With so much quality south Australian produce on offer, Adelaide is a food lover’s paradise — and vegetarians don’t have to miss out on all the fun, especially at these 10 best plant-powered restaurants.
It’s hard to put your finger on Two-Bit Villains’ biggest drawcard. Is it the elegant setting in the Grand Ballroom of the ornate Adelaide Arcade? The delicious handcrafted botanical sodas? Or the burgers, hot dogs and fries on the food menu, all of which can be made vegan? Book a table and make your mind up for yourself.
The original Sarah’s cafe first opened in 1978 — years before anyone in Australia knew what a ‘carbon footprint’ was — and is still harnessing the same fresh, local and seasonal produce as it did four decades ago. This Semaphore Rd pavilion cafe also teams up with local schools to educate kids on sustainable cooking, proving that environmentally friendly food doesn’t have to compromise flavour.
Nutrition Republic began as a sports supplement and nutrition store before evolving into an expresso and elixir bar in 2013, focusing on whole, unprocessed foods. The name of the game is organic coffee, protein superfood smoothies, coconut water elixirs, healthy plant-based meals and raw desserts as well as raw vegan snacks, condiments and supplements in the retail section of the Goodwood store.
‘Bom dia’ means ‘good day’ in Brazil, where this Glenelg institution imports its açaí berries from — and you’re certain to have a good day if you start your morning with a big purple bowl of the Amazonian superfood. Açaí is the central focus of Bomdia’s raw, organic, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar-free takeaway creations, which are topped with granola, coconut and honey.
The Adelaide Central Market is South Australia’s most visited attraction, luring eight million visitors a year to its 80 stalls — one of them being veggie-based takeaway restaurant Let Them Eat. The philosophy is simple: ‘Whole food for a fast life’. This approach spreads beyond the Central Market Arcade to retail locations at Westfield in Marion and Tea Tree, plus the Stirling Market and the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market.
A few years ago, a vegan eatery in rough-and-tumble Port Adelaide would’ve been as rare as a tofu sausage in a butcher’s shop window, but as the grungy waterfront is quickly gentrified, Red Lime Shack is a sign of the times. The cafe’s stated goal is to ‘change the world’ with its 100% vegan food, as well as what they describe as the tastiest coffee in Adelaide, even serving dairy to accommodate non-vegans.
At some Chinese restaurants, the only meat-free dish on the menu is the plain steamed rice. That’s not a worry at Zenhouse, which is packed with vegetarian interpretations of the the Chinese classics. The original Zenhouse was established in Alice Springs in 2003 before expanding to Adelaide, opening Zenhouse Yum Cha in the city centre, plus Zenhouse Vegetarian Fusion in Hindmarsh.
Keep an eye out for the ‘Organic Cafe’ sign on High St in Willunga welcoming visitors to this casual spot south of Adelaide. This bright, airy cafe is great for families — there are kids play areas indoors and outside — and prides itself on supporting local growers and businesses.
Sitting off Rundle St, smack bang in the middle of Adelaide, Ayla’s inviting dessert cabinet seduces even the most strong-willed vegetarians and vegans, as does a menu loaded with plenty of Persian cuisine. Ayla’s used to be called Joy Discovery but the good vibes haven’t changed with the new name.
Nagev — that’s ‘vegan’ backwards, if you didn’t spot it at first — is an entirely plant-based cafe that doesn’t rely on animal products to create delicious breakfasts, lunches and pastries. Located in Evandale just north-east of the city centre, this sleek modern venue also brews some of the best specialty coffee in town.