13 of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney
No meat? No problem. With a growing number of vegans (and more people choosing to be plant-based part-time), the vegan dining scene is growing too. Here are 10 of Sydney’s best.
The only vegan restaurant in Sydney to be awarded two prestigious chef’s hats, Yellow will change the way you think about fine dining. The six-course tasting menu heroes heirloom vegetables grown by local suppliers, creating exquisitely plated dishes like hemp seed gnudi with tomato dashi and shiso or sprouts with cultured cashew and pumpernickel.
Proudly claiming the title of Sydney’s first vegan deli, Shift Eatery aims to make it as easy – and tasty – as possible for people to go meat-free. Sit down at the cafe for the ‘world’s best’ vegan bacon and egg roll, delicious toasties or a healthy wholefood bowl, then pick up a selection of vegan chocolate, ice cream, cheese and more to take home.
When Bad Hombres went 100% vegan back in 2017, it was Sydney’s first Mexican restaurant to do so. While there are now a number of others on the plant-based bandwagon, it’s still the best place for a creative taco filled with miso eggplant, mushroom carne asada or jackfruit tinga. Don’t go past the famous cauliflower, roasted in herb salt and served with cashew crema, salsa verde and corn tortillas.
Set inside the five-star Ovolo Woolloomooloo hotel, Alibi takes hotel dining to the next level. The menu has been designed by legendary American vegan chef Matthew Kenney (founder of LA celebrity favourite Plant Food + Wine) and takes a fun approach with burgers, pasta, flat breads and salty snacks. You can even book in for an elegant vegan high tea on the weekends.
A staple of Sydney’s vegan scene, Yulli’s has been serving a plant-based Asian-inspired menu for almost 15 years. The wasabi cauliflower, Korean fried broccolini, and kale and saltbush gyoza pair perfectly with their range of eponymous beers. And if you like those, visit Yulli’s brewery in Alexandria where all their vegan pours are on tap, plus vegan wines and snacks.
Though it’s traditionally made with beef or chicken broth, the healing powers of pho are well known. At Golden Lotus, this Vietnamese staple is made from 20kg of vegetables boiled for over 10 hours to create a bowl that’s both nutritious and delicious. The rest of the expansive menu features vegan duck, chicken and fish dishes, as well as Vietnamese classics like rice paper rolls, eggplant clay pot and vermicelli noodle salads.
The meat pie is an Australian icon. Funky Pies puts a modern twist on a classic with options like the Funky Chunky (shiitake mushroom and potato), No Wurry Curry (organic chickpeas and lentils in coconut Indian curry), and G’Day Satay (roasted pumpkin and fresh coriander in peanuty sauce). There’s even a Rockin’ Roll with vegan sausage and a take on the caramel slice.
One of just a handful of pizzerias in Australia recognised by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, pizza is serious business at Gigi’s. The restaurant went completely plant-based in 2015, but still delivers Italian wood-fired pizzas made with hand-stretched dough. Dairy-free cheeses, grilled vegetables, rich spices and plenty of extra virgin olive oil make for a traditional Neapolitan pizza with a Newtown twist.
At Mary + Vinny’s the concept is simple: spritz and spaghetti. While not exclusively vegan, the planet-based offerings are some good – think a cabonara with a vegan egg yolk and mushroom pancetta – it may as well be.
Located on Woolloomooloo Wharf, OTTO is popular with diners wanting to enjoy a long lunch of delicious Italian food in the sunshine. A vegan a la carte menu is available alongside the regular mainstays, dishing up plates like beetroot ravioli with cashew nut cream, and zucchini flowers with broccolini and hazelnut dressing.
Overlooking the iconic Bondi Beach, the only thing more Instagrammable than the views at Speedos is the food. From caramelised banana pancakes to the green falafel bowl, this is one of the best spots in Sydney for a vegan brunch – gluten- and dairy-free options are also available.
For many years this Newtown stalwart garnered a cult following for it’s classic Mary’s Burger. Now everything on the menu – the burgers, the mash’n’gravy, the fried chicken – can be ordered in a mouth-watering vegan version (all prepared on a dedicated meat-free grill and dryer).
At O Bar & Dining, celebrated chef and owner Michael Moore offers sophisticated fine-dining with views of the sparkling Sydney Harbour, as well as a five-course plant-based tasting menu brimming with delights such as organic golden barley risotto with seven-spice roasted carrots and smoked apricots, hand-rolled pumpkin and potato gnocchi with black beluga lentils and butternut. Yum!