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Best of Canberra – Vegetarian

By 8 September 2015 32

stock-vegetarian

I’ve been writing the Best of Canberra series for a while now and you may or may not have noticed that I’m actually a vegetarian. Never fear, I always do my best to bring along one of the meat eaters in my life to give you a balanced view and keep the carnivores out there happy.

But I think it’s about time I look out for my fellow plant lovers for once. This week, I’m on the hunt for Canberra’s best vegetarian food. Whether it comes from a vegetarian restaurant, a steak house or your local cafe, I want to know who makes the best vegetarian food in town. 

I want to be clear that I’m not just looking for some lettuce in a bowl. I’m talking about the kind of vego option that even committed meat eaters would pick off a menu. 

To vote, let me know who serves up the best vegetarian in the comments below. I’ll try the two most popular places and let you know the verdict in next Monday’s Taste Off article.

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32 Responses to
Best of Canberra – Vegetarian
Milly Withers 12:28 pm
08 Sep 15
#1

The best vegetarian meal in Canberra is the veggie hotdog at BrodDogs. So good!

Alexandra Craig 12:46 pm
08 Sep 15
#2

I had a pretty fantastic vegetarian burrito at Sweet Bones once.

There’s also a veggie restaurant Au Lac in Dickson. I’ve never been but some friends speak highly of it.

neanderthalsis 1:43 pm
08 Sep 15
#3

I recommend Au Lac in Dickson as a completely vegetarian restaurant. Try the duck.

Zan 1:47 pm
08 Sep 15
#4

Non vegetarians would also enjoy the food at Au Lac. It is superb. They have wonderful flavours. There is soy chicken, soy beef and soy fish and you would swear it is meat and fish.

John Moulis 2:05 pm
08 Sep 15
#5

I remember hearing about a US steakhouse chain with a logo featuring a smiling pig, and written underneath “Horrifying vegetarians since 1969″ :-)

rubaiyat 3:03 pm
08 Sep 15
#6

John Moulis said :

I remember hearing about a US steakhouse chain with a logo featuring a smiling pig, and written underneath “Horrifying vegetarians since 1969″ :-)

And the Adelaide pub with “Worst Vegetarian restarian restaurant in Adelaide”.

Think we should kidnap the owner of the Tofu Shop Bridge Road East Melbourne and make him set up shop in Canberra.

PS Can’t imagine anything more ridiculous than vegetarian food pretending to be the very thing vegetarians have foresworn to eat, and having tried them, so far off the mark.

Tamross 3:15 pm
08 Sep 15
#7

Rainbow Dreams in Dickson.

brookcus_falls 3:38 pm
08 Sep 15
#8

My sister is now vegan but has been a vegetarian for 10 years. For one of her birthdays she decided we should go out Au Lac in Dickson. While she enjoyed it us carnivores hated it. The “meat” tasted nothing like the real thing and the textures were all wrong.

Recently she taken us to Sweet Bones in Braddon and their food is exponentially better. I like the nachos there but my sister recommends the bacon cheese burger. Their cakes are also really good. Plus it is a cool quirky place to visit. Nice atmosphere and great staff.

notdingers 3:53 pm
08 Sep 15
#9

+1 Au Lac

EmJay 4:09 pm
08 Sep 15
#10

Definitely have to go to Sweet Bones in Braddon!!! Canberra’s only vegan cafe. They have a massive menu of lunch items and a delicious cabinet of sweets and cakes. You have to try their CinnaBon!

I also recommend Au Lac in Dickson, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant. The curry “chicken” or eggplant claypot are to die for, but you also cannot leave without trying the soy deep fried icecream!!

Malaysia Chapter is also really lovely, they have a meat menu and a separate vegna/vegetarian menu. My favourite there is the soy meat rendeng!

So, excited to see you do a review for the plant-based peeps!! <3 much love

Phend 5:17 pm
08 Sep 15
#11

Love Au Lac.

Kingsland in Dickson is great too. We alternate between the two.

Even as a meat eater, I love the mock meats. Particularly chicken ones.

Elysium33 6:08 pm
08 Sep 15
#12

I went to Sage recently and had the most incredible 5 course degustation, all vegan – included ‘smoked watermelon’.. So good!! Lazy May’s are also very good for vego options down in Tuggeranong :) Tilleys is a bit more veg friendly these days and seems always to have at least one vegan option. Akiba has its own vegetarian (and vegan) menu, and My Café in Manuka are apparently also fantastic! There’s also a place called As Nature Intended on the north side I am keen to check out. And Kingsland, Au Lac and the fabulous Sweet Bones of course!!

Tldr; it is becoming easier to eat out as a vegan/ vegetarian in Canberra

VeganOfCanberra 6:09 pm
08 Sep 15
#13

Sweet bones and their range of burgers, burritos, and cakes is definitely the best vegan/vegetarian place in Canberra! Unlike Au Lac and Kingsland in Dickson (Which I also love), they use lots of whole foods instead of meat substitutes.

If anyone is in need of vegan support in Canberra be sure to check out the “Vegan ACT” group on facebook. So many helpful people!

Elysium33 6:09 pm
08 Sep 15
#14

Seriously though. If you try one thing, try the smoked watermelon at Sage. It will blow your mind!!!

Ezy 6:12 pm
08 Sep 15
#15

Mountain Creek Wholefoods in Griffith and Local Press down at the Foreshore.

Nightshade 9:16 pm
08 Sep 15
#16

Global Cafe on Northbourne Ave (Ethiopian). Ethiopian cuisine includes a lot of vegan dishes due to the many religious fasting days in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church calendar.
Phnom Penh in Belconnen (Cambodian) – my favourite is the vegetarian Amok.
Banana Leaf in Civic – try the Vegetable curry with pittu.
The Malaysian vegetable curry from Sammy’s Kitchen in Civic is great.
Ruchi South Indian Restaurant in Belconnen – try the stuffed dosai for something a bit different.

I enjoy Au Lac in Dickson as well, but non-vegetarians I’ve gone with have generally not liked it. Probably because they want the soy ‘meats’ to taste like actual meat and are disappointed when they don’t. Personally, I find the flavoursome sauces a pleasant change from the super-bland sauces many Asian restaurants use in their vegetable dishes. Try the Vietnamese fondue (aka steamboat).

interestingness 11:45 pm
08 Sep 15
#17

~also vegetarian~

The best vegetarian food will often be at the best restaurant. I’ve had several unforgettable experiences at Lanterne Rooms at Campbell shops.

For vegetarian restaurants, the usual go-tos are Au Lac and Kingsland, both near each other in Dickson.

As for restaurants-that-don’t-hate-vegetarians: I’ve also had great experiences at Elk and Pea (Braddon) and The Hungry Buddha (Curtin).

Mandalay and both Brods definitely make the list for vegetarian-friendly takeaway.

astrojax 6:36 am
09 Sep 15
#18

Alexandra Craig said :

There’s also a veggie restaurant Au Lac in Dickson. I’ve never been but some friends speak highly of it.

-1 for au lac. it is always too salty; and bizarre that vegetarians should anyway want to eat ‘meat’…

sammy’s do some excellent vegetarian, as does ottoman.

herofukutu 9:25 am
09 Sep 15
#19

Malaysian Chapter in Weedon Close Belconnen has excellent vegan food http://www.malaysianchapter.com.au/ as does the Kippax Curry House in Kippax http://kippaxcurryhouse.com.au/ which is Fijian Indian – the RouRou is sublime an the Khattar (Jackfruit curry) great!

South Indian food is often Vegetarian and Rucci’s in Belconnen, Bharat’s (just up the road) and Delhi 6 in Civic all have a wide selection of dishes. Also, the new Khukuri Cross Nepalese restaurant in Civic is worth a visit or two.

Zan 9:50 am
09 Sep 15
#20

John Moulis said :

…PS Can’t imagine anything more ridiculous than vegetarian food pretending to be the very thing vegetarians have foresworn to eat, …

So your non-vegetarians can dine with you and others can try no meat dishes. Think outside the square.

Mysteryman 10:11 am
09 Sep 15
#21

Zan said :

John Moulis said :

…PS Can’t imagine anything more ridiculous than vegetarian food pretending to be the very thing vegetarians have foresworn to eat, …

So your non-vegetarians can dine with you and others can try no meat dishes. Think outside the square.

I’m with John on this. I think it’s stupid making faux-meat dishes. I’ve eaten my share of them in support of my vegetarian friends but they never tasted like proper meat. I don’t see the point. Vegetables are nice and can be made very tastily without having to imitate meat.

Masquara 4:15 pm
09 Sep 15
#22

Mysteryman said :

Zan said :

John Moulis said :

…PS Can’t imagine anything more ridiculous than vegetarian food pretending to be the very thing vegetarians have foresworn to eat, …

So your non-vegetarians can dine with you and others can try no meat dishes. Think outside the square.

I’m with John on this. I think it’s stupid making faux-meat dishes. I’ve eaten my share of them in support of my vegetarian friends but they never tasted like proper meat. I don’t see the point. Vegetables are nice and can be made very tastily without having to imitate meat.

I wondered about this, and was told that vegans who have made the choice not to eat meat on animal compassion grounds often still like meat, so they are fine to eat meat-like meals that aren’t involving animal death. It’s quite bizarre, but apparently works. You can even get vegan “fish fillets”!

beckyandboo 4:30 pm
09 Sep 15
#23

+1 for both Au Lac and Sweet Bones. Both have great food options and super friendly service!

madelini 4:54 pm
09 Sep 15
#24

Sweet Bones is awesome.

rubaiyat 5:06 pm
09 Sep 15
#25

Masquara said :

Mysteryman said :

Zan said :

John Moulis said :

…PS Can’t imagine anything more ridiculous than vegetarian food pretending to be the very thing vegetarians have foresworn to eat, …

So your non-vegetarians can dine with you and others can try no meat dishes. Think outside the square.

I’m with John on this. I think it’s stupid making faux-meat dishes. I’ve eaten my share of them in support of my vegetarian friends but they never tasted like proper meat. I don’t see the point. Vegetables are nice and can be made very tastily without having to imitate meat.

I wondered about this, and was told that vegans who have made the choice not to eat meat on animal compassion grounds often still like meat, so they are fine to eat meat-like meals that aren’t involving animal death. It’s quite bizarre, but apparently works. You can even get vegan “fish fillets”!

I’ve had all sorts of Faux meats, including Scout Lack of Imagination vegetarian sausage, but one of the worst was a “chicken drumstick” which wrapped some stretched tofu skin around a stick.

Taste: Worse than forgettable.

Fauxness: Looked more like The Mummies Big Toe

Texture: Think dishcloth

Idea: Dumb!

Best of…: Probably on somebody’s list.

Vegetarian food is perfectly fine when artfully cooked, as with any meal. As I have said The Tofu Shop in East Melbourne is fantastically varied and delicious.

Porkbun 9:37 pm
09 Sep 15
#26

8020 … Great vegan options!

Argonaut 2:26 pm
10 Sep 15
#27

Sweet Bones, for sure.

I have eaten at Au Lac as well, but the options for anyone who actually doesn’t want mock meat are pretty limited.

Tomasina 10:05 am
12 Sep 15
#28

Malaysian Chapter in Belconnen have a great veg menu and it’s great authentic cuisine.

zllauh 11:52 am
16 Sep 15
#29

Akiba’s vegan menu is pretty delicious as well :)

Amudays 12:23 pm
17 Sep 15
#30

It’s all about Malasian Chapter in Belco! They have a vegan menu & everything we have eaten from it is delicious. Seriously yummy. The satay tofu balls are a thing of beauty. And the Mamak Mee Goreng with soy meat is my current favourite. Every one always talks about Au Lac, but I implore you to try Malaysian Chapter.

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