Healthy, vitamin-enriched foods that everyone can enjoy
Around the Capital, more and more vegan and vegetarian eateries are opening up with a range of sweet treats, baked goods and delicious meals which are completely meat, egg and dairy-free. Years ago, it was much harder to find a café or restaurant that was completely vegan, however it is becoming more common to see vegan eateries around the city - or at least venues with more vegan options. Although I'm personally not vegan or vegetarian (although I prefer the flavours and health benefits of vegetarian food), I have several friends who are strictly vegan - and they have scoped out the best places to eat around the city. Even if you do eat meat and animal products, it is still recommended by dieticians to have at least one, meat-free meal a week to reduce the intake of saturated fats. However, with so many options around the city to eat delicious, healthy and flavoursome vegan and vegetarian options - it may be hard to stop at just one!
Kith and Nosh is a new café that opened in February 2017, on the popular Lonsdale Street in Braddon. This friendly, family business offers both vegetarian and vegan cafe meals, as well as baked goods and take-home vegan dinner packs. Their menu also caters to paleo and gluten-free diets, as well as having a variety of products in their mini supermarket. "Kith and Nosh" means 'friends and food' in German and Yiddish - and that is exactly how this friendly café feels when you walk in the door. With a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options, this could easily become your new favourite café in Canberra. See here for details.
Sweet Bones is a vegan, organic and cruelty-free café that is located just a short walk from Kith and Nosh, above. This would have to be the most popular vegan café in Canberra, with a retro rock vibe, delicious coffee and generous tasty meals, as well as cakes and treats which simply melt in the mouth. If you are looking for a vegan cake for a special occasion, look no further - Sweet Bones have you covered. See here for details. For a full article on Vegan and Organic Cakes at Sweet Bones Bakery Café, see here.
Food Co-Op is located on the western side of the CBD, near the Australian National University. This alternative café has an environmentally-friendly ethos and provides a wide range of delicious vegan and vegetarian food in its café and bulk goods store. It's modern and sleek building exterior is at odds with its warm, wholesome and creative interior - which is full of colour, life and conversation when you walk in. I personally enjoy coming to this café on my own, as it is a comfortable place to have a coffee and (delicious!) vegan cake, whilst enjoying the eclectic and inspirational atmosphere. Another popular feature of the Food Co-Op is its $8 vegan lunch ($6 for members and students) each weekday between 12pm - 2pm. Each day it changes and there is only one option - but it is always good. See here for details.
Au Lac Royal Vegetarian Cuisine is located in Dickson, less than 10 minutes north of the CBD. The Dickson area is renowned for its authentic Asian eateries and Au Lac fits in perfectly with its mouth-watering vegan and vegetarian Asian dishes. Everything on the menu is well-priced, with some menu items including dishes with "mock meat" made from soy (which has mixed reviews from my vegan friends!) The name Au Lac refers to a peaceful and treasured place near Hanoi, which is revered by the Vietnamese people and Buddhists. This restaurant, as well as Malaysian Chapter in Belconnen, is the most popular vegan and vegetarian dinner option to enjoy with friends or family. See here for details.
At the time of writing, Au Lac will also be opening in Woden, on the south side of Canberra. See the Au Lac Facebook for updates.
My Rainbow Dreams cafe is also located in Dickson and has a wide range of colourful takeaway vegetarian lunch options, or you can dine-in with several tables available. This small but inviting café is owned and operated by students of Sri Chinmoy, a renowned meditation teacher from Bangladesh. With his teachings in mind, My Rainbow Dreams café provides food that is "nourishing to both body and soul, in keeping with our belief that inner and outer wellbeing go together". The result is a delicious range of vegetarian options (and several vegan alternatives), including burgers made from lentils, tofu, haloumi and felafel, as well as wraps, curries and soups. See here for details. For a full article on My Rainbow Dreams, see here.