Veganism is becoming more widespread all around the world. Here's where to get your fix in Sydney.
Whether it's becoming a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, more and more Australians seem to want to eat more vegetables and less meat in their diet.
The reasons for veganism's skyrocketing popularity are varied. Some people are concerned with animal rights. Others take issue with factory and industrial farming. Others cite environmental issues due to eating meat and the broader idea of sustainability.
Others turn to veganism for economic reasons. Lee Golder of South Australia says, “We had periods of enforced vegan and vegetarianism. Why? Money. Hubby was on a disability pension. We had a huge organic vegetable garden. When huge bills arrived I never went shopping, we just ate from the backyard.”
Others become vegan gradually like Amanda Thomas, “I started out my journey by finding out I was lactose intolerant. When researching dairy free recipes I found heaps of vegetarian ones and transitioned. I kept eating eggs for 18 months until I saw a video I couldn't unsee then went vegan and that was that!”.
But when it comes to eating out - which restaurants and eateries are creating vegan food that's still incredibly tasty?
Here are five great places in Sydney that do vegan well. If you're thinking of turning vegan or want to eat vegan a few days a week these venues will keep you well fed.
57 MacLeay Street, Potts Point | yellowsydney.com.au
When Yellow transformed from a regular restaurant to an exclusively vegetarian and vegan restaurant, they were the first fine dining chefs turning their hand to the vegan challenge.
The vegetarian dishes are better than the vegan ones, however dishes like baby corn in the husk, nori, chive, and miso crumb; and avocado, pine nut, and native lime, are inventive and tasty.
2. Soul Burger
111 Glebe Point Road, Glebe and 49 Perouse Road, Randwick | soulburger.com.au
You know a place does vegan well when you stop dipping your chip into mayonnaise and have to double check whether the garlic ranch sauce you're eating is in fact vegan. Soul Burger features all vegan burgers, fries, and shakes in a startling facsimile of the real thing. The deep fried fish burger is particularly good as is the 'cheeseburger' with a mushroom based 'beef' patty.
3. Gigi's Pizzeria
379 King Street, Newtown | gigipizzeria.com.au
Real Napoletana style pizza without mozzarella cheese? Yep - Gigi's Pizzeria in Newtown switched from a regular pizzeria into a vegan one mid 2015, and some have called them crazy. But the queues suggest otherwise - it's hard to get a table at the King Street pizzeria. Cheese laden pizzas are replaced with vegan toppings and there are creamy, luscious desserts that are also vegan. While there is a blue cheese substitute, they haven't quite found a substitute for mozzarella cheese-yet!
13 Beattie Street, Balmain | facebook.com/wearenutie
Nutie donuts is a double whammy. While many of their donuts are vegan, everything in the popular Balmain store is gluten free. Nutie (pronounced nutty) is the brainchild of Sina Klug and Jacques Dumont who started small. They did double shifts as baristas to afford their first second hand oven and now, two and a half years later, they sell out of their delectably light cake style baked donuts.
You could pretty much choose any vegan donut here and it will be great. The 'chocolate' is super chocoatey while apple pie, and maple 'bacon' (made of coconut) are also winners.
5. GoGo Vego
142 Addison Road, Marrickville (Marrickville Markets) | gogovego.com.au/markets
The challenge for vegan pasta is making pasta without eggs but replacing the protein from the eggs with a special blend of flour. Every Sunday at Marrickville markets Alessio (or Gogo) serves up pastas filled with a variety of fillings.
The 'Colourful' is beetroot ravioli filled with butternut pumpkin, sweet potatoes and a mix of herbs and is appealingly and naturally sweet from the pumpkin. The 'Iconic' is made with roasted potato and delicate black garlic and you may also find him rolling out fettuccine to order. All pasta is cooked to order so it's not fast food but in the Italian style of good quality slow food.
All images by Lorraine Elliot, Not Quite Nigella.