Vegetarians rejoice! Gone are the days of meticulously scouring menus for meatless dishes only to discover the vego option is a bowl of steamed beans with a side of fries. With a growing vegetarian population, it seems fitting that more and more Sydney restaurants are starting to dedicate their kitchens to the meat-free movement.
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy a good steak every now and then, but with vegetarian restaurants as good as this, it’s easy to forgo the meat and still leave feeling satisfied. So thank us later, we’ve done the hard yards to bring you Sydney’s best vegetarian restaurants committed to serving wholesome meat-less fare that have even the carnivores convinced.
With a space fitted out using second hand ovens, windows and even seating, it’d be strange if the team at Two Chaps didn’t keep their menu in line with their theme of sustainability. Taking a very simple approach to their food, produce is sourced from organic local traders and artisans to create their Mediterranean inspired vegetarian menu. On Thursday and Friday nights, the café is open for dinner where fresh, daily-made pasta is served alongside platters of top local cheeses and amazing desserts (did someone say cookie ice-cream sandwich?). Love bread? Then this is the place to get your weekly sourdough loaf, fresh from their very own sourdough bakery.
A contemporary vegan and vegetarian restaurant, The Dandylion knows how to put on a good spread without the added meat or dairy extras. With a belief of bringing fun and exciting dining experiences to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, they’ve created an extensive menu to satisfy all tastebuds (including those who require gluten free). But just because it seems like they’ve eliminated all the ‘good stuff’, doesn’t mean the dishes lack flavour or bite. Menu items like the chocolate porcini mushroom stew with truffle polenta or the pineapple kaffir lime yellow curry, prove you can please the masses without needing to add meat or dairy. With candlelit tables and awesome vego share plates, your date certainly won’t be disappointed that porterhouse isn’t on the menu.
Earth To Table
Chef Julie Mitsios of Earth To Table, knows good ingredients matter and with her strong desire to deliver wholesome, raw, vegan and organic food to her patrons sees the menu boasting gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free delights that would be enough to turn even the meatiest of meat eaters into vegans. Well, almost. The café itself is bursting with colourful goodness, from their matcha smoothies, raw cakes, salad wraps, superfood bowls and the famous shepherd’s pie with ten different types of vegetables. Hunger will be the last thing on your mind when you leave this Bondi Junction cafe, that’s for sure.
Only joining the veggie band wagon this year, Yellow have recently created an entirely vegetarian dinner menu, that is, no more meat after 5pm (their brunch menu still contains some meat options). After recognising a demand for vegetarian restaurants in Sydney, Yellow is committed to offering a menu that focuses on using fresh and local produce to create dishes full of flavour. The menu has been designed around share plates, which rotates often in keeping up with the seasons. If you’re after fine dining and really want to enhance that vegetarian degustation experience (yep, that’s compulsory on a Saturday), then Yellow is the new black and vegetables are the new meat.
Translating from the Sanskrit term as a ‘conscious, spiritual practise’, Sadhana certainly practises what they preach, and they preach vegan from the ground up. Australia’s first raw degustation menu means you can now dine and devour seven courses of raw, vegan and gluten free deliciousness. This is the type of guilt free dining we have only been dreaming of—because the food at Sadhana kitchen will only have you feeling all things good afterwards. With a huge selection of superfood smoothies, teas and an entire menu dedicated to their famous Cocowhip soft serves (made from coconut flesh and water), Sadhana Kitchen knows how to put on a good vegetarian spread.
If you’re still sitting on the fence and are yet to take the leap to the side of vegetarianism, Yulli’s might just be the place that pushes you over the edge. Featuring a range of cuisines from Asian, Indian to modern Italian, with a bit of Mexican and even Moroccan, well you get it, their menu has basically covered all bases and is updated every so often to keep things fresh. With items like the Korean fried broccolini (their take on the well-known Korean fried chicken), the kumera pizza or the dessert polenta cake, meat will become nothing but a distant memory.
Bodhi Restaurant And Bar
This vegan yum-cha restaurant swaps meat for tofu and soy and takes a modern approach to Pan-Asian dining with a philosophy of being an environmentally friendly and sustainable business. Fooling meat eaters now for more than a decade, as pioneers of vegan yum cha here in Sydney, Bodhi prides itself on using only locally grown, fresh and organic produce to create a delectable menu that is prepared daily and hand crafted by some of the city’s best Asian chefs.
At Venus, it’s pretty obvious their love affair is with creating wholesome foods that are nourishing and tasty to bring a vibrant and fresh approach to the people of Surry Hills. With a vision to use ingredients that help to enhance lives, the menu has been carefully curated and offers a range of gluten-free and vegan options including dairy-free smoothies, rainbow salads and sweet (but healthy) snacks. The best thing? You can add pretty much anything you like to your drink, toast or salad so your dish can be personalised to suit your taste. Smashed avo with poached eggs anyone?
This burger joint had one vision—to get people fantasising over plant-based burgers. It's safe to say that once you go Soul Burger, you don't go back and beef patties will soon become a thing of your past. As Australia's first gourmet plant-based burger restaurant, they are successfully leading the way in creating a whole new burger experience with healthier versions of the double meat and cheese we're used to. In fact, if you found yourself mistaking your vego burger for meat, you wouldn't be the first. These guys know how to make faux beef taste good. A cute bar-like space sees the place bustling on the reg with vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters uniting for a taste of that meat-free goodness with burgers like the plant-based battered fish, which by the way has zero cholesterol so there's no shame dining here for your weekend spoils.
Suzy Spoon's Vegetarian Butcher
Vegetarians will no longer be left off the BBQ invite list with Suzy Spoon offering vegetarian, faux meat products. Producing all their own products in house at the new St Peters butchery, the Suzy Spoons café may be no more, but you can rest assured they still do online trading. With vegetarian and vegan sausages, burger patties, schnitzels and fake-on, this is the type of butcher that is literally cruelty free.
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Image credit: Alex Squadrito, Venus Wholefoods