Staying clear of meat can be frustrating. Vegetarians are an afterthought on many menus, with just two or three uninspiring dishes to choose from. That's changing fast, though - vegetables are hot property in contemporary fine-dining. Chefs from New York to Copenhagen are giving them more love and attention, for reasons both ethical and creative. Sydney's own Yellow is one such restaurant to realise that vegetables can be just as exciting as meat - if not more exciting.

Now, this attitude is filtering down to more casual venues. Slowly. For now, make do with this small-ish list of our favourite eateries. They’re not all strictly vegetarian, but all offer a substantial meat-free selection that rises well above the token mushroom risotto.

See our separate guides for vegan restaurants and vegetarian cafes.