Top 5 Vegan Eats for the Vegan-Curious
The vegan lifestyle has been on the rise over the past few years. Euromonitor International, a market research company revealed that by 2020 Australia will become the third-fastest vegan growing market in the world. This follows reports that the dairy alternatives market is expected to exceed almost AUD 45 billion by 2024.
On the basis of atmosphere, price, ingredient and food variety, and nearby location to UC, I have found the top five vegan eateries for the vegan-curious to try.
Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar has locations nearby to UC in Belconnen and Braddon and also provides pizza delivery service. The eatery offers a range of pizzas, sides, and desserts including vegan, vegetarian and low-carb. The customisability seems to give Crust a larger selection than the usual pizza joint, without taking away from the classic pizza joint atmosphere.
Overall, Crust gave the best location and ingredient range. With pizzas ranging from $17 to $26, the price is low when the meal is split between friends and can make a good food option when studying in a group.
Sweet Bones Bakery and Café is located in Braddon. The cafe has a rustic, rock n’ roll vibe with Central American detailing. Meals traditionally made with meat are made from a large variety of meat substitutes, such as tofu and coconut bacon. Ingredients used seem Central American inspired, fitting well with the Central American features of the cafe.
Prices fall around $14 – $18 and the cafe is often loud and busy. The cafe is a ten-minute walk from the Civic Centre. During the week and around mid-day when the cafe has fewer patrons, the atmosphere makes the cafe a great place to eat, relax and perhaps to study.
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Kingsland Vegan Restaurant in Dickson serves Vietnamese and Asian ‘imitation meat’ cuisine. There are 86 ‘imitation meat’ foods to choose from, including entrees, soups, curries, salads, noodles, and tofu. Meals get interesting with a large selection of seafood, chicken, duck, beef, and lamb and pork options, all sans meat.
The restaurants interior is plain, making the atmosphere lacking, but for those focused on the food, the low prices make up for it. With large meals priced around $13, entrees at $3 and dessert at $5, the restaurants is a good option for restaurant eating on a budget.
Café Essen is a small café, tucked away in the streets of Canberra’s CBD, that sells bakery products and food familiar to traditional burger joints only with a vegan twist. The cafe’s atmosphere is casual and it has greenery and plant textures both in the food and in the interior.
Café Essen’s price is around $14 per burger, but the burger selection makes up for it. As people who are not vegan may find it easier to try a meat substitute meals in a familiar burger form. The cafe can be accessed from a ten-minute walk from parking or public transport at Civic Centre.
Don’t let the name fool you, Au Lac Vegetarian Cuisine is a restaurant that caters for both vegetarians and vegans. The restaurant bears similarities to Kingsland Vegan Restaurant, in that it serves Vietnamese and Asian ‘imitation meat’ cuisine. However, the menu is half the size and contains a mixture of vegetarian dishes and prices are steeper at around $18.
The design and atmosphere of the restaurant is unique and casual at once, with wooden accents, modern lighting and tile walls decorated with a large landscape portrait, making up for the steeper price. The restaurant has two locations, Dickson and Woden. UC students who live on either side of Canberra do not have to travel far to visit this amazing vegetarian cuisine.