Although following a Vegan diet and lifestyle has gained more traction in recent years, it is still perceived by many as being challenging. To the contrary, it is easy to source vegan and vegan-friendly products around Sydney - if you know where to go.
The Inner West has some of the best options for vegan food supplies in the whole of Sydney and that is only on the increase as more people embrace conscious eating and living.
Conscious Food Stores
Summer Hill Organic Fruit Market - Summer Hill
The Summer Hill Organic Fruit Market stands on its own in the residential areas of Summer Hill but is worth the walk up the hill from the train station to check out a range of interesting products.
They stock all sorts of fresh organic produce, vegan treats as well as accidentally vegan local products like Kombucha made in the Blue Mountains.
Dr Earth is an excellent store for picking up vegan supplies that can be difficult to find elsewhere. There is a great range of vegan chocolates and flavoured vegan cheese. You can also pick up a range of vegan cosmetics and toiletries while you are there.
The Cruelty Free Shop along Glebe Point Road is a vegan mecca. They choose to stock vegan products of all kinds because they are better for the animals, your health and also for the environment. They have an impressive online store as well, with over 3500 products available - you can get anything from pate-like vegetable spreads to vegan chocolate-covered peanuts.
Each Sunday from 8 am - 3 pm, the Marrickville Market held at the Addison Road Centre, provides your weekly hit for organic produce. Many of the stalls stock items that are vegan-friendly like homemade jams and conserves as well as excellent food and chai tea to enjoy while there.
While this is not a strictly vegan market, it has its fair share of raw vegan food stalls, fresh juice stands, plenty of organic produce and other accidentally vegan offerings.
Vegan Collective Market
The Vegan Collective Markets are a seasonal market that brings together the best of Sydney's vegan food and products into one evening of vegan goodness. Held that various venues this is a good opportunity to stock up on some rarer vegan products like locally crafted vegan cheeses and mock meats.
It is held 4 times a year to herald in each new season. Some of the highlights of the most recent market were the amazing vegan cakes and some epic vegan sausage rolls.
The Newtown Market is a small market held in Newtown Square each Saturday from 10 am till 4 pm. This is a good place to get vegan baked goods from Rhubarb Bakes and at times also vegan Egyptian food from Bring The Falafel.
There are dozens of Asian grocery stores around Inner West Sydney, particularly in the suburbs of Strathfield, Burwood, Ashfield and Marrickville. A lot of these are Chinese stores, but you can also find Vietnamese, Filipino and Thai grocery stores, as well. Either way, these stores always supply a variety of Asian grocery food items across a range of cuisines.
These stores are the best place to cheaply buy tofu in every imaginable form. They are also good for sourcing other soy based products as well. Stores like Tong Li Supermarket, which has outlets around Sydney, stock Lamyong brand products, which has an extensive range of vegan mock meats.
Om Grocery - great Ashfield location for lentils and spices
Also be sure to check out ethnic stores that sell products from Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. A lot of these are 'accidentally vegan' and are reasonably priced. They stock spicy pickles, pea flour-based snacks, dried nuts and legumes in bulk and dried soy chunks - an excellent meat substitute.
There are a number of good Indian Grocery stores in Ashfield and Strathfield, as well as little known small grocery store Aum Indian Market along The Strand in Croydon,
While mainstream supermarkets aren't necessarily ideal for vegan shopping, all the major players are stocking more vegan products all the time. Both Coles and Woolwoths sell numerous every day items used by vegans and non-vegans alike such as dried fruit, juices, canned beans and vegetables and baking supplies.
Dairy-free chocolate in the health food section at Coles
Aside from these basics they also have specialist vegan products like So Good Non-Dairy Ice cream, Coconut-based yoghurt and a good range of vegan meat substitutes, for example Sanitariums' various vegan patties and the vegan schnitzels from Quorn.
ALDI also stocks more vegan-friendly products than it used to, and they have the cheapest range of non-dairy milks including rice milk, oat milk, soy milk and coconut milk.
Dark chocolate with dried fig, crystalised ginger, smoked almonds and French sea salt (Image From Treat Dreams Facebook Page)
For those of us who don't live in the Inner west there is a shop in Kellyville called "all about empathy" which has a vast range of vegan foods - even vegan tuna! The owners are on hand, friendly and can offer lots of advice to those new to the concept.