Ah Sydney, you temptress. With your abundance of fresh, local produce and funky bars and restaurants, there’s really something for every foodie who steps onto your sunny shores. This includes herbivores, it seems, who are spoilt for choice when it comes to vegetarian meals, no matter where they find themselves in the city.
Begin your day of plant-based feasting with breakfast at Sadhana Kitchen, a vegan restaurant in quirky Enmore in Sydney’s Inner West. Pull up a stool amongst the moustachioed hipsters—preferably one by the windows so you can watch the eclectic local crowd pass by—and let the good folk at Sadhana serve you up 100 percent vegan, raw, gluten-free, seasonal, organic dishes that are guaranteed to leave you feeling as healthy as a goji berry. Think about ordering their chia porridge or breakfast scramble—a tasty mix of almonds, sunflower seeds, and seasonal vegetables served atop onion flat bread—paired with a drink from their extensive cold-pressed smoothie and juice menu. And whatever you do, don’t leave without taking a slice of their rich, choc-raspberry ‘cheezecake’ (because it ain’t cheesecake as you know it) with you.
If it’s a Friday, you’re in luck. Because on Fridays, Subcontinental opens its doors to those wandering the streets of Surry Hills at lunchtime, offering a smorgasbord of regional Indian vegetarian meals. Walk down the stairs into this hip basement eatery and you instantly smell the fragrant spices wafting out from the kitchen. Order a lassi cocktail or Indian beer and settle into one of their comfortable booths to the tune of some tasteful chill-out music. When your tummy starts to rumble, don’t go past the pani puri—those delightfully thin, crisp fried flatbread shells filled with chickpeas, spicy potatoes, and hot tamarind water—or the slightly crispy saffron rice biryani with cauliflower, sweet potato, and a cheeky side of pineapple raita.
Feeling peckish before dinner? You just might have to head to the CBD for the most decadent of afternoon snacks. Mary’s, they of Sydney’s best burger fame, have opened a takeaway joint at 154 Castlereagh Street in the centre of the city, and it’s all the locals are talking about. Walk up to the wooden counter, have a laugh with one of the hip, tattooed staff, then order their veg burger: a huge, garlicky mushroom is sandwiched between one of their famously soft, sweet buns, with the usual accoutrements of lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and melted cheese.
As the sun begins to set, it’s time to head over to Potts Point in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Here you’ll find the new and improved Billy Kwong, one of Sydney’s favourite high-end Australian-Chinese restaurants. It’s run by celebrity chef Kylie Kwong and boasts a menu that’s based around sustainable, local, fresh produce. Start with some steamed dumplings stuffed with tender warrigal greens—an indigenous plant that grows along Australia’s east coast—or some crispy cakes of salt bush (another native Australian plant), then move on to their famously delicious home-style fried eggs with tamari and XO sauce. For a fun rather than formal experience, grab a seat at the long counter facing the open kitchen, where you can watch the chefs craft their magic, glass of local biodynamic wine in hand: the perfect end to the perfect meat-free day in Sydney.
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