The Gold Coast restaurant scene has been quick to catch up to the increasing number of people jumping on board the vegetable train.
While everyone is dishing up tasty meatless treats these days, there are plenty of veggie only venues the locals are loving. Here are 11 of the best from north to south.
Giri Kana Café
Southport’s famous vegetarian and vegan café is just as loved by meat eaters as it is by vegos. Their emphasis is on fresh and wholesome foods that are good for the body, mind and spirit – and to this end, their food is cooked with love and devotion. With salads, burgers, breakfast and juice and smoothie options you’ll be spoilt for choice at this welcoming little café.
Where: Ground Floor, H2O Broadwater, Cnr Nind St and Gold Coast Hwy, 82 Marine Parade, Southport
The delightful folk at Blendlove believe nothing is worth eating, if it hasn’t been created with love and let it be known that everything they create there, is worth eating. Co-founders Ricki-Lee and Sharlene pride themselves on serving the tastiest, freshest and healthiest plant-based food on the Gold Coast. Everything in their space is made fresh daily without the use of refined sugars, artificial colours or preservatives. One of the very best.
Where: 253 Ferry Rd, Southport
For many years it’s been a firm favourite amongst lovers of a delicious vegetarian dish. So much so that a second Pod opened at The Brickworks on Ferry Road last year. They offer creative, colourful eats and the most magical of mocktails. In a first for the Gold Coast, Cardamom Pod also offers a vegan high tea made up of a selection of their finest raw desserts. There’s a reason this place has been around for years, go discover it for yourself.
Where: Shop 1/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach and Brickworks, Ferry Rd, Southport
The holy grail of health food. With the motto 'anything you can do, we can do vegan' they're onto something. In the short time they’ve been open they’ve amassed a huge following of both vegans and meat eaters who can’t go past the flavour-filled foods. All produce is sourced from trusted suppliers and farmers markets with the belief that food is medicine and it should nourish the mind, body and soul. Amen!
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami
It’s a little eatery tucked away in Mermaid Beach serving vegetarian yum cha on the daily. The locals love it and it’s easy to see why. They also offer regular meat-free meals like the yummiest of stir-fry’s. Don’t go past the dumplings, there are many kinds so save it for a day when you’re absolutely ravenous, trust us, you won’t want to stop.
Where: Markeri Street, Mermaid Waters
Nude Sisters Whole Food Kitchen
There’s nothing naughty about this pretty little space. The all-day breakfast and lunch menus are made up of vegetarian dishes using only fresh ingredients and of course, some of the most beautiful raw desserts you’ve ever laid eyes on (all of which are dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar free). Owners Bec and Georgia started off wholesaling their desserts to local cafes before deciding to branch out on their own. Pop in for some seriously tasty treats and an Insta snap or two.
Where: 3/90 Markeri St, Mermaid Waters
Tian Ran Vegetarian
Meaning nature in English, Tian Ran provides the purest of vegetarian and vegan Asian cuisine. Their meals are free from meat, dairy, alcohol, garlic, onions and MSG and they also offer a gluten-free menu. The team are passionate about providing quality food and make their meat substitutes with soy, wheat, yam, seaweed and mushrooms. The restaurant is run by authentic, loving people who strive to provide full of goodness and flavour. Make this one a must visit.
Where: Shop 8/ 2462 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Formerly Mandala Organic Arts Café, this much-loved favourite has recently transformed to encompass much more than delicious food and the happiest of vibes. It’s an oasis of sorts with rugs and cushions spread throughout, mouth-watering smells wafting about, live music and film nights. Everything you could think of for a nourishing night out, Mandala has it covered. Although the menu is quite varied, their pizzas are famous so grab yourself one and settle in for some fun.
Where: 4/2558 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Vegans, vegetarians and those who appreciate meat-free morsels rejoiced when, in April, SeraBar opened its doors. Serabar is the perfect addition to Burleigh’s bustling foodie scene, offering unique eats that will delight even the most meat-loving of palettes. Owners Dean and Claire and their four daughters have created an eatery bursting with love for wholesome, hearty foods.
Where: Underneath Ambience on Burleigh, Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
It’s a vegetarian institution on the Coast and if you haven’t been there, you haven’t lived. With options from potato bake and lasagne to an array of salads and desserts, there’s always something tasty to try and a line up of people waiting to get in on the goodness. Eat in or takeaway and definitely don’t forget to indulge in the lemon, mint and ginger refresher, it’ll make your day.
Where: 20 James Street, Burleigh Heads
A relative newbie for Tweed Heads, Sozo Café blend modern and traditional to create cuisine designed to excite the mind, body and soul. The gang at Sozo believe wholefoods heal and that they are nature’s energy giving, utterly tasty, nutrient dense gifts to our bodies. The menu varies throughout the year ensuring you get the good stuff from season to season. Head down to Tweed’s new health hub and enhance your aliveness!
Where: 20 Stuarts Street, Tweed Heads
Words by Kirra Smith.