Sydney’s vegan restaurant options are plentiful and they are growing in number, with a tonne of new and classic options to satisfy your plant-based hankerings.
Italian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, greasy American-style burgers—name your poison, and your chances of finding a high-quality vegan version in our city are high.
These are some of our favourite vegan restaurants in Sydney.
Gigi's Pizzeria is easily one of the best vegan hangouts in Sydney, and, given how brilliant these guys are at creating seriously delicious vegan pizza—it's a perfect introduction to plant-based dining for those who are a little hesitant.
Gigi’s went vegan in 2015 as owner Marco Matino wanted to create a menu that reflected his own food ethics. However, what makes Gigi's extra unique is that it remains a member of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which verifies authentic Napoletana-style, woodfired pizza. So it's vegan, but it's also legit.
Keep in mind that Gigi’s doesn’t split bills and it’s common to find a line out the door because you can’t make bookings (except for lunch on weekends). Better get in early!
Flyover Fritterie and Chai Bar
Flyover Fritterie is the kind of no-frills, taste-packed lunch spot that makes you seriously question why and how it didn’t exist in your life sooner.
The hole-in-the-wall takeaway joint, located in Temperance Lane next to Sneakerboy, is bringing Indian street stall culture to Sydney CBD. According to co-owner Gunjan Aylawadi, Flyover Fritterie’s goal is to serve up more tasty, healthy and easy vegan snack options to Sydney.
The main item on the menu is pakora—a crunchy Indian snack made from fried vegetables coated in a spiced chickpea flour batter. Freshness is key, of course, so expect the best veggies of the day on the rotating menu.
“[Serving pakora] allows us to work with a whole variety of seasonal vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds—ingredients that we want to eat every day but packed in a tasty, fun little fritter, served with our fresh house chutneys,” Gunjan says. “At Flyover Fritterie we make our fritters hot for everyone for that freshness that we so miss about Indian street food.”
Salads are also on the menu, alongside a quinoa khichri and vegan burgers, catering to those with a larger appetite. The other speciality is chai, which is made in a variety of blends (from traditional ginger masala to cardamom, clove or liquorice blends).
Paperbark is a rare, innovative gem that focuses on small, local producers and native Australian ingredients.
A variety of uniquely Australian, plant-based dishes will see you enjoying a dining experience unseen in other vegan restaurants in Sydney. Ingredients like Kakadu plum and lemon myrtle are married with mushrooms, potatoes and eggplant—the key to enjoying your meal here is in savouring entirely new flavours.
It’s possible chef Joey Astorga looked to venues like Yellow when crafting his elegant, vegan dishes that resemble a high-end restaurant, minus the stuffy venue.
A set kitchen menu is offered for $95, while a three-course tasting menu will set you back only $55. Just want a snack with your glass of expertly chosen Australian wine? There’s also a bar menu featuring Iggy’s bread, potato churros and persimmon, parsnip and fennel ice cream.
Another staple for lovers of a plant-based diet is Golden Lotus on King St. Just across the road from Newtown train station, this convenient and inexpensive, BYO restaurant is a classic for dinner with mates or even a first date.
The menu is hefty, with plenty of options that make it difficult to choose. The vegan duck and salt and chilli "calamari" is always fun (there are also plenty of tofu and veg options for people who don’t like mock meats), but our favourite has to be the crispy vegan chicken pho. Can’t go wrong!
Mary’s Circular Quay
Mary’s Circular Quay is the above-ground element of Mary’s Underground, and part of the burger joint’s takeover of the iconic Basement music venue.
Mary’s Circular Quay serves up your favourite Mary’s burgers, but now with a vital twist: the option to make them all vegan (and taste just as good).
You’ll find plant-based beef patties, egg-free sauce and cauliflower in place of Mary’s famous fried chicken. The items are also cooked on separate grills and fryers.
“It allows our animal-friendly friends to choose ethics without sacrificing flavour,” says Mary’s co-founder Jake Smyth said of the inclusive new menu.
“This ain’t Mary’s health food and salad bar, it’s fucking delicious plant-based food, designed to make your carnivorous mates jealous. And for our meat-eating pals, it’s business as fucking usual.”
The Green Lion
The Green Lion pub in Rozelle boasts the only completely plant-based bistro pub menu in Sydney. You can find all your typical pub feeds on the menu made with meat substitutes and veg—including a chicken schnitzel or nachos. The pride and joy here, however, is the considerable burger list (we've heard great things about the Green Mack).
Interestingly, the Green Lion also has its own brand of frozen meals, which you might spot at your local IGA.
From the Paperbark team comes a hand-made gnocchi bar in heart of Bondi. Opening early 2019 on Bondi Road, Peppe’s comes complete with warm lighting and an adorable, curtained storefront that sets the theme to max comfort.
The menu will change, with all pasta being made on-site daily, and each dish can be ordered alongside a salad or side, plus a glass (or bottle) of vegan wine.
Peppe’s is also doing its part for Sydney’s live music scene with jazz and blues acts hitting the stage every Monday.
Bad Hombres is a hoot and, despite being totally vegan, it offers a very close-to authentic Mexican flavour.
The most popular dish is the big plate of cauliflower with seaweed salt, cashew cream and salsa, which is served with the tortillas to make your own tiny tacos. The menu can easily be shared but there are also tacos and tostadas that work as a bar snack or solo meal.
Great for a group visit, just be sure to book in advance.
This stunning bar and restaurant along the Woolloomooloo wharf is a fun "special occasion" kind of restaurant. The high tea is perfect for a day out to treat your vegan mate, where you can sample a range of sweet and savoury vegan bites, plus bottomless sparkling for $75.
The eight-course tasting menu at dinner is also reasonably priced at $70pp, plus there’s a bar menu with tacos and their famous "Beyond Burger". Save your money for cocktails because that’s where your budget will blow out, but these beautiful concoctions are well worth the extra dollars.
Located on level one of Bondi’s Pacific Building beside the entrance to QT hotel, Eden is a perfect spot for an all-out vegan feast. With a former Alibi chef at the helm, food here is as good-looking as it is packed with flavour. The menu spans everything from share plates (home to a selection of plant-based cheeses and house ferments) and salads, to heartier feeds like the “old fav’s” line-up. Expect plates of mushroom bolognese, a cheeseburger served on a sweet potato bun and a plant-based hot dog loaded with kraut, English mustard and pickles.
To knock back all the plant-based feeds, hit up the cocktail menu for concoctions like the “Garden of Eden”, a mix of biodynamic Hippocampus vodka, green Chartreuse, lemon, mint, cucumber and myrtle soda. If you’re looking for a sweet twist on a classic, also take note of the “Bondi Sour”, which is loaded with Old Tom’s Gin, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, Aquafaba, rosemary and grapefruit garnish.
Bodhi near Hyde Park is an icon of vegan dining in Sydney! While the a la carte dinner is lovely, Bodhi is renowned for its vegan yum cha served from 11am to 3pm every day (4pm on weekends).
Expect tasty things like sweet Japanese pumpkin dumplings, Australian field mushroom dumplings, green tea and choysum dumplings, as well as sweets like mango pudding, custard lava buns and steamed black bean sesame hedgehogs. Lots of items on the menu are available gluten-free upon request too.
While some might argue we barely needed another Thai restaurant in the Inner West, Little Turtle does have a unique proposition with its colourful all-vegan menu.
It’s not just the odd mock duck curry or fake chicken stir fry (not that there’s anything wrong with that). This is a restaurant for people who really love vegetables. The sticky sesame wings (made with cauliflower) are a must-try.
Randwick, Glebe, Newtown, Parramatta
Let's not beat around the bush. The “pulled pork” jackfruit burger from Soul Burger is legendary.
It’s no wonder that within a few years, Soul Burger went from its single Randwick headquarters to multiple venues in the Inner West and Paramatta. Burger-lovers have no shortage of options thanks to a menu that covers everything from “fish” to falafel to Beyond Meats and Portuguese fried "chicken".
While you're here, check out our favourite vegetarian restaurants in Sydney.
Image credit: Bad Hombres