In recent years, Sydney has become home to numerous plant-based eateries that are consistently proving just how great vegan food can be. Even places that aren’t exclusively vegan are more likely than ever to offer plant-based options.

But while going out to dinner may be at a high point for vegan Sydneysiders, some things don’t translate as easily to plant-based form; finding decent vegan baked goods, for instance, can feel like a scavenger hunt.

To save you from scouring the city for vegan baked treats yourself, we’ve done the hard yards and found 10 of Sydney’s best options. From vegan carrot cake to plant-based cookies and even an outstanding croissant, here’s your hitlist.

Nutie Donuts, Balmain and Surry Hills – carrot cake ($7.50)
Nutie is a vegan sweet tooth’s dream come true. With a fully vegan cafe menu and a huge display of goodies that are both plant-based and gluten-free, the options are endless. If you must choose just one, let it be the carrot cake. Perfectly spiced, light, and with a deceivingly dairy-free cream icing, it tastes just like the real deal. It’s doing pick-up and delivery during lockdown.

The C Word cookies, online and at markets – choc-chip cookie ($36 for six)
Dense, rich and delicious. The C Word is a master of cookies. Best of all, it keeps all ingredients as natural as possible. If it’s your first time trying these cookies, you can’t miss the classic choc chip – it’s thick, chewy and packed with gooey chunks of fair-trade vegan chocolate. Find it at various markets around the city or order online to build your own box.

OMG Donuts, various locations – Spicy Ranga doughnut ($3.50)
If fluffy, fried goodness is up your alley you need to try OMG Decadent Donuts. They’re fried to order and topped with spices and sugars. Our pick? The Spicy Ranga. It’s dusted with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and sugar to get your taste buds popping. During lockdown OMG is doing regular deliveries to the eastern suburbs and remains open at some markets and shopping centres.

Flour Drum, Newtown – vegan lemon berry cake ($9)
This Newtown cafe started offering vegan cakes when its lactose-intolerant executive chef decided to create a treat he could enjoy despite his dietary requirements. By making these sweets fully vegan, he can now have his cake and eat it too. We suggest the zingy, zesty lemon berry cake – it is topped with a drizzle of icing, and the berries on top change with the seasons.

Bourke Street Bakery, various locations – eggplant, chickpea and mint sausage roll ($5.50)
Bourke Street Bakery is famed for its sausage rolls (particularly its lamb number) – but it also makes a 100 per cent vegan version. It took some experimenting, but the bakery found a way to make the flaky pastry without butter, and the result – packed with eggplant, chickpea and mint – was a victory for vegans everywhere. Savoury, flaky and somehow still buttery, it’s a real winner.

Small Talk Coffee and Snacks, Dulwich Hill and Glebe – tomato and garlic focaccia ($8)
Small Talk’s tomato and garlic focaccia became a sensation during Sydney’s first lockdown – but what many don’t know is that it’s vegan. The cafe’s owner, Sam Terrey, was working at a Montreal pizza joint when he discovered the magic of a super simple “red pizza”. He knew he had to replicate it when opening Small Talk, and thus the focaccia was born. The rich tomato sauce bakes on top of the focaccia, caraway seeds add a burst of brightness, and – naturally – there’s plenty of olive oil and garlic involved.

Black Star Pastry, various locations – vegan chocolate popcorn cake (from $7)
This fudgy cake is beautiful, yes – but it also tastes darn good. The dense chocolate base is glazed with cocoa syrup then topped with caramelised popcorn and freeze-dried raspberries to satisfy even the most intense chocolate craving. A shot of espresso is mixed into the batter, adding dimension and depth to the rich chocolate flavours.

Le Gourmand, Sydney Vegan Markets and online – macarons ($4 for one or $18 for 5)
How are macarons possible without egg whites? According to French-born Frederic Mariage, it’s all about the potato protein. His light and airy macarons come in a variety of flavours, including pistachio, lemon, Biscoff and chocolate. Get yours at the Entertainment Quarter’s monthly Sydney Vegan Market (best arrive early – they sell out fast), or via DM on Instagram.

Oh My Days, Glebe – croissant ($6)
Butter is an essential ingredient in croissants, so it makes sense that finding a half-decent vegan croissant is nearly undoable. But thankfully, after much trial and error, Oh My Days has conquered the butter-free croissant. By mastering fridge temps, proofing and baking, this Glebe cafe has managed to create a croissant that’s golden, flaky and, somehow, buttery. Using the classic as a base, Oh My Days also offers almond croissants, pain au chocolat and hazelnut croissants. It remains open during lockdown for takeaway.

Orchard St, various locations – choco-damia toffee cookie ($6)
Orchard St is best known for its juice cleanses, but it also serves up a range of sweet treats. Our top vegan pick is the choco-damia toffee cookie. Perfectly chewy, chocolatey and with a distinct toffee flavour, it’s the perfect foil for one of Orchard St’s warm elixirs or healthy juices. Plus, it’s made from all-natural ingredients including almond meal, coconut sugar, apple-cider vinegar and chickpea juice.

Sydney is currently in lockdown. Masks are mandated in public indoor spaces. Public gatherings are banned and minimal social contact is recommended. If you have concerns about visiting businesses or public spaces, or questions about self-isolation or coronavirus testing, check out the latest updates from the NSW Government.