Those days when suggesting one might eat vegan may have been responded with a snide ‘you don’t make friends with salad’ are long gone. Over the past couple of years, Sydney restaurants have truly revolutionised what a diet without animal products could look like. Whether that’s plant based fine dining, wild takes on classics or inventive Asian cuisine, meatless Monday could be any night of the week.
From the team that brought you Two Chaps, the Marrickville café that just happens to be vegetarian, comes the vegan pizza diner Pizza Madre. With pizza often defined by its animal accoutrements, cheese and pork in particular, Pizza Madre shows that there is a whole world of possibilities with non-animal alternatives. While not strictly vegan across the entire menu, which is however vegetarian, Pizza Madre does a non-diary mozzarella made from soy and cashew yoghurt.
Tues – Sat, 5.30-9.30pm
2/205 Victoria Rd, Marrickville
This vegan restaurant in Surry Hills is all about attitude. There’s no fussiness or blandness at this small diner down in the business end of Surry Hills from somewhere south of the Rio Grande. With a focus on sharing, the idea is to get amongst the small plates and mains that combine spice, sour and flair and derive from Central and South America. This even extends to the desserts which include a sweet corn crème brulee and “arroz con leche”.
Tues – Sat, 5pm - late
40 Reservoir St, Surry Hills
Pushing toward the finer end of things, this Potts Point bistro has pedigree. With presence in the kitchen and the wine list from Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt, of Bentley Restaurant + Bar, Monopole and Cirris, there’s no messing around here. Dishes are composed of unusual and heirloom vegetables that highlight the diversity that comes from thinking outside a meat-laden box.
Mon – Sun, 5pm – late
Sat, Sun, 11am – 3pm
57 Macleay St, Potts Point
Another inventive take on the meat-free concept, Bodhi, nestled in-between Hyde Park and the Domain, incorporates its green surroundings. For lunch, the pan-Asian restaurant serves vegan yum cha with morsels such as mushroom dumplings, ‘prawn’ har gow dumplings and chill smoked soy and beetroot dumplings. For dinner, there is a selection of light tapas to start and warming roasts and curries for filling mains.
Mon – Fri, 11am – 3pm
Sat, Sun 11am – 4pm
Tues – Sun, 5pm – 10pm
2-4 College Street, Sydney
If you are going to commit to all things vegan, then a focus on local, sustainable ingredients has to come in somewhere. Paperbark in Waterloo has this as its raison d’etre, with minimum-intervention wines and native ingredients sourced from small-scale producers. This results in a menu that changes often and spotlights the ingredients included.
Mon, Wed, Thurs, 6pm – 10pm
Fri – Sat, 6pm – 12am