The capital of Australia, Canberra is situated on the country’s southeastern Coast. Unlike any other place on the continent, Canberra is unique in that it was fully planned. Instead of developing organically, the city was meticulously designed to hold the main seat of the Federal Government. Designed by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin, the city is notable for its hexagonal and concentric streets and its Parliamentary Triangle – also known as the National Triangle – which is home to some of Australia’s most important buildings. Despite being planned down to a t, the city is surrounded by a wealth of natural beauty including the Brindabella Ranges and some rare species of eucalypt. Canberra’s restaurant scene is notable too, and the city boasts some well-known eateries that can compete with those in Sydney and Melbourne. From Asian to Italian and everything else in between, Canberra’s restaurants offer something for just about everyone.
As the capital of Australia, Canberra is home to some of the country’s best museums, art galleries and universities. Unlike most of the cities in Australia, Canberra is a city that was fully designed to serve a particular purpose, with construction beginning in 1913. Sometimes known as the ‘Bush Capital’ due to its large amount of vegetation and natural landscape, the city is found in the Australian Capital Territory, or the ACT. While only the 8th largest city in population, Canberra is home to a thriving restaurant scene. With both the Australian National University and the University of Canberra within city limits, the city features a significant student population, and with that comes an array of cool restaurants. Vegetarian restaurants in Canberra are abundant, and they count themselves among some of the very best in Australia.
From healthy hotspots to Sri Lankan buffets, Canberra’s vegetarian restaurants come in many different varieties. No matter your cuisine preference, there are a variety of great vegetarian restaurants in Canberra for you to try. Budget or no budget, you can find something that will fit your needs. Some Canberra vegetarian restaurants offer meat-free variations of meaty classics like vegetarian burgers, meat-free hotdogs and ‘chicken nuggets’ made from wheat-meat like seitan or soy protein. Of course, you don’t only have to eat imitation meats – Canberra’s vegetarian restaurants also offer whole foods like lentils and rice or chickpea salads as well.
Canberra is not only home to important Government buildings and offices. The city also boasts excellent universities including the Australian National University in Acton – one of the world’s top universities – and the University of Canberra in Belconnen. Both contribute to Australia’s reputation for excellence in education, and their large student population means that there are plenty of affordable restaurants to be found around the city. These Canberra restaurants serve up wallet-friendly foods that are perfect for hungry students after a day of hitting the books, and they come in a variety of different cuisines. Take your pick from Indian, Chinese, Italian or Nepalese – the student-friendly restaurants in Canberra can suit any budget.
Going meat-free is a piece of cake in Canberra. Vegetarian restaurants can be found everywhere here, and they dish out amazing options for every palate. Canberra’s Indian restaurants offer many fabulous meat-free specialities that are pleasing to even the biggest meat eaters. Whether you like tempeh, seitan, and tofu or perhaps you prefer getting your whole protein through a combination of legumes, rice – combine brown rice with black beans and you’ve got all nine essential amino acids to make a complete protein – and veggies, you’ll find something that’s perfect for you in the vegetarian restaurants of Canberra. For the more hard-core herbivores, there are also many vegan restaurants in Canberra that offer specialities that are completely free of animal products.
Agar agar, nutritional yeast, seitan and tempeh – these are just a few of the unique ingredients you can expect to find at the vegetarian restaurants in Canberra. They may sound funky, but they’re actually a lot less weird than their names suggest. Agar agar, for example, is a substance made from algae that can be used in place of gelatine, and nutritional yeast can be utilised to make vegan cheese. Known to some as wheat-meat, seitan can be morphed into everything from vegetarian fried chicken to meat-free steaks and pork chops. Tempeh, on the other hand, is an Indonesian delicacy that has a texture that’s hard to compare with anything else – you’ll just have to try it yourself. Take a trip to any good vegetarian restaurant in Canberra and experience them for yourself!
Australian cuisine is having something of a revival at the moment, with many Canberra restaurants utilising local or regional ingredients rather than importing items that have been shipped across the globe. At these restaurants, you’ll find meat from locally farmed animals, super-fresh seafood and unique herbs and produce that you’ll only find in Australia. Bush tucker, which includes native fruits like quandongs and finger limes, have also seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. At some Australian restaurants you’ll even find kangaroo and emu alongside high-quality beef steaks, seafood and a variety of other local ingredients like warrigal greens. From contemporary to classic Australian favourites, the restaurants of Canberra certainly know what the locals like.
Veganism is a stricter form of vegetarianism that excludes dairy and eggs, and sometimes honey in addition to meat and seafood. Many vegetarian restaurants in Canberra offer an array of fully vegan menu options, entire vegan menus or customisable options that can be made without dairy or eggs. Some Canberra vegetarian restaurants offer only vegan options, making dining out a no brainer for folks avoiding all animal products. One of the most famous eateries serving vegan eats is Kingsland Vegan Restaurant, a Vietnamese restaurant that’s fully meat, dairy and egg free. The food here is so delicious that even meat eaters don’t think twice about their food being fully vegan, and the veg-heads of the city couldn’t be happier with it. You’ll also find several bakeries serving up amazing vegan cakes, cookies and pies, so there’s no shortage of great choices for those who eat vegan.
Eating meat-free may seem like a rather new trend, but many cultures around the globe have eaten a mostly vegetarian diet for centuries. The cuisines of South Asia, including that of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, put great emphasis on vegetarian dining, with vegetable curries, meat-free biryanis and protein-rich lentil dishes on the menu among others. With breads galore to sop up stews and curry sauces, dining out in an Indian restaurant is a fun way to have a hands-on eating experience. There are some Indian vegetarian restaurants in Canberra, as well as those that serve both vegetarian and non-veg dishes, so you’re sure to find something that’s right up your alley.
Canberra may be much smaller than Sydney and Melbourne, but the city still has quite a variety of delicious Chinese eateries that are as authentic as any other. Hunan, Sichuan and Cantonese restaurants can be found across the city, each offering their own unique specialities. Some Chinese restaurants in Canberra specialise in dim sum with a variety of delicious finger foods and dumplings plus teas to match, while others offer all-you-can-eat buffets, banquets and a la carte specials. You can find some of the best Canberra Chinese restaurants around Dickson and Lyneham, but there are also several delicious choices in the centre of the city. No matter if you’re looking for a fancy evening out with that special someone, or you just want to have a casual meal with some friends, the Chinese restaurants around Canberra come highly recommended.
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Take the hard part out of finding vegetarian restaurants in Canberra by searching with Quandoo. Simply browse by your dietary preferences, location or price range then book a table at your favourite restaurant with a few taps of a finger (Quandoo is available for download on iOS and Android phones). Each time you book, you’ll receive Loyalty Points that you can save up and exchange for cash. With Quandoo, you can also read reviews of restaurants in your area and leave your own (for even more Loyalty Points!). It’s super easy, so take a look at Quandoo today and discover the restaurants in your area!