Need Help for a Vegetarian Travelling to Sydney and Melbourne

I am not a vegetarian, my friend is a vegetarian and will be visiting Sydney and Melbourne for a few days each. So I need all the suggestion I could get for a good vegetarian meal.

  • does not have to be fancy/expensive
  • for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert
  • the restaurant does not have to be 100% vegetarian, just the food itself
  • would be nice to have a mix of authentic vegetarian food from SE Asia, middle-east, Europe etc.
  • 4 adults in total, only 1 vegetarian. We are happy to all have vegetarian food, so sharing food is also possible.

Could you share some good vegetarian food you've had? Thank you!


  • +4 votes

    Veg Out in St Kilda is good.
    Lentil as Anything.
    There is some all you can eat veg place in the CBD too, can't remember the name.

  • +70 votes

    Is this a serious post? You are headed to modern cities with approximately 5 million people.

    They are a vegetarian, not a leper!

    • +12 votes

      I kinda want to know where they're coming from, if they think that Mel/Syd doesn't cater for this….. :/

      • +5 votes

        I think they're looking for suggestion for good vego places, not that they think vego places don't exist there.

        Oh and I guess Brisbane.

        • +5 votes

          Correct, looking for suggestion for good ones

          Reason for posting here, maybe could have a nice meal with a bargain :)



          I'm vegetarian. I go to pretty much any restaurant. The only restaurants I've been to in the past decade that didn't have much in the way of vegetarian options were a really authentic Japanese place and another authentic Persian place. There was fish in everything at the former, and red meat in everything at the latter.

          In Sydney, go to Chinatown and head to a dumpling place. They will surely have vegetarian cold dishes and vegetarian dumpling options. It can either be a cheapo dumpling place near Market City (there are several, and all of a similar standard), or something upscale like Din Tai Fung. Yum Cha can be a bit hit and miss with vegetarian options, but dumpling places always come through.

          Get Thai food. Always vegetarian options there. Head to a Mediterranean place and get a falafel wrap or plate.

          Any modern Australian restaurant will have vegetarian option. The more hipsterish, the greater the variety.

          Basically, just head anywhere. Unless (as mentioned above) it's a super-authentic place from a meat-loving culture, you won't go wrong.

    • -15 votes

      It's no easy to find a place that serves pure plant based food other than salad. You don't have a vegetarian meal option even at MacDonald's for example.

      • +6 votes

        Who goes to macas for vegetarian… Though it's debatable if their meat is meat or cardboard ;)

      • +1 vote

        So true- and you never notice until you become vegetarian or try to go eat with a vegetarian. Sort of scary how dependent on meat we are. My vego friend just has to eat fries if we go to macdonalds


        So I did ordered beef burger with out beef.

        Bam! Give my vegetarian burger!!

        Gotta think smart when it comes to vegetarian.

        PS. The boy at the counter was stunned.

      • +2 votes

        Plant based diets are quite a bit different to a vegetarian diet and much harder to stick to when eating out.

    • +3 votes

      Also two of the most affluent and "food progressive" cities in the world. Harder to find non-vego :P


      OP's next post: My vegetetian leper friend looking for places to eat


      Got any suggestions for Sydney then?

      Seems like most people here are saying it's a niche thing where Glebe and Newtown are your best bets.

  • +10 votes

    Veggie Bar in Melbourne. Well, in Fitzroy. But only a 10 min tram from the cbd.

    Basically everywhere in Chinatown will cater for vegos

  • +1 vote

    Basically every restaurant has vegetarian options. Asian restaurants (inc subcontinental) always have vegetarian options or dishes that can easily be made vegetarian, like stir fries or curries where you just order the vegetarian option. It's honestly not even worth asking!


      You may be shocked how many "vegetarian" items are not actually "vegetarian." See my post below.

  • +7 votes

    Vegetarian can mean anything so you need to be more specific:

    Not eating animal flesh;
    Plus not eating shrimp paste;
    Plus not eating fish sauce;
    Plus not eating gelatine;
    Plus not eating cheese produced with rennet;
    Plus not eating eggs;
    Plus not eating dairy products.

    For some it means not eating red meat except when they have a really good excuse, which for some I expect visiting Sydney or Melbourne may well be.

    "Strict" vegetarians can eat vegan - if that's them then google "happy cow" for a guide to both cities, or hit me up for specifics.


      All I know is that she just does not eat animal flesh, and not a full vegan, yet.

      I guess if the restaurant marks the food as vegetarian, then it should be fine. Just looking for suggestions in general, too hard to get into each ingredients, guess we will figure it out when we book or seated.

    • +15 votes

      This litterally happens to me at work, "hi can I get a veggie burger, no butter as I'm vegitarian"

      me: do you want the cheese left off also?

      "No that's fine also add a chips cheese and gravy"

      me: the gravy has meat in it

      "Oh really? I've never come across gravy with meat in it before"

      Me: most usually do ;)

      Then I go sacrifice animals to my god to strike them down lol


        Yes and the same vegetarian has a leather wallet or belt etc…

        • +2 votes

          Vegetarianism may be a fine eating preference for taste / health(?) / religion / culture / aesthetics / reducing environmental impact / tradition / thrift but is illogical and inconsistent with regards to the ethics of animal exploitation.

        • +4 votes

          @thevofa: Everyone is a little bit illogical and hypocritical though- so many people care about the environment and work hard to recycle, reduce their energy use ect… but will still fly around the world in a jet plane. You can still reduce your meat intake and be having a positive impact without going completely vegan.

          Many people get so defensive and feel judged for their eating preferences, but not all vegetarians are judgemental douches. (I’m not vegetarian but have vego and vegan friends)

        • +2 votes

          @elliebargain: well said!

          Living ethically doesn't mean you can't eat meat.
          As you say…there's a lot of people that drive around all day, fly all over the world, buy and discard items, packaging etc etc….but are "vegan" and that makes them a better person.


          Plus an iphone and macbook put together with slave labour.



          Being vegan is not about being a better person (whatever that may mean to whomever), or even about diminishing environmental impacts (as positive as that may be), but simply about seeing other animals as individuals rather than objects to be exploited and therefore holding an ethical concern for them. That sensibly means not being intentionally violent towards them; killing and eating them in the face of other choices is the height of gratuitous violence.


          @thevofa: and generally being very loud and proud about it ;)



          People are vegan for all kinds of reasons, including but not limited to the reasons you've stated above.

          The actual definition of vegan is very simple.

          And as if vegans don't think they are better people for it!

        • +1 vote


          The "actual definition of vegan," although it may be reduced to a sentence, is embodied in the first newsletter of the Vegan Society in 1944. Veganism is about not exploiting animals - full stop.

    • -2 votes

      Not really, vegetarian has a definition just like beef has a definition. I can't eat shrimp paste and claim to be vegetarian any more than I can eat bacon and claim I'm eating chicken.

      Vegetarians can eat dairy products and eggs. The rest of your list is correct.

      • +3 votes

        There is no single and definitive definition of vegetarianism. For a start there are strict, lacto and ovo varieties, and all sorts of shades otherwise.


          The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as follows:
          "A vegetarian is someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae, yeast and/or some other non-animal-based foods (e.g. salt) with, or without, dairy products, honey and/or eggs. A vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish*, insects, by-products of slaughter** or any food made with processing aids created from these."


          @mahazza: The "processing aids" are the ones that surprise people as things like "rennet" for cheeses can be made with animal products and some sauces contain anchovies, etc. Some wines are clarified using egg whites, which would be an issue for vegans. I'm not a vegetarian/vegan but you need to be aware of these things if you are cooking friends who are.

          Personally I'm an omivore, but meat does make up a small amount of my total diet. Unfortunately chocolate makes up a large part of it :)


          Those are pretty much the only varities though, beyond that it's not vegetarianism anymore.



          Dairy and chicken's eggs are slaughter industries. Milk and eggs come from animal bodies. Collecting honey kills bees. That definition from the vegetarian society is as befuddled as can be. It's like saying I'm going to boycott petroleum except for filling my car.


          @thevofa: A bit extremist on chicken's eggs being slaughter industries. Depends on where you live in Melbourne, plenty of areas have backyard chooks who generally keeps the chicken until they are old and die naturally. Dittos with honey collection (doesn't necessarily kills bees), it depends on domestic or commercial practices. When talking about domestic production, you can plead your case as 'unfair population control', like snipping your pet.

    • -8 votes

      Am I a vegetarian if I choose to eat veges with my steak? :P


      Unfortunately it gets very hard to live and draw that line.

      Shrimp paste, fish sauce, gelatine etc are usually easy enough to avoid.

      Rennet on the other hand is hit and miss and you'll never get a straight answer if you were to ask a restaurant .

      Avoiding eggs / dairy puts you into Vegan territory not vegetarian though.

  • +6 votes

    This place looks good for tourists.

    $55 for two people all you can eat vegetarian buffet dinner and a movie session

    Buy two vouchers for $110 for four people everything but transportation sorted..

    It's near kings cross station so yeah.. might wanna take a car

  • +5 votes

    There's also an app called Happy Cow.
    May come in handy if you're out somewhere and need to find something nearby.

  • +7 votes

    I'm pretty sure there's grass everywhere.

    (Neg away……! haha)

  • +2 votes

    Take them to a steakhouse. Show them the errors of their ways.

  • +2 votes

    Ren Dao Vegetarian on Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick. Serves great laksa and other south East Asian dishes.

  • +3 votes

    Noted, thank you all for the suggestions above!

  • +8 votes

    Melbourne: Moroccan Soup Kitchen and Veggie Bar (as suggested above) are two great vego places that vegos and non vegos love.

    Syd: Gigi is a famous and Vegan/Vego pizza restaurant. It's great. But there are a number of vego places in Newtown that are great.

    Keep in mind that many restaurants im Syd and Melb will have vego friendly food.

  • -3 votes

    I’m sorry but when visiting overseas countries you need to abide by the laws of those countries.

    Your friend will be bound by the laws of Australia.

    I have heard news of a postal referendum on this very issue. Although I am unsure if it will be completed before your friend arrives. And of course it might not succeed.

    Please tell your friend to stay strong.



      What in the world are you talking about?

      A postal referendum on… vegetarianism/veganism? That sounds very misguided. Are you sure you're not confused between a referendum and a petition with 2 votes? :P


      And you tried oh so hard to be funny. Better luck next time.

  • +2 votes

    Transformers in Fitzroy, Melbourne if you want a very nice dinner. It’s not cheap, but it is very nice food


    in melbourne , very near to the Vic market there is a restaurant called The White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant.

    It does mock meat. - fake meat.

    eating there made me very uneasy as the mock meat was too realistic.

    other than that , pretty much every restaurant will do vegetarian food. just avoid steak restaurants and seafood restaurants as those will have limited options.

  • +1 vote

    If you like African food I recommend Nyala in Fitzroy. Tasty, good selection of both vegetarian and nonvegetarian and you can BYO. Fitzroy is a good general area for vegetarians, a lot of places cater to vegetarians, some even cater to vegans. Have fun in our city,

  • +4 votes

    The Sydney inner west is vegetarian/vegan heaven. Take your friend to suburbs like Newtown, Enmore, Glebe.


    Very Very simple.

    Just dine anywhere near a tertiary institution.

    That's where many vegetarians are employed or live

    That way you will have a choice, get reasonable pricing (Ozbargainer) and you dont have to travel too far for alternatives.

  • +7 votes

    For Melbourne I recommend Trippy Taco - in Fitzroy or St Kilda.
    All vegatrian mexican. And relatively cheap.

  • +1 vote

    I hope she's worth the effort. If it were me I wouldn't cater to them, I'd just go where the majority of the group wants to go and the vegetarian person can just get the vegetarian option.
    With that said, I'd personally go anywhere with Indian food because they'll generally have vegetarian options which taste half decent, and the rest of the group can eat something edible too.

    • +3 votes

      Some friendship groups care about each other a bit more than "majority rules".

      I'm not saying it's wrong if yours doesn't - but don't be surprised that others do!

  • +1 vote

    There are some big parks with plenty of grass around.

  • +9 votes

    In Melbourne:

    Gopal's Vegetarian Restaurant (CBD)
    OM Vegetarian (CBD)
    Matcha Mylkbar (St Kilda)
    Vegie Bar (Fitzroy)
    Transformer Fitzroy (Fitzroy)
    Smith & Daughters (Fitzroy)
    Smith & Deli (Fitzroy)
    Mukka (Fitzroy)
    Yong Green Food (Fitzroy)
    Fina's Vegetarian Cafe (Fitzroy, Richmond)
    Loving Hut (Northcote, Richmond)
    Lentil As Anything (Abbotsford)
    Admiral Cheng-Ho (Abbotsford)

    Personally been to most of these as I have a lot of vegetarian friends and they're all great :)

  • +4 votes

    Newtown is the vegetarian and vegan capital in Sydney and very bohemian.

    Chinatown in Sydney has many vegetarian restaurants also.

  • +2 votes

    Golden Lotus - Newtown, Sydney. Lots of mock meat, but it's really good. I was happy to eat there and I'm a keen meat eater.

    Also +1 for Gigi's pizza Newtown, -recommebd the truffle pizza, and the calzone) and Govinda's (buffet style all you can eat last I checked, check which movies are showing, but you can eat without paying for the movie)

    Newtown and Enmore have heaps of places op. Check trip advisor for other top rated places.


      Seconded - I'm a meat eater and Golden Lotus was still some of the best pho I've ever had.

      Bliss and Chips (also in Newtown) is a veg fish and chips place. Lots of mock meat, but the owners are super nice and it's fun to try some of the stuff they come up with.

  • +3 votes

    Lord of the fries!

  • +2 votes

    Just use zomato, mark the vegetarian box, then sort by distance min 3.5 rating. Easy.


    Food courts

  • +1 vote

    Global Vegetarian on North Rd, Ormond

  • +5 votes

    Why do we have to cater for vegetarians? I've never seen a vegetarian cater for meat eaters….

    • +2 votes

      In what ways do you feel vegetarians should be catering to meat eaters?

      • +2 votes

        Why do we have to cater for vegetarians? I've never seen a vegetarian cater for meat eaters….

        They are friends and would like to go out to a place where there are good options for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Typically, in a more meat-centric establishment, the vegetarian options are pitiful, and I've seen my vegetarian friends having to make do with starters/sides (greek salad, polenta chips etc).

        Most of my vegetarian friends wouldn't impose their dietary restrictions on me, so it would be in good faith for me to ensure they are taken care of as well.

        In what ways do you feel vegetarians should be catering to meat eaters?

        I feel like most vegetarians are pretty easy-going and are more than willing to work together to ensure everyone gets what they want/need. Unfortunately my personal experience with vegans (especially the more sanctimonious 'activist' types) has been anything but pleasant; as not only is there no desire to work WITH people of differing taste, but to inject copious amounts of judgemental remarks about 'supporting the genocidal industries' etc is like a cherry on the turdpie. Perhaps this is just my personal experience and I've had the misfortune of having the most rabid snowflakes within my circle.

        So yeah, tl;dr

        Don't be a precious snowflake, and work with other friends in your circle so that you ALL can have fun. If you have a sanctimonious preachy type with you, well, all the very best!

      • -4 votes

        In what ways do you feel vegetarians should be catering to meat eaters?

        For a start, stop being so judgemental and respect the choice that others have made to eat meat!

        Secondly, we know you're vegetarian (or whatever you want to call it) already - there's no need to repeat that to every person you talk to.

        Why don't vegetarian restaurants have a meat dish to cater for the odd meat-eater amongst a group of vegans?


      So uh, lots of folks don't understand the joke. Don't worry, I got you.

  • +2 votes

    Ask your friend to buy an app called 'Happy Cow'. Been using it for almost a year and shows me all of the Vegan/Vegetarian/Veg Option places around the world.

  • +4 votes
    You're welcome.

  • +2 votes

    bag of $3 salad leaves from any coles supermarket stores.

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