Since moving to Sydney, I’ve found myself trying to make a more conscious effort to eat a more plant-based diet. Whilst this has gone out the window slightly with pregnancy, I’ve found that it’s incredibly easy to access delicious and healthy plant-based food in Sydney. There are so many vegan restaurants in Sydney catering to all cuisines, budgets and tastes. Alongside vegan restaurants, there are also lots of Vegetarian restaurants in Sydney honouring the humble veggie. It’s been awesome to work my way through my ever-growing list of restaurants.
There are many more vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Sydney I’m impatient to visit, but in the meanwhile, I’ve pulled together my favourites. Make sure to let me know which are your favourite vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Sydney in the comments.
01. Joe’s Sandwich Bar, CBD
Joe’s Sandwich Bar, located on Kent Street in Sydney’s CBD, is a lunchtime revelation. This humble hole-in-the-wall café is dishing up some of the best vegan food in Sydney, in my opinion. As the name suggests, Joe’s Sandwich Bar specialises in massive, brick-sized vegan sandwiches using Iggy’s Bread, alongside vegan cookies and yummy drinks. This is my constant go-to when working in the CBD. My personal favourites are usually the BLAT (smoky tempeh, lettuce, avocado and tomato), the Tempeh Reuben (smoky tempeh, fennel & apple slaw, cashew cream & mustard pickles) or the Lox Bagel (smoky carrot & nori lox, BC. Organic philly cheese, dill, red onion, capers & alfalfa sprouts).
They also usually offer an interesting special which is always worth checking out. I’ve had some pesto cauliflower sandwiches which have blown my mind. Sandwiches and bagels are $12 each, and quickly sell out so make sure to get down early and grab your favourite.
Joes Sandwich Bar, 292 Kent Street, Monday – Friday 11:30am – 2:30pm. Currently closed due to COVID but offering pick-up if ordered online.
02. Verd Sydney, Barangaroo, Manly & Surry Hills
Verd Sydney is another reliable lunch option and one of the most accessible vegan restaurants in Sydney for non-vegans. With 3 locations (Barangaroo, Manly and Surry Hills, Verd Sydney is very convenient. Each location offers the same delicious menu of hot bowls and cold salads which are vegan versions of familiar recipes. They also have smoothies, a variety of kombucha and delicious baked goods, as well as a great loyalty scheme. You can either save your points for a free bowl, or take the easier to earn free brownie.
My go-to options at Verd Sydney are usually the Spiced Dahl bowl (slow cooked lentil dahl with brown rice, greens, coconut yoghurt, mixed seeds & herbs) if I want something warm. More often than not, I go for the unbeatable Chipotle Caesar (kale, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, crispy shallots, tempeh bacon, croutons, house sunflower seed parmesan with a chipotle lime mayo).
Verd Sydney, Scotch Row Barangaroo, The Corso Manly, Devonshire Street Surry Hills, Monday – Friday 11:30am – 3pm
03. Yulli’s, Surry Hills
Yulli’s Surry Hills is a bit of an institution amongst vegan restaurants in Sydney. It’s considered an ‘old favourite’ on the well-known Crown Street. It was a vegetarian and vegan restaurant until mid-2019 when it opted to become fully vegan. It serves up tapas-style share plates, a mixture of western and Asian style dishes, arguably some of the best vegan food in Sydney. Yulli’s Surry Hills also brews its own vegan beer and has an extensive vegan wine list as well, which is always a win!
If you’re in a group of four or more there’s a reasonably-priced banquet menu. The banquet menu at $44pp includes 11 different dishes, or for $38pp for 8 dishes without dessert. My favourite dishes at Yulli’s are their kale and salt bush gyoza, mini Vietnamese pancakes and beetroot and truffle pot-stickers. It’s not the biggest of restaurants, so either reserve ahead or get down early to secure a table.
Yulli’s Surry Hills, 417 Crown Street Surry Hills, Tuesday to Sunday 12 – 9:30pm, Monday 5-9:30pm
04. The Golden Lotus, Newtown
The Golden Lotus is consistently rated as one of the best vegan restaurants in Newtown, the mecca of alternative, hipster foodie options. This Vietnamese restaurant is 100% vegan. They also offer delivery, a great way to relax with some of the best vegan food in Sydney. The menu features a huge array of classic dishes that non-vegans will be familiar with, either featuring just veggies, Tofu or homemade soy meat replacements. Honestly, the vegan duck pancakes were so convincing and delicious you wouldn’t know the difference. We found that the vegan chicken had an obvious texture difference which was odd. Next time we’ll probably order just Tofu or veggies.
There’s a banquet option if you’re in a group of four or more, with either the traditional menu at $27pp or the delux menu at $29pp, which are both an absolute bargain. The restaurant is BYOB which also keeps the costs down.
The Golden Lotus, 341 King Street Newtown, Thursday to Sunday 12pm – 3pm, Monday to Sunday 5:30pm to 10:30pm
Check out these awesome vegan resources;
Vegan Travel Handbook – Lonely Planet
Deliciously Ella Quick & Easy: Plant-based Deliciousness
Modern Australian Vegan: The Simple Guide to Going, Being and Staying Vegan
05. Soul Burger, Newtown, Glebe & Randwick
Soul Burger was the first place I ever tried the now famous Beyond Meat burger. I’ve not looked back since. This American-style burger bar has a huge focus on sustainability, dishing out plant-based burgers and reducing their use of plastic by 98%. They’ve also partnered with Powershop, a 100% carbon neutral company and recycle their cooking oil. The burgers themselves easily rank as some of the best vegan food in Sydney.
You can opt for a more traditional veggie option of falafel, portobello mushroom or satay tofu. Or you can choose from one of their many mock meat options. They have imitation versions of fish, chicken and southern-fried chicken, pulled pork, hot dogs, and classic beef using either their regular plant-based patty or the Beyond Meat patty. All cheese, bacon and egg add ones, as well as their dipping sauces, are also plant-based. I also highly recommend opting for one of their creamy and decadent milkshakes made with Pana coconut ice cream and plant-based milk. Absolutely delicious!
Soul Burger, King Street Newtown, Glebe Point Road Glebe, Perouse Road Randwick, Monday to Saturday 12-9:30pm, Sunday 12-9pm
06. Gigi Pizzeria, Newtown
Gigi Pizzeria is another one of the best vegan restaurants in Newtown and deservedly so. It’s established itself firmly on the list of must-visit vegan restaurants in Sydney dishing out consistently good, traditional Neapolitan pizzas. Gigi Pizzeria is a proud member of the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana’ or ‘True Neapolitan Pizza Association) and adheres to these strict regulations whilst delivering excellent plant-based food. I particularly like Gigi Pizzeria as all the dishes are completely homemade and natural using nut-based cheese and other dairy products.
My favourite pizza is easily the Regina (San Marzano tomato, tree nuts ricotta, sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, parmesan, mozzarisella and extra virgin olive oil). I’m also absolutely obsessed with their crocchette di patate (almond coated potato croquettes with garlic and parsley) and their decadent tiramisu. How they make such delicious plant-based masala cream is beyond me. Gigi Pizzeria doesn’t take bookings, which is the only downside, so be prepared for a long wait. We visited for Valentine’s Day and got there for opening, and still waited for nearly an hour.
Gigi Pizzeria, 379 King Street Newtown, Sunday to Thursday 12pm – 9pm, Friday to Saturday 12pm – 9:30pm
07. Kindness Café, Darlinghurst
I was recommended Kindness Café by my friend Antony, a Sydneysider and foodie who helped me pull together my post on the best Italian restaurants in Sydney. Kindness Café tops Anthony’s list as one of his favourite vegan restaurants in Sydney and I absolutely loved it too. Kindness Café serves plant-based vegan food, with no immitation meat unlike some of the other options on this list, instead favouring tofu, seaweed tofu (soy protein wrapped in a seaweed sheet and tofu skin) and veggies.
The Tom Yum Soup and Fried Organic Tofu with KC peanut sauce are unbeatable starters. For mains, there’s a huge range of dishes to choose from across stir-fries, soups, curries, salads, noodles & fried rices. It’s tough to imagine traditional Thai cuisine without the use of fish sauce, and yet Kindness Café delivers some of the best vegan food in Sydney without it. There are lots of yummy desserts to enjoy if you still have room. The restaurant is BYOB for alcohol with a $2 corkage charge.
Kindness Café, Shop 6 Republic 2 Court Yard, 248 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst, Lunch Friday & Saturday 12-3pm, Dinner Tuesday, Wednesday & Sunday 5-9pm, Thursday – Saturday 5-9:30pm, closed on Mondays.
08. Heart and Soul, Cronulla
I’ve only recently discovered Heart and Soul Café since moving south of Sydney to the Shire. This Cronulla café is my new favourite of all the vegetarian restaurants in Sydney, especially for breakfast. Their almond buckwheat pancakes with coconut yoghurt, apple fig compote, fruit and agave syrup are indulgently delicious and their all-day breakfast with scrambled tofu is an awesome savoury option. There are also plenty of sweet and savoury toast and bowl options to enjoy at breakie. Or for lunch choose from burgers, pizzas, corn fritters and wraps.
Heart and Soul is great for non-vegans, with plenty of veggie options for those who still fancy a bit of halloumi or butter. There’s also a huge selection of fresh fruit juices and smoothies and their coffee is pretty decent too. We visited Heart and Soul during COVID lockdown and got takeaway. I’m looking forward to visiting and dining in at this charming café.
Heart and Soul Café, Suite 6/17 Gerrale Street Cronulla, Monday – Sunday 7:30am – 4pm
09. Pilgrims Café, Bronte & Cronulla
Pilgrims Café was established in 1980 and is a delicious, healthy and accessible choice of vegetarian restaurants in Sydney. It also ranks highly amongst vegan restaurants in Sydney with a dedicated vegan menu. I’ve not visited the Bronte venue, but loved the Cronulla location. Certain breakie options are only served until 12pm, but there is a huge array of all-day breakfast options if you arrive a bit later for brunch. For lunch you can also grab a burger, pie, salad, wrap or toastie.
My favourite dish is either the vegetarian or vegan breakfast burger. The veggie burger includes avo, melted cheese, roast mushroom, roast tomato, friend egg, mayo & fresh greens, whereas the vegan burger includes roast mushrooms, roast tomato, roast potato, rocket, avo and pilgrims homemade chilli jam. The Cronulla location also has a dedicated Mexican Menu available from 5:30pm till late on Thursday – Saturday. Alongside being a great option when choosing vegetarian restaurants in Sydney, Pilgrim Café has three other locations on the NSW South Coast; Milton, Huskisson and Corrimal.
Pilgrims Café, Macpherson Street Bronte, Gerrale Street Cronulla, Monday – Friday 8am – 2:30pm, Weekends 7:30am – 3pm, with Mexican nights Thursday to Saturday 5:30pm – late.
10. Eden Bondi, Bondi Beach
Eden Bondi is one of the newer vegan restaurants in Sydney. In a short amount of time has managed to be a strong contender for serving some of the best vegan food in Sydney. The restaurant is typical of Bondi; relaxed with beach vibes and totally instagramable décor. There’s an outside garden courtyard area as well as the inside dining area and seats up to 80 people. The food menu is electric and beautifully presented. There are notable vegan cocktails (some using vegan aquafaba to create the texture usually found with an egg white) and wine.
I went to Eden Bondi with my beautiful vegan friend and owner of Immersia Freediving, Bella. We shared some ‘fish’ tacos followed by the most melt-in-the-mouth sweet potato gnocchi, with a citrus cashew sauce, kale and parmesan, as well as a Bianca pizza. We also couldn’t help but split a cookie skillet for dessert. Another awesome thing about Eden Bondi is its plant-based weekly meal subscription service. Choose 7, 10, 15 or 20 meals per week, from $104.65 to $239, and enjoy delicious plant-based food at home.
Eden Bondi, L106/180 Campbell Parade Bondi Beach, Wednesday – Sunday 5pm – 9:30pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am – 3pm.
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