Far from being a niche choice, quality vegetarian and vegan restaurants are now abundant in inner-city Sydney.
Newtown, in particular, is a thriving hub for those who’ve chosen to remove animal products from their diets. There are so many great options, in fact, that the following is far from an exhaustive list, but rather a selection of our favourites.
115-117 King St Newtown
Even more carnivorous eaters may be persuaded by Green Gourmet’s tasty mock meat dishes. The Chinese menu features many traditional classics with a vegan twist, such as BBQ ‘pork’ buns and ‘prawn’ dumplings made using soy and tofu products. There are a lunch and dinner buffet where you pay by the weight of your plate as well as an a la carte menu and yum cha on the weekends. Finish with amazing vegan sweets including homemade tofu ice cream. Vegan cakes are also available to order through Green Gourmet’s website.
Golden Lotus Vegan
341/343 King Street, Newtown
This long-standing Vietnamese vegan restaurant is usually packed, and its popularity is well-deserved. It makes everyone happy with its surprisingly ‘meaty’ menu using soy proteins, which spans spring rolls and rice paper rolls, Vietnamese salads, dumplings, satay, Pho noodle soups, and an addictive ‘beef’ rendang you’ll want to come back for. The banquet menu is generous, affordable and great for groups.
Lentil as Anything
391 King Street, Newtown
Vegan restaurant Lentil as Anything is also a social enterprise that was first launched in Melbourne. Diners pay what they can afford, with the idea being that those who can afford to pay more help subsidize those in need of a feed. The changing daily menu is made from seasonal produce that is in part sourced from food rescue missions to reduce food waste. This means that choices are limited but they’re always interesting, tasty and generous. Many staffs are volunteers and extra donations given help fund important initiatives such as training recent asylum seekers to work in the hospitality industry.
Shop 3/612-622 King St, Erskineville
Inspired by its owner’s Palestinian heritage, Karmsa specialises in plant-based Middle Eastern cuisine. The vegan café offers all-day brekkie and Arabic coffee alongside Double Roasters brews in a lovely light and airy space. There’s a range of vegan cakes and sweets to finish and a choice of kombuchas, naturally.
8/18 Danks Street, Waterloo (recently closed)
If you’re holding on to an outdated view of vegan food as being all mung beans and tofu then you need to head to Paperbark, stat. This beautifully styled, very modern eatery offers a delicious degustation menu featuring native ingredients and Instagram-worthy presentation. The food is paired with a sophisticated wine list sourced from all-Australian boutique producers.
417 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Yulli’s has been a mainstay of the Sydney vegetarian community for many years and with good reason. It continues to offer innovative and tasty vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options served tapas-style, including a generous banquet that’s great for groups, in a fun and funky space.
40 Reservoir St, Surry Hills
Who would have thought that Mexican dining in Sydney would evolve to the point that we’d even have an all-vegan option? We’ve come a long way from the bad, cheese-drenched Tex-Mex of times past. Bad Hombres’ creative Mexican and South American-inspired menu are entirely plant-based from its nachos to its enchiladas.
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