Cafés and restaurants may once have treated vegetarian and vegan diners as an inconvenience, but in recent years the dial has shifted.

In 2024, if you’re not offering plant-led dishes that hit just as hard as the rest of the menu, you’re missing a trick. 

Through breakfast, lunch and dinner, from bakeries and cafés to restaurants to specialty grocery stores, here’s our guide to the venues where vegan and vegetarian dishes aren’t an afterthought, but essential.

Baked goods and sweet treats

Five or so years ago you would have struggled to find a “buttery” croissant, a doughnut or a cinnamon bun that was vegan-friendly on the counter of a café. Sure, these products existed, but most required pre-ordering days in advance for home delivery.

Now there are endless options for plant-based baked goods and desserts, sought out by vegans and those with food allergies or intolerances.

Darrington’s Pastry in Burswood has vegan versions of suburban bakery favourites, such as lamingtons, doughnuts, cream buns and vanilla slices. It also supplies the vegan savoury catering items to Miss Maud.

W.H.I.P  (Whole-hearted Inspired Patisserie) last year graduated from market stall to bricks and mortar in Inglewood. Customer favourites include almond croissants (also stocked at various cafés), flan Parisian and choux pastries, such as the strawberry and Geraldton wax version. French-born co-owner and chef Cedric Manile developed a passion for native plants and flavours during two years working at Wildflower and is now channelling that into decadent plant-based pastries that align with his beliefs and those of co-owner Laura Allieres.

Vegan pastries at W.H.I.P.

Vegan bliss balls, bars, and slices by Crunchbox can be found at more than 250 businesses around WA. Crunchbox also has a totally vegan and gluten-free café in Malaga that serves acai bowls, a tofu bacon brekkie bagel, smoothie bowls, and on Saturdays only, crowd-pleasing waffles. 

Roho Bure’s decadent, foil-wrapped frozen desserts appeal to those looking for a treat that is “dairy-free, gluten-free, a bit boujee”. Ice-cream sandwich combos include river mint choc chip and strawberry mylkshake. The retail shops are no longer, but you can find them in gourmet grocery stores nationally.

You’ll discover four vegan Greek doughnut options at Donut Worry while everything at Pretzel is vegetarian, apart from the pepperoni and bacon pretzels; there are also four vegan pretzel flavours. 

Carina’s Kitchen is a fixture at Perth markets, offering “natural, honest and delicious” treats including cinnamon scrolls. Treading similar ground is Joe’s Vegan Buns, which started as a side hustle for photographer Joe Spina, who struggled to find a suitable vegan version of one of his favourite desserts when he became vegan. With the buns/scrolls becoming more popular than he expected, this year Joe hopes to add online ordering. For now, drop him a DM on Insta.

Found at its HQ and cafés around town, Zonts Bakehouse vegan croissants deliver a faux buttery hit. They come in butter plain and almond twice baked, with a tomato Danish and Vegemite cheese scroll rounding out the vegan menu.

Vegan and vegetarian cafes and restaurants

Wholesome and healthy foods including around 95 per cent vegan options are the order of the day at brunch favourite Pearth Organic Kitchen, where all product is organic or locally sourced, and free of refined sugar. Vegan cookies-and-cream pancake stacks come with cacao sauce and maple bark, while a trio of smoothie bowl options are served with housemade peanut-butter granola and fresh fruit. For something more sustaining, try adding marinated tempeh to the macro bowl of seasonal vegetables, brown rice, and hummus. For a bit more on the side, try Pearth’s own vegan cashew mayo.

Keeping it clean and green is the ethos behind Eat Drink Raw at Karrinyup Shopping Centre. Starting as a vegan salad and dessert delivery service in 2014, Eat Drink Raw’s 100 per cent vegan menu is also suitable for those on gluten-free and refined sugar-free diets. Being in a shopping centre means East Drink Raw is open seven days for dishes such as raw pad Thai, pumpkin coconut curry and smoothie bowls.

Tucked away in Northbridge, Flora and Fauna is known for its vegetarian and vegan brunches. A new season of vegan high teas starts this month offering an all-you-can-eat grazing table of vegan delights, plus hot items delivered to the table, for $65 per person.

Loving Hut’s plant-based nasi lemak with rendang.

Loving Hut has been synonymous with plant-based meals all over the world. Just one cafe remains locally, in Wembley. Tuck into mochi waffles or vegan eggs Benedict, an assortment of pies or nasi lemak with rendang. Housemade soft-serve is a hit, as is the Sunday buffet with 14 dishes to choose from.

When you think of vegetarian food, one of the first names that likely comes to mind is the Hare Krishna-operated Govinda’s in Northbridge, which has been serving fragrant curries, dahl and desserts in Perth since the 1980s. But Formosa Vegetarian Eating House in Kardinya and Formosa Garden in East Perth offers an Asian fusion vegetarian and vegan spin on stir-fried, soup, claypot and noodle dishes as well as tofu in just about every style you could ask for. Meanwhile, Vegan World is a family-owned restaurant in Northbridge also offering vegan alternatives to popular South East Asian dishes, where Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant used to be.

Specialty shops

Operating since 1996, Lotus Vegetarian Market in Northbridge is the go-to supermarket for Asian vegetarian and vegan supplies. Many of the Yong family’s early customers were Vietnamese and Chinese who had turned to a vegetarian diet for religious reasons, or people who loved the food at their now-closed vegetarian restaurant. A tempeh and tofu heaven, popular items include vegan versions of roast chicken, barbecue pork buns, Chinese herbal soups, mushroom-based oyster sauce and tofu fish wrapped in seaweed.

While most supermarkets now stock a range of vegan proteins, cheeses, and pantry goods, you can’t beat a trip to Perth’s original vegan supermarket La Vida Vegan in Subiaco.

Everything is 100 per cent vegan, from Beyond Burgers and Gardein 7 Grain Tenders to chocolate, cleaning products and skincare.

Five Vegans is a local, 100 per cent vegan and eco-friendly online shop, so named because everyone in founder Sam Lippy’s family of five is vegan. They’re her motivation for building a kinder and more ethical world. You’ll find all sorts of vegan products including popular locally-made curry pastes and meal kits by Turban Chopsticks, vegan and gluten-free by virtue of the brand’s commitment to using clean local ingredients without any fillers or nasties. Want to try something new? The monthly $40 subscription service offers a mystery box of vegan food and products, with $10 from each box donated to an animal charity. 

Restaurants that get vegans

Vegan cheese is now so widely available that most pizza makers offer it as an option, including General Public Food Co that states it will “happily veganise any pizza”. Hint: if you’re strictly vegan or have a dairy allergy, we always suggest asking for an unsliced pizza to avoid cross-contamination.

Double Rainbow’s “Korean-ish” menu by chef Navarre Top offers “plentiful gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian” options, including kimchi dumplings and fried mushroom bao. All dietaries are clearly marked “to take out any guess work”. The vegan version of the Han Sang Set Vegan menu is the way to go for groups.

Ramen Ichiraku in Northbridge has a fully-fledged separate vegan menu including five varieties of ramen, as well as gyoza, pan-fried vegan cheeseburger and faux chicken karaage and teriyaki. You can also order an entire vegan bento. Win.

Sweetwater Rooftop Bar offers a standalone vegan menu featuring Asian-inspired dishes such as steamed lotus buns, gochujang and sesame glazed cauliflower, and gado gado steamed dumplings. A vegan feed me option is available for two or more diners.

Sandalford Wines in the Swan Valley has been offering vegan dishes and intricate vegan desserts for some time but last spring, executive chef Adam Spagnolo introduced his first separate vegan menu. The summer version offers six items, including red and golden beetroots with fregola, avocado, baby kale, raisins and spiced pepitas as a main. For dessert, try coconut and mango entremets (layered cake) with white and milk chocolate, hazelnut dacquoise, passionfruit gel and mango sorbet.

Sandalford’s vegan dish of beetroot with fregola, raisins and baby kale.

Varsity is renowned for its burgers, but also throws down solid veg and vegan menus comprising sides, salads, pizzas, burgers and desserts (but no vegan dessert) – “so that everyone can enjoy the Varsity experience”.

A one-acre garden with 100 varieties of heirloom vegetables provides the inspiration for the ever-changing seasonal menus at Millbrook Winery. Estate-grown fruit and veg are at the heart of planning, and vegetarian and vegan diners are encouraged to note this when booking so the kitchen team can design a menu based on the morning’s gatherings. Mid-summer vegan dishes include burnt red cabbage with confit garlic and braised lentils, and a dessert of “all of the plums” with chocolate sorbet and candied nuts.

Seasonal Brewing’s neighbourhood brewpub goes big on flavour in its vegan offerings. Chow down on a tempeh cheeseburger, arancini with red capsicum and manchego, or gunpowder tofu with pawpaw salad.

Falafel has long been a go-to dish for vegetarians and vegans at restaurants such as The Prophet, with Yalla BalaFalafel Omisi and Kapara upping the stakes with some of  the tastiest balls of goodness going.

On Wednesdays at Volare in Maylands, meanwhile, $55 will land you a three-course vegan adventure and matched wine. Head chef Marcello Kretzer changes dishes weekly based on his fresh market finds, but a favourite is the mushroom misto, a zero-waste course that highlights the versatility of mushrooms, featuring five different mushrooms served with his signature mushroom jus and South American pipián. The coal-grilled broccoli with almond harissa is a flavour-packed staff and customer favourite, served with puffed rice and a zesty lemon dressing. Marcello hopes to eventually host a dedicated wholly vegan night.

The Meeting Place Kiosk in Hyde Park always has vegan and vegetarian options such as filo parcels and falafel wraps ready for a casual bite. You’ll also find Veggie Mama vegan favourites such as gnocchi, chickpea curry and raw desserts, with owner Dylan Weiner reluctantly closing his original Mount Lawley restaurant in November after 12 years but bringing over some customer favourites.

Thanh Dat Vietnamese Noodle House offers two vegan pho, one with mushrooms and tofu, the other with mixed vegetables and tofu. And while they don’t have separate vegan menus, you will always find vegan and vegetarian options at Old Young’s Kitchen in the Swan Valley, (try the charred cauliflower with fennel, chickpea, preserved yuzu and native lemongrass) La Cabaña in South Fremantle (go the hand-crushed potatoes and chipotle adobe cauliflower) and The Corner Dairy in Doubleview (the baby gem and radicchio salad is one of the best salads in Perth).

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