Having been a vegetarian for the past decade I am often asked if it is hard or a challenge to eat vegetarian when travelling. Sure, there are some countries I visit where my decision is questioned and not openly catered for, but there are equally many countries and cities I visit that cater so well to vegetarians and vegans that it has become trendy to adapt to this way of living by traditional meat-lovers.
One such place I found oodles of choice was the Gold Coast, Queensland (Australia). This area is by far one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations, so I was delighted to see there were plenty of eateries to choose from that cater specifically for vegetarians + vegans. Even if you’re not visiting one of the establishments listed below (there are a handful of others I could have mentioned, these were just my faves), almost everywhere you go you will find one or two vegetarian options on the menu.
So, here they are! My favourite finds for where to eat vegetarian and vegan on the Gold Coast of Australia.
The first vegetarian restaurant I visited during my recent visit to the Gold Coast was Cardamom Pod, a popular eatery in the busy neighbourhood of Broadbeach. The food on offer is served in a buffet style manner, with the server dishing up generous portions of whatever you order on a plate, to then be taken to your communal table and eaten with the cutlery provided on the tables. It was all very casual – just the way I like my weeknight dining experiences. The peanut satay was a standout as was the cheesy polenta!
1/2685-2689 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach QLD 4218
Greenhouse Canteen & Bar
Another great eatery I visited early on in my visit was Greenhouse, which originally began in Coolangatta and has now moved to Miami Beach. This is perhaps the best vegetarian food you will find in the Gold Coast and is anything but typical: covering classics like burgers and hot dogs in a healthier, vegetarian manner. I ate my lunch so fast that I didn’t stop to take a photo – now that is saying something!
1916 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami QLD 4220
A local friend of mine insisted that I absolutely must visit Blendlove, a small cafe with humble market beginnings, started by two young Gold Coasters who have a passion for creating raw, delicious creations. The square “cheezecakes” are the most delicious I have ever tried! The location is a little out of the way but if you have the time it is entirely worth the effort!
1/253 Ferry Rd, Southport QLD 4215
If you find yourself down in Mermaid waters seeking a little indulgence, there’s a small eatery serving up vegetarian dumplings and boy is it worth the extra calories to over indulge! Heavier deep-fried items are also available so be sure to arrive hungry and test a few share plates with your buddies.
8/90 Markeri St, Mermaid Waters QLD 4218
The Yard Cafe
One cafe that I heard a lot about during my stay was The Yard Cafe, also located in Mermaid Beach and also worth the effort to go a little out of your way. I tried the peanut/banana/espresso smoothie and it was unlike any other I have ever had before (in one of those I wish this could last forever kinda ways), as well as a raw chocolate + pecan cake which was tasty enough, but nowhere near as delicious as those on offer at Blendlove (above).
17 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218
Burleigh is a neighbourhood full of great eateries, but my fave little find was the humble, small and all-round delicious Woodbox Cafe in West Burleigh. The staff were really lovely, warm and welcoming, which for me is just as important as great food. The hot chocolate is a standout performer!
15/33 Tallebudgera Creek Rd, West Burleigh QLD 4219