Best vegan eats, Canberra

April 16, 2019 / By Rosie Stevens

It’s pretty much a-must for cafes and restaurants to cater to different dietary requirements these days; from gluten-free and vegetarian to the most rapidly growing food choice veganism. The number of vegans in Australia is rising year on year, and it would be remiss of the burgeoning foodie scene to neglect to cater to this. 

Luckily, Canberra’s eclectic collection of cafes and restaurants provide a wealth of delicious options for vegans visiting or living in the capital. Here are my top picks. 

Sweet Bones Bakery & Cafe

Serving up delicious vegan delights to the Canberra community since 2011, Sweet Bones on Lonsdale Street is a one-stop-shop for all-day vegan breakfast options, smoothie bowls and baked goods. If you’re asking us (and let’s pretend that you are), we’ll take the stack of organic blueberry pancakes first thing in the morning, or if we’re around at lunch time, we’ll opt for the Nacho Mountain—with coconut bacon and cilantro sour cream. Oh, and a cinnamon scroll to go of course. 

Where: 8/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon 
When: 8am - 4pm daily, 8.30am - 3pm Sundays 

Coffee Lab

Located in the Canberra Centre, Coffee Lab is your go-to for a vegan-friendly Civic refuel. While the joint itself isn’t vegan, it’s got a fair few options on the menu that are either fully vegan or can be modified to suit a vegan diet. We can certainly vouch for the Buddha Bowl—pickled purple cabbage, hummus, cinnamon roasted pumpkin, quinoa, wild mushrooms, broccolini, turmeric aioli and mixed nuts. 

Where: Canberra Centre, 26 Narellan Place, Civic 
When: 7am - 4pm weekdays, 8am - 4pm weekends 

Au Lac (image above)

An absolute mainstay of the vegan dining scene in Canberra, Au Lac in Dickson (and a new restaurant recently opened in Woden) offers an extensive vegan and vegetarian Vietnamese menu, with a huge range of soybean mock meats available. Boasting all the classics you’d expect to enjoy just without the meat or dairy products, you’ll have the chance to taste soy duck wraps, soy chicken satay sticks, BBQ soy meat skewers, plus a tamarind fish dish that’ll blow the minds of soy-meat sceptics! The range of pho is also delicious—and there’s a dedicated gluten-free menu brimming with options too. 

Where: 35-39 Woolley St, Dickson and Shop G90A Corinna Street, Phillip 
When: Various, check website for details 

My Rainbow Dreams

A completely vegetarian cafe that offers a host of options for vegans and others with special dietary requirements, you can expect the food at My Rainbow Dreams to be clean, colourful and super nutritious. This Dickson cafe serves specialty burgers, wraps, curries, salads, soups and a bake-of-the-day, alongside organic coffee and teas, great chai, fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies and shakes - plus cakes, cookies, sweet snacks and even gelato—all made on the premises. 

Where: Shop G1, Dickson Chambers, Dickson Place 
When: 8.30am - 5.30 pm weekdays, 8.30am - 4pm Saturdays and Wednesdays, closed Sundays 

Lazy Su

With a vegan head chef, you can hardly go wrong with the vegan fare at this Lonsdale Street favourite, Lazy Su. The restaurant is all about making vegan food interesting and tasty, and their regular menu boasts plenty of options which are all clearly labelled, making menu navigation a breeze. It's a great spot to go with a group if you have a mix of meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans, as everyone will be looked after accordingly. Oh and heads up: try the Jackfruit Bulgogi Bao and Grandma’s Spicy Tofu for a real treat! 

Where: 1/9 Lonsdale St, Braddon 
When: Various, check website for details 

XO (image above)

Offering an innovative approach to traditional South East Asian cuisine, this Narrabundah gem boasts a full vegetarian menu, with the majority of dishes also vegan. XO is another great option for those that are dining in a mixture of meat eaters and non-meat eaters—as the dishes reflect the passion for communal, share-plate culture of Asian dining. Give the whipped tofu and Labu-Labi Masak Lemak a go and thank us later! 

Where: 16 Iluka Street, Narrabundah 
When: Lunch Wed–Fri 12pm – 3pm, Dinner Mon–Sat 6pm – 11pm 

Muse

The choice isn’t extensive, but there are some great options on the Muse Canberra menu, making it a great choice for dining out in a group with vegans and non-vegans. There’s also plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes for those that are conscious of their meat or wheat consumption, and everything is clearly labelled on the menu, so no guessing games necessary. Hallelujah! Their current $22 lunch special which includes a glass of house wine, beer or soft drink boasts a delicious vegan option - a Calasparra rice paella with green beans, sweet potato, red pepper and avocado.

Where: 69 Canberra Ave, Kingston 
When: Various, check website for details 

Frugii Dessert Laboratory

Braddon’s very-own dessert Mecca always has completely-vegan sorbet options on its quirky, ever-changing lineup of ice-cream flavours—and they also serve vegan desserts in their cabinet of treats. If a late-night sweet summin is on the cards, don’t miss a trip to this gem! 

Where: 28-30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon 
When: 12pm - 11pm every day of the week

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