There are some standout meals in Sydney that I often crave. I reserve a spot in my mind for the memory of them. And when that memory starts to fade, that means it’s been too long.
When you find something you love on a restaurant menu, do you deviate? Or do you stick to what you love? I rarely deviate. But it’s not hard when there aren’t many options that are both gluten-free and vegan on the one menu (generally speaking).
So, here are Sydney’s best gluten-free vegan eats. The photos – where I’ve included them – are a bit of a case of when bad photos happen to good food (part 1587… amirite). You can’t win them all.
BEST VEGAN PHO
Tofu and vegetable pho
Golden Lotus in Newtown
Expect a long wait to get into this one on a Friday or Saturday night, but once you’re in, you can skip a read of the menu all together. Because there’s only one thing that should be on your mind: the tofu and vegetable pho. If you are living that gluten-free life, be sure to order it as gluten-free. This means no delicious tofu knots – it’s a small price to pay because this is the best gluten-free vegan pho in Sydney.
BEST VEGAN SANDWICH
Falafel veggie sandwich
Dear Delicious in Dulwich Hill
This little gem is a dish that gets better with age. Each time I go, the dish is refined a little more. While the falafels aren’t completely authentic, they’re still good. Ask for gluten-free bread, which will turn it into a sandwich from a burger as described on the menu.
Coconut and edamame bean moneybags
Yulli’s in Surry Hills
Tell me… where else you can get gluten-free moneybags let alone gluten-free and vegan moneybags in Sydney? And to think, they also happen to be the best in my living memory. These bad boys toe the line between sweet and savoury thanks to the unusual flavour pairing – but in the best possible way.
Nourishing Quarter in Redfern
At first glance, you probably wouldn’t order these little morsels. Not because they don’t sound good. It’s just too hard to pass up the sweet angel wraps (rice paper rolls) or the pretty dumplings. Next time you’re at Nourishing Quarter, I suggest you reconsider. These guys are very, very tasty and a starter you won’t find on many menus around town.
Sri Venkateswara Temple in Helensburg
The canteen at this temple is one of Sydney’s best kept secrets. I say this because I’m usually the only Caucasian there. No trip down to the South Coast is complete without dropping by for a dosa – and more. It’s also ridiculously cheap. Keep an open mind about the dining experience – it’s a canteen, so it’s a slightly haphazard set-up. Oh, and skip that pale-coloured sauce if you’re dairy-free!
An honourable mention must go to the eponymous dish at Hopper Kadé in Surry Hills (I recommend the beetroot filling) – not technically a dosa, but too good not to include.
BEST VEGAN SALAD
Gaddo gaddo salad
The Henson in Marrickville
Look, The Henson categorises this dish as a salad. It’s more like a peanut stir fry from a Thai restaurant – but better. And the tapioca crackers are a nice touch. Also pictured is the vegan taco with miso mushrooms. It’s good but the mushrooms are a bit too chunky and thus ‘meaty’.
Green papaya salad with crispy tofu
Yulli’s in Surry Hills
If you came here for the salad and found my previous choice questionable, you might find love with this one. If you hadn’t guessed, Asian food is my jam so naturally, any salad I rave as a fave is going to be of that persuasion. It really needs no explanation. If you haven’t had it, you need to.
BEST VEGAN BURGER
Lord of the Fries
I’m not 100 per cent down with soy meats. But what I am down with is the combination of the chick’n patty with that mustard mayo and lettuce. It’s definitely the least healthy meal on the list. Just call it your naughty treat. And ask for a gluten-free bun.
Honourable mentions must go to the veggie vitality burger from Grill’d and the pulled pork (jackfruit) burger from Soul Burger.
BEST VEGAN PIZZA
Pizza Rocco in St Clair
While the gluten-free base is rather small, it’s the flavours of toppings that really make this pizza special. You can even bring your own notzarella and they’ll put it on your pizza for you. If you don’t have vegan cheese, they can hold the cheese completely – it’s still a good pizza.
An honourable mention must go to the Margherita pizza with extra cherry tomato and garlic oil from Rocketboy (pictured above). Their gluten-free base is a decent size and they use good quality vegan cheese. Fratelli Famous also does a good Margherita on a gluten-free base – their vegan cheese is the only downside.