I'm transitioning into vegetarianism. It's actually quite difficult; not because I miss eating meat, but because there is no where to eat in Canberra. I struggle enough eating at home with my family when I'm met with teary eyes and frowns when I explain for the billionth time that "ah, sorry, I won't be eating that."
I come from an Italian background so my Nonna thinks that cooking organic veal still makes me a vegetarian. It's even harder when I go out for dinner with friends. There is no where that my meat-eating friends and I can happily dine at where we are all loaded with choice. They have pages to choose from and I can only order a vegetable stack swimming in oil or a salad.
Until the clouds part and the light shines on one of the only vegetarian restaurant in Canberra, Au Lac.
It's incredibly cheap ($6 for an entrée, $12 for a main, $5 for dessert) and it's all beautiful, healthy and vegetarian! There are soups, stir fries, beautiful vegetables cooked in clay pots with sticky yummy sauce, spring rolls, banana split, ice cream. Many of the dishes come with 'chicken' or 'beef'. It's tofu – but my meat eating friends can't tell.
Service is impeccable and food arrives fast. It's open for lunch and dinner every day (except Monday) and is BYO. Make sure to order the young coconut juice, and the fresh spring rolls, and the eggplant clay pot, and the Buddha delight. Ah, why not try it all.
One and only vegetarian restaurant in Canberra? In dickson you will also find 'Kingsland' and 'My rainbow dreams'. And then out and about I am vegan and most restaurants will have an option or two or even make up something not on the menu. I also suggest checking outhttp://www.happycow.net/ it will help you find vego places and places with vego options.
All that said Au Lac is awesome and the best vego place in Canberra. You have to try their soy roast duck and never leave without having some deep fried soy icecream.
I've been vegan for over 15 years and yes Canberra is a bit light on for dedicated veg restaurants but the ones we have are excellent. Don't forget to add the vege cafe at Watson shops. Also, most restaurants I have been to in Canberra have been very happy to oblige after a quick word to the kitchen. I'd even go as far as saying that they enjoy making something not on the menu.