It can be challenging eating out as a vegan, but luckily for those living in the Illawarra, there are myriad places that offer delicious, filling, animal-free meals and treats.
This World Vegan Day, Wednesday November 1, we take a look at just some of the places you can grab a vegan bite in Wollongong and beyond.
Feel free to share your favourites in the comments.
Karma Tea House: This Wollongong CBD restaurant offers an entirely vegan and vegetarian menu of Chinese cuisine. Steamed buns, wontons and noodle dishes feature prominently.
Taste of Asia: A longtime favourite of the Illawarra's vegan community, this Thai and Asian fusion restaurant is open in both Shellharbour Village and North Wollongong. It has an extensive vegan menu, with mock meats available.
Thai Gong: This CBD restaurant has an entire menu especially for vegans, making it easy to find a plant-based option.
Amarin Thai: Rounding out the Thai restaurants is Warrawong's Amarin Thai, which also offers plenty of vegan options, including mock meats replicating prawn, chicken and duck.
Balinese Spice Magic: This Keira Street eatery brings a taste of the Indonesian island to Wollongong, with a substantial vegan menu for those looking for plant-based meals.
An Chut Chut: This cute hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese eatery has a menu featuring vegan banh mi, pho and rice paper rolls, among other dishes. It's especially popular on sunny days, when people can enjoy the fine weather in the courtyard near the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.
Kneading Ruby: Kneading Ruby in Crown Lane is not a vegan restaurant, but those who eschew animal products can find plenty of options on the menu, with vegan items clearly marked and options to make other dishes vegan. Its newer sister restaurant in Globe Lane, Santino, also has options for the plant-based eater.
Da Orlando: At the other end of Keira Street is this Italian eatery, which has a vegan pizza menu.
Amona: Vegans can indulge in Spanish pintxos and tapas at this Wollongong CBD bar. Options include patata bravas, croquettes, and even a vegan tortilla (Spanish omelette).
Lil Mah's: A relatively new addition to Wollongong's culinary scene, this cafe, tucked away in Pig Alley off Crown Street Mall, has quickly won over the city's vegan community with its entirely plant-based menu of hearty and healthy dishes.
Alexander's Bakery Southside: If you're looking for a quick bite or a coffee and a treat, Alexander's Bakery in Crown Street Mall and Corrimal offers a selection of vegan burek and vegan baklava.
Taylor's Healthy Grocers: Taylor's is another place that offers options for vegans with a sweet tooth, with a wide selection of vegan cakes, tarts and protein balls. Those wanting something savoury can enjoy a pie or a salad in the Wollongong Central store.
Burek House: With outlets in Berkeley and Warrawong, vegans can find plenty of options of the Balkan speciality.
Opus Coffee Brewers: A popular brunch spot specialising in bagels, with seasonal vegan bagels and sweets.
The Fitz: The Bulli cafe offers vegan brekky and lunch options.
Longboard: Enjoy a swim at Wollongong City Beach then indulge in breakfast or lunch at this beachside cafe, which has not only meals but vegan cakes, too.
Still looking for more?
His Boy Elroy: The popular burger bar in Keira Street has three vegan burger options on its lunch and dinner menu, plus vegan choices for breakfast.
Gringa: There are no explicitly vegan tacos on the menu, but the vegetarian ones can be customised at this Tarrawanna mexican eatery, next to the Reub Goldberg brewery.
Resin Brewery: Grab a vegan burger, pasta, salad or nibbles at this Bulli brewery.
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