If everyone knew how to cook this kind of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner – the world would be vegan tomorrow and there would be no looking back! The main drawcard of all-vegan gourmet restaurant Paperbark is that they support Aussie growers by using Australian native ingredients (which, incidentally, are the most delicious in the world). All you have to do is glance at Paperbark's Instagram and your mouth starts watering – pictured above is rhubarb marinated in miso and wattle seed, then slow-roasted and served with macadamia cream smoked with blue eucalyptus leaves. Or, you can opt for the incredible potato churros seasoned with salt and vinegar. Absolutely frothing! That’s not even starting to mention the delicious range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks – from the famous Bloody Mary to the gorgeously refreshing plum iced tea. Vegans and omnivores alike have raved about Paperbark, calling it the best dining experience they’ve had, so hurry up and book your table already!
Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you need to miss out on all the best things in life – one of those being yum cha. But Bodhi isn’t a ~hip~ new joint capitalising on the vegan wave – this establishment has been loved by Sydney-siders in some form or another for over 30 years, following a Taoist, plant-based food philosophy. This picturesque spot in the heart of Sydney has a gorgeous, tranquil atmosphere boasting fig trees, traditional lanterns and twinkling fairy lights by night. While there may not be any clattering trolleys about, the yum cha imitation menu will feel just like the real thing – with the addition of some highly Instagrammable, fruity fresh cocktails. Hedgehog shaped steamed black bean buns buns and piggy shaped custard lava buns for dessert is the only “animal product” you’ll be consuming here! The best thing about Bodhi is it's reasonably priced – you’re not being punished for eating healthy, clean and green. For seasoned vegans, people new to the lifestyle or omnivores who just love high quality food – Bodhi is a must-do.
In case you were wondering why this article is a list of 11 rather than ten - this is the reason. We couldn't resist putting in a third incredible vegan hotspot in Sydney - Gigis Pizzeria. It's true, pizzas don’t need to be swimming in pools of oily cheese to be delicious! In the eclectic inner-city suburb of Newtown, Gigi’s took Sydney by storm when it was first established in 2008, and now the hype is even bigger since it went full vegan in 2015, with an ethical and sustainable menu. Many of the pizzas manage to be completely delicious without any cheese substitute at all, but vegan cheese is available, such as for the famous funghi e radicchio pizze – swiss brown mushrooms, garlic, dairy-free blue cheese, parsley, walnuts and vegan parmesan. The desserts also manage to be sinfully delectable without any cow’s milk in sight – the tiramisu di gigi, for one, with its scrumptious plant-based Marsala cream dusted with cacao. With Gigi’s around, you don’t have to give up those blissful, carby, Italian dinners out if you’re thinking of going vegan.
We love to eat at unique cafes that double up as something else – so for the ultimate experience for you earth-lovers, you need to pay a visit to Wollemi Ethical Store and Café in the nation’s capital. Everything sold here is fair trade, handmade, organic, eco-friendly, sustainable, vegan, cruelty-free or a combination of these, an absolute dream for all of us who love Mother Nature. Their all-day vegan menu is guaranteed to hit any spot you've got – perhaps the pancakes with peanut caramel, chocolate sauce and coconut ice cream, or the hearty brekkie burrito with bouncing beans, tofu, brown rice, vegan cheese and loads of salsa and creamy guac? Once your belly is satisfied, take some time to browse around the ethical store – maybe you’ll pick up some luxurious eco-friendly moisturiser, or treat yourself to a zen clay mask. You’ll absolutely love everything about this centrally located, much-loved shop – named after the majestic and rare Wollemi Pine.
Brunswick St in Fitzroy is famous for its quirky boutiques and eclectic, inventive eateries – and the city’s premier vegan restaurant, Vegie Bar, is no exception. Over 30 years old now, this trailblazing, earth-friendly hotspot has been loved by eco-conscious Melbourne locals (including celebrities) for decades. The biggest crowd pleaser has to be the mee goreng – proof that traditional dishes can be just as delicious and flavoursome without animal products. What makes Vegie Bar stand out from the myriad of vegan eateries in Melbourne? Not only is the food utter perfection, the alcohol selection consists of classics such as Coronas and also organic, biodynamic wines – so you can enjoy your Friday drinks with a guilt-free, sustainable twist. We recommend getting there as early as humanly possible...sometimes it’s almost impossible to get a seat, but guess what? You can order takeaway! Five-star meals in your most heinous, comfiest pyjamas in the privacy of your home or hostel – doesn’t get much better than that.
If you’re keen to hop on board the raw food craze but don’t know where to start – make it Yong Green Food, also located in the hipster haven of Fitzroy. Operated by two vegetarian sisters who hail from meat-loving South Korea, the menu highly emphasises the art of "uncooked cooking" while still offering cooked options such as pho, udon and mouth-watering curries, for those of us who refuse to eat anything that isn't hot. A must-try, however, is the signature dish "rawsagna" – a delicious combination of layered zucchini, mushroom, avocado, cashew cream and homemade tomato sauce, no cooking in sight. The menu has been raved about even by the most stubborn meat eaters - so get to Fitzroy toot sweet and see for yourself what all the well-deserved hype is about. One visit to Yong Green Food and you’ll realise how much more there is to the raw food movement than celery sticks and sad little salads.
Grown’s philosophy is inspired by the Hippocrates quote: “Let food be thy medicine.” The totally plant-based, sustainable and eco-friendly eatery is open for brunch and dinner, and everything on the menu can easily be classed as soul food – a healthy collection of the finest, locally grown produce. The menus are small and change seasonally, but favourites like the scrambled tofu with Asian mushrooms and sesame cheese and the housemade hash brown have earned their permanent places, much-loved by vegans and omnivores alike. With a stacked drinks menu to boot ranging from fresh juice to the fizzy goodness of kombucha, Grown is an excellent spot to escape the Brisbane heat – nothing like some raw food and a refreshing bevvie to cool your bod right down! Let the reviews speak for themselves – Grown is one not to miss when you’re next in Brisvegas.
Nestled in the vibrant borough of Fremantle, you simply cannot go past The Raw Kitchen for an absolutely top-notch vegan spread. If it wasn’t obvious by its name, there is a huge emphasis on raw delicacies here, with the raw pad thai (zucchini noodles, almond satay sauce, bok choy, Chinese cabbage and more) being a huge hit with both vegans and meat-eaters. It’s not just in the food – The Raw Kitchen is completely devoted to a mindful, eco-friendly and a sustainable way of life, so much so that the space includes a zero waste retail store, a yoga studio and a popular events space. They also host raw food workshops – for those of you who loved your experience so much you want to make it part of your life permanently. Don’t expect anything to be served to you that’s bland or hasn’t been prepared with the utmost care – The Raw Kitchen goes above and beyond to ensure your dining experience is as seamless as can be.
When you think of the 1950s-diner reminiscent eateries of today, you’re probably thinking, burgers, bacon, cheese – the works. Two Bit Villains in Adelaide is no different – except that the burgers aren't actually made with meat, and absolutely everything on the menu can be made vegan! The beauty of Two-Bit Villains is that it doesn’t assume all vegans are aboard the raw food train. In fact, some vegans miss the comforting embrace of a dirty burger and fries, and this spot provides substitutes even better than the real thing. The superstar of the menu is the sloppy joe – made with housemade soy “mince”, fresh slaw, pickles and mouth-watering maple BBQ sauce. The hand-crafted sodas are a drawcard in themselves – made with real fruit and spices with no nasty stuff whatsoever. Perfect for those new to veganism, seasoned vegans and omnivores who want to reduce their meat intake – Two Bit Villains will have you coming back to Radelaide again and again...and again.
Even in the very heart of Hobart – it’s almost impossible to find a completely vegetarian place in Tassie that also caters for gluten free needs and vegans, so this modest little eatery will be a breath of fresh air. Heartfood Vegan Tea House will warm you up body and soul – with a brilliant selection of meat-free stir fries, soups, spring rolls and more as well as the enormous range of teas. She’s pretty chilly in Hobart – so these hearty, piping hot dishes are perfect for keeping in touch with your toes. If you’re time-poor, grab a tasty takeaway from the buffet, but it’s definitely worth sitting down and taking your time with the a la carte menu. The laksa is unrivalled – with soy and mushrooms giving it some protein and a “meaty” feel that’s even better than the O.G. If you still have room and you’re feeling a bit cheeky, peruse the raw desserts! You deserve it.
Like Tasmania, finding vegetarian and vegan-friendly options in the Northern Territory is no easy feat, but don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for ya! Probably Darwin’s healthiest café, Eat at Martins is vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free friendly. The menu is based on the Indian principles of Ayurveda, with meat-free meals made fresh daily that are both delicious and satisfying. Though the fluffy potato pie is filling and life-changing, you’ll want to save room for the chocolate and chickpea cake that is the obsession of Darwin locals, both vegan and omnivorous. With tasteful, colourful and cheery décor inside as well as an airy outdoor area surrounding by huge trees – your experience at Eat at Martins will be brilliant from arrival to exit.
Sustainability is in our DNA at YHA Australia. From solar hot water systems to veggie gardens and hostel chickens, we're fully committed to water conservation, energy reduction, waste minimisation and social sustainability.
Just by staying in a hostel, you're choosing one of the most eco-friendly accommodation options there is, with a focus on shared living and education through travel.
When you stay with YHA, you're helping to support our sustainability initiatives and our goal to keep making our hostels cleaner and greener.
So, if you'll be travelling to sample these veggie and vegan delicacies (and trust us, it's worth it), book your stay with us and rest easy knowing you're doing your bit for the planet!