We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite Sydney and Melbourne cafes, restaurants and everything in-between, so next time you’ve got a hankering for some vegan ice-cream, you know exactly where to go.
While we love our Soulara meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, sometimes we also want to get out and about with friends (or order in at home) and explore the plant-based scene. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite Sydney and Melbourne cafes, restaurants and everything in-between, so next time you’ve got a hankering for some vegan ice-cream, you know exactly where to go.
Our favourite Sydney plant-based cafes
A melting pot of cuisines from all over, Eden serves up all your favourites with a vegan twist (and delicious cocktails to pair with them). The popcorn cauli is one of the signature dishes, and you can satisfy those Sunday roast cravings with Eden’s mushroom wellington. This isn’t one place to skip the dessert either, with decadent offerings like the brownie and marshmallow skillet or Eden’s flaming creme brulee an essential after any meal.
When you’re at the beach, it’s only natural a craving for delicious ice-cream will hit eventually. In come Chachas, scooping up vegan ice-cream made from a creamy nut base that also happens to be refined sugar-free and gluten-free. The best-seller is miso caramel, a gourmet upgrade on everyone’s favourite salted caramel, which combines the sweetness of caramel with the umami of miso for an irresistible flavour. As a bonus, the miso also delivers a healthy dose of probiotics to your gut too.
Think veggies can’t be fancy? Think again. Perfect for celebrating a special occasion or trying to impress a special someone, Yellow has been lauded for turning vegetarian fare into something engaging and unexpected. Playing with plants in all their stages of life, from sprouting to charred, Yellow will present to you dish upon dish of vegetables as you’ve never seen them before. If ingredients like slow-cooked banana powder and licorice bread take your fancy, this restaurant is right for you.
Oh My Days
French pastries meet Mexican brunch at this plant-based bakery and cafe in Glebe. Whether you’re after a freshly made vegan chocolate scroll and coffee to go or you’re settling in for a breakfast burrito with scrambled tofu, Oh My Days have all your daytime foodie needs covered.
Got a craving for a saucy, flaky pastry pie? Let us introduce you to Funky Pies, a totally plant-based pie shop that even has a few gluten-free options. Favourites include the G’Day Satay mix in potato, kumara and pumpkin with a classic satay sauce, while inside the Funky Chunky you’ll find generous amounts of shiitake mushroom in a rich and salty gravy with a hint of potato mash.
Offering up 100% plant-based fare with an Asian influence, Yulli’s is an old Surry Hills favourite. Yum cha classics like moneybags and dumplings are given a contemporary makeover with flavour combinations like edamame and coconut and kale and saltbush. For those who want to try something different, the crispy potato skins stuffed with creamed Jerusalem artichoke and fennel are the way to go. As an added bonus, Yulli’s also has a vegan brewery in Alexandria, and offer up 10 or of its own beers on the menu as well.
Mix up your usual feed with some plant-based Palestinian food, best shared amongst a group of friends. Khamsa has all the crowd favourites like falafel with tahini and fattoush salad, as well as other delicious dishes like the Hey Macarena! with macaroni, garlic yoghurt, Palestinian spice mince, pinenuts and parsley. Khamsa also has an exciting range of Elixir Lattes, like the Black Majik, made with activated coconut charcoal and maple.
A bit of a Sydney institution, Bodhi follows the Buddhist way of cooking in that it doesn’t use any animal products, and everything is free from garlic, onion, leek, chives and spring onions. The pan-Asian menu is prepared using mostly organic and locally-sourced ingredients and boasts an extensive, delicious dumpling menu. Green tea and choy sum dumplings anyone? Other highlights are the savoury sticky rice in lotus leaf wrap and the custard lava bun.
Ever heard of a sourdoughnut? Comeco’s famous sourdough-cross-donut creation has earned it a bit of a cult following in Sydney, for both those with gluten intolerances and those without. Made from gluten-free sourdough that’s been fermented for 48 hours and cooked in rice bran oil, these little balls of happiness are available in delicious flavours like salted caramel (the most popular) and matcha custard. Also on the menu is plant-based sushi (yum) and the most aesthetically-pleasing loaf of rice bread you’ve ever seen, free from eggs, dairy, gluten, nuts, seeds and additives.
You might have seen Nutie Wholefoods decadent desserts floating around Instagram, but did you know they’re mostly plant-based as well? The brunch menu is full of exciting dishes like smashed pea toast and wagon wheel pancakes, while the baked section looks too good to be true with fluffy cinnamon donuts and giant rocky road. Our pick of the menu is The Bachelor Snack Box, filled with favourites like banana pudding, donuts, a dessert tub, a smore and snack mix, as well as a red rose (of course), designed to be gorged on while watching The Bachelor.
Pioneering the Australian scene by being our first 100% plant-based hotel restaurant and bar, Alibi have plenty of foodie options to suit any time of day. Alibi Kitchen takes a more fine dining approach to plant-based, with a contemporary menu featuring beautiful kimchi dumplings that look (almost) too good to eat. Alibi Bar’s all-day dining offering Dirty Greens is serving up moreish treats like cheeseburger spring rolls and eggplant katsu, perfect for pairing with one of their incredible cocktails (think edible flowers, edible gold and plenty of dramatic smoke). Alibi even offer a totally plant-based high tea, boasting delicious treats like a chocolate dome with cacao nibs and hazelnut cream. Is there anything Alibi can’t do?
Our favourite Melbourne plant-based cafes
This unique cafe believes that every time you eat, you are either feeding disease or fighting it. Calling itself ‘the world’s first happiness centre’, Serotonin uses foods packed with tryptophan, an essential amino acid that can help raise serotonin levels, stabilising your mood. Most dishes are plant-based and are made using fresh, organic, locally sourced or fair trade ingredients, and are bursting with a rainbow of veggies, fruits and grains. With names like Positive Pancakes and Smiling Avocado, what’s not to love?
Weirdoughs might just take the award for most aesthetically satisfying pastries in Australia. Best of all, they’re 100% plant-based. From the perfectly folded pain au chocolat to the geometric blueberry and vanilla custard danish, we dare you to find flaky pastry as perfectly folded as these. But the absolute star of the show at Weirdoughs is the famous cube croissants, which are regularly changed to feature different fillings and toppings.
Mister Nice Guy’s
When that nostalgic hankering for a cheezymite scroll calls, Mister Nice Guy’s are here to answer your plant-based prayers. Also offering up piping hot pretzel dogs, sausage rolls and more, Mister Nice Guy’s will satisfy all your classic bakehouse cravings, sans the animal products. No feast at Mister Nice Guy’s is complete without a decadent sweet to finish it off, whether it’s one of their legendary cinnamon buns or an innovative bronut (brioche donut).
Matcha has reached peak popularity over the last few years, and where better to get a matcha fix than at Matcha Mylkbar? The food here looks spectacular, the drinks are innovative and the menu is full of clever phrases and puns, making for an all-round great experience. On the Plant Pancake Parlour menu you’ll (of course) find matcha pancakes (with Messina sorbet, no less), but you’ll also find crazy creations like mac n cheese pancakes, with mac and ‘cheese’, fried popcorn ‘chicken’ and smoked maple syrup. There’s also a Melbourne Classics menu (with smashed avo) and a low FODMAP bowl with matcha infused quinoa.
Radhey Chai Bar
Tandoori tofu burger anyone? Radhey Chai Bar is a hidden little gem in Fitzroy where you’ll leave with your tummy AND your bank account feeling happy. Affordable and delicious, as well as some saucy plant-based burgers and wraps Radhey Chai Bar also offer up some tantalising meal deals covering curries with rice/roti and lasagna, so there’s something for everyone.
Girls and Boys Fitzroy
For the vegos with a sweet tooth, Girls and Boys Fitzroy is your one-stop-shop for ice-cream and gourmet plant-based cakes. The ice-cream is made with a soy and coconut milk blend base, sweetened with rice syrup and served up in a variety of fancy flavours, like caramel miso. The vegan orange semolina cake features pretty piped icing and dried flowers on top, while the peanut butter brownie sells itself.
If you liked this round-up, keep an eye out for part two with Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane coming soon!
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