For ‘faux’ sake, just try them all!
For ‘faux’ sake, just try them all!
Okay so the vegan eats movement has totally blown up on the Gold Coast, and we’re loving the ever-increasing variety of restaurants proving that plant-based fare is anything but bland-as-bruh.
If you’re looking for a list of local nosheries that can convert even the most passionate meat and meat by-product enthusiast into a bona fide vegan fare fan, read on friends….
Kuan Yin Tea House
If you’re one of those peeps who thinks eating vegan is all about tasteless rubbery tofu, get yourself down to Kuan Yin Tea House immediately! The ultimate IYKYK, this place is fast becoming a local institution with some of the best vegan eats in our ‘hood. Serving the most insanely delicious Thai inspired vegan food, do yourself a flavour (not a typo) and order the BBQ Pork Fried Rice. Now open Monday to Sunday, see you there every day and twice on Sundays!
Where: 152 Scarborough Street, Southport
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 and Sour Cream Enchiladas or the Sweet n Sour Tofu Larb. Also, if you feel like eating at home, Greenhouse does takeaway and for a gastronomic gift, they even sell vouchers. Hint hint….
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Highway, Miami
It’s vegan. It’s Mexican. And ‘nuff said #BetterTogether. An all-time vegan fave on the Gold Coast for many moons, Goodness Gracias serves up plant-based Mexican food in a vibrant Palm Beach space with mexcellent service to boot. 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 top-notch nosh (say that after a few margis).
Where: 1114-1116 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Blendlove started with two gals just trying to make a difference to people’s health through plant-based food. Created with love, they blend only the finest ingredients to produce a collection of whole, nutritious treats that are vegan, and free from gluten, dairy, preservatives, artificial colours, and refined sugar. Basically free from everything….except flavour! A local fave, educating the GC that raw and whole foods can be a party in your mouth. An Insta-worthy one at that!
Where: 253 Ferry Road, Southport
Lord of the Fries
If there’s one thing we can get behind, it’s a fast-food venue made up primarily of potatoes. Well colour us happy because Lord of the Fries is precisely that. Finally fries that aren’t drowned in beef tallow and juiced up with gluten, aren’t cooked in cheap’n’nasty oil or smothered in watered down tomato sauce, and haven’t been sitting in a bain-marie since the beginning of time. Praise be! Slinging vegan fries a-plenty, Lord of the Fries is also serving up Veggie Burgers, Onion Rings, Vegetarian Nuggets and Vegetarian Hot Dogs. Plus, everything is kosher and Halal. Hallelujah!
Where: Paradise Centre, 8 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
The Hidden Cherub
Tucked away in our much-loved Miami, you’ll find laneway bar/plant-based eats venue: The Hidden Cherub. Decked out with a sleek, industrial-esque look and greenery dripping from the walls, this warehouse style restaurant is a Vegan Vibe! While the drinks here are the main event (as they should be!), the 100% vegan packed food menu is filled with delicious share plates, burgers, tacos, salads and sides. In terms of burgers, get stuck into The Californian (just trust us) and sharesies some Sticky Buffalo Wings and Beef Tacos. Mouth-watering goodness at its best.
Where: 2/29 Lemana Lane, Miami
Cardamon Pod at Southport Is a favourite amongst Gold Coasters (and influencers), offering both mouth-wateringly yum vegetarian and vegan choices. All about clean eating, the menu is lit with Insta-friendly, tastebud titillating nosh so good it’ll knock the socks off even the most discerning vegan diner. We recommend the Mumbai Wrap, Life is a Berry Peach Pancake, and the Snicker Acai Bowl because duh – Snickers. There’s also plenty of raw treats, organic coffee and gluten-free options too. All dishes are almost too pretty to eat….emphasis on ‘almost’.
Where: 3/3 Brolga Avenue, Southport
Easy House Vegetarian Restaurant
Okay it’s vegetarian, it’s vegan….and it’s YUM CHA! Nothing pleases our palette more, and the fact that this place has been around for yonks it a testament to its deliciousness. Whether you dine in or takeaway, Easy House will send your tastebuds into a tizz with the likes of Deep Fried Wontons, Steamed BBQ Pork Buns, and Pan Fried Shanghai Dumplings. Not a yum cha fan? No probs, there is also a vast array of traditional (but vegan/vego) fresh, flavour-packed Asian dishes and banquet options.
Where: 90 Markeri Street, Mermaid Beach
Doko Demo V
The Bali-vibing Doko Demo V 2.0 is even more amazing than the OG, and we are here for it! Offering an entirely vegan wholefoods-based menu, Doko Demo V is the work of Head Chef Jared Peck. Whether you’re seeking an uber tasty plant-based breakfast, lunch or dinner, this little gem is bursting with beautifully prepared dishes that are both healthy and of the eyes-are-bigger-than-your-belly variety. The Spicy Pepperoni Pizza goes down a treat, as does the No Beef Lasagne with garden salad, and the Unreal Scallopini. Wash your feed down with the Dokodemo cocktail because one must stay hydrated….
Where: 2 Sunlight Drive, Burleigh Waters
Umm with ‘Midori’ in the title, this place immediately had our attention. A Reedy Creek based trove of plant-based Japanese food, Izakaya Midori is a winner winner vegan dinner. There are dishes like Spicy Lime Karagee, Japanese Curry Rice, Midori Ramen (not the booze just to clarify), and Smoked Edamame to name a few. You can also grab things to takeaway and the service is next level. Sold? Of course you are!
Where: 50 Woodland Drive, Reedy Creek
Words by Bianca Trathen.
The Gold Coast restaurant scene has been quick to catch up to the increasing number of people jumping on board the vegetable train. Thankfully these days, we need not venture far to find our plant-based fix, with a plethora of veg-vibing establishments all vying for our affections.
As the masters of mind-blowingly good meat-free eats, these veritable veggie experts are in a legendary legume of their own.
While we may be guilty of throwing the word ‘institution’ around a little liberally at times, Cardamom Pod (and it’s crew of certifiable whole-food wizards) is a name known the coast over as a haven for plant-based folk and those craving nourishing nosh.
While we sadly bid adieu to the original Broadbeach location (and then a fond ‘hola’ to Nude Amigos in the same spot – coincidentally also offering a considered assortment of vibrant vego options) – thankfully the name lives on through the second Pod residing at Brickworks Ferry Road. Get your fill of creative and colourful all-day eats such as the Buddah Bowl, Blinged Out Avo Benny, and if we really must choose – the French Toast *never* fails. There’s a reason this place has been around for years, go discover it for yourself.
Where: 3/3 Brolga Avenue, 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 Riki-Lee and Sharlene pride themselves on serving the tastiest, freshest and healthiest plant-based food on the Gold Coast. They whip up their treats in-house without the use of refined sugars, artificial colours or preservatives. Plus, keeping us plied with our daily Blackboard coffee fix earns them a bunch of extra brownie points in our books (guilt-free, sugar-free ones, of course).
Where: 253 Ferry Road, Southport
Mermaid’s middle-eastern eatery, Falafels, has since expanded from its initial exclusively meat-free menu, but its primarily plant-based roots remain (as do the legendary falafels we know and love, praise be chickpea).
This small but mighty neighbourhood noshery specialises in fresh and flavour-packed portable bites with a mediterranean focus – all plied with secret-recipe sauces, dips and house pickled veg. The famous hand-crafted falafels have a rep as the best you can get your mitts (and mouth) around on the Coast. Available any which way you like – Plate, Pocket or Salad – aka stuffed in a pillow of pita, or perhaps piled atop a throne of veg, tahini and hummus (or not, for the #hummushaters… we’re told they’re out there… #blasphemy).
A trip to Falafels will give you allll the feel-good feels (namely satisfaction).
Where: Shop 2c/1 Lakeview Blvd, Mermaid Waters
Temple of Spices
Ahhh, vego curry, how we love thee. A wholesome, hearty, hug in a bowl – and for many of us, the gateway dish to discovering that meat-free can be mind-blowingly good, yes? Mermaid’s resident spice slingers, Temple of Spices has quite the rep for treating local diners to incredible Indian eats – including a dedicated menu of main-character vibing veg/vegan dishes to tempt anyone and tantalise every tum. Quell those cravings and chow down on chutneys, coconut rice and your choice of protein swimming in creamy, spice-laden curry – your tastebuds will be happy as Lassi. And for anyone considering skipping the Vego butter? That gets a big yeah, naan from us.
Looking to bolster your meat-free meal with an all-out feast? Spice up your night and split one of the plant-based banquet packs with your Dahl-ing (thank us later).
Where: 2468 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
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. Serving wholesome helpings of healthful eats made with love, that in no way compromise on flavour or satisfaction – and impressively so, considering the restricted ingredient repertoire. Don’t believe us? Just check their reviews #amustvisit.
Where: 2468 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
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 terrariums 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 Farmers Breakfast is a perennial fave among frequents – but you ‘batter’ believe the loaded Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, piled with vanilla turmeric custard, granola, walnuts, passionfruit, berries, pistachios, lemon zest has to be one of the most bonkers brunches going (in the best of ways).
Where: 2/43 Alfred Street, Mermaid Beach
To the uninitiated, the Dalas Kitchen specialty of salads, sodas and sweets seems to strike the balance of naughty and nice eats – but as it turns out, its just nice.. and nicer – with the latter comprising of sparkling water topped homemade soda syrups and raw sweets.. so get amongst it guilt-free, y’all.
One of adulthoods greatest tastebud revelations remains that salad can be both nourishing and oh-so-satisfying (for those of us who grew up knowing ‘salad’ as sad iceberg and token tomato slices slapped on your plate, anyway). Dalas Kitchen is of course, serving up the former – Nobby’s wholesome eats dispensary delivers our daily veg-vibing, summery side-dish and salad fix, all 100% ready to tuck right in. Because sometimes we need a star salad without that whole cleaning-every-pot-and-pan-we’ve-ever-owned song and dance, right? #exhausting. So go on, grab some of that goodness to-go and get in that daily 2&5 in the most soul satisfying of ways.
Where: 2247 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach and Pavilions, Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach
A crew that’s especially keen on their greens, delivering crafted plates of plant focused, whole food eats that are also downright delicious. Their foodie philosophy of ‘sometimes naughty, mostly nice’ – is an approach we can wholeheartedly support, especially since they also happen to serve a killer marg #ourkryptonite (and also something we get around with gusto).
In their ever-tasty eight year tenure, they’ve amassed an army of loyal local fans (both vegans and meat eaters alike) that would follow them *almost* anywhere for their flavour-filled fare. Which is lucky, since they recently relocated little further south, making the move from Miami to Talle… and yeah, we can manage that – anything for our Cauliflower Wings (and coconut marg, lbh) fix.
Where: 268 Tallebudgera Creek Road, Tallebudgera
It’s a vegetarian institution on the Coast and if you haven’t been there, you haven’t lived. With everything from Creamy potato bake, saucy layers of veg-laden 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
Psst – specifically seeking eateries sans animal products entirely? Check out our lineup of the best vegan GC restaurants here.
Words by Kellie Leader.
Is it just us, or does the prospect of a new space dedicated to a superior quality sound experience blended with an immersive visual experience sound like something we need in our lives. Like, yesterday. Imagine if a healthy dose of cool, underground warehouse feels and plant-based nosh could be added to the mix, and we could quite possibly have a conniption at the mere thought #DreamVenueMuch. Well, this is not a dream or a drill and it’s time for all Gold Coasters to get excited because the entertainment game has just changed…for the better.
Our favourite hidden (first clue) and totally unique venue where the local music and art culture thrives has just launched an exciting Sound Section within its confines…and we will be eternally grateful to these cherubs (second clue, and oh hey Captain Obvious!). Hidden Cherub, as if we didn’t have enough reasons to lust over your multifaceted and edgy cool girl vibes, we’re now officially obsessed.
Trailblazing owners Ben and Teagan Milgate wanted to do something fresh and unique, offering Gold Coasters an outside of the stock-standard box experience. Inspired by the sound rooms of New York City and Melbourne, this is not just another run-of-the-mill, ho-hum upgrade to a GC bar. In fact, the Sound Section of this community-based sanctuary may be the new kid on the block, but it’s already achieved ‘venue feature’ status.
Constructed with a next level sound system and acoustically treated to provide the best possible listening experience, it can also be fitted with any kind of art expression. Designed with the utmost attention to detail by Ben and Teagan (and built by Ben…just like the rest of the venue), the result is a hypnotic, unparalleled and all-consuming dance floor full of personality and individuality.
Separate to the dining area and bar (but not too far coz dancing makes us all hella hungry and parched), the Sound Section is perfect for private functions and will also house ticketed events (eeee – watch this space!). And don’t even get us started on the talent this new room will bring. But you can definitely expect Hidden Cherub’s resident DJ’s Elliot Ramsay, Ola Jar and Buff Girls to bring the beats and spin up a storm.
As for food and drink, you can order all your Hidden Cherub faves and if you’re not on the plant-based tucker train yet, this place will convert you with a single bite. Head Chef Corey McIntosh is da man, and we’re calling out his Spicy Fried Chick’n Burger with lettuce, sriracha and house made chipotle sauce for its pure plant-based sorcery. Another crowd pleaser is the Sticky Buffalo Wings in red dragon sauce and order a second batch coz trust us, you won’t want to share.
Moving along to beverages (our happy place), the signature infused, hand crafted cocktails catering to different pallets (sweet, sour, smoky etc) are iconic. Plus, all syrups and infusions are made in house, and we think that deserves a big ‘ole thumbs up. For the first round, our pick is the Dutch Bunny with Husk Botanic, Aperol, carrot shrub, ginger-agave syrup, lemon, angostura and orange bitters. Back that up with a refreshing Mai-Tai made with homemade chilli mango purée. And we could go on, but mama always told us to keep a little mystery…
So friends, the moral of the story is you can now get more than just a ten-outta-ten plant-based naughty food and crafted cocktails fix at this collaborative creative music and art sharing space. With the addition of the Sound Section, Hidden Cherub has surpassed our expectations and we can’t wait for you to check it out.
Where: 2/29 Lemana Lane, Burleigh
When: 5pm – 10pm Thursday, 4pm – 10pm Friday & Saturday. Private bookings by request Monday – Sunday.
Words by Bianca Trathen.
STORY SPONSORED BY THE HIDDEN CHERUB
Living on the Gold Coast makes it all the more enticing to get out and keep active – there’s no limit to the options available to help keep your workouts fresh and fun. If you’re looking for some alternatives to the more obvious usual suspects – beach, bush walks, stair runs & bike tracks – we’ve rounded up some great free and (super) low-cost options to get that heart rate up without breaking the budget!
With five free options in the mix, you’ll even have enough change left over for a sneaky oat milk latte for your efforts #thankuslater
Zen Soul Life
If you’re yet to join the cult following behind the all-over body workout that is Pilates, don’t let the appearance of the low-impact movements fool you, this deceptively challenging workout will have you building strength, improving flexibility and – our personal fave – relieving back pain (a must for all the desk workers among us!)
When: Monday and Wednesday 6pm, Thursday 9am
Where: Zen Soul Life, Check their insta for locations all over the GC – Hope Island and Labrador are both free!
Move Strong – on the Mat
A hybrid program with a Pilates feel, Move Strong – on the Mat is based around complementary resistance training and cardio techniques, designed and led by an accredited exercise scientist. Created to enhance your balance, coordination, cardiovascular health and muscular strength – sign us up! And at only $3 entry, this f-ab class is really not a stretch either.
When: Move Thursday 9am and 10.30am, Friday 9.15am
Where: In Motion Health and Fitness, Benowa, Paradise Point & Labrador
With a time slot that makes it ideal to squeeze in before work, and a fun and interactive group based environment designed for all fitness levels, the only thing standing in your way to live, laugh, lunge will be your ability to ignore the seductive calls of the snooze button. Go get your fix of strength, cardio, boxing and functional fitness movements all in one!
When: Monday 6am
Where: HOTA, Surfers Paradise.
Lights Out and Dance
Now if mornings just aren’t your thing, cha-cha-change it up with this night time free-movement dance fitness session at two convenient GC locations. What’s not to love about having an abs-olute blast while you dance your heart out in the dark!
When: Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm
Where: Broadbeach Cultural Precinct, Broadbeach and Runaway Bay Youth Centre, Runaway Bay
Cost: $10 – bookings required
This class is geared towards beginners, so the gentle movements will leave you feeling pose-itively rejuvenated and ready to take on the day! A combination of stretching, light isometric strength training and long holds at a restorative, slower pace.
When: Wednesday and Saturday at 6am
Where: Palm Beach Parklands, Palm Beach
If you live a little further north, maybe this Broadbeach option is a little more convenient for you. Geared for beginners through to those wanting more of a challenge, these outdoor classes go with the flow while well as improving your flexibility and strength.
When: Thursday 6am
Where: Kurrawa Park, Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach
Deep Water Running
Get carried away with the benefits of deep water running! This low-impact workout option is ideal for people with injuries or limitations (but also, a great way to escape the humidity!) With beginner classes geared towards introducing you to the joy of combining cardio and for a full body workout and improving mobility without any worries about strain or injury.
When: Tuesday 12pm
Where: Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Southport
Be moved by the healing martial art techniques that Tai Chi has to offer. A qualified instructor will guide you through a series of breathing and stretching techniques to help promote harmony, improve mobility, and increase alertness. The beach-side proximity is an added bonus that makes this class a martial-ous way to start your day.
When: Thursday 8am
Where: Kurrawa, Broadbeach
Spot of power walking, anyone? Start your weekend on the right foot with this fun (and free!) option, the friendly weekly 5k community park run event! Great for people of all fitness levels to get those steps up at your own pace – walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate – it’s up to you!
When: Saturday 7am
Where: There are 5 parkrun locations across the Gold Coast. Hollingdale Park, Main Beach, HOTA, Surfers Paradise, Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters, Varsity Lakes, Varsity Lakes and Darcy Doyle Park, Mudgeeraba.
Cost: Free – registration required
Unfit Run Club
If you’re the kind of person that exercises just because you know you probably should – behold! Your new favourite running club. Unfit run club was founded by a group of mates who wanted to keep moving and laughing while supporting their fave local haunts #winwin Join in at your own pace and with your bevvy of choice – Thursday’s routes include a cheeky brewery stop to finish, while Saturday mornings finish up at a local cafe for your essential weekend caffeine fix.
When: Thursdays and Saturdays
Where: Check the insta for deets as routes change weekly
Cost: Free – registration required
Words by Kellie Leader.