If you’re an animal lover—as opposed to an animal eater—then you definitely won’t go hungry in and around Parramatta. The CBD and its satellite neighbourhoods are scattered with eateries that serve up meat-free fare, from the Indian restaurants of Harris Park to the cafes of Sydney Olympic Park. Here’s your guide to six of the best.
Started in Chennai in 1981, Saravanaa Bhavan has brought South Indian vegetarian food to the world. The chain has more than 39 restaurants in India and another 87 in other countries—from Africa to the United States to Australia. The extensive menu offers a cornucopia of meat-free delights, from dosas (freshly-cooked, crispy pancakes served with a variety of fillings and dips), to curries, to mini idlis (teeny-tiny steamed rick cakes). If you’re on a budget, go for a value meal which, for $10, gives you a veritable feast.
Saravanaa Bhavan, 1/99 Phillip Street, Parramatta
Since Circa Espresso opened ten years ago—out of founder Aykut Sayan’s ‘passion for the gastronome industry’--it’s attracted a similarly passionate local following and helped build a strong cafe culture in Parramatta. On a clear day, claim a table on the sunny terrace; on a cloudy one, sink into the Chesterfield couch inside. For sweet-toothed friends of animals, the blood orange and saffron curd brioche—piled with a salad of lemon myrtle-scented fennel, pear and apple—is hard to go past. Alternatively, satisfy a savoury craving with the herbed avocado smash: a stack of fermented beetroot relish, pomegranata, fennel and kale slaw, dukkah and poached egg, on house-made sourdough toast.
Circa Espresso, 21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta (Dine-in - Takeaway)
Our newest creation is the Chia Pudding -with a dash of natural yoghurt, splash of berry compote, granola, coconut flakes and topped up with fruit salsa. A great light alternative that will surely keep your belly satisfied! #healthy #chia #chiapudding #fresh #takeaway #fruits #pod
Cheerful staff, a cosy atmosphere and hearty dishes loaded with fresh produce make Mellow Me one of the nicest cafes in Olympic Park. Brekkie is served all day long, which means you can indulge in the vege plate anytime. It’s a mountain of eggs, avocado, mushrooms, feta, roasted tomatoes, broccolini, edamame and corn on house-made toast. Looking for something lighter? Or maybe a snack on the run? Take your pick from the supercharged smoothie menu, whose nutrition-packed offerings include the raw cacao shake, the pitaya smoothie (featuring organic Amazonia pink dragonfruit) and the superseed smoothie (packed with goji berries, flaxseeds, chia seeds and more). For the perfect Summer brekkie or healthy snack, don't miss their popular and refreshing Healthy Bowls.
Acai Bowl by Mellow Me
Mellow Me, Shop 11, 5 Australia Avenue, Olympic Park (Dine-in - Takeaway)
Another 100% vegetarian Indian restaurant is Taj. The menu here is based on diverse regional cuisines, which means that, in one night, you can taste your way from Punjab and New Delhi in the north to Mumbai in the south—and travel even further with an Indo Chinese dish or two. There’s also an impressive sweets menu. Try gulab jamun (soft, melty, fried milk dumplings soaked in rose sugar syrup), kulfi (like ice cream but more intense) or shrikhand (strained yoghurt infused with nuts and spices).
Taj Indian, 91 Wigram Street, Harris Park (Dine-in - Takeaway - Delivery)
This pint-sized bar is dedicated to one thing and one thing only: filling bowls with healthy, colourful, tasty ingredients. There are choices a-plenty for both vegetarians and vegans. If you need a fruit fix, get stuck into the pear and rhubarb bowl—layers of coconut yoghurt, chargrilled pear, rhubarb compote and banana, sprinkled with pecans, walnuts and maple cinnamon drizzle. Or, if you’re energy’s running low, order the acai and peanut butter cup, topped with raw caramel slice. Then there’s a new (and vegan) take on your daily coffee in the affogato with coconut ‘nicecream’.
Soul Bowl, 4/2 Horwood Place, Parramatta (Takeaway)
》Kho vegan — dry noodles with mixed mushrooms and tofu 》Bun Rieu — shrimp and tomato vermicelli soup 📸 @fromthewanderlustlens . . . . . . . . #gotpho #gotphosydney #sydneycafe #sydneyfood #eeeeeats #sydneyeats #sydneyfoodshare #sydneyfoodie #sydneylocal #sydneyrestaurants #asianfood #vietnamesefood #carlingford #eastwood #comfortfood #streetfood #streeteats #foodgasm #noodsnoodsnoods #glutenfree #veganfood #veganoptions #dairyfree #yaaas #treatyoself #dailyfoodfeed #onthetable #foodstagram
When you crave pho and you’re a vegan, it’s not always easy to find satisfaction. But Got Pho is different. For every dish available to carnivores, there’s another—just as delicious—for herbivores. The vegan pho is a bowl of piping hot noodle soup with tofu, mixed mushrooms and vegetables. Beyond pho, there’s bun chay (vermicelli salad, with vegan spring rolls and fried tofu) and kho vegan (dry noodles with tofu, sauteed mushrooms and spicy pepper dressing).
Got Pho, 827 Pennant Hills Road, Carlingford (Dine-in - Takeaway - Delivery)
Support Bowel Cancer Australia's Meat-Free Week initiative 21-27 September. Find out more.