Up until a few years ago, vegan and vegetarian restaurants were few and far between. Fast forward to now, and there are plant-based spots sprouting up all over the city. The demand for meat-free meals is at an all-time high, herbivores no longer have to settle for resorting to the salads and sides section of menus.
At the centre of Sydney’s vibrant vegan and vegetarian scene is Newtown. King Street is lined with cafes and restaurants serving up all things plant-based, from pizza and pho to stir-fries and sweet treats. Whether you’re dabbling in Meatless Mondays or going green for life, you’ll love these hotspots.
When you’re craving a perfectly woodfired pizza, head to Gigi’s Pizzeria, where the dough comes with the pizza industry’s highest honour: an accreditation from the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN). The rustic-chic restaurant has been a Newtown neighbourhood haunt forever, but after going vegan in 2015, it’s become a foodie favourite. Start with the potato croquettes and arancini before tucking into a pizza topped with pumpkin, mushrooms and cashew cream.
379 King Street, Newtown
Over in Enmore, Vina’s Vietnamese has a trendy take on vegetarian and vegan fare. The menu is full of creative meat-free dishes, such as pho, vermicelli, buns, rice paper rolls, fried tofu, spring rolls and stir-fried rice noodles. Along with those Vietnamese classics, the mock fish hot pot is warming and delicious, and the savoury pancake is filled with mung beans and salad for the right amount of crunch.
395 King Street, Newtown
Walking into Bliss & Chips is like strolling into any fish and chip joint. The whiteboard menu lists battered fish, prawn cocktails, crabsticks, potato scallops, calamari and burgers – but here’s the impressive part. It’s Australia’s first 100% vegan (and gluten-free) fish and chip shop! The team uses gluten-free flour, quinoa, cashew cheese, soy-based proteins and konjac to recreate the flavour and texture of the classics.
215 King Street, Newtown
Sometimes, a huge bowl of pho is all you need to solve the world’s problems. That’s where Golden Lotus steps in. Foodies flock to the restaurant for Saigon-born chef David Nguygen’s healing pho, made with rice noodles, veggies, tofu and plenty of zest. Pho aside, the creamy laksa, vegetarian fried dumplings, and tofu, eggplant and mushroom hot pot are worth the trip. Oh, and it’s BYO. Gather the girls!
343 King Street, Newtown
Newtown locals are spoiled for choice when it comes to Thai restaurants, and Blossoming Lotus is the go-to for vegetarians. The casual eatery doles out traditional Thai dishes like green curry (made with soy chicken), spicy fried rice, noodles, rice paper rolls and vegan buns. Cheap and cheerful, we recommend piling a plate high with delights from the buffet, so tomorrow’s lunch is sorted too!
182 King Street, Newtown
The biggest vegan buffet in Sydney, Green Gourmet is a staple on the plant-based dining scene. And for good reason – there’s a whopping 130 items on the menu, including tofu ice-cream and a huge gluten-free selection, and you pay by weight. Interestingly, the chefs avoid cooking with onions and garlic (in accordance with ancient Indian and Chinese practices), but you won’t even notice. For the ultimate experience, go to the vegan yum cha on weekends.
115 King Street, Newtown
For all-you-can-eat vegan food, make your way to Lentil As Anything, and leave knowing that all the profits from your meal go straight to charity. The restaurant dishes up delicious food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and though the menu changes weekly, you can expect Sri Lankan and Malaysian plates (hello, laksa!) along with lentils, vegan burgers and dips. Thanks to the communal tables and pay-what-you-feel policy, the place is packed to the rafters every night, so try to get there early.
391 King Street, Newtown