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The Best Vegetarian Food in Canberra

By Emily Morris - 8 September 2017 32

Best Vegetarian Food Canberra

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

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!”

Sage

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!”

Au Lac

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.”

Malaysian Chapter

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.”

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!

What’s Your opinion?


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32 Responses to
The Best Vegetarian Food in Canberra
Ezy 6:12 pm 08 Sep 15

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

Elysium33 6:09 pm 08 Sep 15

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

VeganOfCanberra 6:09 pm 08 Sep 15

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 6:08 pm 08 Sep 15

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

Phend 5:17 pm 08 Sep 15

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.

EmJay 4:09 pm 08 Sep 15

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

notdingers 3:53 pm 08 Sep 15

+1 Au Lac

brookcus_falls 3:38 pm 08 Sep 15

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.

Tamross 3:15 pm 08 Sep 15

Rainbow Dreams in Dickson.

rubaiyat 3:03 pm 08 Sep 15

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.

John Moulis 2:05 pm 08 Sep 15

I remember hearing about a US steakhouse chain with a logo featuring a smiling pig, and written underneath “Horrifying vegetarians since 1969” 🙂

Zan 1:47 pm 08 Sep 15

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.

neanderthalsis 1:43 pm 08 Sep 15

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

Alexandra Craig 12:46 pm 08 Sep 15

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.

Milly Withers 12:28 pm 08 Sep 15

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

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