Looking for Names of Vegetarian Dishes

I don’t eat egg or meat. I am new to this country and the restaurant scene.

It would be great if you could recommend the names of dishes in Australian restaurants that do not have egg or meat. (Okay with milk products though.)


  • +7

    Australia has improved massively over the last 20 years in terms of availability of vegetarian / vegan dishes. Have a look at the Happy Cow application that shows nearby restaurants with vegetarian/vegan dishes.

    Also, Australia has many diverse cultures and as such many diverse cuisines are available. I would suggest looking for a cuisine that you like and then go to those restaurants. Examples I can think of with good vegetarian options - African, Israeli, Mexican, Italian (although lots of eggs), Thai (again lots of eggs, but they can not put them in if you ask), Indian, etc.

  • +5

    It's been my experience that most places will have at least one vegetarian meal (usually has a "v" to indicate that it's vegetarian) but of course it depends where you're eating! You can always ask the waiter/cashier for vegetarian options if you can't find them on the menu.

    • +1

      Yeah this, or a leaf icon next to the name.

  • -2

    Mousaka - lasagne with eggplant instead of meat

    • +2

      Mousaka often has meat in it

    • +3

      Mousaka is a meat dish which uses eggplant like lasagne sheets. There is no pasta in mousaka and it’s is very very rarely vegetarian.

      • Lol sorry everyone. I knew the eggplant replaced something and thought it was the meat. I guess it must be for gluten-free people.

        • It's not made "for" anyone, it's just a classic Greek dish that's delicious. No guarantees it's gluten-free either, it often has bechemel with flour in it.

          • @inconspicuous: Haha ok. I assumed people wouldn't choose to eat eggplant unless they had to for dietary reasons 😝

            • +2

              @Quantumcat: Eggplant is delicious!

              • -1

                @John Kimble: I think it is like gelatinised snot haha

                • +1

                  @Quantumcat: Texture wise I suppose it could be if cooked that way?

                  I reckon it's similar to tofu, relatively bland by itself, but quite absorbent, so takes on additional flavours if you drench it in sauce.

      • I make my version of moussaka using (brown) lentils as the replacement for meat.

        I have also eaten it elsewhere in Australia, but a long time ago.

  • Vegetable or tofu dishes at a Thai restaraunt would fit the bill.

    • +1

      As long as there is no fish sauce, which is quite prevalent in Thai.

      • damn that's a good point. most dishes would have fish sauce.

  • +4

    There aren't really any "names of dishes". What you'll learn is that we don't really have any dishes that are unique to Australia, but we do have a unique way of picking and choosing from other cuisines to create our own. We have a huge array of options compared to a lot of other places in the world. If you're in the cities you won't struggle to find vegetarian/vegan restaurants, or restaurants with those options.

  • Also try a google search for vegetarian restaurants near me, or visit a website that has a list of vegetarian restaurants for your city. Like this :)

  • +3

    I eat mainly veg food. Just look for the (v) next to the dish and then double check about the egg as it isn't generally regarded as vegetarian.

    Also, if the menu isn't full of veg meals then ask the wait staff if they can modify a non-veg dish.

    I couldn't give you any specific names of dishes (I tend to just see what looks good).

    Also I'm not quite sure what you mean by an "Australian restaurant". Do you mean Australian food or a restaurant in Australia that could be Indian, Thai, Greek, Modern Australian or pub food?

    My local small bar. 4 of the 7 burgers are vegetarian.

    My local big pub. Look for the v in the circle

    Some good choices here

    And any indian place will have a good selection too

  • Veggie burger
    Vegetarian pizza
    Roast vegetables
    Vegetable spring rolls

  • Gado gado, check for boiled egg that sometimes included tho

  • There's a pulled pork burger. Using jackfruit which I want to try. Was on one of the nine lifestyle shorts recently.

    • -1

      pulled pork burger

      Ah yes, the classic vegetarian meal

      • +3

        Making it to that next sentence was too much of a struggle for you I guess

        • +4

          To be fair, the full stop confuses somewhat…

        • -1

          If a pulled pork burger does not, in fact, contain pulled pork, then I do indeed have issues with it

    • Pulled jackfruit is great. Different to pulled pork but still great!

  • plenty of vegetarian food around. a good friend is vegetarian and it rarely impacts restaurant choices, except that every now and then he will suggest not going to one cuisine or another, because there are a few countries that have very limited vegetarian options, and some places that have such a focus on meat that they dont even bother with anything else (eg kfc)

    but generally, most australian, asian, middle eastern and other places have solid veg options
    go out and try them all

  • Lettuce

  • You can also try: can I have the main, …, without the steak, or without the salmon filet, etc.

    • This is generally going to result in a pretty bland meal given meat-centric dishes are usually fairly reliant on the protein for imparting much of their flavour. Given there are options for actual tasty vego food around I would try that first instead.

    • Reminds me of a time my mate ordered a Big Mac without the meat patties…they charged him the normal price! 🤦‍♂️

  • Welcome to Australia :)
    Where are you based? We might be able to give you some good suggestions..

    • Melbourne. Thank you.

  • +2

    Welcome to Australia. Ignore the trolls here.

    When you say meat, I’m guessing you mean beef, poultry, pork, fish etc?

    Would you eat products with egg in it? Eg Pasta?

    You say you are in Melbourne so I’d simply be ordering vego dishes. Being Melbourne, we have a lot of cultures here and our vegetarian options have improved significantly recently.

    Some examples I can think of are and I’d sometimes order these myself.

    • Risotto (with something like mushrooms)

    • Pesto pasta or gnocchi

    • Vego pizzas

    • Vego curry

    • Vego parmas

    • Vego lasagna

    Here are a few articles.

    https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/guides/best-vegetari... - From Dec 2020

    https://www.timeout.com/melbourne/restaurants/the-best-veget... - From Aug 2020

    https://www.goodfood.com.au/archived/melbournes-top-10-veget... - A bit old so things might have changed

    • Many thanks for this.

  • I’m guessing you are Indian OP? Your question is pretty impossible to answer. Food in Australia is unlike food in India where it’s possible to just know the names of suitable dishes eg. Masala dosa will be fine.

    Eggs are considered vegetarian in Australia. Vegetarian just means avoiding animal flesh so meat, stock, lard, gelatine etc. So you would always need to check if a dish includes egg. Egg can be hidden in pasta, sauces, veggie burgers etc. Most Indian vegetarians that I know end up becoming flexible on eating hidden eggs or start eating a vegan diet.

    I’ve been a vegetarian for the majority of my life so if you any more questions feel free to pm me.

  • Check this website Happy Cow. You would be able to find vegetarian restaurants near you and lots of other information.

  • +1

    Restaurant menus normally have a description of what a dish is. Some things will contain eggs like pasta which you might need to ask about. Also if you're interested in a place look them up on Google you can often find their menu and have a look through it there.

    If you want an 'australian' vegetarian dish try a spinach and ricotta sausage roll.

  • Some veggie dishes for a Malaysian/ Singapore resturant eg Pappa Rich

    Lontong - Veggies, optional sliced egg and tofu in coconut based gravy
    Tauhu Goreng - Beancurd with peanut sauce
    Gado Gado - Veggies, optional egg and rice cakes in satay gravy
    Mee Siam - Veggie beehun with sour sauce
    Nasi Lemak - Rice with papad and ground nuts, spicy mix and optional hard boiled egg

  • we are veggie. happy cow is a good resource.google vegetarian and see what you get - we got many. if you are used to ethnic food, then find those eg indian, chinese, etc. there are some australian veg restaurants as well. they would be an acquired taste. aldi actually has some good value veg dishes we buy to eat. mostly you need to cook as beggie restaurants are not that common after 40 years. I tried.

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