7 Vegetarian Restaurants Even Meat Lovers Will Appreciate
Being Australian and having access to some of the best meat and seafood in the world, it’s hard to go a single day without animal-sourced protein on our plates, let alone a whole week. But that’s what we’re all being encouraged to do as part of Bowel Cancer Australia’s Meat Free Week.
You may not realise it, but your usually meat-heavy diet has a significant impact on both your health and the environment. In fact, according to the World Cancer Research Fund, your risk of developing bowel cancer increases by 12% per 100g of red meat eaten per day and 16% per 50g of processed meat per day.
But if you thought sacrificing meat was going to mean unsatisfying salads and tasteless tofu, think again. These days, restaurants are catering to the growing numbers of vegetarian and vegan diners with a huge range of delish dishes - in fact, many places have foregone meat altogether.
So, to prove that vego food can be just as good (and in many cases, better) than meaty feasts, we’re taking you to seven of the country’s best vegetarian restaurants. Forks at the ready!
Brisbane: Grown, West End
Since sprouting up in 2017, Grown has become the go-to destination for Brissie vegans with flavoursome plant-based creations paired with vegan wine and beer. They’re also passionate about sustainability, using house-made ingredients and local produce to reduce plastic wastage wherever possible. Dinner at Grown is always amazing, but if you can only try one thing here, make it something from their next-level brunch menu.
Gold Coast: The Cardamom Pod, Broadbeach
Undoubtedly one of the hottest brunch spots on the GC, The Cardamom Pod is a fave of meat-lovers and meat-avoiders alike. There’s the buffet, filled with internationally-inspired delights, and there’s the weekend brekkie menu with goodies like the banana bread sweet waffle, avo Benny burger and French toast. They’ve also got a ton of options for your gluten, nut and dairy free mates, so there’ll be no more squabbling over finding somewhere everyone can eat.
Sydney: Govindas, Darlinghurst
Half restaurant, half cinema, 100% amazing. Govindas is a Sydney institution serving up an all-you-can-eat buffet of flavour-packed vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free Indian food. Once you’ve gorged yourself on all the curry and dahl you can handle, head upstairs, grab a beanbag and catch a movie in their very own cinema. A mouthwatering vego dinner and a new release flick? Perfect first date material.
Canberra: Au Lac, Dickson
Love Vietnamese food? Au Lac is calling your name. This Dickson hot spot is all about fresh, healthy ingredients and house made soy-based meat substitutes that’ll dupe you into thinking they’re the real deal. Expect delicious dumplings, hearty laksa and pho, sensational stir-fries, plus a whole menu specifically catering to gluten-free diets. They’ve also got a restaurant in Westfield Woden, so you can enjoy a post-shopping plant-based refuelling sesh.
Melbourne: Radhey Kitchen and Chai Bar, Fitzroy
If you’re of the opinion that food should nourish the soul as much as it nourishes the body, you’re gonna love Radhey Kitchen and Chai Bar. There’s not a gram of meat in sight, but you won’t miss it - these guys know how to turn plants in to culinary works of art. Think colourful curries, hearty and wholesome salads and, of course, amazing chai. Keen to try it for yourself? Scoop up two curries, a salad, rice and a lassi for just $10!
Adelaide: Sarah's Sister's Sustainable Cafe, Semaphore
If you’re as passionate about supporting local businesses and environmental sustainability as you are about damn fine food, Sarah’s Sister’s Sustainable Cafe in Semaphore is for you. The team at this iconic vego eatery not only know how to create wholesome, tasty vegan and vegetarian food, but they’re also dedicated to using seasonal local produce and reducing energy consumption and food waste. It also happens to be one of the most beautiful settings for a cafe we’ve ever seen!
Perth: Annalakshmi on the Swan, CBD
Vegetarians and carnivores alike are huge fans of this meat-free lakeside Indian restaurant, known for its unique ‘all-you-can-eat but pay-what-you-feel’ concept, volunteer-run kitchen and communal tables. Throw in some of the best views in the city and you’re in for a meal unlike any other you’ve ever experienced. There’s also plenty of gluten and dairy-free options available, so the whole squad can feast with peace of mind.