Being vegetarian is remarkably easy in Sydney these days. Most of our best restaurants cater to vegetarians with creative and delicious dishes that go way beyond a leafy salad or a cheese and tomato toastie.
We’ve narrowed down our favourite plant-based restaurants for all the vegetarians out there to add to their dining bucket list.
Behold Sydney's very best vegetarian restaurants.
This Marrickville must-see is a community-minded café, bakery and restaurant that places its highest priority on ethical and sustainable food production and dining.
“The driving force behind Two Chaps is to create an environment of learning, both for our customers and for our staff, in which we strive to push waste minimisation, support for small producers, using seasonal produce and engaging with the local community,” Two Chaps’ Executive Chef Kim Douglas says.
“We felt as a society the overconsumption of meat was unnecessarily dominating our diets, and we wanted to make a positive change towards more balanced, vegetable-focused fare.”
By day Two Chaps operates as a café, with delicious coffee by Microlot Coffee Roasters and a number of famous dishes, including a fried rice brekkie bowl—biodynamic brown rice stir-fried with ginger, garlic and seasonal greens, served with two fried eggs and fermented chilli sauce. (Hungry yet?)
By night (Thursdays to Saturdays), you can also see Two Chaps transformed into a family-style, BYO Italian eatery with a set menu of pastas, salads, desserts and sides. It also caters to all of your vegan and gluten-free friends.
The small menu changes monthly according to whatever produce is in season. In winter, for instance, they are serving delicious cool weather veg pizzas, featuring cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and artichokes.
You can expect the philosophy of Pizza Madre to be similar to Two Chaps, with support for small, local producers underlying every aspect.
Yulli’s bar on Crown Street is somewhat of a hotspot when it comes to vegetarian and vegan dining in Sydney. These days, Yulli's restaurant and bar is 100 percent vegan, and comes complete with Yulli’s own craft brewed beer, which launched via their Alexandria brewery last year.
With a four-course banquet menu for $40 pp, Yulli’s is also great value. The a la carte lunch and dinner menu is also a good option, with small, medium and large share plates, priced at $20.50 at most. The cuisine style is far-reaching, with dishes inspired by tastes of Morocco, Korea, Italy, China, Japan and beyond.
However, don’t mistake Yulli’s for a place that doesn’t prize local produce. It keeps things fairly local, even featuring some native ingredients on the roster.
Mary’s Circular Quay
Taking over The Basement venue, Mary’s Underground expands on Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham’s grand plan to bring live music, good times and plenty of culture back to Sydney. After successfully running Mary’s in Newtown and the CBD, and taking over the Lansdowne and Unicorn hotels, the group’s new venture in Circular Quay was one of the most anticipated new restaurant openings in 2019.
The venue has been split in two, with a glam restaurant and bar below ground, and a version of their beloved ol’ burger joint occupying the upstairs space. While the group’s mushroom burger has always enjoyed a cult following among vegetarians across Sydney, the major game-changer at Mary’s Circular Quay is that the entire menu can be made vegan. This means patties, buns and cheese are all meat-free and prepared on a separate grill to the regular nosh. For any curious carnivores, Mary's guarantee their vegan burgers taste just as good as the originals.
Yellow, the brainchild of chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt, is famous for turning a once "regular" menu into an entirely plant-based affair.
“We have always offered plant-based tasting menus in our restaurants, and guests have been enthusiastic about them—so much so that up to 20 percent of our diners were choosing the vegetarian menu,” Savage said on the choice to make the switch to 100 percent vego.
“The other driving force behind the decision to go plant-based was our growers. They were producing such amazing products that I felt vegetables shouldn’t play second fiddle to protein. They should be the hero of the dish.”
Yellow serves an a la carte menu Sunday to Friday, but Saturdays are purely for tasting menus, starting from $85pp. On weekends, you can also try one of Sydney’s most interesting brunch menus, with optional breakfast booze, of course!
Gigi’s is another vegan restaurant but we’re including it on the vego list because, well, we know you’ll like it. The King Street favourite went completely vegan in 2015, but still prides itself on true Neapolitan-style woodfired pizza.
There are so many options and a rotating specials menu, but we’ve always been partial to the team’s eggplant pizzas accompanied by a Gigi Negroni.
This café is a breakfast favourite for Shire folk, who keep coming back for its hearty servings of classic brekky dishes (our fave is the haloumi stack), tasty coffee and a good fresh juice. On top of running a separate vegan menu, most of the breakfast items are served all day (until the afternoon), alongside burgers, pies, salads and wraps come lunch.
The Pilgrims team also does veg-friendly Mexican dinners on Thursdays to Saturday, where you can kick back with a burrito or rice bowl and a $12 margarita overlooking South Cronulla.
Occupying an iconic corner of Glebe Point Road since 1982, Badde Manors is one of those quintessential inner west haunts that is perfect for a quality catch up with old friends. The café-restaurant is open all day and much of the night (midnight most days, and 1am on Fridays and Saturdays), but it doesn’t serve booze. Instead, it is dedicated to the “authentic coffee house culture of the ‘50s and ‘60s”. In short, it’s a popular spot for students, intellectuals and creatives looking for a cosy, inspirational caffeine hub.
The menu covers all manner of cuisines, but is perhaps most beloved for its breakfasts, including the "Falafel Big Breakfast" or a towering and tasty pancake stack for those with a sweet tooth.
Randwick, Glebe, Newtown, Parramatta
From fine dining to fast food, Soul Burger does plant-based burgers for those vegos starved for some quality takeout. Most burger joints would be nuts not to include a quality vegetarian option these days, but if its variety you want, Soul Burger has your back.
This burger joint is big on fake meat, with “chicken”, “beef” and “fish” alternatives, it’s most popular burger is the “pulled pork” made from jackfruit.
The original base is in Randwick, but Soul Burger has since branched out further west, with locations in Glebe, Newtown and Parramatta. Depending on where you’re based you could also take advantage of takeout via Deliveroo, UberEats or Menulog.
Vegan? We've got you covered right here.
Image credit: Two Chaps | Caitlin Hicks.