The round-up: fill up on goodness at Brisbane’s best vegan spots
Put your presuppositions in the bin – plant-based food is not just salad and steamed vegetables. Vegan cuisine is becoming increasingly prominent due to the rise of dietary requirements and a conscientious focus of what we put in our bodies. For those of you who can’t stomach the thought of canning the cutlets and trashing the T-bones in favour of salad, please relax – we aren’t here to sway you to veganism. What we will say is that dining as a vegan can be hard in our predominantly meat-eating society, but also very rewarding – even if you love bacon and eggs. We’ve chosen to point out Brisbane’s best vegan spots well worth sampling.
El Planta, South Brisbane: Love a Mexican feast but not so keen on the meat? El Planta has got you more than covered. The beloved Brisbane pop-up went bricks-and-mortar in 2020, bringing its menu of tacos, nachos, margs and more to a permanent home. Hot tip: the fried spiced corn ribs and El Planta’s take on the classic fish taco are to die for. Get a margarita, too – you can thank us later.
Plant Vibes Cafe, Bowen Hills: After struggling for years to find good plant-based cafe options in Brisbane, Eugenie Hows decided to take matters into her own hands and open her own. Plant Vibes Cafe is a dreamy little Scandinavian-inspired spot that draws influence from the Danish culture of embracing togetherness by creating a menu that everyone (herbivores and carnivores) could enjoy. Must-try dishes include the chilli and chive tofu scramble, mushroom and ‘bacon’ arancini, a vegan cheeseburger and loaded breakfast croissant.
Grown, West End: West End’s own vegan-centric eatery is taking plant-based eating to new heights. The venue’s plant-based and seasonal menu uses produce sourced from local farmers and ethical producers located no more than 400 kilometres from Brisbane. Grown boasts a morning and evening offering, encompassing the likes of walnut bolognese, roasted mushroom and silken tofu scramble, and oat porridge with poached fruit to pizza toasties, baked pumpkin and capsicum empanadas, and lentil ragu with creamy polenta.
Dicki’s, New Farm: When Dicki’s opened near Merthyr Road in New Farm, it was with the promise of showcasing the possibilities of plant-based dining. Vegan eaters will be chuffed with the selection, which includes buckwheat waffles with caramelised banana and maple syrup, grilled corn cakes with guac and spiced-rice burrito with crumbed tofu.
Lord of the Fries, Fortitude Valley: Melbourne-born vegan fast-food chain Lord of the Fries finally made its way north in 2019, plonking down Brisbane’s first outlet in the heart of The Valley. Here you can gorge on meat-free burgers (six kinds!), plant-based hotdogs, and vegan-friendly sides and desserts.
The Green Edge, Windsor: Dedicated vegan grocer The Green Edge has long been a handy spot to get your hands on some nourishing ingredients, but as a lunchtime pit stop The Green Edge also scores top marks. Truffled-mushroom toasties, southern crispy chick’n pancakes and Japanese-style katsu curries feature for breakfast and lunch.
Nonna’s Nightmare, West End: Sure, traditionally minded nonnas might balk at the thought of plant-based Italian, but the team at Nonna’s Nightmare prove that it can be done – and done well! There is a host of vegan pizzas to choose from, from classic margherita to vegan-sausage-laden options. That’s not all – the eatery also served vegan pasta dishes, burgers and desserts. How good!
Detour, Woolloongabba: Although this fine diner isn’t strictly vegan only, half of its menu is dedicated to plant-based and herbivore eaters. This conscientious and all-inclusive approach has resulted in dishes like coal-roasted broccoli with saffron, dill and garlic, beetroot tartare, fossilised carrots with chia, dukkah and cashew, and Hawaiian curry with sweet potatoes, coconut and lychees.
ZA ZA TA, Fortitude Valley: Middle Eastern restaurant ZA ZA TA made a savvy pivot a few years back to focus on vegetarian cuisine. Don’t fret, vegan pals, you haven’t been left out – ZA ZA TA also boasts a dedicated vegan offering for those of the plant-based persuasion. The sizeable offering included the likes of sesame falafel with tahini and fresh horseradish, spring carrot mahumarra with walnut dukkah, cauliflower shawarma, and rhubarb, rose and sour cherry parfait.
You Came Again, West End: It’s not all cafes and early birds in the vegan dining scene. You Came Again on Boundary Street is Brisbane’s first vegan tapas bar, offering up tasty bites such as mushroom and walnut pate, seasonal fruit carpaccio, miso-rolled eggplant and vegan meatballs.
Brewski, Petrie Terrace: One of Caxton Street’s preeminent beer and burger joints goes the extra mile when it comes to catering to plant-based eaters. We’ve heard rave reviews for Brewski’s beefless burger, pulled jackfruit burger and the phenomenal vegan cheeseburger – each as good as its carnivorous counterparts.
VegeMe, South Brisbane: This little plant-based gem has garnered quite the reputation amongst the Brisbane vegan community – and for good reason! The Asian-inspired menu is packed with delicious treats such as nuggets, drumsticks and buns as well as more substantial dishes along the lines of laksa, risotto and rice-based concoctions.
Tippler’s Tap, Fortitude Valley and South Bank: One of the most popular spots for a craft beer is also a go-to for vegan comfort food. Vegan chilli dogs, vegan cheeseburgers, vegan chicken burgers, and vegan-friendly loaded fries – what more could you need?
MooFree Burgers, various locations: Brisbane’s first dedicated vegan burger bar MooFree Burgers caused an excited stir with its range of mouth-watering morsels. Owners Johnny and Michael Tabet have worked to perfect a range of burgers that would provide the same sort of satisfaction as its meaty counterpart. The VBD Burger is one of the best options on the menu at MooFree Burgers. This handful features a tasty beefless pattie, facon rashers, vegan cheeze, caramelised onion, pickles and mustard mayo.
Yavanna, Paddington: Comfort food is king at Yavanna – a plant-based bar and eatery that focuses on inclusivity. The menu is stacked with comforting eats such as the signature fried chicken, a golden-crumbed cotoletta, black-bean nachos, a hoisin-dack bao-inspired burger and fried cauliflower wings.
Netherworld, Fortitude Valley: Craft beer and bar food get elevated at arcade-themed bar Netherworld, but the menu is distinct for being entirely vegan. Tasty options include crumbed cauliflower drumettes smothered in buffalo sauce, a vegan southern fried-chicken burger, a garlic bread sub, macaroni and cheese, and even a peanut butter Oreo pie.
Fitz + Potts, Nundah: There’s nothing like kicking back with a schooner and a snack, and Fitz + Potts is one of the best spots to do so. The entire menu at this eclectically decorated Nundah bar is vegan-friendly, offering the likes of vegan bar snacks like pumpkin arancini and gyoza, vegan jaffles, pizzas, share platters, and more – not to mention an impressive selection of craft beers.
September 18, North Lakes: North Lakes is home to a popular Malaysian restaurant that offers diners a unique take on the Asian cuisine. Everything from the laksa and satay to the roti canai and nasi goreng is devoid of meat or dairy products, but retains the incredible taste Malaysian cuisine is known for.
Veganyumm, Everton Park: Who said vegans couldn’t enjoy dessert? One of Brisbane’s first all-vegan bakehouse remains a top spot to indulge in dairy-free and egg-free treats. We’re talking brownies, cupcakes, pies, coffee and shakes – everything you could possibly want to indulge in can be found right here.
Grassfed, South Brisbane: When acclaimed fine-dining chef Alejandro Cancino and vegan soft-serve kingpin Jonny Garrison paired up for a plant-based venture, vegans all over Brisbane salivated. Fish Lane’s Grassfed is a plant-based burger joint that used Alejandro’s signature vEEF patties across a range of tasty handfuls, as well as a range of Jonny’s own I Should Coco coconut-based soft-serve ice-cream for a sweet finish.
Greenhouse Canteen, South Brisbane: Gold Coast export Greenhouse Canteen arrived in South Brisbane with some significant fanfare. Plant-based eaters of Brisbane flocked to the anticipated bar and eatery to sample the approachable and comforting menu, which includes the likes of Korean-style rice cakes, jackfruit enchiladas, Moroccan chickpea crepes and eggplant moussaka.
Mylk + Ko, New Farm: Although there are a couple of non-vegan options on the menu, Mylk + Ko is still one of the finest haunts for healthy eats has been flying the vegan-friendly flag since opening. Every single one of its bowls are vegan friendly, as is the chai-licious porridge, teriyaki eggplant burger and Mylk +Ko’s Poppin’ Waffles.
Taro’s Ramen, South Brisbane and Brisbane City: One of the best spots to slurp up noodle soup is Taro’s Ramen. The noodle master’s burgeoning empire is has expanded into the realm of vegan-friendly slurps – ramen is available in vegan-friendly classic, red and fire variations and even has some dedicated carnivores swayed.
It’s Mirchi Healthy Indian, Paddington: Vegans needn’t be left out when your crew decide on Indian cuisine for the next group dinner – It’s Mirchi has got plenty to offer all comers. There’s an extensive selection of vegan curries, but the daal saagwala is our pick. This pan-cooked spinach curry comes with lentils, seasoned with ginger, garlic and whole spiced with roasted fenugreek. It’s Mirchi also served vegan breads! So, naturally, we suggest getting a vegan cauliflower and broccoli naan to match.
Loving Hut, Mount Gravatt: You can’t have a list of top vegan eats without including one of the most beloved 100-percent vegan restaurants in town. Loving Hut specialises in vegan cuisine, which makes narrowing our choice to one meal exceptionally difficult. We’re going to pick the vegan laksa with tofu puffs and vegetables, but you could also try the raw-some zucchini spaghetti, vegan lasagne and crispy chow mein.
Vegan pizza: Everyone deserves to enjoy a pizza party, which is why it’s important to acknowledge that there are plenty of spots out there doing vegan pizzas. Curious? Check out our round-up of the best places to cop a slice.
Got a suggestion for a vegan-friendly eatery that we’ve missed? Drop us a line at [email protected].
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