While being vegetarian has tonnes of benefits, the Australian hospitality industry still has a long way to go in becoming completely accommodative to the dietary choice. Veggos can have a hard time finding restaurants that don't offer just one vegetarian meal consisting of roasted veggies or halloumi burgers (and even though halloumi is life, variety is the spice of it). While we wait for the rest of Australia's restaurants to catch up, we've compiled a guide to the 8 best vegetarian-friendly restaurants in NSW – so all you have to do is make a booking and tuck into incredible food. Enjoy!
The Blackbird Cafe is probably Darling Harbour's most iconic eatery, one that prides itself in being quintessentially Australian. Located on the trendy Cockle Bay Wharf dining precinct, you can tuck into a filling breakfast, lunch or dinner. They have options to suit every taste, whether you're craving pasta, Aussie wedges or the aromatic Asian flavours. They also feature an in-house mixologist – which means amazing cocktails! Blackbird Cafe also offers set menus, cocktail style packages, pizza making classes, cocktail masterclasses and more.
Located right next door to Ormeggio at the Spit at the Jetty of D'Albora Marina in Mosman, Chiosco is the casual, waterside diner created by the team from Ormeggio at The Spit. It's the perfect combination of quality meals and laid-back Australian style. It offers BYO, is barefoot-friendly and boasts gorgeous Middle Harbour views. On the dedicated vegetarian menu, expect to find Italian-trattoria style dishes that you can try either for breakfast, lunch or dinner – takeaway or dine-in.
Located on Botany road in Alexandria, Good Pizza offers much more than good pizza. There's a philosophy behind how they make their product. Focusing on wood-fire pizza, Good Pizza mixes new flavours and dishes with the classic foundations of traditional pizza. They also have an extensive range of vegetarian and vegan choices. Good Pizza is the perfect place to go for a casual family meal or an intimate dinner.
Think a quiet and romantic park setting and a sit-down licenced restaurant and what your picturing will be a lot like Jasmine Gardens. Focusing primarily on a sustainable menu inspired by their coastal surrounds, Jasmine Greens aims to be as environmentally conscious as possible. Their dishes are prepared daily, with fresh ingredients that are organic, free-range and chemical-free. Perfect for a laid-back meal with family and friends.
A classic and authentic family-operated restaurant, D'Amico has been serving Italian and contemporary dishes for more than 25 years. Expect to find a wide range of vegetarian and gluten-free options, prepared with quality ingredients, and great service; the kind only a family-run establishment can provide. They also feature an impressive wine and cocktail list.
Located at D'Albora Marina in Mosman, Ormeggio at The Spit offers contemporary Italian cuisine in a spectacular waterside setting – overlooking Middle Harbour and Pearl Bay. Combining Italian tradition with new techniques, the result is an extensive and premium menu, made with the finest fresh produce. Their vegetarian menu offers the option to choose either four or six courses and is available for lunch and dinner (excluding Sunday nights and special events). Ormeggio has two Chef Hats in the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Food Guide 2014 and has been a hatted restaurant since its opening in 2009.
Located in trendy Newtown and featuring relaxed contemporary interiors with a drop of heritage charm, Rubyos is the perfect place to go and hang out with friends and nibble on tapas. Offering extensive and varied vegetarian and vegan menus, you'll be able to taste a mix of Australian and international flavours.
Via Alta is the latest venture of hatted Ormeggio at The Spit. Think casual trattoria that offers regional and timeless Italian dishes, with a focus on seasonal and fresh ingredients. Via Alta has a full vegetarian menu featuring risotto, gnocchi, salads, and sides which you can pair with a wine you bring from home (as it's BYO wine only).
While finding a quality vegetarian restaurant can be somewhat difficult, you can now tantalise your vegetarian tastebuds with a visit to any of the 8 restaurants listed above. Simply make a booking and get ready to enjoy a flavoursome, mouth-watering vegetarian meal.