The Pasha Bulker, the 97 NRL Grand Final and the 89 earthquake are all things that you may associate with my hometown of Newcastle (or Newy as it is affectionately known by its inhabitants) but vegan food? Not so much. Going back five years or so I would have agreed with you – people would struggle to understand what the hell a vegan was, let alone present you with a reasonable vegan meal but times have changed! While we are slowly adding vegan and vegetarian restaurants to our city, many establishments are recognising the need to provide delicious, cruelty-free options and by heck are they smashing it out of the park!

I’ve put together this handy little list of restaurants and groceries which I’ll be updating on a regular basis. Plus I’ve added a few of my favourite shops too, just in case you’re visiting and want to check out some of my local haunts!

P.S. Newcastle was voted in Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities for 2011 so you know, it’s pretty cool.

Food

Apothecary Kitchen | Shop 5, 103 Tudor Street, Hamilton | Website

Formerly Three Bean, Apothecary Kitchen is an all vegetarian restaurant in Newcastle’s eclectic suburb of Hamilton. Check out their menu based heavily on fermented foods with plenty of vegan meals and treats!

Aroma’s Cafe AKA Arobella’s | Shop 51 Stockland Drive, Glendale

Aroma’s actually have several vegan options on the menu like burgers, samosas and a salad plus often they have a range of sweet treats available too. Take a break from shopping to try them out or pop in before or after a movie!

Bao Brothers Eatery | Market Stall, see website for details | Website

These guys make a mean vegan bao! Crumbed mushroom served with miso and vegan soy mayo, definitely one to check out next time you’re at the markets!

Black Circle Cafe | 4/12 Alma Road, New Lambton | Website

This cool cafe in New Lambton is decorated with album cover wallpaper and has a separate children’s play area. There’s only one vegan option on the menu (a veggie patty with salad and chips) but it is marked vegan and other items can also be customised.

Black Fox Bakers | Market Stall, see Instagram for details | Website

Setting up at various markets around Newcastle, Black Fox Bakers make some incredible vegan scrolls! If you don’t want to wait til the next market stall, you can find their treats at Darks Coffee Roasters, Apothecary Kitchen and a few other joints around Newy.


Blue Door Cafe
 | 363-365 Hunter Street, Newcastle | Website

Based in Newcastle’s CBD, Blue door have a variety of vegan options on their menu for both breakfast and lunch plus one of the exclusive   stockists of CocoWhip vegan soft serve.

Blue Door Kiosk | 1 John Parade, Merewether | Website

Situated on the amazing Merewether Beach, Blue Door Kiosk is one of the exclusive stockists of CocoWhip vegan soft serve in Newcastle. If that’s not enough, try the selection of vegan breakfast and lunch items available on the menu.

Bolton Street Pantry | 45 Bolton Street, Newcastle | Website

A cafe in Newcastle’s CBD with a small menu however there are a couple of vegan options available.

Bonta Vera | 40 Church Street, Minmi | Website

While based quite a drive out of the CBD by Newcastle standards, Bonta Vera offers an extensive vegan menu ranging from mock meat and vegan cheese based dishes to cleaner, more vegetable packed offerings.

Bronx Pizza | 5/107 Darby Street, Cooks Hill | Website

A great little pizza joint with an awesome atmosphere and delicious pizza! They have vegan cheese so can customise any of their pizzas or design your own. Definitely the place to go for some drinks and beers with pals.

Coco Monde | 80 Darby Street, Cooks Hill | Website

Located on one of Newcastle’s most popular dining strips, Coco Monde is a delightful chocolateria offering several vegan items on the menu. They do have a lunch and dinner menu however the highlights are the desserts, particularly the hazelnut crepe!

Darks Coffee Roasters | Hunter Stadium – 294 Turton Road, New Lambton | Website

Based in a little shipping container at Hunter Stadium, these guys serve amazing coffee (they roast it themselves). They’ve also got a selection of vegan treats from Mama P and Black Fox Bakers so you can have a little bite to eat with your caffeine hit.

Dumpling Story | 52 Cleary Street, Hamilton | Website

This little dumpling shop just off Hamilton’s Beaumont Street is a great option to get your Chinese fix. The vegetarian dumplings are delicious but if you really want to treat yourself, grab some of the house-made spring rolls!

Emerald Gardens | 88 Hobart Road, New Lambton (at Wests) | Website

This Chinese restaurant located within Wests New Lambton actually has mock meat on the menu! Many of the sauces apparently aren’t vegan but mock meat can be used instead of tofu in their other stirfry dishes.

Emporium 88 | 88 Hobart Road, New Lambton (at Wests) | Website

Who would’ve thought a Leagues Club would have so many freaking vegan options available?! Emporium 88 is connected to one of the main bars at Wests and offers a variety of dishes using falafel as the protein. Try the falafel sub, OMG it rules!

Fifi La Femme | Two locations at 30 Pearson Street, Charlestown (at Charlestown Square) | Website

Fifi La Femme hold regular market stalls but also have two locations at Charlestown Square serving up the occasional vegan cupcake! They also make specialty cakes to order for your next big occasion.


Ghanda’s Indian
 | 103 Regent Street, New Lambton | Website

The best Indian in Newcastle by far, plus they do home delivery! Most vegetarian dishes can be made vegan but my favourites are the batata bonda, aloo bhaigan and sizzling vegetarian.

Goldberg’s | 137 Darby Street, Cooks Hill | Website

Goldberg’s is a Newcastle institution, regularly packed out on weekends for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not a huge range on the menu however the dahl and salads are quite delicious, just specify you’re vegan so they can adapt. Plus they have vegan desserts available too!

Goodness Me Organics | 617-621 Glebe Road, Adamstown | Website

Organic grocer with plenty of vegan products and a cafe attached with plenty of vegan options available to enjoy indoors or outside.

Greenroof | 71 Tudor Street, Hamilton, NSW | Website

Restored pub in Hamilton with some great vegan options to accompany your drinks. Options include sweet potato fries with guacamole and a kale salad.

Grill’d | 50 Glebe Road, The Junction | Website

You’ve probably seen Grill’d Healthy Burgers around before and although they’re not the best burger you’ll ever have, they are a great go-to for a quick and easy meal with several vegan options.

Habesha | 181 King Street, Newcastle | Website

An amazing Ethiopian restaurant just near the Tower Cinemas, Habesha have a large selection of dishes that can be made vegan. Booking is recommended as this place is very small and very popular!

Harry’s Gourmet Pizza | 263 Brunker Road, Adamstown | Website

A local pizza joint boasting Newcastle’s first vegan pizza menu (which I helped develop!) Veganising many of their classic pizzas, they even deliver!

House of Korea | 5/54 Beaumont Street, Hamilton | Website

A relatively new kid on the block in Beaumont Street, House of Korea has a few vegan options. Just be clear that you want no egg, and no fish sauce. My favourites are the kimbap (Korean sushi) and the potato pancake.

Hubro | 1a/295 Darby Street, Cooks Hill | Website

All starting from a little cold brew (Hubrew), these Newy brothers have now opened their own cafe on Newcastle’s bustling Darby Street! Check out their fresh space and treat yourself to a coffee and a vegan treat from one of their many local suppliers.

Hunter Organic Foods & Seed Cafe3/47 Glebe Road, The Junction | Website

A small local organic store boasting fresh fruit and vegetables, breads and grains. They also stock vegan products like Funky Pies and Coco Luscious ice cream. Seed Cafe is attached and has plenty of vegan options including sweets.

Kinn Thai | 89 Park Avenue, Kotara (on The Rooftop at Westfield) | Website

Located on Westfield Kotara’s fancy new Rooftop, Kinn Thai clearly denotes the several vegan options available on their menu such as the Spicy Peppercorn Eggplant and the Curry Puffs. A great option for taking a shopping break or grabbing a bite before the movies.

Kombucha Zest | Newcastle City Farmers Market | Website

Kombucha Zest is by far the best kombucha I’ve tried and thank goodness you can get it in Newcastle! There are several stockists such as Organic Feast, Blue Door and sometimes Natural Tucker but you can also find them on tap at the Newcastle City Farmers Market every Sunday!

Louie & Jack’s | Shop 12 200 Union Street, The Junction |

A new addition to The Junction Fair shopping centre and sister store to Bolton Street Pantry, these guys make a mean coffee and have a selection of quick eats too.

Luv Superfoods | Newcastle City Farmers Market | Website

These guys make some absolutely nuts raw cakes and you can find them every Sunday at the Newcastle City Farmers Markets! Try the Snickers cake, it’s AMAZING.

Mama P | 142 Pacific Highway, Charlestown | Website

Mama P mainly wholesale their delicious healthy treats to locations throughout NSW however can do special orders for functions and events. Their raw cakes are some of the best I’ve had and they’ve currently got a pop-up store set up in Charlestown with a full vegan menu!

Merewether Surfhouse | Henderson Parade, Merewether | Website

Get the best view of Merewether Beach at Merewether Surfhouse! The menu in the restaurant and bar isn’t extensive but there are vegan options if you ask, plus it’s worth it to have a cocktail and enjoy the view. Downstairs in the cafe they have vegan French toast among a few other simple options.

Mister Sister | Westfield Kotara, near Boost Juice on Level 2 | Website

Awesome coffee and the occasional vegan treat such as vegan muffins.

Momo East Maitland | 10-12 William Street, East Maitland | Website

Located inside Organic Feast grocery, these guys serve a range of healthy meals for breakfast and lunch including quick bites and sweet treats.

Momo Newcastle | 227 Hunter Street, Newcastle | Website

Momo’s newest location, based in Newcastle’s CBD. A slightly different menu to Momo East Maitland with a few grocery items also available.

Monella | 149 Darby Street, Cooks Hill | Website

Adding to the already stellar line up of vegan Darby Street eats, Monella provides a selection of dairy-free sorbets in constantly changing flavours such as cherry, passionfruit and chocolate.

Nagisa | 1 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle | Website

A lovely Japanese restaurant, overlooking Newcastle harbour. They serve several vegan friendly dishes as long as you request no fish sauce. I love the goma-ae, definitely a favourite.

Napoli Centrale Pizza Bar | 173 King Street, Newcastle | Website

Napoli Centrale follow traditional techniques to bring you authentic pizza. There’s no vegan cheese here but you will see a selection of lovely veg-based pizzas. Pop next door to Popolo and grab some gelato for dessert!


Natural Tucker
 | 108 Darby Street, Cooks Hill | Website

A lovely little takeaway cafe and grocery located on Darby Street with a selection of burgers, wraps and salads plus vegan grocery items.

Newcastle City Farmers Market | Newcastle Showground, Broadmeadow | Website

The Farmers Markets are held every Sunday from 8am and showcase an abundance of locally grown produce. A good place to grab some interesting vegetables like kale and purple carrots. Head to the Night Markets on Wednesdays in Spring and Summer for a mid-week market experience.

New Shanghai | 30 Pearson Street, Charlestown (at Charlestown Square) | Website

If you’ve spent the day shopping, New Shanghai is a good option for lunch or dinner. There are several vegan items on the menu but be sure to double check just in case. I love the steamed vegetable dumplings but apparently the salted tofu and green onion cakes are vegan too!

Olive Tree Markets | Civic Park, Newcastle | Website

These artisan markets are held the first Saturday of each month from 9am and often you can find vegan treats on offer. Plus this was my primary school so you know it’s awesome!

One Penny Black | 196 Hunter Street, Newcastle | Website

Located in the heart of Hunter Street Mall, One Penny Black is a quaint little espresso bar with a lot of character. I’m only putting them in here for their avocado on sourdough because it’s actually the best you’ll ever have.

Pickled & Pressed | 98 Glebe Road, The Junction | Website

A new addition to The Junction, Pickled & Pressed is a plant based cafe making a range of tasty vegan meals and treats for breakfast and lunch.

Popolo Gelateria | 172 King Street, Newcastle | Website

Yo, what’s the deal with all the dope vegan ice cream options in Newy these days?! Popolo are the newest kids on the block but they know it well, they run Napoli Centrale Pizza Bar just next door!

Portafilter | 2-16 Hanbury Street, Mayfield | Website

A great little coffee spot on one of Mayfield’s busiest strips, Portafilter serves great coffee and vegan food options like their amazing vegan meatball sub!

Rustica | 2/1 King Street, Newcastle | Website

A Mediterranean upmarket restaurant located right on Newcastle Beach. While there are no specifically vegan items on the menu, they have been more than accommodating on the few occasions I’ve visited. For my mum’s birthday dinner a few years ago I gave them plenty of notice and they created a specific vegan menu for the occasion.

Saluna | 137 King Street, Newcastle | Website

A really cool cafe with a couple of regular vegan menu items plus vegan specials and sweet treats. Perfect for weekday lunch or weekend breakfast, a must visit in Newcastle.

San Churro | 89 Park Avenue, Kotara (on The Rooftop at Westfield) | Website

Another chain to hit Westfield Kotara’s Rooftop, San Churro offers a few dessert options to satisfy any vegan’s sweet tooth. All sorbet flavours are vegan (the coconut chocolate chip is my fave) and while the batter for the churros is vegan, they are cooked in the same oil as products that contain egg so if you’re not chill with that, best avoid them. The dark chocolate dipping sauce can also be enjoyed with fruit!

Sapphire Indian | 367-369 Glebe Road, Merewether | Website

Some of the best Indian food you’ll ever eat will be at Sapphire in Merewether! Many of the vegetarian dishes can be made vegan, just ask. They also deliver so you can enjoy a badass curry in your PJs while watching TV.

Sesame’s | 18 Victory Parade, Toronto & 63 Maude Street, Belmont | Website

Amazing modern Thai fusion in a delightful setting with plenty of vegan options available, just ask for the vegetarian menu and options are clearly marked. My favourites are the salt and pepper vegetables and coconut rice!

Sushi Bay | Two locations at 30 Pearson Street, Charlestown (at Charlestown Square) | Website

There are two Sushi Bay locations at Charlestown Square in a sushi train style setting. There are several vegan sushi options on the menu but they aren’t extensive, still a good option if you’re looking for a sushi fix!

Sushi Koo | 161a Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle | Marketown Shopping Centre, Newcastle West | Junction Fair Shopping Centre, The Junction | Website

Grab a quick sushi roll or two from one of Sushi Koo’s three Newcastle locations made fresh daily in their kitchen.

Swell Kiosk | 1 Memorial Drive, Bar Beach | Website

A great place for a pitstop after a visit to Bar Beach, Swell Kiosk often has vegan muffins and fantastic hand cut chips. Last time I checked the chickpea burger was also vegan, please confirm if you happen to visit!

Talby’s Ice Cream | 17 Beaumont Street, Islington | Website

Finally Newcastle has an ice cream joint with a heckload of vegan options. From fruity sorbets to a variety of creamy   flavours, just ask for the Failsafe Foods cabinet and these guys will hook you up!

Talulah | 52 Glebe Road, The Junction | Website

With vegan options scattered across their breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, Talulah is a perfect option for a catch-up meal with friends and/or family. We’re talking pancakes, piadinis and bruschetta just to name a few options.

The Basement | 1/2 Market Street, Newcastle | Website

One of Newcastle’s newest and coolest bars, The Basement is just off the Hunter Street Mall on Market Street near the Post Office. Check out the vegan section on their menu like the falafel and burnt eggplant plus plenty of vegan cocktails to keep you hanging around a little longer.

The Bhakti Tree | 410 Maitland Road, Mayfield | Website

Newcastle’s first vegetarian restaurant and a reincarnation of Govinda’s which used to be based in the CBD. Hare Krishna style cuisine with plenty of vegan options.

The Depot | 141-143 Darby Street, Cooks Hill | 104 Beaumont Street, Hamilton | Website

With two locations, The Depot is a cool cafe with nice atmosphere and some vegan options. On a good day they may even make you a vegan mezze plate!

The Edwards | 148 Parry Street, Newcastle | Website

A bustling joint to eat and drink with a few vegan options on the menu, just ask! The vegan cheese fries are a real treat, something you won’t find anywhere else in Newy.

The Grain | 6/54 Beaumont Street, Hamilton | Website

A delicious Thai restaurant with plenty of vegan options. Just let the staff know you’re vegan and they’ll be able to meet your requests. The laksa is the best you’ll ever have!

The Persian Place | 43 Bolton Street, Newcastle | Website

A new Persian joint (obvs) in the heart of Newcastle’s CBD, The Persian Place has clearly marked vegan options on the menu. Try the Seeb Zamini done vegan with some of the best hummus I’ve ever had!

The Tea Project | 177 King Street, Newcastle | Website

A cute little tea room in Newcastle’s CBD where you can not only pick up your fave blend but also sit down for a meal or a treat! Check out their savoury options like the pumpkin and zucchini dumplings or one of their occasional cakes.

The Vital Method | 40 Patrick Street, Merewether | Website

A juice and smoothie bar during the day and a breakfast joint on weekends, The Vital Method also do home deliveries of vegan meals for lunch and dinner (you can pick up too!)

VietKing | 116 Darby Street, Cooks Hill | Website

This Vietnamese restaurant is located in what I like to call the “cursed” location on Darby Street because not many restaurants have lasted in this location. VietKing is going the distance though, with an extensive vegetarian menu that can easily be veganised, just ask for no egg or butter.

Yogurtland | 135 Parry Street, Newcastle West (Marketown) & 387 Lake Road, Glendale (Stockland Glendale) | Website

Yogurtland is a chain but is also a great option for a late night sweet treat or shopping break. My favourite flavour is the dark chocolate sorbet and you can check the current sorbet flavours on their website!

 

Shops + Services

 

AKK Asian Groceries | 661 Hunter Street, Newcastle 

AKK is my go-to store for mock meats and other Asian goodies. They have an entire fridge full of vegetarian and mainly vegan products that continues to grow. The owner is also very helpful when it comes to ordering stuff in if you can tell her the brand and product, a picture always helps too.

Bagga’s Pharmacy | 179 Hunter Street, Newcastle | Website

These guys stock a lot of my favourite brands like Murchison-Hume, Sukin, Natio and Inika in a lovely atmosphere, plus they have some vegan grocery items like Clif Bars!

Hairfreaks 2 | 3/335 Wharf Road, Newcastle | Website

This vegan salon is owned by a lovely vegan couple using the best vegan products available. A great place for cut and colour for men and women, right near Newcastle’s foreshore.

High Swan Dive | 178 King Street, Newcastle | Website

Plant and ceramic lovers rejoice! High Swan Dive stocks some of the best plants and succulents in Newcastle as well as unique handmade items like ceramics and homewares.

Kwon Mart | 230 Lambton Road, New Lambton | Website

An Asian grocery stocking mainly Korean and Japanese items. There’s a vegetarian freezer section full of Lamyong and Vmas products, plenty of dumplings and buns, interesting drinks and a variety of sauces.

Merewether IGA | 32-34 Llewellyn Street, Merewether | Website

Not a bad little selection of vegan items for a tiny IGA! You’ll find products like Over The Moo ice cream, Follow Your Heart Vegenaise and a wide range of vegan dips.

Mojo Health | 30 Pearson Street Charlestown (at Charlestown Square) | Website

Mojo Health is a great little health food shop at Charlestown Square stocking a good range of vegan brands like Daiya, Pana Chocolate and Loving Earth.

Nina’s IGA | 73 Beaumont Street, Hamilton | Website

Nina’s IGA is an awesome family owned grocery on Beaumont Street which stocks a range of awesome vegan grocery items such as Gardein, Tofurky and Over the Moo ice cream, they even clearly label their vegan items! Open from morning til’ night so you can get your fix!

Organic Feast | 10-12 William Street, East Maitland | Website

While technically not in Newcastle, Organic Feast is the only destination you need for picking up vegan grocery items and organic produce. Organic Feast stock many products that aren’t available anywhere else in the Hunter such as Tofurky, Gardein and Daiya, plus Momo Wholefood Cafe is attached (see above).

Penny Coakes Beauty | 22 Greenway Street, Wickham | Website

Penny runs a cruelty-free and eco salon with several vegan options such as manicures and pedicures using Kester Black nail polish products.

Scoop Wholefoods | 200 Union Street, The Junction | Website

COMING SOON! Scoop Wholefoods is a bulk grocery store so you can stock up on all of your favourite dry goods, nut butters, sauces and more. By bringing your own packaging and buying only what you need, you’re helping support Scoop’s sustainable vision whilst also saving cash.

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