Australia is a very vegan-friendly country and Sydney has a very active community and many great places to eat and shop!
When I turned vegan, I unofficially announced it on my Instagram account by tagging my posts with #vegan. Suddenly, I was getting attention from a lot of vegans worldwide and especially from vegans down under. I checked out their accounts and was redirected to more vegan accounts. That’s when I realized there are a lot of vegans in Australia. That led me to conduct more research about the vegan community over there and let me tell you, it is thriving!
I now had a list of restaurants and shops to visit in Australia when I get the chance. And the chance presented itself a few months after when my sister invited me to there with her. I was so excited! I was just reading about these places and now, I’ll get to visit them.
Iku Wholefood is the fast food of vegan restaurants in Sydney. At Iku, you get nutritious vegan food that’s prepared with organic and local whole foods. They first opened their doors in 1985 and have grown to 13 stores in Sydney. We arrived at the Darlinghurst store tired and hungry. It was a welcome sight, to see food in front of us. More than that, they also sell vegan products, including cold-pressed juices, coconut water, superfoods and vegan beauty products.
The place is set up like a canteen so everything is fast. The food was great and comforting, especially on that cold night. I had the broccoli and beet salad with lemon-tahini dressing (which was overflowing in its bowl) plus a creamy broccoli soup. My sister tried their vegan lasagna, which was made with miso béchamel sauce. Man, you learn new ways to cook food everyday. Iku serves all three meals and is a great place to go to first thing in the morning to prepare you with enough energy to last the day.
Viva Vida Treats was a great discovery when we passed by Glebe Market. Julia and Claudio, the people behind Viva Vida, makes and sells raw vegan pastries, which are amazing. I only got to buy their Choc Bliss Balls, which were moist, nutty and chocolatey all at the same time, and I’ve regretted buying just that ever since. She also makes cheesecakes, caramel slices, brownies and mousse. It’s rare to find raw vegan treats like this and I should have bought more. Viva Vida currently sells at Glebe Market and on their website. Make sure to buy more when you chance upon them. You won’t regret it!
The Cruelty-Free Shop is my favorite grocery store in Sydney because everything they sell is vegan! They sell everything from beauty products to soaps and shampoos to pet care products to vegan food. I had a hard time deciding what to take back with me to Manila. It was really cool and I’m glad places like this exist to give vegans a safe place to shop. They recently expanded to Melbourne and hope they’ll expand to other cities in Australia, too.
We actually saw Lord of the Fries in Melbourne first but did not have the time to try it. We found one again in Sydney and tried it as an after-dinner snack. I initially thought Lord of the Fries was an omnivore food place with vegan options. Apparently, it’s a vegetarian place with vegan and gluten-free options. Score! I had the sweet potato fries with their vegan mayo special sauce. It was huge! Their sweet potato fries were compact and worth every penny. Their sauce was sweet and tangy, which would be perfect with regular potato fries than the sweet potato fries, though. They also serve burgers and hotdogs, which are vegetarian but can be veganized.
I had such a great time discovering vegan places while in Sydney. And there are still many other places that I wasn’t able to visit. Next time, I’m staying longer.
What are your favorite vegan restaurants and shops in Sydney?