There’s been an increasing demand for vegan dining in Sydney and the city has taken notice. Removing meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and dairy from meals for an animal cruelty-free lifestyle was once reserved for hippies. Now the diet’s going mainstream thanks to celebs like Beyoncé and Ellen DeGeneres. Because really — have you seen Beyoncé lately? Who wouldn’t want to copy her diet? Sydney-siders are wanting in. And the city is listening.
An abundance of new vegan restaurants and cafés are opening up around town but we’ve narrowed down five of our current faves:
The raw food movement (eating food that has not been heated past 44C) is separate to the vegan one, but Sadhana Kitchen in Enmore combines the two, delivering the ultimate clean-eating experience. Sadhana takes inspiration from hearty, classic meals such as lasagne and stir fry, and serves up its own, much-healthier version. And surprisingly, the uncooked zucchini ‘lasagna’ and kelp noodles ‘stir fry’ tastes super delicious. If you’re still hungry, check out the dessert selection because how can THIS be clean-eating?
Earth to Table
The best way to describe the food at Earth to Table Café in Bondi Junction is ‘creative’. The difficulty with vegan cooking is the limited conventional ingredients that can be used — egg pasta, cheese, and yoghurt are all off the list. It requires plenty of creative thinking substituting vegan ingredients to mimic non-vegan meals or inventing an entirely new, vegan dish. Earth to Table serves up both. And they do it well. If you don’t believe me, here’s a little visual of something their chefs whipped up — warm spiced buckwheat porridge served with saffron ‘poached’ fruit and our house made coconut cashew yoghurt.
If you’ve been reading Sydney Social 101 religiously (as we hope you have), you’d know we are big fans of the food group — Pizza. It’s fun to eat, it tastes delicious, and it’s available in all shapes and sizes around Sydney. Basil Pizza Pasta Restaurant on Newtown’s King Street is one of the few to cater to the restricted dietary needs of vegans, with a dedicated section of pizzas on its menu. The pizzas use egg-free base and dairy-free cheese, and vegan imitation toppings of ham, pepperoni, and bacon. Mmmm, who doesn’t love a slice of juicy ‘bacon’?
About Life is all about town, with store branches in Rozelle, Bondi Junction, Cammeray, Double Bay and Surry Hills. Each store has an organic food supermarket, whole foods café, and a natural pharmacy. While the café food isn’t entirely vegan, it uses clear labels on its menu to identify which options are. Our vegan favourites include the coconut quinoa porridge for breakfast and the vegan vibe burger for lunch (because we’re not ones to say no to a side serving of sweet potato chips).
Iku Wholefood is one of Sydney’s oldest vegan dining options with its first store opening in 1985 in Glebe. It operates on the philosophy that healthy food is the backbone of good health and development, and that food should be natural, wholesome, and freshly prepared. Now it’s continuing to share its vision with 12 branches across Sydney, including a few in food courts (a welcome break from the greasy stalls!). Kind of amazingly, the food for every branch is prepared in one central kitchen in Marrickville to ensure quality standards. Food options include lasagnes, macro burgers, casseroles, pies, and curries.
(Credits: www.foodspotting.com, www.urbanspoon.com, lunahdesigns.blogspot.com)