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Plants & Me bring vegan deliciousness to Southport

Plants & Me Golden Corn Fritter Stack (left) and Choc Berry Pancakes (right) (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Golden Corn Fritter Stack (left) and Choc Berry Pancakes (right), Plants & Me (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we, the people of 2021 are more concerned with what we put in our bodies than at any other time in history. Diets and eating trends have come and gone, but the one solid dietary trend that has only gone from strength to strength is plant-based eating.

We now find ourselves with vegan options at most, if not all of our cafes, restaurants and eateries, so it was to be expected that at some point, someone was going to have that light bulb moment and open an entirely plant-based eatery. And that they did. Whilst there is a handful of venues falling under this banner in our city, you’ll no doubt be happy to learn that as of today, there is one more to add to the collection, Plants & Me of Southport!

Occupying a space on the southern end of busy Scarborough Street and only steps away from the Southport South tram stop means finding this little gem and finding your way home is not likely to cause any issue.

Once inside, you’ll feel an industrial/minimalistic vibe, but then you’ll notice these guys take their position on plants seriously too; with greenery-backed bench seating and an entire feature column dedicated to plants. But not just any plants either, rare and endangered species which in time you will be able to buy and then take home with you. Food and plants to take home in the same place — this is a new concept, people!

Great care is taken to produce a vegan menu that hinges on whole foods and using ‘mock meats’ as little as possible. A lot of work from the culinary wizards behind the scenes — with a peppering of love — has created dishes that you simply won’t find anywhere else, all tied together with a subtle infusion of Asian influence: most notably Japanese cuisine.

Plants & Me Entry (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Plants & Me entry (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

For example, you could start things off with Pinwheel House Gyozas with cabbage, ginger and mushrooms, before setting your sights on a Slow Cooked Japanese Curry of seasonal vegetables. Perhaps the most imaginative part of the menu is their desserts. With particular attention made to The Frozen Garden, smoked ice creams are topped with frozen (edible) botanics and sprinkled with candied mixed berries and cashew biscuit crumb. If one dish has the potential to turn anybody vegan, it has to be this one, people. Take note!

Drinks-wise, the venue is waiting for their liquor license approval — so until then, they will be operating under a BYO capacity. Fear not though, once they have the license approved, they promise to conjure up some incredibly complex and fantastic vegan cocktails just for you. And if their food menu is anything to go off, we can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Operating for breakfast, lunch and dinner and with three different menus, we can see Plants & Me on a collision course with some hungry plant eaters out there. From where we are standing, we can certainly see everyone — meat-eaters included — leaving with a smile on their face.

Where: 4/20 Scarborough St, Southport
When: Everyday 7am — 2.30pm | 5.30pm — late

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Plants & Me Frozen Garden and Coffee (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Frozen Garden and Coffee, Plants & Me (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

12 vegan Gold Coast restaurants

Plants and Me (image supplied)
Plants and Me (image supplied)

Vegan eats have certainly had a glow-up in the last little while. Not particularly surprising when you consider the number of hard-working venues serving up epic plant-based dishes even the most intense meat lovers among us will adore. Because of this, it was only a matter of time before full-blown vegan restaurants on the Gold Coast were a thing. Whether you’re a carnivore at heart or vegan by nature, that’s beside the point: these eateries are for everyone — creating knock-out tasty food. Period.

Here’s a list of the very best so you may indulge your inner plant lover anytime you please.

Plants and Me
When it comes to eating a delicious plethora of vegan eats — which you’re hard pushed to discern from their meaty equivalent — Plants and Me is a place you need on your radar, stat. Operating primarily as a café, you’ll also discover a lunch menu worth dropping everything for with multi-coloured burgers (think green and red brioche-style buns) dyed with veggie colouring, all the way to a kaleidoscope of the very best looking fruit juices and smoothies. They have also just started making their own selection of incredible meat (free) pies — so good you won’t even know the difference.
Where: 4/20 Scarborough Street, Southport 

i like ramen (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
i like ramen (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

i like ramen
Serving up more mouth-watering vegan dishes than you can poke a chopstick at, i like ramen is one of the most beloved venues (vegan or otherwise) on the Gold Coast. They’ve created ramen dishes that are as good as (if not better than) any other you’ll sample, plus goodies like baos, burgers and personal faves Panko Crusted Mushrooms and Kimchi Potatoes we’d sell our souls for. Oh, and there’s a slew of epic cocktails too.
Where: 2251 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Greenhouse Canteen
One of the OG vegan restaurants on the Gold Coast, Greenhouse Canteen’s menu is as good as it gets. They’ve got a botanical bar so that you can order a selection of vegan cocktails, wine or beer and the space is always packed with good vibes. To eat, we’d go for the Jackfruit Enchiladas or the Eggplant Moussaka. Also, if you feel like eating at home, Greenhouse has takeaway packs along the lines of Kentucky Fried Jackfruit. Ohhh yesss!
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Highway, Miami

Goodness Gracias (image supplied)
Goodness Gracias (image supplied)

Goodness Gracias
Goodness Gracias has long been a vegan favourite on the Gold Coast, serving plant-based Mexican food in a vibrant Palm Beach space. Eat-in or takeaway and choose from delicious eats like burritos, tacos, nachos and plenty of tasty sides and salads. We’re regulars here, and it’s always tasty and of the highest quality. Plus, who doesn’t love Mexican food? Nobody is who!
Where: 1114-1116 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Lord of the Fries
If there is one thing we can get behind, it is a fast-food venue made up primarily of potatoes. Precisely what is happening at Lord of the Fries – all of the vegan fries, peeps. Not only those crispy, delicious gifts from God, though, Lord of the Fries is also serving up Veggie Burgers, Onion Rings (Lord of the Rings), Vegetarian Nuggets and Vegetarian Hot Dogs and everything is kosher and Halal. One taste, and you’ll be a big fan: no contest.
Where: Paradise Centre, 8 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

The Hidden Cherub (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
The Hidden Cherub (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

The Hidden Cherub
After close to 2 years of operation, a relative newbie to the vegan Gold Coast scene is a little tucked away laneway bar/plant-based eats venue: The Hidden Cherub. The Miami bar is decked out with a sleek, industrial-esque look, greenery dripping from the walls and black and white striped bench seating. While the drinks here are the main event, the entirely vegan packed food menu is filled with delicious share plates, burgers, tacos, salads and sides. In terms of burgers, there’s a Spicy Fried Chick’n, The Californian, and The Classic. Tacos come in combos like Tempura Cauliflower, Chick’n in Abodo sauce and Three Bean. Mouth-watering goodness.
Where: 2/29 Lemana Lane, Miami

Cardamom Pod
Cardamon Pod at Southport and Broadbeach has long been a favourite amongst Gold Coasters (and influencers), offering both vegetarian and vegan choices. On the menu, you’ll find dishes like Apple Pie Pancakes, a Snickers Acai Bowl and a Blinged Out Avo Benny, to name a few, plus plenty of raw treats, organic coffee and gluten-free options too. All dishes are almost too pretty to eat.
Where: 1/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach & 3/3 Brolga Ave, Southport

Plant Based Cafe (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Plant Based Cafe (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Plant-Based Cafe
This cafe opened in Paradise Point last year and quickly became a massive hit amongst the locals. Every single dish is stunning, and — yes, you guessed it — you’re going to want to sample them all. For example, the California Dreamin’ burger is next-level with a stacked crispy ‘chikn’ fillet on a bed of American-style slaw with all the trimmings. So tasty. There are smoothies, coffee and acai bowls, too, and it’s the perfect spot for a brunch date, vegan-style.
Where: 1/2 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point

Easy House Vegetarian Restaurant
Easy House has been around for some time and is as much-loved as it’s always been. The menu consists of Asian vegetarian and vegan dishes, and it’s all flavour-packed and fresh. The XO Noodles are to die for, and the dumplings are one thing you could eat every day forever. Don’t miss out on this one.
Where: 90 Markeri Street, Mermaid Beach

Doko Demo V (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)
Doko Demo V (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)

Doko Demo V
Offering an entirely vegan wholefoods-based menu, Doko Demo V is the work of Head Chef Jared Peck. The menu ranges from breakfast through to lunch and dinner and is bursting with beautifully prepared dishes that are both healthy and of the eyes-are-bigger-than-your-belly variety. The Lamb Souvlaki is a fave with marinated greek plant-based lamb, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, smokey bbq, mint yoghurt in a wholemeal wrap. YUM.
Where: 1908 Gold Coast Highway, Miami

Izakaya Midori
You’ll find a trove of plant-based Japanese food at Izakaya Midori in Reedy Creek. There are dishes like Tofu Chocolate Gâteau, Creamy Corn Croquettes, Spicy Lime Karaage and Tempura Tofu to name a few. You can also grab things to takeaway. Should we mention their vegan cheese Party Animal Platter? Need we say more?
Where: 50 Woodland Drive, Reedy Creek

Lovechild Kitchen and Bar
REOPENING 4TH NOVEMBER: Stay tuned to see what the team at this popular vegan spot in Mermaid Beach have been working on! You’re promised to be impressed with the tasty selection of burgers, tacos and cocktail selection very soon…
Where: Shop 1C / 2375 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

11 epic vegetarian restaurants on the Gold Coast

Plant Based Cafe

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.

Plant Based Cafe
The newest on the block, Plant Based Cafe is both aptly named AND slinging some absolutely incredible vego eats. The kitchen is headed up by former Masterchef contestant Christine Laker and she has nailed every single dish. Of course. The Zucchini and Corn Fritter Stack is next-level with a stack of low-fat, baked fritters served with tomato relish, smashed avocado and a lightly-dressed petite salad. So tasty and perfectly presented too. Try them all for yourself.
Where: 1/2 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point

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, juice and smoothie options you’ll be spoilt for choice at this welcoming little café. P.s they now do breakfast too.
Where: Ground Floor, H2O Broadwater, Corner Nind Street and Gold Coast Highway, 82 Marine Parade, Southport

Blendlove
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 Road, Southport

Cardamom Pod
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. 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 Road, Southport

i like ramen

Easy House
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

i like ramen
If there is a perfect food for keeping you warm and nourished in winter, it is ramen. Particularly ramen by the boys at i like ramen. Which is vegan honestly but that also means it’s vegetarian and you should eat some ASAP. We love the Spicy Kimchi Ramen with a side (or three) of Panko Mushrooms and probably also a beer to wash that down. Big fans of everything about this place.
Where: 2251 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Greenhouse Canteen
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.
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Highway, Miami

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

The Milkman's Daughter

The Milkman’s Daughter
The funkiest little vegetarian joint around is Mermaid’s The Milkman’s Daughter, tucked away on Alfred St and serving up some of the very best (and most stacked vego food). The interior is as cool as they come filled with cascading greenery and terraniums built into tables, you’ll be Insta-snapping up a storm. The entirely vegetarian menu is made up of both all day breakfast and lunch options and my word, will you be hard up to make a choice. The Housemade Lemon Pancakes are a real treat. Get excited for this one gang.
Where: 43 Alfred Street, Mermaid Beach

Doko Demo V
One of the most diverse eateries on the Gold Coast vegetarian scene is Doko Demo V in Miami. The menu is both breaky and lunch all day, as of just recently, dinner too and it’s filled with beautifully prepared dishes that are both healthy and of the eyes-are-bigger-than-your-belly variety. We’d go the  Mexican Chicken* Brown Rice Poke Bowl because it’s a fresh, tasty option with Spanish beans, smashed avocado, ‘chicken’ made from tofu protein and a corn and coriander salsa. Plus, Mexican always. They’ve got a little bit of everything and the produce is super fresh and super delicious. So good.
Where: 1908 Gold Coast Highway, Miami

Govindas
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 and 72 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Words by Kirra Smith.

Doko Demo V

14 reasons locals love Southport

Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

It may be home to the Gold Coast’s bustling business district but Southport can also boast a huge array of incredible eateries, culture and general good times.

We’ve rounded up 15 things locals love about the place and we reckon you might enjoy them too.

In no particular order, enjoy.

Southport Sharks
There is many a good time to be had at Southport Sharks including dining at one of the delicious dish-packed restaurants, drinking at Aviary Rooftop Bar overlooking the city, joining in on one of their classes at the Health + Fitness Centre or getting involved in one of their many good time events. The possibilities are endless. It’s the perfect spot for a family event or take the crew for a Sunday afternoon session. Happy days no matter what.
Where: Olsen Avenue and Musgrave Avenue, Southport

Southport Yacht Club
Waterfront dining is the name of the game at Southport Yacht Club with two venues to choose from and stunning scenes from whichever you choose. You’re also welcome to just sit back and kick up your heels with a cold beverage or two while gazing lovingly at one of the many beautiful yachts in the marina. It’s one of the Coast’s best locations and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
Where: 1 MacArthur Parade, Main Beach

Zero Latency
Zero Latency is a free-roam, virtual reality experience like no other. With up to eight players per game, you’ll have the BEST time fighting zombies, exploring mystical places and challenging your friends on space stations. All you need to do is put on the VR headset, strap into the backpack and pickup the controller. Get 10% off here. It really is so good.
Where: 34 Smith Street, Southport

Panezski Distillery
The Coast’s first vodka distillery opened in Southport a few short months ago and what a treat. The family-owned business are whipping up three types of vodka, two types of gin and even a couple of beers on the premises and you can pop in to grab a bottle to go, or you can sit down and enjoy a cocktail and a charcuterie board and spend a bit of time. Very cool. 
Where: Unit 7/55 Bailey Crescent, Southport

Vinnies Dive
Who doesn’t love a good dive bar. Particularly one that doubles as a live music venue and has a huge range of your favourite beers on offer (and some you may not have heard of). Head in there to discover some new music from both local and interstate bands and if you’re in the mood for a party, which we know you are, you can hire the space out for your next one.
Where: 44A Nerang Street, Southport 

Boudoir Lounge interior (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar 
On the ground floor of the building you’ll find the deli section of the establishment, with an array of delicious meats and cheeses that will be brought together in platter form for your feasting pleasure. Upstairs, the rooftop bar boasts tasty cocktails, even more delicious eats and views across the city. It’s a real good time.
Where: 43 Nerang Street, Southport

Randy Wallhole
To put it bluntly, you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted a Randy Wallhole bagel. There are eight flavours to choose from which means you have multiple per day if you so choose. Go for the Pulled Bas first up, it’s got Smokey BBQ pulled beef, peri mayo and apple slaw. Wash it down with some of the best coffee on the Coast and be on your merry way.
Where: 4/21 Nind Street, Southport 

Boudoir Lounge
A newbie amongst the Southport bunch, Boudoir Lounge is the very best spot for a tasty brunch with the girls or simply a few cocktails after work. Found on Como Crescent, it quickly became the go to spot for those looking for some delicious eats, in a sweet setting and with unique sips of course. Inside there’s also a hair and beauty bar so you can get fabulous before you head out on the town. Perfect.
Where: 410/1 Como Crescent, Southport

Broadwater Parklands
Whether you’re four or 40, theres tons of fun to be had at Broadwater Parklands. For starters, you can sit and stare out at the yachts you’ll never set foot on. Then, there’s the bouncy pillow (maybe don’t go on there without a child), a kiddies train, a water playground and weekly events from theatre shows to foodie markets. See, fun.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport

D Point Ten
Oh donuts, how we love you. D Point Ten can be found on Stevens Street and, in keeping with the general donut vibe, is a little hole in the wall space pumping out the freshest of donuts we may have ever excitedly shoved into our greedy mouths. In all the best flavours no less. Go the Ferrero Rocher for sure.
Where: 6/1 Stevens Street, Southport

Cardamon Pod
The delightful folk at Cardamon Pod are serving up delightful dishes with a focus on clean eating but of the prettiest variety. They offer vegan and gluten free options for breakfast and lunch with a side of organic coffee and vegan desserts. All very delicious and it’s very hard to stop at just one thing or not to post on your Instagram.
Where: Brickworks Centre, 3/3 Brolga Avenue, Southport

Panezski Artisan Distillery (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre
Southport’s centre of swimming is something for all of us to be proud of. It’s as pretty as a collection of swimming pools can be and, as it was home to all the Commonwealth Games water activities, it’s world class. The architecture is sleek and there’s a training room featuring pits filled with foam for the divers to practice in.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport 

Escape Hunt
Imagine being wrongly accused of murder, chained to a wall and having to rely on your friends’ detective skills to free you. Who you gonna call? Welcome to Escape Hunt, Southport’s brain bending game guaranteed to test your problem solving skills like they’ve never been tested before. There’s a few scenarios you might be faced with, all of which involve solving a mystery with a set of intricate clues. It’s the most fun you can have inside a locked room. Make sure to take your smart friends. Grab 10% off here.
Where: 2/162 Scarborough Street, Southport

Brickworks Centre
Where to start. There are SO many excellent places to peruse at the Brickworks starting with Ferry Rd Market where you can nab yourself everything from beautiful flowers to the freshest breads, seafood and fruit and veggies galore. God it’s good. Within the Centre, there’s also stunning homewares, fashion and design stores and health and beauty services. Oh, there’s also always some really cool events.
Where: Ferry Road, Southport 

Words by Kirra Smith

Southport Aquatic Centre (Image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
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