The best thing about vegan food is that it’s for everyone. Because, newsflash, you don’t actually have to be vegan to eat vegan, crazy we know. To meat eaters it was once thought that a secret society of basket weaving mountain monks held the keys to this mysterious meat-free lifestyle and if you didn’t have the right password (the password is “seeds” just so you know) then you weren’t allowed in. But never fear, it’s 2018 people and the Gold Coast is home to some top-notch vegan choices that not only bring joy to vego’s but delight to the rest of us trying to cut down on our meat intake. Rejoice!
Greenhouse Canteen & Bar
Coolangatta & Miami
Wait…I can eat vegan AND drink cocktails?! Well sign me up Vishnu! The Greenhouse is a haven to modern vegan dining with beautiful interiors and a menu that is sure to impress. Our pic is their famous deconstructed beetroot burger closely followed by the chilli con carne nachos. Greenhouse portion sizes are exceptional as is the wine selection including tipples produced by the Sea Shepherd. Whale saving wine? We’re here for it!
Lord Of The Fries
What started as a small family business specialising in making the best hot chips in the land has now grown into the first vegan fast food jaunt to spread around Australia. Lord Of The Fries serves up delish vegan burgers, hotdogs and of course fries but all without the greasy oil or creepy chemicals. Morgan Spurlock approved!
Like your Yum Cha but with no meaty meatiness, Easy House is the long-time local legend you’ve been looking for. Dumplings and Gyoza? Noodles and stir-fry? This sweet, simple eating house will have you back for more vegan goodness quicker than you can say “I can’t believe this chicken satay isn’t chicken!”
Specialising in raw and whole foods the team at Blend Love have created a ‘back to basics’ mantra that’s about treating food with respect and allowing the true flavours to shine. Their smoothie menu is super impressive and did we mention they grind local coffee by Blackboard Coffee Roaster’s? Sopo vegans unite!
Vegan Aisle Eatery & Bar
Anyone who has a burger called the ‘Fillet no Fish’ or ‘Garden of Vegan’ wins us over with their cheeky take on a burger joint. Known for their friendly service and burgers that taste just like the real thing but…not, the crew at Vegan Aisle will ensure you leave with full bellies and smiling faces.
The Love Child Marketplace
Also known as The LC this is a vegan foodie heaven where options are a plenty. Picture The Collective but plant based. Encompassing eateries such as Flora by Greenhouse, Burgers Vs Kebabs, I like Ramen, GiGi’s Pizzaria and most importantly a bar! (Turkish Delight dessert cocktail anyone?) A great place to take a group of friends’ vegan or otherwise so you can sample a little of everything!
Specialising in all things raw and organic this Tweed Heads café and health food store is a must stop for vegans when you’re a little south of the border. Keeping most foods uncooked and letting the crunchy fresh, goodness of raw eating shine, the team behind Rawthentic aim to bring more awareness to healthy, sustainable food on the southern Gold Coast.
Shopping at Robina Town Centre can sometimes leave you a little in need of some quiet time, well then, the Elixaba experience is just what the ashram ordered! Natural shaped timber furnishings, green hanging plants and soft music enhances the enjoyment of their plant-based vegan delights. Order one of their ‘Garden of Eden’ cocktails complete with edible flowers to truly relax.
Broadbeach & Southport
Although not exclusively vegan this vegetarian restaurant has some of the best vegan offerings on the Coast so she makes the list. Cardamon Pod's newest opening at the Brickworks in Southport has Gold Coaster’s rejoicing. This place is serious about bringing colour and fun to their menu and not many can go past offerings like their Indian street food waffle with maple siracha glaze, roast pumpkin, potato peanut fritter, beetroot and coconut yogurt raita. Drool!
Clean Beauty Market
Beauty gurus, raise your contouring brushes, this cruelty-free, non-toxic beauty bar in Nobby Beach is seriously worth a look-see. Stocking over 200 exclusively plant-based brands (most of which aren’t readily available in Australia), there’s something for everyone at Clean Beauty Market, from organic fake tans and makeup right through to natural inner wellness products. They also offer one-on-one personal service, professional makeup applications (with the cost redeemable on product) and the occasional natural makeup workshop too.
L’UANA & Co.
Born on the Gold Coast this bohemian brand is a continuation of the vegan, cruelty free lifestyle but you also get to swish around in it and look fabulous–win! Floaty and feminine maxi skirts and dresses or a super cute jumpsuit all made from fabrics sourced in Bali and designed here on the GC. Everything at L’UANA & Co is vegan-friendly, easy to wear and fits right into the local lifestyle AKA a beach day has turned into cocktails on the rooftop, these guys have got you covered, literally.
Coming soon to level two of the The LC dining precinct is Lovechild Boutique (for now you can get it online here), stocking a range of brands both strictly vegan or more well-known labels that have a vegan selection such as Dr. Martin, Birkenstock and Lack of Color.
Another gem from the Greenhouse team comes vegan spa The Bathhouse. Located in a hidden sanctuary in Burleigh, for just $70 you can enjoy the Luxe Soak Session which gives you access to the hydrotherapy spa, wet steam room infused with essential oils, the red cedar sauna, magnesium plunge pool and a plant-based lunch with a glass of Kombucha or bubbles. To be honest we wanted to stay here all day long.
This gorge salon specialises in natural, organic, cruelty free and vegan products to ensure that your hair is both luscious and restored—minus the tear inducing chemicals! They also offer a range of beauty services including manis, pedis, massage and eyelash extensions. So yea, we reckon you'll want to check out éva Organic quick smart.
Inside the Cornerstone Store building sits this super sleek, custom designed hair heaven. Zanzi has a ‘no harm’ philosophy where they hold the importance of not only the client but also the environment and all of its creatures to the highest regard. Sip on herbal tea or indulge in a raw treat as the crew work their magic on your strands.
Earth Essence Beauty
Turn around your favorite face cream these days and your sure to find a recipe of unusual chemicals, codes & ingredients indecipherable to the common user. Well at Earth Essence & Beauty located inside The Cornerstones Currumbin you need not let that worry your pretty little face as all their products are non - toxic, ethically made, vegan and organic! Ready to buff away your winter woe's without leaving a hefty footprint on the earth? Book your next treatment with Earth Essence Beauty and both you & the planet will look très glowy!
Earth + Skin
We highly suggest you saunter on in to Earth + Skin organic day spa where your mind can rest easy that all products are both good for your health AND the planet. If you really want to spoil yourself after a long week then the ‘Wild Moon Ritual’ is for you. It begins with a guided chakra meditation session, which sees you wrapped in a clay cocoon and ends with you floating out on a cloud of bliss (BYO cloud).
Still want more? Check out these GC restaurants going plant-based one day a week.
Image Credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List