Food & Drink

The Best Vegan And Vegetarian Restaurants On The Gold Coast In 2023

By Urban List Gold Coast
11th Jul 2023

Living a plant-based life is certainly nothing new, but it's clear the popularity of the vegan and vegetarian diet has been on the rise lately. The Gold Coast is a hub for tasty vegan eats, with vegan cafes, restaurants and bakeries popping up on the regular. 

Whether you're a passionate plant-based peep, you're looking to get more vegetables into your diet or you just want to try something different, eating plant-based food has never been so accessible and appetising. Read on for 15 of the Gold Coast's best vegan and vegetarian joints in 2023.

Greenhouse Canteen 

Miami

a vegan spread at a gold coast restaurant

If you’re on the hunt for one of the very best vegan restaurants on the Gold Coast, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Greenhouse Canteen. Their mission is to challenge people’s perceptions of the vegan lifestyle; starting with the best vegan enchiladas we've tried, loaded with shredded jackfruit, coconut sour cream, cacao mole, pickled vegetables and avocado.

And don’t get us started on their Taco Tuesdays, where you'll nab two vegan handfuls of deliciousness for $10. There's also plenty of cocktails, Aussie wines and local beers; add in a vibing atmosphere and you've got all the ingredients for a great vegan date night spot. 

Dalas Kitchen

Nobby Beach & Palm Beach

Husband and wife duo, Michael and Jess Davies were inspired to bring Dalas Kitchen to life when they realised there was a need in the market for fresh and healthy grab-and-go meals and, well, they were craving some goodness. If the line frequently snaking out the door is anything to go by, the Gold Coast needed a salad bar just like Dalas Kitchen and they’re certainly delivering.

The exclusively vegetarian (and mostly vegan) menu is not only a party in your mouth, but it also celebrates our local farmers and environment, as all of the produce is sustainably sourced, local and as fresh as can be. The sweet salad bar dishes up a selection of seven signature salads, as well as raw treats, cold-press coffee and house-made sodas.

The Milkman's Daughter

Mermaid Beach

lemon ricotta pancakes

Any dedicated brunch fans on the Gold Coast will have heard of The Milkman's Daughter, not just for their vegetarian and vegan meals, but for their top-notch coffee and seriously lush fit-out. One of the best breakfast spots on the Gold Coast for vegans and meat eaters alike, The Milkman's Daughter oozes laidback luxe vibes with loads of lush greenery and white concrete alcoves filled with comfy cushions just begging you to curl up with your pals and cradle a coffee. 

The Mermaid Beach cafe was designed with the ethos of 'Eat consciously. Live consciously' and this reflected in their all-day menu which features nourishing dishes like lemon ricotta pancakes, green fritters and their popular Byron Bay salad. If you're feeling indulgent, add on the dulce de leche iced latte with housemade vegan caramel, double espresso and coconut milk.

Izakaya Midori 

Reedy Creek

The Gold Coast’s first fully plant-based Japanese restaurant and bar is tucked away in the suburb of Reedy Creek but is well worth the weekend venture. Izakaya Midori is not your ordinary Japanese bar, it’s reinventing the typical associations we have with the cuisine and taking it back to its roots when the early Buddhists traditionally ate a plant-based diet.

You won’t find salmon sushi, tuna sashimi and karaage chicken on this menu; instead expect re-imagined dishes with the likes of ramen, karaage, don bowls and udon noodle soup all made with produce from nothing but nature. The nigiri sushi may look like it’s topped with salmon, but it’s actually a mix of wild mushrooms, sliced apple and carefully carved tomato—quite the taste sensation and enough to persuade even the carnivore connoisseurs. 

Goodness Gracias

Palm Beach

plant based tacos at goodness gracias

Think vegan food is boring? Let us introduce you to Goodness Gracias. This vegan Mexican-fusion joint in Palm Beach whips up some of the most colourful Mexican, nay most colourful food, we've seen and it tastes damn good too.

The 100% plant based Mexican cafe  boasts a mouth-watering selection of burritos, tacos, nachos, salads, quesadillas and even a breakfast menu—vegan french toast, anyone? Every Wednesday, you can devour vegan tacos for just $4.50 each and Goodness Gracias has recently acquired their liquor license you can pair your Mexican eats with a margarita. Hands down, one of the most unique vegan cafes on the Gold Coast.

Hidden Cherub

Burleigh Heads

Easily one of the coolest plant-based joints on the Gold Coast, Hidden Cherub is a warehouse-style restaurant and bar hidden down a backlane alley. Yeah, we told you it's cool. Here you'll find self-proclaimed 'naughty' plant based eats, epic cocktails and weekly rotating DJs pumping out tunes. 

Hidden Cherub also slings up cheeky deals—swing by on a Thursday for $6 tacos, $6 beers and $12 margis or treat yourself with a two-for-one chick'n burger every Friday. The menu boasts small snacks but the real star of the show is the indulgent burgers and plant based tacos. Don't make the mistake of going past the truffle mushroom burger stuffed with smoky cheddar. 

Cardamom Pod

Southport

a colourful acai bowl at cardamon pod

One of the first Gold Coast institutions with a completely vegan offering, Cardamom Pod Brickworks is the place to take even your most stubborn meat-eater friend. Cardamom Pod's sought after Blinged Out Avo Benny is a serious vegan breakfast gamechanger, and yes, vegan hollandaise is a thing.

It’s clear to see the passionate crew behind Cardamom Pod take great pleasure in sharing their love for healthy, plant-based food. The decadent menu is loaded with delights like peach pancakes and French toast, and we're a sucker for their Indian-influenced dishes like the Mumbai Wrap.Their desserts and drinks take it up a level, and their massive acai bowls are the prettiest and dreamiest we’ve ever seen.

Doko Demo V

Burleigh Waters

Doko Demo can be loosely translate as 'anywhere' and the V stands for vegan; Doko Demo V means you can eat multi-cultural food anywhere that is cruelty free. This sentiment is evident in their massive menu which boasts the largest selection of multicultural vegan food we've seen on the Gold Coast. 

Ranging from Asian-inspired dishes to burgers, pasta, pizza and salads, you can find almost every plant-based dish you can imagine at Doko Demo V. Owners Vian and Jared are all about sharing their passion for vegan food and you'll feel instantly welcomed when you visit this wholesome Gold Coast vegan joint.

Tian Ran 

Mermaid Beach

Tian Ran is an Asian cuisine restaurant specialising in vegetarian, vegan and gluten free food, so it’s no wonder the name translates to ‘nature’ because that’s all you’re going to get on your plate. They have a vast menu covering all kinds of dishes from wonton soup, to Thai-style salads, steamed buns, stir-fries, curries, hot pots and rice and noodle dishes.

You will find all your favourites such as black pepper ‘beef’, sweet and sour ‘chicken’, Nasi Goreng and all sorts of seafood, that isn’t really seafood, just seafood in disguise. You can forget about traditional takeaway here too, just pure plant-based food full of freshness and flavour. 

Easy House

Mermaid Waters

vegan yumcha on the gold coast

This sweet, pint-sized restaurant slings up the best plant-based yumcha we've had the pleasure of devouring in Mermaid Waters. Easy House's all-day yumcha stars Chinese delights like dumplings, pan-fried bean curd rolls, sticky rice with lotus leaves and much more.

The dinner menu is seriously extensive and is filled with vegetable dishes as well as plant-based 'meat' and 'seafood' dishes. Choose from entrees, soups, bean curd dishes, vegetable dishes, 'meat' dishes, 'seafood' dishes, hot pot, rice dishes, noodles and top it all off with desserts. Phew. The family-run restaurant pairs menu variety with bold flavours and friendly service.

Lord Of The Fries 

Surfers Paradise

One of Australia's few fully vegetarian fast food joints, Lord of The Fries has garnered a loyal following at its Surfers Paradise location. While Lord Of The Fries first became famous for, well, fries (hence the name) it also dishes up vegetable burgers, nuggets, hot dogs, sides and breakfast.  

There’s also cold and creamy vegan (minus the milk) shakes to wash down your meat-free meal. Lord of the Fries is a new take on fast food and one which has been welcomed with wide open arms by Gold Coast vegans. 

Govindas 

Burleigh Heads, Kingscliff & Coolangatta

It would be a crime to write about the Gold Coast's best vegetarian restaurants without mentioning Govindas. A stalwart of the Gold Coast vegetarian dining scene, Govindas is non-for-profit and showcases organic vegetables grown from their organic farm in Murwillumbah.

You can order a small, medium, large or supreme plate and load it up with your choice of rice, salads and hot dishes like vegetable curry, potato bake, dhal and rotating specials. Make sure to load up on Govindas famous kofta balls (just $11 for ten koftas) and thank us later. We recommend ordering takeaway and snagging a spot at Burleigh Hill for vegetarian eats with a gorgeous view. 

Blendlove 

Bundall

a vegan spread at blendlove in bundall

The power of plants is obvious at Blendlove in Bundall, a casual vegan cafe dedicated to the love of ‘soul food.’ As well as being completely plant-based, free of refined sugar and highly processed ingredients, the menu is one that just takes food back to basics and how it’s meant to be. 

The breakfast and lunch menu is next level with meals like Magic Mushrooms with housemade walnut, kale and basil vegan mince, rocket, chives and vegan cashew aioli, and the Happy Hashies—a tantalising combination of housemade truffle hashbrowns served with garden greens, kale-naise, coconut bacon and avocado. Swirl it all down with one of the nutrient-packed smoothies and you've got a nourishing and damn delicious meal. You can also always expect cheerful service from the lovely Blendlove crew.

Farm & Co. Cafe

Cudgen

Catering to both vegan and vegetarian eaters, Farm & Co.’s cafe arrived at the perfect time—filling a growing enthusiasm for knowing where our food comes from and supporting the farmers right at the source. Naturally evolving through the months and whatever goodness is being pulled from the ground with each new season, the casual cafe menu here is farm-to-plate in its purest form.

With veggies gathered from the fields literally steps away; what isn’t grown on site, is mostly sourced from farms across the road or within a few kilometres radius. We recommend making some extra time to pick sunflowers from the gorgeous sunflower field and give a pat to the resident pigs, Hank and Pepe.

Flour Of Life Bakery 

Helensvale

Editor's Note: Flour of Life Bakery is currently closed for renovations

Flour of Life is a Gold Coast vegan bakery that turns naughty treats into all things nice. Vanilla slice, lemon meringue and croissants without butter and eggs, you say? Flour of Life Bakery proves it can be done, and done well; there are even not-sausage rolls and plant-filled pies.

Using local produce where possible, you’ll find all your childhood favourites in the cabinets— we can confirm the doughnuts alone are worth driving to Helensvale for. Flour Of Life can also create bespoke plant-based cakes for weddings, birthdays and any special occasions.

If you’re on the hunt for more incredible cafes, check out the best breakfast cafes on the Gold Coast.

Image credit: Greenhouse Canteen, The Milkman's Daughter, Goodness Gracias, Cardamon Pod, Easy House & Blendlove

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