My daughter and I recently returned from a trip to Sydney, Australia. The flights were long (14 hours from Los Angeles) and the trip was short (5 days) but we managed to have a fantastic time together.
When I was researching for places to stay I wanted to be near some vegan restaurants so we wouldn’t have to travel far to eat.
It turns out I found a vegan treasure in Newtown, a vibrant suburb just south of downtown Sydney that has a street/area with 15+ vegan restaurants and businesses! Seriously, we could walk out our AirBnB and have our pick!
Newtown is filled with young people, used book stores, vintage shops, hair salons, health food stores, gift shops, street art and more. It has its own train station so it’s a perfect hub to take a train to other places.
I wish Texas would look into passenger trains. Sydney’s trains were so convenient, affordable and NICE!
Vegan Newtown Restaurants
Besides the complete vegan restaurants, there are also great options at most places.
One caveat for travel is to make a list before you go and also write down which days your go-to places are open. We missed out on going to La Petite Fauxmagerie -vegan cheeseshop and Le Gourmand – vegan patisserie because they were closed Monday and Tuesday. *sadness for missing vegan macarons*
Golden Lotus Vegan
We arrived at the Sydney International Airport on Friday, at 7am. Our AirBnB host let us check in early so we were able to drop off our stuff and then explore Newtown. I had already made a list of places on King Street that I wanted to try and the first was this authentic Vietnamese restaurant.
Look for the sign that says “Veganism is Magic”!
We started off with a Mixed Appetizer Plate that included vegan duck pancakes, satay skewers, spring rolls and veg dumplings. My daughter had the Eggplant in Clay Pot and I had Vegan Duck Bamboo Noodle. I love these types on bamboo shoots so this was the perfect meal for me. Great service, large portions and delicious. If you like Asian Buddhist cuisine, your belly will feel at peace here!
After eating lunch, we walked around the University of Sydney and then went back to the pad to crash.
We knew that we were probably not going to eat out for breakfast everyday so we looked for a health food store to buy some breakfast items. Dr. Earth was only a 3 minute walk from our AirBnB!
A cute health food store with fresh flower bouquets in the front and a little glass case showing off some tasty desserts and snacks. We became big fans of vegan sausage rolls. We found out later that the sausage rolls they carried were made by Funky Pies in Bondi Beach, so we made a trip out there later.
A sweet girl at the counter gave us of local tips too!
It was fun to see the local Australian health food products. They also carried lots of locally made snacks and goodies to bring back as gifts (Aussie chocolate, macadamia nuts, dried fruit, skin care etc)
One thing I’ve been waiting for in the US is the full line of Nature’s Charm products. I bought a can of Condensed Oat Milk that I can’t wait to use.
Buddha Bowl Cafe
If you are looking for a delicious and hearty vegan breakfast, head down Enmore Rd to this bright corner cafe. You can’t miss the red and green exterior. They have lots of options like smoothies, adaptogenic lattes, breakfast bowls, burritos and build your own toasts. I knew that I would be splurging later with some decadent meals so I had kind of a macrobiotic type meal called a Green Power Bowl that had kabocha squash. Awesome with no garlic or onion to be more satvic!
My daughter enjoyed a brekky burrito.
This plant-based Palestinian bakery and cafe was a surprising find! I absolutely loved everything about this place! Khamsa opened relatively early and their menu is available all day. Sarah, the owner, and her sister were such a delight and made us feel at home. We ordered a couple hot drinks – a Nazareth Dreams Latte and Golden Nights Latte – that were cozy as they were beautiful. It was winter in July in Australia and a bit rainy.
We enjoyed Shawerma Baladi Wrap made with king brown mushrooms and the Cauliflower Bedouin Wrap with fried cauliflower. A great blend of flavors, textures and temperatures – crunchy veggies, chewy wrap, hot main, and cooling sauces.
The highlight for me was the Knafeh. If you have never heard of Knafeh, please Google it!
It is homemade cheese covered in phyllo dough noodles and soaked with orange flower blossom syrup. The last vegan version I had was at Saha in San Fransisco many years ago and that restaurant has since closed. I’m glad there are passionate plant-based people in every culture and that they are proud to share their delicious meals. I wish we had gone back to Khamsa just to eat Knafeh a second time! A definite do-not-miss!
This has to be some of the best vegan pizza I’ve ever eaten in my life. Gigi is one of the only vegan pizzerias that is a member of AVPN (the ‘Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana’ or ‘True Neapolitan Pizza Association’) with their Marinara pizza. Gigi’s vegan cheeses are artisan made and they use local produce and imported Italian ingredients for the best pizza in Sydney. I almost skipped it because I didn’t want to be disappointed with mediocre pizza when I could have had more Asian food.
We ordered a Rucola (arugula) Salad that had radicchio, dried apples, pistachios and artisan made vegan Parmesan. The Arancini ai funghi porcini were such a savory treat. We had 2 huge pizzas – a classic Margherita and Funghi e Radicchio. This pizza had mushrooms, dairy free blue cheese, walnuts and lots of radicchio. A lot of times tomato-based dishes hurt my belly so having a creative non-tomato based pizza really makes my day. We saved one arancini and pizza to eat in the morning before our flight! I felt so guilty eating here without my husband…it would have been his favorite!
This vegan eatery is at the very south edge of Newtown near the St. Peter’s Station. We came here for one reason: to buy vegan lamingtons. What is a lamington? It’s a famous Aussie dessert where you take a large cube of sponge cake and dip it in chocolate and then coat in coconut. Sanga Vegans lamingtons are HUGE! I brought 2 home on the plane in leftover paperboard tea boxes so they would not get squished in the carry-on. We got a regular one with chocolate and also a Biscoff one. I just need to learn how to make big, fluffy sponge cake so I can eat one again!
Lord of the Fries
This is an Aussie-owned ethical fast food chain that serves more than just fries! We went here a bit late one night. No ambiance (looks just like a fast-food joint) but there’s no worries about your burger being cooked in cow juices. A better choice than Hungry Jacks, the Aussie version of Burger King.
Here are other places that we didn’t have time to visit:
Little Turtle – Vegan Thai
Green Mushroom – Vegan Indian
Ojas Ayurveda – Vegetarian Ayurvedic Thali
Neko Neko – Japanese restaurant with vegan ramen we wanted to try. Plus we love kitties!
I Should be Souvlaki – Plant-based with signature Greek wraps
Vina Vegan – Vegan Vietnamese
Vegan Sydney Restaurants
With vegan Newtown as our home base, we ventured to other fantastic restaurants in the greater Sydney area.
Situated in a modern hotel on the pier in Wooloomooloo, Alibi is Matthew Kenney’s answer to fun dining in Sydney. We came here for one reason: High Tea!
And Alibi did not disappoint with an aesthetic and sense gratifying experience.
All of our delicate savory and sweet items came on a mirrored shelf along with pots of our choice of tea and coffee. I don’t drink coffee at all but enjoyed a mac nut milk cappuccino.
Lots of local ingredients featured including Davidson plum, wattleseed, and lillypilly.
Bring a special friend and book in advance! No need to raise a pinky! Just know that being fancy doesn’t require any animals to be harmed.
Nestled in a park near a cathedral is a peaceful Pan-Asian vegan restaurant, Bodhi.
We came for dinner after walking around the botanical gardens and the Sydney Opera house. We were quite hungry and left very satisfied.
My favorite items: Fried Lotus Roots with Horseradish Mayo and Vegan Calamari
Taking the train and bus was so easy especially using the Opal app. Even though it was winter and I knew we weren’t prepared to swim, I wanted to visit Bondi Beach. We traveled to Coogee Beach and then took the sea walk to Bondi. Wonderful beach vistas, clean and cool air that culminated in an Aussie tradition, the mini pie. Funky Pies makes such a wide variety of these tasty pies.
Flavors we tried: Easy Chic N Cheesy, Tuscan Mushroom, G’Day Satay, and Butterish Chicken
And another Aussie delicacy, the caramel slice.
After getting over the jetlag of travel to Australia, we were on our way back. We were on a Delta flight and I would have to say that our meals leaving Sydney were much better than those leaving LA. Our snack at one point was a lovely Bahn Mi sandwich!
One travel tip: order yourself a special meal, especially a vegan one. Special meals are served first!
Have you been to Newtown/Sydney? I’d love to hear what you favorite place is! If you haven’t been where do you think you would eat first?
If you would like to know where our AirBnB was, what are the things we did besides eat (visit Featherdale Wildlife Park), leave a comment below or contact me via DM on Instagram @veggiebytes !