It's summer in Australia, which means backpackers and travellers from all over the world are flocking to Perth in record numbers for our great weather, beautiful beaches and sexy accents.
I know that while travelling it can be hard to find decent vegan food, and even harder get access to those real gems that only the locals know about. I've lived in Perth for 28 years, and in the last 3 years I've lived in the city itself, so in that time I've got to know all the top vegan places to eat as good as anyone.
So, to help any new backpackers in town, or just any new vegan locals who are looking to eat on the cheap, here is a list of the top places to find quality vegan food in and around the City of Perth on a travellers budget.
map | website | facebook
This Indian restaurant is necessary knowledge for any backpacker or cost-conscious vegan in Perth. It is a buffet style, self serve, all you can eat restaurant conveniently located near the Bell Tower and the new hub of activity, Elizabeth Quay, just a few short minutes walk south of the main city centre.
The thing that makes Annalakshmi top the list is its Hindu inspired ethos: "Eat what you like, and pay what your heart feels." That's right, you can fill up on the delectable range of South Indian cuisine for as much as you feel the meal is worth, all while enjoying the priceless views of the Swan River from their second story location, the only thing they ask is you do not waste the food. The flexible price tag is not to imply the place is cheap; if you weren't aware of their selfless, charitable spirit you would easily expect a heft price tag just based on the decor and location alone.
The main dishes at this backpackers dream are always changing, so you can come here regularly and never get bored due to the chefs range of delights. On the menu are usually two different very soft rice options, slightly spicy tomato based soup, their famous potatoes, three different curries that vary but often include a dahl and a zucchini or sweet potato based dish, a vegan coleslaw-like salad, varying deserts, black tea and coffee, cold water and orange juice.
Note: While the main dishes are always 100% vegan, the desert often contains dairy, so remember to ask the staff.
It has indoor and outdoor seating, and is famous for is massive line of hungry customers going well out the door and around the balcony. In peak season (summer) I've waited in line here for more than 40 minutes, so try coming on a Tuesday or Thursday if you don't like the thought of this!
✓ Best value - all you can eat, pay by donation
✓ Best location
Lunch 12 - 2pm
Dinner 6 - 9pm
map | website | facebook
Govindas is an Indian buffet run by ISKON, commonly knows as "the Hare Krishna's" . It is located 5 minutes walk north from the city centre, in Northbridge, the heart of Perth's nightlife.
The quality of food is slightly better here than Annalakshmi in my opinion and it comes with a set price tag to match it: 12AUD for the full course buffet, or 10AUD for students. Because Govindas isn't self service like Annalakshmi is, some people don't realise you can keep coming back for more until you're full, but you definitely can! Due to this, and their early closing time, this is a great lunch option, especailly if you haven't eaten breakfast.
They have a great range of food here and are expanding it all the time. You can expect long white rice, a solid vegetable curry (my favourite), incredible yellow dahl (this changes, but hopefully you're there when it's on), tomato chutney, pakoras, pappadums, garden salads and a range of vegetarian (but not all vegan) deep fried items.
Note: everything in this place is vegetarian but not 100% vegan, so make sure they know your preference before you order - you don't serve yourself.
Because it is part of an international chain of restaurants owned and operated by Hare Krishna devotees, they also sell (by donation) books on the subject, and every table has a book on it for you to read if you're interested.
✓ All you can eat
✓ Great central location
Mon – Sat
Dine-in/Take-away from 11:30 AM to 07:30 PM
Budget take-away available from 03:30 PM to 07:30 PM
RAINE SQUARE FOOD COURT...
Next up is two 100% vegan eateries on the bottom floor of Raine Square Food Court, almost smack bang in the middle of Perth city's Central Business District.
As these are both stalls in a food court, one of the places websites calls it a "pop up" store, and they both primarily advertise themselves as caterers, I can not say how long they will be around for, but I hope its a long time, as the food at both of these places is truly exceptional. It's kind of a shame to me that they are in a noisy food court because they both more than deserve their own space when judged on food quality and service.
map | website | facebook
Kats Snacks is the newest of the two and boasts an expansive range of salads, pizzas, "cheese" platters, wraps, sandwiches, rolls, mini pies and skewers, nut mixes, dips and smoothies... and its all 100% vegan.
To quote from their website, they are "derived from a love of healthy, simple, fresh food. With the belief that you can have healthy and nutrition packed food anytime, anywhere with out the sacrifice of flavour. We are always creating and pushing the envelope of what are capable of doing and how we can portray that to the world through food."
Note: Both Kats Snacks and Roark and Co (below) are more expensive than the above restaurants, but as soon as you start eating you'll know where that money went.
Mon - Fri: 9am to 2pm
Kats is also open at farmers markets in the suburbs, so check their website to see hours for those if you're keen for that.
Roark and Co (Moved!)
map | website | facebook
NOTE: Roark and Co have moved to Fremantle and will reopen as of 13/3/17. The following review is for the old, now defunct location. Check their facebook above for the latest news.
This company is run by two local Perth gentlemen who, like Kats above, source their fresh produce from local Perth suppliers.
Roark and Co are famous for their mouth watering range of raw desserts, cakes, cookies and other sweet slices, but also have a lot of other options like salads, local kombucha, smoothies, fresh rolls and sandwiches and a lot more. The cool thing about these guys is that their menu changes regularly so check their Facebook for updates of new delicacies they have ready for you, or just head on down and be pleasantly surprised!
Note: Both Roark and Co and Kats Snacks are very fresh, 100% vegan and only open for late breakfast and lunch.
Mon - Fri: 10am to 2pm
The Loving Hut
This classic 100% vegan restaurants offers dine in or take away and is located in the city of Victoria Park, which is a cool enough place to check out just for the experience alone, and is just a 5 minute bus ride East of Perth city. There are loads of busses that go out this way from anywhere on St George's Terrace east of William St, so you shouldn't have to wait long at all to catch one.
The Loving Hut is another international chain, they not only sell high-quality vegan restaurant and cafe food, but also serves as mini-market and contains a large selection of packaged vegan foods like chocolates, biscuit-y snacks and frozen or refrigerated fake meats and cheeses. This was actually probably the first place in Perth that you can buy internationally renowned vegan products like "Gardein" range, some of the highest quality (most delicious) vegan fake-meats on the market right now. There is a whole heap of other snack products you can only find here as well, far too many to list.
At the restaurant you can expect great vegetable and tofu curries here, stir fried veges and tofu/mushroom (I dont like mushroom, but this dish makes them delicious), quiches, wraps, rolls and sandwiches (all have fake meats and salad inside), a whole range of baked goods and a mouth-watering selection of all vegan and raw deserts. For drinks they have a range of healthy smoothies and free serve-yourself water.
Note: this is a 100% vegan restaurant/cafe, so everything inside is good to go!
If you're vegan and travelling Australia you could easily be disappointed about the lack of "real Aussie" vegan food here (there is a big culture here around eating meat - and meat pies), but don't worry any longer, the Loving Hut has you covered with their famous range of pies. These are quite possibly the most delicious thing on their menu, and they currently have flavours: Aussie, Gourmet, Curry, Cheesy, Shepherd's Pie and Country Veg. My favouries are Aussie (best vegan fake-beef pie I've ever had), Gourmet (very tomato based) and Curry. You can get them frozen to take with you, with all the other take-away's you'll want to pick up while here, or eat them fresh in store - I recommend BOTH.
✓ 100% vegan
✓ Includes mini-market (frozen/fresh packaged vegan goodies)
Mon - CLOSED
Tues - Wed: 11am - 2.30pm
Thurs - Sat : 11am - 8.30pm
Sun: 11am - 3pm
Veggie Mama is the best vegan restaurant in Mt Lawley, a suburb 5 minute bus ride north of Perth city. Mt Lawley is a busy, popular area with a few nice bars and unique shops, and it's easy to get here as a lot of busses go this way from Barrack St north of Wellington St.
Veggie Mama is a mid priced (for Perth) restaurant/cafe with a nice range of salads, veg patties and curries (I recommend the coconut curry or Thai green curry) all beautifully on display at the front counter. Each item is listed for 'allergen information' with a G, D or E. G means gluten free, D means dairy free, and E means egg free. Everything in Vege Mama is vegetarian, and probably about half of the stuff is labelled D & E as well, so is suitable for vegans, They also have a great desert range (caramel slice is my favourite) and a some smoothies and fresh fruit juices too.
✓ Very fresh, wholesome food
✓ Great healthy range
The Moon Cafe
This is by no means a vegan cafe. Aside from sides like fries and wedges (which they deep fry to perfection) it only has a few--very delicious--vegan options on the menu, ranging from about 15-25AUD. The Moon is located in Northbridge just a 5 minute walk from the main clubbing area, or about a 15 minute walk from the city center. But because most of the popular hostels are in northbridge, you'll most likely be closer to the Moon when you'll want to go there.
It's making this list because it's great location and unusual opening hours make it perfect for relaxing on one of many of their soft couches after a night out (walk out to the back section to find the couches). They also serve alcohol here, have board games to play, and in my opinion play very good music (you'll probably agree, if club music also isn't your thing). The whole atmosphere is very laid back and the staff are the same.
Note: this is not a vegan cafe, it just has a few options and great atmosphere and opening hours, so don't expect more than a few options.
What you can expect is delicious vegan pizza (full of mushroom and a great salsa-verde sauce base) and an even delicious-er vegan burger. Aside from this it's really just sides and drinks. Because of this, it's the perfect place to bring non-vegan friends or just to chill, especially late at night.
✓ Open later than most bars/clubs (these mostly close around 12-1AM in Aus)
✓ Perfect to bring non-vegan friends
Mon - Thur: 5pm-1am
Closed Public Holidays (like nearly all of Perth)
Lord of the Fries
map | website | facebook
Located in almost the most central location imaginable, less than a minutes walk from the Perth Underground train station and easily accessible from anywhere in the city or Northbridge, this Australian fast food chain is deceptively vegan, and because of it's central location and late opening hours it makes a perfect late night snack.
You wouldn't know from glancing at the menu, but ALL the "meat" in all their products is vegan. All the sauces are vegan bar one (the L.A. Hot Sauce), and they provide vegan cheese upon request at no extra charge. It's more expensive than anything else from the range of other fast food places on the same street, but as a vegan it's the only one you're going to want to spend money at!
I cut out fast food completely about two years ago, but when Lord of the Fries opened in Perth I made an exception more than a few times. You can eat here completely vegan so it is healthier than any place serving the same food but with animal ingredients, but it is still a takeaway-only fast-food joint, so is still not at all somewhere you go for a 'healthy meal'. Expect grease.
Their name comes from their choice of famous fries and in my opinion even amazing-er sauces that you can get drizzled heavily over the top, or in a container on the side (two sauces come free). But don't let that deter you from trying their other food. The burgers are so convincing that if you didn't know they were vegan before purchasing, you wouldn't know afterwards either. The hot dogs are very tasty too, but in my opinion not in the same league as the burgers. Also included on the menu is onion rings, nuggets, shakes and breakfast burgers. I recommend the "Original burger" for its delicious simplicity and any of the fries with "Euro mayo" sauce.
Note: remember to specifically ask for vegan cheese.
✓ Open later than most bars/clubs (these mostly close around 12-1AM in Aus)
✓ By far Perths best fast-food place for vegans
Mon - Tue: 9:00am – 10:00pm
Wed - Thurs: 9:00am – 12:00am
Fri: 9:00am – 2:00am
Sat: 9:00am – 3:00am
Sun: 10:00am – 10:00pm
Twilight Hawkers Market
If you came to Perth when it's summer here, you came at the right time for a number of reasons. Not only does the warm weather make the beaches more accessible, but the Twilight Hawkers Market also opens up its delicious doors!
Located in Forrest Place, in the heart of Perth City, this pop-up market is a multi-cultural gem that for about five hours every Friday night over summer will give you access to Perth's best selection of international cuisine, plus live local music.
It gets very busy here and the very social atmosphere is beaten only by the intoxicating smells you receive as you walk inbetween the stalls that are all freshly cooking the food right in front of you. Not all the food is vegan here by a long shot, but there are some undeniable gems to be found here.
Topping the list is "Pockets Street Food
), which craft the best, most authentic falafel kebab in Perth. There are a lot of kebab stores in this city selling vegan falafel kebabs, but they all pale in comparison to Pockets Street Food. The quality of everything from the soft pocket-wrap, the fresh salads and tahini sauce, to the soul of the meal, the actual falafel itself, is so authentic you'll think you're in Egypt while you're eating it. I recommend the LARGE.
As the stalls here change frequently (Pockets is currently there every second week - check their facebook
to confirm) you can enjoy the aromas while you walk around finding which cuisine you want the most tonight. Generally though there are Mexican, Indian and Thai places that have vegan options, and I have picked up some delicious vegan honeycomb there as well, so have a look around and don't be shy when asking the staff if it's vegan. Prices at the Hawkers Market range from about 10-20AUD for a medium meal.
Note: definitely not 100% vegan, but is always changing and always has some very nice vegan options.
✓ Great out-doors atmosphere
✓ Can be surprising what you find
October to April
Friday's 4:30 - 9:30PM
(Generally closed for a few of these nights due to Christmas activities using the space)
No trip to Perth is complete without also going to Fremantle, Perth's little sister-city located a 30 minute train ride to the south west, home to some of the best beaches and hosting a much more relaxed vibe than the hustle and bustle of the city.
Here you will find the Raw Kitchen, a cafe, shop and smoothie bar serving mostly raw, and all vegan food (except for some honey) and more seating than just about any other vegan restaurant we have. Expect on the menu mind-blowing pizzas, fresh salads, one of a kind raw desserts and coffee with in-house almond milk. They also serve non-raw meals such as coconut curry.
The attached retail shop sells take home products like cacao, goji berries, and maca powder, assorted seasonings and books on healthy eating. They also stock vegan cosmetics and useful applications for raw vegans (but probably not for travellers) like blenders and de-hydrators. All these products, like their menu, evolve with time, so check their website and facebook for the latest new arrivals. They also host yoga classes every day except Sunday.
The Raw Kitchen is one of the most highly reviewed and most popular vegan restaurants in Perth, so when you combine that with Fremantle being undoubtedly one of the most traveller friendly places in the state, and the fact that you can dine for free on your birthday, you're definitely going to want to check this place out at least once.
✓ One of the most popular vegan venues in Perth
✓ Includes mini-market/store
Mon-Thurs - 11:30AM - 3:30PM
Fri-Sun - 11:30AM - 9:00PM
That about sums up the best and most central vegan restaurants in Perth for travellers and backpackers. For a larger list that is not specifically made for packpackers and includes other eateries in the suburbs, check out my Complete Vegan Guide to Perth
I wouldn't consider this list finished without saying that to get your fresh fruit and veg while travelling in Perth, Woolworths
will be your first best because they are located in the city, and are generally cheaper than IGA
, whose most central store is located a 15 minute walk north from the city centre in Northbridge (very close to a lot of hostels).
Are you from Perth or travelling here and think there's something I missed? Don't be selfish, and leave a comment below so everyone can enjoy it too!
PS. All images are used from each restaurants linked Facebook accounts above. I did not take any of them and do not own any of them.