The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Sydney

Updated 7 months ago

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Vegetarians used to be an afterthought on menus, with just two or three uninspiring dishes to choose from. That's changing – big time. Veg is now hot property in fine dining, for reasons both ethical and creative. Just look to Yellow and Alibi, two top Sydney restaurants who've made veg the main event. But the meat-free attitude also lives at casual venues, and this list strikes a balance between both. Not all these places are strictly vegetarian, but all have veg-forward offerings that go well beyond mushroom risotto.

  • From the group behind Balmain’s Efendy comes this veg-forward diner inspired by Turkey’s Aegean coastline. Meze is at the heart of the menu, and you can pair dishes such as beetroot falafel with Turkish wines you won’t find elsewhere.

  • A two-level diner influenced by the nameless street food stalls that sit under overpasses in India. Visit for the classic pakoras and chai, then come back for the jaffles with potatoes and peanut chutney, and lentil stews.

  • The Two Chaps team have passed the baton to new owners, but their meat-free legacy remains. The seasonal menu changes weekly, with vegetarian toppings you’ve probably never tried on a slice of pizza. And – busy intersection be damned – an al fresco meal on the footpath outside is a quintessential Marrickville experience.

  • At Pinky-Ji, “unauthentic Indian” chef Jessi Singh brings all the fun and flavour of his Melbourne diner Daughter in Law to the Sydney CBD. Expect modern takes on Indian dishes in a neon-lit room draped in red velvet. Plus, a private dining room with a karaoke machine pumping tunes from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

  • Bright-green felafel, rolls stuffed with charcoal lamb and a Cairo brunch.

  • In the old Redfern Continental space, find a breezy front bar serving casual day-to-night bites and an intimate back room with a fancy-yet-accessible diner. The kitchen follows a minimum-waste ethos, and you can get Australiana cocktails and budget-friendly meals.

  • This Mexican diner's menu is entirely plant-based, and it's all the better for it. If you're a veg-lover and a fan of Mexican flavours, this is the spot for you. When your tortilla's loaded with pastor-style mushrooms, pico de gallo and pineapple; you won't even notice the meat's gone.

  • Enjoy artful, seafood-forward plates at this sophisticated diner at the heritage Pier One wharf. Inside it's all about sleek dark timbers – but it's the outdoor experience that truly shines. A table by Walsh Bay water is the ideal setting for a long lunch or elegant dinner.

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  • Yellow's sister restaurant has been around since 2006, but it's more recently that it's begun catering to vegetarians with a separate tasting menu.

  • Sydney’s first fine-dining restaurant devoted to plants.

  • Behind a low-key roller door is vegetarian cafe par excellence, which also does epic pasta dinners. Sustainable and made on-site is the ethos here, and the cabinet is loaded with sandwiches and doughnuts to takeaway.

  • The creative Indian menu is half meat, half not. Everybody wins.

  • A colourful hotel restaurant with a completely plant-based menu by Shannon Martinez, the chef behind Melbourne's pioneering vegan restaurant, Smith & Daughters.

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  • Jimmy’s Falafel's colourful room features booths, frosted-glass sconces and tourism posters of cosmopolitan 1960s Beirut. As the name suggests, there’s falafel, which is stuffed in pita (among other things) and served alongside meze plates including eggplant salad, hummus and silverbeet. At night, there’s also meat cooked on the charcoal grill, and a wonderful smoky scent permeates the air.

  • The first pizzeria in Sydney to go completely vegan. And if anything, the lines to get in are bigger than ever. Umami-rich, plant-based toppings here go above and beyond mere substitute status. You won’t miss the meat and cheese, that’s for sure.

  • An vegetarian favourite on Sydney's Crown Street strip.

  • Buzzing Bootleg Italian does “bootleg” plant-based versions of Italian classics. The whole menu – from fluffy dough balls with garlic butter to cacio e pepe and lasagne – is vegan. Don’t forget to order a serve of incredibly convincing tiramisu.

  • An ex-A Tavola chef serves handmade pasta, batch beer on tap and natural wines out of his Darlington home.

  • Halfway down Woollomooloo’s picturesque Finger Wharf, Otto has been celebrating la dolce vita for more than 20 years. Also, seasonal produce in the form of modern Italian dishes – best enjoyed from the seats that spill out onto the wharf overlooking the sparkling harbour.

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