This has been updated for September 2017
Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or simply trying to reduce the amount of meat you eat, it’s always a good idea to have a go-to veggie cafe.
More and more people are adopting a meat-free lifestyle to improve their health and the health of our planet. To keep up with the demand, wholly vegetarian restaurants are opening, and standard restaurants are developing more exciting plant-based options.
Based on your comments, we’ve put together a list of 4 cafes and restaurants that serve the best vegetarian food in Canberra. Take a look, and be prepared to get hungry.
What Makes a Great Vegetarian Cafe?
There’s nothing worse than heading out for a nice vegetarian meal only to feel disappointed and ripped off.
Here are five characteristics we believe separate the average from the very best vegetarian cafes:
- Variety. Think vegetarian meals are all the same? Think again. The best veggie cafes turn regular old vegetables into culinary masterpieces. Trust us – you won’t miss the meat one bit.
- Quality food. Variety is great, but only if the food is of a high quality. In other words, the menu items must be delicious and satisfying.
- Atmosphere. This one applies to all restaurants and cafes. Overly quiet, uncomfortable eateries are not welcoming at all – no matter how great the food is. The best cafes have a killer vibe.
- Price. You don’t want to pay a fortune for a stingy amount of food. The best cafes leave you full without breaking the bank.
- Suitable for everyone. Vegetarian cafes are not just for vegetarians. The best of the best will please plant and meat eaters alike.
The Best Vegetarian Food in Canberra According to You
We read your comments. We considered your feedback. Now, the results are in.
Here are the top 4 restaurants and cafes serving up Canberra’s best vegetarian food.
Sweet Bones is a laid-back vegan cafe and bakery located in Braddon. All food is 100% cruelty free, can be made gluten-free, and is sourced organically and locally where possible.
This popular eatery has a chilled, rock’n’roll vibe, and offers friendly, local service. From a vegan big breakfast (featuring coconut bacon) to a stack of pancakes – not to mention their irresistible display of cakes – there’s something on the inventive menu to satisfy just about anyone.
Sweet Bones is the most popular vegetarian cafe in Canberra among our commenters. VeganOfCanberra has this to say, “Sweet bones and their range of burgers, burritos, and cakes is definitely the best vegan/vegetarian place in Canberra!” EmJay agreed, writing, “Definitely have to go to Sweet Bones in Braddon!!! They have a massive menu of lunch items and a delicious cabinet of sweets and cakes. You have to try their CinnaBon!”
Want something a little bit fancy? You simply cannot go past Sage. While not strictly vegetarian, this award-winning restaurant offers both meat-free and vegan options.
With a paddock to plate philosophy, Sage sources much of its fresh produce from its very own farm located just 8.3km from the restaurant itself. Whether you opt for a standard dinner or a 5-course degustation, Sage is one of the best places to indulge in top-quality vegetarian fare.
One of our commenters, Elysium33, had a wonderful experience dining at Sage. “I went to Sage recently and had the most incredible 5 course degustation, all vegan,” they wrote. It “included ‘smoked watermelon’.. So good!”
Fresh, healthy, quality vegan food – that’s what Au Lac is all about. This popular eatery offers an extensive menu featuring Asian flavours, and faux meats made of soy.
The chefs at Au Lac take great care in the preparation and presentation of their dishes. They never take shortcuts, and they are committed to producing authentic flavours without using animal products.
All produce is sourced daily, and a select collection of speciality ingredients are imported to create a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience.
One of our commenters, Zan, praised Au Lac for its vegetarian ‘meat,’ writing, “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.”
Another popular choice among our commenters, Malaysian Chapter offers a vegan menu (alongside meat and poultry menus) showcasing delicious Malaysian flavours.
Dine-in or take-away, this casual eatery is perfect for just about any occasion.
Amudays had this to say, “It’s all about Malasian Chapter in Belco! They have a vegan menu & everything we have eaten from it is delicious. Seriously yummy.” Tomasina couldn’t agree more, “Malaysian Chapter in Belconnen have a great veg menu and it’s great authentic cuisine.”
Some of the best restaurants and venues in the Canberra region offer a number of exciting vegetarian dishes, including the popular Muse restaurant.
Situated between Kingston and Manuka in the chic East Hotel, Muse is so much more than your run-of-the-mill eatery. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, and even dessert, the stunning Muse restaurant features an irresistible menu of classic meals and reinvented vegetarian dishes. Plus, with an award-winning, all-Australian drinks list, Muse gives you the opportunity to sample some of the country’s finest alcohol. How good is that?
What’s more, during the day, you can browse and purchase from their curated collection of new and second-hand books. Explore fabulous tales as you indulge in some of the region’s best food.
In addition to their delightful culinary offerings, Muse plays host to a busy calendar of events. From writers’ discussions to political debates, experience some of Australia’s leading thinkers, artists, and winemakers as they share their passion, their craft, and their stories of success.
Muse truly feeds both the body and the mind. And, with a menu suitable for all, what better place to grab a weekend breakfast, enjoy a low-key dinner, or celebrate your next special occasion with friends and family.
What’s Your Favourite Vegetarian Cafe in Canberra?
Share your favourite vegetarian or vegan eatery in the comments section below. Let us know your favourite dish too!