Tuesday 3 October 2017

Vegan in Sydney

There's something about visiting cities with iconic buildings that really floats my boat. NYC, Paris, Barcelona, and now Sydney are all up there with my favourite cities in the world and that's what links them in my mind. The other thing they all have in common is amazing vegan food!

Sydney can be a challenging place for a traveller on a budget but the good news is that the centre of the city is very walkable. We walked from our hostel, YHA's Railway Square hostel, up George Street towards the Art Gallery of New South Wales, harbour bridge, Museum of Contemporary Art, botanical gardens, and the opera house almost every day during our stay. Their super central location means that you're literally inside the station surrounded by pricier accommodation options but paying a fraction of the price. It really is considerably cheaper than anywhere else in the area. As well as being by the train and bus depots which will whizz you to vegan destinations all over the city it's basically on top of a Lord Of The Fries (the chicken and chips is a total bargain by Aussie standards and I love their $5 mini chicken burger), in amongst multiple bubble tea spots (Coco forever!), and close to Brew Street for your breakfast muffin and coffee. 

The Railway Square YHA is also walking distance from Chinatown where you can get yourself some cheap vegan eats at Blossoming Lotus which is located in a delightfully scuzzy and slightly disorganised mall food court. The one vegan stand is easy to spot!

My food photos are too horrible to share but the BBQ buns are excellent as is the Pad See Ew. If you aren't contending with a bunch of allergies the rice + one, two, or three sides is an excellent budget option.

For our first two nights in Sydney we made use of our ePacks and stayed in a dorm room in a train carriage on the platform at the YHA Railway Square hostel. I honestly thought that this room was a delight; I'm a pretty solid sleeper so the station announcements didn't bother me (Nick was pretty unamused about the 03:40 train to Newcastle though) and I liked the layout of the room - it reminded me of my favourite sleeper train journeys just with less jolting and cleaner sheets.

There are two absolute must visit areas in Sydney for vegan travellers, Newtown and Glebe. We started in Newtown where we headed straight for 100% vegan fish and chip shop Bliss and Chips.

I loved this place! I've always been a faux fish fan and it's much harder to come by than fake meat. I went for the fisherman's platter whilst Nick went for the classic battered fish and we shared an order of chips. My platter consisted of all sorts of faux fishy deliciousness including prawns, tofu fish, calamari, and crab sticks. I loved it! This is also the place where you can get battered and deep fried vegan mars bars and peanut butter cups. Amazing. If fried chocolate doesn't float your boat then consider popping down the street to Doughnut Time for dessert. I can never resist the Fairy Godmother doughnut although their specials always look and sound amazing.

Our next meal was at Soul Burger in Glebe where I have to admit to being slightly disappointed. I could tell that my burger was delicious but I think that it may have waited around a while for all of the components of Nick's ridiculous hash brown and pineapple topped burger to be ready meaning that it was a little cold when it arrived at the table.

There was only one person working the register and a decent line so I didn't complain but I probably should have. I'm sure that this isn't a reflection of what this popular local chains burgers are usually like. Nick's burger was piping hot throughout and he thoroughly enjoyed it. All of the reviews on Happy Cow are glowing so definitely don't skip this place because I didn't love it. We checked out The Cruelty Free Shop after lunch and grabbed some delicious snacks to take into the outback with us, they sell a range of cheeses, protein bars, chocolate, and mock meats - everything you'd hope to find at a vegan shop!

One absolute must eat spot in the city is MAKER which is located on Paramatta Road. This self described coffee bar is so much more than that, they make killer desserts, amazing sandwiches (including ridiculous specials) and delicious scrolls and on top of all of that they're just the nicest people. Check out my post about them here.

Back over to Newtown and this time we decided to eat at Gigi Pizzeria. This totally vegan place doesn't take reservations unless you're a large group so arrive early if you don't want to wait around. We rocked up at 6:20pm, 20 minutes after opening, and they were able to squeeze us in. Service was swift but I was slightly less excited by the menu than I expected to be. I'm a total faux meats and cheese kinda girl and the fact that I ordered the Funghi e Radicchio, a pizza basically covered in veggies, is pretty out of character and goes to show that this menu is very veg heavy!

This pizza did have cheese just not your usual abundance of melty cheese favouring a little touch of vegan blue cheese and roasted walnuts to give that cheesy vibe. It was topped with an abundance of radicchio and mushrooms as well as garlic and olive oil. I definitely liked this pizza, the base was some top notch stone roasted wood fired deliciousness, but Red Sparrow in Melbourne is where my pizza slice shaped heart lies. Nick's really not a vegetable fan so he ordered the Marinara which he said was solid but not the best he's ever had.

Gigi Pizzeria is definitely somewhere I'd visit again if I was in the city, I enjoyed the cosy atmosphere and there are definitely more pizzas on the menu that I'd like to try. Gigi's is located just around the corner from another 100% vegan spot Gelato Blue which makes for the perfect dinner plan. Get to Gigi's for an early dinner and then head around to Gelato Blue for dessert. Top tip- Gelato Blue actually has seating upstairs!

Gelato Blue has such an abundant selection of flavours that I found it genuinely hard to choose. Usually I hone in on something nutty and something chocolatey and I'm done but this spot made it much more challenging. During my time in the city I tried the milk chocolate cookie, tiramisu, mint choc chip, pistachio, and chocolate hazelnut and they were all delicious. The pistachio didn't quite meet my super high standards but the chocolate cookie and the tiramisu were ridiculously good, this should definitely be on your must eat list if you're into ice cream and really, who isn't?

Sydney is a super awesome spot for a city break and it's a great jumping off point for a trip into the red centre to visit Uluru. I definitely recommend the super central YHA Railway Square hostel, whether you're travelling on a tight budget and grab one of their $35 dorm rooms (lock it in for even less with an ePack) or wanting a little more privacy in a double you won't find better value for money anywhere else. Nick and I will have stayed there three times by the time we leave Australia and you can't get a better endorsement than that.

This post was sponsored by YHA Australia and as always all words and opinions are my own. Posts like these help me to keep bringing you travel posts from around the globe.


  1. Wow, you ate so well there! Everything looks delicious but I'm especially envying that donut, fish n chips and that burger! Yum!

  2. Your post is making me nostalgic for Sydney, and travelling in general. You can't go wrong with a bit of faux fish and chips.

  3. Oooh, so many awesome totally vegan places! I NEED that fairy godmother doughnut. And omg, a totally vegan fish & chips place?! I'm not typically a fan of faux fish (bc I never liked real fish), BUT my one exception is battered and fried faux fish. That sound amazing.

  4. Sydney is so much fun. I didn't know that there was a Blossoming Lotus right there in the city!
    Gigi's is my favourite pizza, but I consider it a different class of pizza from your Red Sparrow/Pizza Pi/etc. They are two different beasts, but I love their eggplant pizza so much.
    Oh, and Gelato Blue... I love you so! When I was there on the weekend I had a Greek Yoghurt with Balsamic Strawberry flavour that was so good I could have cried.
    Just a heads up re Bliss and Chips, I am not sure what the current situation is, but a while ago there were some issues with poor staff treatment.

  5. I've always wanted to go to Sydney! This food looks so good and comforty. Shame about the cold burger :/

  6. Wow, so much good food! Love the vegan fish and chips plate! I'm a huge faux fish fan too but it's so hard to find. I've got to visit Sydney sometime. :-)

  7. Coco tea??? It’s me your old best friend...
    Also whaaaat on earth with sleeping virtually on a train when you don’t have to? Ahha


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