Vegan in Sydney
Sydney is storming ahead with 5 golden vegan stars from me. Everywhere you look, vegan options are available, vegan pies, vegan ice creams, they even replace eggs with cornflour in cocktail bars. Pubs are switching from steaks to jackfruit and the number of purely plant-based eateries shows that veganism has well and truly arrived in Sydney. I definitely made the most of my limited vegan-time in Sydney and came away several very delicious vegan kilos heavier.
Newtown’s King Street is often referred to as ‘Eat Street’ by Sydneysiders and it’s not hard to see why with a long stretch of restaurants. Gigi Pizzeria has been serving traditional Neapolitan wood fired pizza for eight years now and a few years ago made the move to a plant-based menu in line with Gigi’s ethics. They stay true to the traditional Neapolitan Pizza by using fresh quality local produce, with key ingredients imported from Italy.
Antipasti of portobello mushroom arancini and melanzane all parmigiana. Then comes the wood-fired pizza, a base covered in pumpkin puree with mushrooms, potatoes and vegan ricotta. Or go for the tomato base with tender ribbons of capsicum olive tapenade, capers, chilli, oregano and olive oil. Finish it all off with a tiramisu and you’ll need convincing that you’re not in Naples.
Gigi’s is packed every night, including Mondays when I visited when the queue was out of the door and it’s not hard to see (and taste) why.
Sitting in the shade under a giant fig tree in Cook and Philip Park, there is no better location to soothe your yum cha cravings than this unique parkland oasis. You feel as though on that short walk from the town you have well and truly escaped the city. Family owned for three generations, Bodhi pioneered vegan Yum Cha and Pan-Asian cuisine and has won some awards for what it does along the way.
Sliders, dumplings, ’shrimp’ tempura, stirfrys, they have everything. As plates were being taken past me to other tables, my order was getting bigger and bigger. And best of all, the wines are all cruelty free too so you can get your booze on guilt-free.
On Bondi’s trendy north side, Speedos Cafe has a prime spot overlooking the beach from which to enjoy some of the most beautiful food in Sydney with views to match and is a big favourite amongst locals. The menu is all about #yolo with hashtags to guide you through and while not strictly vegan, there are enough vegan options that it may as well be. Caramelised banana and chia vegan pancakes with triple berry compote…I’ll take it!
A great spot for those looking for a post beach run feast, the protein peanut butter smoothie will help with the recovery. Pittaya bowls decorated beautifully with fruit and flowers and falafel on a bed of green, it’s just so hard to make a decisions.
Shift Eatery in Surry Hills is a vegan cafe and delicatessen with super sandwiches, sweet treats and great coffee. Protein breakfast bowls, avocado toasts, smoothies and salads. The sandwiches on the menu use meat & mayo substitutes inspired by popular carnivorous favourites including the 'Join the Club' with its piles of “chicken” schnitzel, “turkey” slices and “cheddar cheese” and there’s not a fish in sight in the "tuna mayo".
The deli is stacked with many of the vegan substitutes that you can find on the menu; cheeses, meats, tins of tuna, dips, chocolate, tubs of ice cream and my favourite, vegan nutella. Doughnuts in every colour under the rainbow line the countertop, and the homemade raspberry white chocolate raw cheesecake is an absolute must.