempt to interpret all those V/VO/VGO notations. Highlights on the evening menu include dishes like grilled 'chicken' schwarma, Catalonian 'Meatballs' and the 100% vegan mezze platter.
Not just a haven for all old school arcade lovers, Netherworld is also a staple of Brisbane's vegan scene, with their Hellmouth Diner dishing up a full menu of vegan eats. You can expect the likes of vegan hotdogs, burgers, nachos and loaded fries, along with snacks like 'chicken' nuggets and cauliflower drumettes. And for all those non-vegan friends, every dish can be made carnivorous—but here the vegan option is the norm, not the other way around.
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 vplant-based—the snacks, small plates, cocktails and even treats for your pooch. Dive straight in with a mushroom and cheeze pizza, pumpkin arancini or loaded jaffle and prepare for some seriously tasty meat-free eats.
If you're looking for somewhere to dine that will please everyone—vegans, vegos, carnivores and even the gluten-intolerant—Happy Boy ticks all of the boxes and then some. The Chinese-leaning menu is split into vegetable, meat and seafood dishes for ease of ordering. If you're planning to share, eats like the salt and pepper tofu, saucy eggplant (sans pork belly), mushrooms and tofu in soy sauce and mushroom and truffle fried rice will have everyone drooling.
Antica means ‘ancient’ in Italian, but their menu is anything but. The team at Antica have curated a full-length vegan menu from the antipasti to the pizza and pasta and even dessert. They haven’t skimped on the flavours either, reimagining classics like the capricciosa and margherita pizza and ravioli and bolognese pasta dishes. Vegan tiramisu and tart grace the dessert menu meaning you never have to miss out at Antica.
Brand new to the e'cco Bistro menu, their tasting menus are now available as vegan or vegetarian. Their four or five-course tasting menus are designed to offer the full e’cco experience without cutting corners. Their mushrooms on toast is topped with black olive tapenade and aged balsamic, and for dessert, the dark chocolate crème caramel dessert is sure to fill that ice cream-sized hole.
Want more plant-based eats? Check out our readers' picks of the best falafel in Brisbane here.
Image credit: Za Za Ta, @andyfromhk, Nonna's Nightmare, Urban List