The Best Vegan Restaurants in Sydney

Restaurants where vegans will be spoilt for choice, and even reluctant, carnivorous companions have to admit they're satisfied.
Concrete Playground and Andrew Zuccala
Published on August 02, 2023

The Best Vegan Restaurants in Sydney

Restaurants where vegans will be spoilt for choice, and even reluctant, carnivorous companions have to admit they're satisfied.

Once upon a time, a list of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney would be incredibly short. But over the past decade or so, stacks of plant-based eateries have popped up all over the city — in the form of neighbourhood gastropubs, hole-in-the-wall takeaway joints and luxe fine diners.

These spots have upped their game when it comes to the diverse range of food that can be made without any kind of animal product. No longer are Sydney vegans forced to choose between a sad-looking salad, a lentil burger and some lacklustre salt and pepper tofu. These days, the best vegan restaurants in Sydney (and the vegetarian restaurants that have heaps of vegan options) are graced with highly skilled chefs who put a heap of love and creative flair into their vegan eats. Some also have a strong spiritual connection to veganism, which is apparent in the menus and all-round atmosphere. No matter why you're deciding to go meat- and dairy-free, any of these Sydney vegan restaurants will deliver the goods.


Recommended reads:
The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Sydney
Sydney Date-Night Spots for When One of You Eats Plant-Based But the Other Doesn't (Yet)
The Best Vegan Cafes in Sydney

  • 15

    You’ve tried a pisco sour, but have you had a pisco margarita or a pisco-spiked cosmopolitan? What about a pisco espresso martini? At King Street locale Calle Rey, you’ll find all four. It’s showcasing the true potential of this under-represented Peruvian spirit at its Diablo Pisco Bar alongside scrumptious plant-based dishes.

    The Newtown restaurant offers a 100% vegan menu that melds Mexican, Peruvian and Japanese cuisines. You can create your own feast with the a la carte menu, but we are all about the two set menus — The Calle Rey set or the Japanese Fusion — as well as the ‘Taco Experience’, available Tuesday to Thursday. Both quality and quantity are on show at Calle Rey, one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney.

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  • 14
    A selection of vegan eats at Green Gourmet St LEonards — one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney

    Green Gourmet features a menu that reads like a vegan’s heaven on earth. All dishes are entirely meat-free, dairy-free and (interestingly) free of onion and garlic. Green Gourmet buys into the ancient vegetarian practices of China and India, which tout veganism as a means to rediscover ‘ universal love’ and the pure character of man. Part of that practice is to eliminate all spice-scented vegetables which are believed to induce offensive reactions, from bad breath to lustfulness.

    Whether you adhere to this ethos or not, it doesn’t really matter — because the food is just damn delicious. Stop in for some curry triangles and ‘duck’ spring rolls with hoisin sauce or some Sichuan-style eggplant and cauliflower with sweet and spicy red vinegar glaze and sesame seeds. It’s a must-visit for any Sydney vegan.

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  • 13
    tea being delivered to a table at the brunch spot Khamsa Cafe — one of the best vegan cafes in Sydney

    Khamsa Cafe fuses vegan eats with Middle Eastern flavours, courtesy of its Palestinian founder Sara Shaweesh. Shaweesh — whose catering business has been supplying Sydney cafes with raw vegan cakes since 2015 — was born in Sydney but raised in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Jordan, and brought these influences to Khamsa Cafe.

    Open seven days a week from 8am–2pm, the cafe offers both breakfast and lunch items, all infused with many Middle Eastern spices. For drinks, the highlight is the fragrant Arabic coffee with cardamom — a rare find in Sydney’s inner west. There’s also a healthy range of teas to select from including a matcha latte and a chai na’naa’ with loose-leaf black tea and fresh mint leaves. It’s creative vegan fare that fits right into its surrounds on the Erskineville end of King Street.

    Image: Sam Ali

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  • 12

    With its breezy, modern fitout and completely vegan offering, Eden Bondi proves a fitting addition to area’s collection of culinary hot-spots. Without an animal product in sight, the offering features veggie-packed hero dishes, alongside vegan reworkings of some of your favourite snacks.

    Dinner time might see you matching an organic Aussie wine with some popcorn cauliflower bites, vivid green sliders with pickled jalapeño and souvlaki tacos. You’ll spy a mushroom-based take on the classic ragu, a range of colourful loaded bowls and plant-based pizzas. This spot has the lot.


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  • 11
    The dining room at Alibi Kitchen and Bar - — one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney

    In early 2018, world-famous vegan chef Matthew Kenney popped across the Pacific from California to launch his very first eatery in Australia: Alibi on the ground floor of Ovolo Woolloomooloo. Now, he no longer runs the kitchen, but the current head chef Shannon Martinez has kept his legacy intact — creating new experimental and innovative vegan dishes each season.

    The only difference is that Martinez leans heavily on their Spanish roots to create the a la carte, degustation and high tea experiences. This ethos follows through to the bar that focuses on sustainable and locally sourced beers, wines and spirits. You surely won’t feel bad after drinking and dining here.

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  • 10
    A table full of Asian fusion eats at Yulli's Surry Hills — one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney

    Yulli’s is a hugely popular Surry Hills vegan bar and restaurant combo with a very sizeable sharing menu. Our favourite dish? It’s got to be the mini Vietnamese pancakes with chilli radish, crispy tofu skin and succulent king mushrooms. This is topped with fresh herbs and a plum sauce that we wish was sold by the bottle. Equally as tasty are the baked brussels sprouts in filo parcels with a tom yum sauce and black olive mousse.

    But it’s not all about the food here. There is an equally impressively beer list that features over 30 craft beers — all from independent NSW breweries. This beer list is a big reason why so many people flock to Yulli’s and its sister venue Yulli’s Brews (also, totally vegan) in Alexandria.

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  • 9
    a table full of vegan souvlaki, chips and salads at 'I Should Be Souvlaki" — one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney

    When it comes to vegan fare, there is no greater place in Sydney — and maybe Australia — than Newtown’s King Street. And when I Should Be Souvlaki opened in 2021, it became an instant hit with locals walking down the strip. The focus here is on creating hearty, tasty vegan food, full of garlic, salt and lemon, that harks back to the souvlaki of the owner’s native Greece.

    Souvlaki is clearly the name of the game here, with a whole host of vegetable and fake meat fillings available — plus, the all-too-necessary hot chips covered in vegan feta. And if you’re dining in, there are some decent wines and beers on offer, with local brews such as Young Henrys sitting alongside Greek drops like Mythos Hellenic Lager. It’s a casual vegan restaurant in Sydney that even your meat-loving mates will enjoy.

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  • 8
    the private dining room at Maydonaz — one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney

    Maydanoz on Carrington Street comes from award-winning Turkish chef Somer Sivrioğlu (Efendy). He’s pushing towards vegetarian and plant-based cuisine in the sleek 100-seat venue, but you will still find some meat options. Yeah, it’s not totally vegan, but the plant-based eats are so good that we had to include it in this guide to the best vegan restaurants in Sydney.

    If you are heading in for dinner, you’ll be greeted with an extensive a la carte menu with highlights including the lentil kofte and cabbage kebabs with harissa, labneh and coriander. And if you come between 3-6pm from Monday to Friday for happy hour, you’ll nab discounts on beer, wine and cocktails and a limited food menu.

    Image: Steven Woodburn

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  • 7
    people eating outside Flyover Fritterie — one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney

    Sydney’s very own vegan fritterie and chai bar champions the humble pakora. These fried fritters are made with whatever seasonal veggies are in season and are served with a special tamarind chutney — using the owner’s grandmother’s recipe. The crunchy vegan bites are beloved by locals, but it’s not the only menu item.

    Stacks of other vegan Delhi street food eats are also available alongside a decent selection of wine, beer and cocktails. Either grab some food on the go, or sit in and make a proper day of it, feasting at one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney.

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  • 6
    pouring olive oil on takeaway pizza at Gigi's Pizzeria — one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney

    We’re accustomed to the idea that every slice of pizza worth its weight in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles requires lashings of mozzarella. This is why the news that famed Newtown pizzeria Gigi is a cheese-free haven of vegan goodness might be a bit of a shock to the unknowing Sydney pizza fan.

    According to owner Marco Matino, the tradition of the Neapolitan woodfired pizza “is an art form which will always be relevant no matter how times change”. That said, the King Street digs decided to kick their double-smoked ham and stringy mozzarella to the curb years ago in favour of a plant-based menu and have never looked back. The pizza here is both sustainable and ethical, with fresh, locally grown produce and key ingredients imported from Italy. It’s not only one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney but also home to some of the city’s best pizza.

    Image: Destination NSW

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  • 5

    Chatkazz is a culinary gem that delivers a truly special eating experience. The term means “spicy and delicious”, and that’s exactly what you’re going to find. The Indian restaurant in Sydney specialises in street food and farsan (salty snacks) that’ll transport you directly to India. Order off the Mumbai Roadside Special menu to try the best of the bunch — think pani puri (crispy puffed bread stuffed with black chana and potato), pav bhaji (cheese-topped spicy vegetable curry) and paneer tava pulav (paneer and veggie fried rice served with raita).

    Or if you’re feeling festive, get a bit of everything and share it around. Check out the sister venue at Bella Vista for more of the same eclectic and vibrant takes on modern Indian cuisine.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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  • 4
    people sitting at the bar at The Sunshine Inn - — one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney

    Since 2020, owners Daniel McBride and Lynn Smulewicz have brought their expertise to create a neighbourhood spot that’s both approachable and inventive.

    Out the front, you’ll find casual restaurant The Sunshine Inn, and out the back is the dining room dubbed DD’s. The Sunshine Inn’s menu is predominately plant-based and focused on locally sourced produce — think beetroot carpaccio with a tomato and shallot dressing and a crispy tofu burger featuring miso mayo, a gochujang glaze, and topped with cabbage slaw and pickled cucumber. Look out for seasonal pasta dishes which go for $10 every Tuesday as well.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan
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  • 3
    the front door of Golden Lotus in Newtown — one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney and one of the best BYO restaurants in Sydney.

    Fresh, nutritious food is the game at Golden Lotus, cementing it as one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney. David Nguyen’s Vietnamese eatery promises the authentic flavours of Saigon without any animal products. Beyond tofu, there are a few soy meat options available across the menu of family recipes that includes stir fries, dumplings and noodle soups.

    The food at Golden Lotus is so tasty that even the most vehement meat-eaters will be placated — that is, if they can look past the glowing pink “Veganism is Magic” sign on the wall. The set-up is cosy and familiar; the walls are bright green and tables are placed close together to give the spot a buzzing, community atmosphere. Summed up, it’s very Newtown. And we are all for it.

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  • 2

    Back in 2016, Bentley co-owners Brent Savage (food) and Nick Hildebrandt (wine) announced they were going 100% vegetarian with fine diner Yellow. Their aim: to show that vegetarian and vegan dishes are just as tasty as any other menu item. Now, it’s one of the city’s go-to dining destinations and easily one of the best vegan restaurants in Sydney.

    Set in Yellow House on Macleay Street, the bistro’s name and design pay respect to the building’s history as an artists’ dive during the 70s when Brett Whiteley, Martin Sharpe and George Gittoes would reportedly grace the place with their presence. Open five nights a week from 6pm (and for lunch on weekends), this could very easily become a second home for local vegans. Lucky things.

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  • 1

    This doughnut queen is doing things decidedly differently. After developing a gluten and dairy allergy back in 2017, Yu Ozone refused to give up on her love of food. Instead, she created Comeco, a bakery cum cafe that’s serving up gluten (and dairy) free sourdough doughnuts to the Newtown masses.

    While the doughnuts have a cult-like following, we really love coming here on weekends when the cafe serves up platters of vegan sushi. The options change regularly, but you should expect to find chilli shiitake tempura, seven-spice tofu and aburi eggplant teriyaki rolls — that last one convincingly replicates grilled eel sushi. Your sweet and savoury cravings are all taken care of by Comeco, home to some of the best vegan food in Sydney.

    Image: Cassandra Hannagan

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Top images: Gigi’s Pizzeria.

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