Wednesday 28 August 2019


vegan australia

Australia! When I went in 2013 I was not vegan at all - I dined on kangaroo, crocodile and emu. Clearly, I needed some help when it came to helping you travel Australia vegan. So I brought in Montanna, Australian, vegan, awesome and one of the new Vegan Vs Travel writers:

One thing that I was fairly constantly asked when I was in Europe last month was “what do Australians eat?” I found answering that question harder than the typical “what do vegans eat?”. I’ll admit that I think of food almost constantly. Delicious things I have eaten, delicious things I want to eat, delicious ways I could combine delicious foods to make them more delicious…you get the point. However, I struggled with this one; what do Australians eat? And furthermore, what do VEGAN Australians eat? Let us begin.

1. Vegan Australia: Traditional Australian food

Considering the general lack of culture in Australia, it shouldn’t surprise you that we also lack traditional well, anything, but especially foods. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the odd barbie (aka barbeque; aka BBQ) or 700 in my day, but is it exclusively Australian? Well, no. What we do have is highly processed foods like Vegemite, Chiko-rolls, and meat pies. Our claim to fame with the modest Pavlova is highly disputed (although you can easily make this vegan with Aquafaba instead of egg whites and coconut cream instead of, well, cream). The question becomes less “what do Australians eat?” And more, “What can you eat?”, and the answer is “anything you gang well please ma’am”.

2. Vegan Australia: Shopping

What can a vegan buy from an Australian supermarket or local market? It takes a while to begin to understand the ins and outs of eating vegan when you first start out, but even us seasoned veterans can find a change of shopping venues challenging. Add to that a different country and it is an entirely separate ball game. Firstly, while this may not differ drastically from what you’re used to, you need to familiarise yourself with the was the Australian animal agriculture industry disguises animal products on ingredient labels. For example, resinous glaze, shellac, natural glaze, or pure food glaze come from the Lac insect, and Casein is a milk byproduct. To skip this dilemma it can be easier (and better for the environment) to skip packaged goods altogether but if you are more of a grab-n-go kinda gal/guy there are tonnes of vegan options.

If low-waste is more your speed my go-to is fruit and veg! Tinned legumes, coconut cream, and tomatoes can be the basis for dozens of dishes and grains are always a handy staple and easy to come by; be sure to check pasta packets for hidden egg (or milk; why is it in everything?!) though. You can be sure to find all of your usual weekly staples in an Australian supermarket haul, the most important thing though is to go in with a strategy and give it a red hot crack. Thankfully Australian supermarkets are full of vegan alternatives. There are entire labelled sections in the frozen food aisle with everything from schnitzels, meat pies, pizza and prawn cutlets, to magnums, Cornetts and Ben & Jerry’s. In the fridge section of both Coles and Woolworths, you will find:

  • vegan mince (that tastes and looks like the real stuff),
  • cream cheese,
  • sour cream,
  • mozzarella,
  • cheddar
  • marinated tofu
  • legume burgers 
  • sausages.

Recently Tofurky brought of hotdogs and chicken pieces too! You really won’t miss out on any of your favourites especially with more and more options available every day. Veganism as been growing rapidly in Australia meaning that it is well catered for in most populated areas!

3. Vegan Restaurants in Australia

As a Gold Coaster, I am spoilt for choice as far as vegan restaurants go! Just last month an entirely vegan traditional Japanese restaurant appeared near my local supermarket with food to die for. Not only is Izakaya Midori ridiculously well priced, but the staff are adorable (and did I mention they sell Vego Bars and Dandi marshmallows at the front counter?!). I have had the DIY potato salad, Gyozaholic, Agedashi Tofu, Midori Ramen, and the plum wine, all of which I would recommend.

vegan australia

If you head into surfers you will find Lord of the Fries (LOTF), stocked with Beyond Meat and Beyond Sausages to boot. They have everything you could ever desire from the V-Australian Parmi burger to ice-cream sandwiches. LOTF is also conveniently located in New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australian, and Victoria (which actually has 15 stores!).

accidentally vegan australia

If you walk two minutes you will hit Max Brenner which is not exclusively vegan, but they have milk alternatives like Almond and Soy and their dark chocolate is safe! They also have the Midnight Peanut Nutter which is a vegan dessert pizza *drool* the base is smeared with dark chocolate and peanut butter and topped with cornflakes (trust me, it’s good) strawberries and banana.

vegan recipes australia

From there, you can walk an additional six minutes around the corner and you will hit San Churros which isn’t exclusively vegan, but their churros are and they have dark, milk and cookie butter vegan dipping sauce as well as an array of vegan dessert tapas. Hell yes!

vegan in australia

The beautiful thing about these places is they are franchises making them available in most big Australian cities. Helensvale has blessed us with Flour of Life which is an entirely plant-based BAKERY! That’s right, you can’t get any more Australian than a custard or neenish tart (or five) and a not meat-meat pie. They have a whole cabinet filled with cakes and another filled with various savoury pastries, my personal favourite is the “chicken” curry. We Australians like to brunch which feeds into our growing café culture, it’s quite common to find vegan options at most cafes but we also have exclusively plant-based venues to cater for us plant-folk. If you prefer healthy options, you are in luck, Blend Love on Ferry Road is a plant-based café providing all of your raw treat/smoothie needs. Their breakfast range is incredible too with corn fritters, pancakes and the humble smashed avo. Praise the food gods, The Cardamon Pod has blessed as two-fold opening, not one, but two plant-based cafes on the GC one in Southport and one in Broadbeach. All of their food is colourful, healthy and packed with flavour. With new franchises bringing out vegan options every day, it is easier then it has ever been to find some exclusively vegan grub. Big chains like Hungry Jacks, Grill’d and GYG are providing the goods. Doughnut Time, which has stores around the country have a wide array of vegan doughnuts too:

australia vegan recipes

...if you ever have a hankering for that kind of thing. There are an abundant amount of options for vegans in Australia, whether you’re a junk food vegan, a health-conscious vegan or just a person trying to do their bit for the planet. There is plenty of choices to be found outside of my beloved Queensland too:

  • New South Wales: if you head slightly off the beaten tracks of Newcastle, you will find a renovated farmhouse that has been converted into the areas most popular vegan destination. Bonta Vera offers some of the most scrumptious burgers that can be found, and you get to eat them overlooking their acreage. Sydney has the Kindness Café which serves vegan modern Thai food. Victoria probably rivals Queensland with my favourite sister companies Smith and Daughters and Smith and Deli in Melbourne.
  • Western Australia has Loving Hut in Victoria Park and Fremantle which is one of the most recognised global vegan chains! They also bring the goods at Yo Donuts, a plant-based bakery.
  • The Northern Territory: Freds Pass Markets might seem like it’s in the middle of nowhere but they have a takeout Asian cuisine vegan food stall. For those of you who haven’t been to the Northern Territory, it’s a lot of farmland, a giant rock that is one of Australia’s most popular landmark, and a lot of red dirt. With a population of just over 200,000 residents, the outback seems like the last place that you could find vegan tucker (grub; food) and yet there are still plenty of options. CHOW! in Darwin serves vegan gluten-free laksa and plenty of other venues state that they have vegan options on their menus.

vegan food australia

The point is, in case you missed it, is that veganism is absolutely exploding across the globe with more and more options becoming available every day. Even us, down under in the land of Aus with our farming and BBQ culture are keeping up with this “trend”. Mainstream companies like Dominos, Hungry Jacks and Guzman y Gomez are adding vegan alternatives to their menus so the transition is becoming easier for none-vegans and you can shop and eat very easily as a vegan traveller.

4. Vegan Hotels, Australia

What about accommodation you ask? (says every influencer ever – I know you didn’t ask, imma go ahead and tell you anyway) Well for me I find it easy to travel as a vegan, sure you can’t be certain what kind of sustainability protocols your AirBnB has generally, but I manage to make do with food! There are however plenty of vegan centred accommodation around:

  • The Beet Retreat BnB offers vegan cooking classes and retreats as well accomodation. Their Treetop Room will set you back $180 per night and their Garden Room $170. They are currently located in Yarra Valley but are relocating to the Noosa Hinterland in Queensland soon.
  • Bed and Broccoli are nestled in native bushland in the Victorian countryside. They are a vegan bed and breakfast that is also a registered Wildlife Shelter for kangaroos and brushtail possums. It doesn’t get much better then that does it?

There are plenty other options with Sunny Farm Cow Sanctuary in Booroobin, Queensland, Belle La Vie in the Byron Bay Hinterland, and Back 2 Earth home-stay (also offering massage and reiki if you’re into that kind of thing) in Berry, New South Wales. The point is there is plenty of options and you can find them all at your fingertips, praise the internet! Although that would be unhealthy guys, let us take a step back from that…

5. Wrap Up: Vegan Australia

To conclude, I’ll say this, I love Australia. I love living here, I love travelling here, I am usually proud of life here asides from the “go back to where you came from” culture but that’s for another place entirely. Sure, you can find vegan food anywhere because you can live quietly healthily and happily of fruit, vegetables and grains. Australia does like to make it easy for us though with vegan fast-food chains, sustainable restaurant, and plenty of options in the vegan aisle (both in stores and the store Vegan Aisle which you should also check out). Everything you could possible crave you can fine a vegan version of, in the main metropolitan areas at least. I can’t speak for the outback – that would be more limiting and I only travelled there as a carny – not the festival kind. If you want the peace of mind of knowing that your accommodation is vegan-friendly too, there are plenty of options where your money is feeding into rehabilitating the animal population too with places like Bed and Broccoli (which makes me want to eat some lightly steamed broccoli in bed…). And look, if all fails, come and stay with me and I’ll cook for you… kidding! Or am I?

P.S.: If you're interested in an app designed for vegans & wanna support the vegan movement and us, veganvstravel as well, use this link plz to download Abillionveg. When registering, please use our referral code: TRAVELLINGWEASELS. If you wanna know why we think this is a great app, read here.

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