Cleanse your body and soul after Christmas and New Year indulgence with some delicious, healthy, vegan and vegetarian food.
Amongst the best dietary advice ever given is this from food and sustainability writer Michael Pollan: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Follow this healthy eating mantra, add the words, "organic and fresh", and you're guaranteed a detoxed, energised body within a few short weeks.
Fremantle has taken the lead in the burgeoning plant-based cafe scene, with the rest of Perth and surrounding suburbs catching on fast. Along with dedicated vegan and vegetarian eateries, most restaurants now offer these options to allow friends with a mix of tastes to eat together happily. Gone are the days when vegans and vegetarians were marginalised with, perhaps, one menu option, if they were lucky.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but provides a snapshot of some of the best places to go for truly delicious plant-based cuisine in Perth and Fremantle. Once you're hooked, look out for Vegan Cuisine Month occurring through February, when Perth will celebrate vegan cuisine and enthusiasts will share recipes.
Perth & Northbridge Highlights
Little Bird Cafe
Address: 100 Lake Street, Northbridge
Opening Times: 8.00am-3.00pm every day
You only have to check out the @littlebirdcafe Instagram feed to be motivated to visit. This cosy courtyard cafe in the heart of Northbridge serves food every bit as delicious as it looks. The menu is dedicated to vegan and vegetarian cuisine, with gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo options, and is especially popular for imaginative breakfasts, tasty sweet treats, smoothies, and great coffee or chai with various milks.
Even more appealing is the cafe's dedication to offering long-term unemployed people the chance to learn barista and baking skills. So when you sit back in the recently refurbished, dog-friendly courtyard this summer, you're not only eating healthy, but paying it forward too.
Flora & Fauna
Address: 70 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
Opening Times: Tuesday-Friday 7.30am-2.00pm, weekends 8.30am-2.30pm
This little Perth vegan and vegetarian brunch cafe is a true hidden gem, popular among those in the know. You'll have to venture down an alleyway to find it and be prepared to squish into a little table amid retro decor and delicious aromas.
Its dedication to plant-based cuisine is beautifully expressed in the edible flowers used to decorate dishes. Try a freshly squeezed juice or one of their gorgeous relaxing teas with your meal, and take away a bunch of fresh flowers when you leave.
Govinda's Hare Krishna Restaurant
Address: 194 William Street Northbridge
Opening Times: Monday-Saturday 11.30am-7.30pm
Even carnivores can't fail to chomp happily on authentic Indian vegetarian food. Govinda's is extemely popular with conscientious youngsters on a budget, and highly recommended for everyone to try. Once tasted, you're sure to return again and again.
Service is friendly, calm and generous, as you'd expect from a Hare Krishna venue, dishing up dahl, veg curries and rice at around $10.00 for all you can eat! You might want to grab a takeaway from here and find a spot to relax with your vegetarian lunch in Perth Cultural Centre's Urban Orchard.
Address: 289 Beaufort Street, Highgate
Opening Times: Monday-Saturday 7.00am-3.00pm, Sunday 7.30am-3.00pm
Source is an organic locavore cafe that will keep meat-eaters just as happy as vegetarians. Not strictly in Northbridge, it's just up the road towards Mount Lawley, another haven for plant-based cuisine. The ambience is very casual, with indoor and streetside tables.
Dishes to get excited about include granola with yoghurt, local honey, dried fruits and mandarin compote; scrambled eggs with Greek feta, spring onion and fresh chilli; chickpea and black bean burger with beetroot jam and harissa hommus; and a vegan feast of falafel, beans, chilli pesto, vegan feta and marinated mushrooms. Healthy eating at its yummiest!
Annalakshmi on the Swan
Address: Jetty 4, Barrack Square, Perth
Opening Times: 12.00 noon - 2.00pm and 6.00-9.00pm every day; Annalakshmi sometimes closes during cultural festivals, so check their website before you go: www.annalakshmi.com.au
Annalakshmi is the Hindu Goddess of Sustenance, the closest equivalent in the west being Mother Nature. This is another venue that offers support, mentoring and employment to the disadvantaged, and provides top notch authentic Indian vegetarian meals.
Served canteen buffet style, you simply help yourself to as much as you can eat of the scrumptious plant-based curries and dahl. Settle at a long table indoors or, if it's not too windy, out on the deck overlooking the Swan River. Elizabeth Quay has evolved around this amazing vegetarian cafe, a favourite with locals for many years and now getting lots of attention from visitors to the waterfront development.
The most unusual aspect of Annalakshmi is payment. With a commitment to hospitality, guests are invited to pay for their meal with a donation of their choice as they leave, simply guided by their hearts. Please give generously - the food is worth it!
Raw + More Cafe
Address: 1267 Hay Street, West Perth
Opening Times: Monday-Friday 8.00am-3.00pm, Saturday 8.00am-2.00pm, Sunday 9.00am-2.00pm
This is another little hidden jewel, along a laneway off Hay Street in West Perth. Serving plant-based cuisine with raw food options and delicious smoothies, it's a great choice for healthy eating at breakfast or lunchtime, promising a detox from all those rich Christmas meals!
The 'More' part of Raw + More includes quality turmeric latte, fresh ground coffee with cashew milk, or pretty much any kind of dish or drink a dedicated vegan could wish for.
The Raw Kitchen
Address: 181A High Street, Fremantle
Opening Times: Monday-Tuesday 11.30am-3.30pm, Wednesday-Sunday 11.30am-9.00pm
The Raw Kitchen in Fremantle serves up plant-based raw food for healthy eating (no surprise there), with an emphasis on sustainability. There are some cooked dishes too, but if you haven't tried raw food cuisine yet, you'll be amazed at how tasty it can be when prepared with imagination and skill.
Much loved by vegans and vegetarians, this spacious diner-style restaurant has perfected the art of creating raw pizza and nacho toppings, zucchini 'pasta' and cashew 'mayo'. Browse the in-house store before you leave for their excellent zero-waste products.
Manuka Woodfire Kitchen
Address: 134 High Street, Fremantle
Opening Times: Tuesday-Saturday 5.00-9.00pm
Hunt down this friendly fully licensed restaurant, located the other side of Kings Square from Fremantle's cappuccino strip. The menu has more vegetarian than meat options, turning the tables on traditional eclectic dining, and serves local wine, craft beer and cider.
Dishes cooked up in the woodfire ovens incorporate fresh WA produce, conscientiously sourced from sustainable farming. As with all menus created from seasonal ingredients, the menu varies, but the kinds of delicious planted-based dishes you can expect are eggplant grilled on coals with smoked yoghurt and dukkah, wood roasted cauliflower with avocado and pecorino, vegetarian pizzas and mouth-watering desserts.
Chic Pea Vegan Cafe
Address: Shop 1/74 South Terrace, Fremantle
Opening Times: Thursday 11.00am-2.30pm, Friday 9.00am-8.00pm, weekends 9.00am-6.00pm
Vegan food can be hearty too! Accessible from the street side or inside the Fremantle Markets, Chic Pea Vegan Cafe will fill you up with their home-made burgers, curries, lasagne and soups. If you still have space, try their waffles, cakes and baked goods, or take them away to indulge later.
The markets can get a little crowded, but you'll always find space to spread out and relax with your lunch in Esplanade Park, just five minutes' walk away.
Roho Bure Vegan Ice Cream
Address: 322A South Terrace, South Fremantle
Opening Times: Tuesday 2.00-9.00pm, Wednesday-Thursday 12.00 noon - 9.00pm, Friday-Saturday 12.00 noon - 10.00pm, Sunday 12.00 noon - 9.00pm
A relative newcomer to Perth's vegan scene is Roho Bure, specialising in vegan, gluten-free ice cream. This tiny venue has little tables spilling onto the street on the South Fremantle cafe strip, less than five minutes' walk from the beach, making it an ideal stop on hot summer days.
Ice cream is made from scratch in small quantities so you know it's going to be fresh and delicious. Not only that, but it fits with your healthy eating resolution, being sugar-free and organic, so don't hold back!
Their regular flavours are salted maple peanut, coconut cardamom and strawberry jam, coconut vanilla, chicory chocolate, and coconut caramel, and there's always a weekly special. This is another Instagram feed that will get your mouth watering @roho_bure_vegan_icecream
Address: 386A South Terrace, South Fremantle
Opening Times: Tuesday-Sunday 11.30am-9.00pm
Another great place for a filling fuel stop, Run Amuk has a huge range of hot dog fillings. If you're wondering why this is listed as a top vegan / vegetarian eatery, for an extra dollar you can order any hot dog on the menu with a vegan sausage made locally from organic, gluten-free ingredients.
Tasty toppings include sweet chilli mayo, teriyaki sauce, caramelised onions, various mustards, fire-roasted capsicum, fresh guacamole, red chilli salsa, pineapple relish, crispy fried shallots, sour cream, fresh chives, jalapeno harissa - the list goes on.
Top Spots in the Suburbs
Address: 5/567 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley
Opening Times: Monday 8.00am-6.00pm, Tuesday 8.00am-8.00pm, Wednesday-Friday 8.00am-9.00pm, Saturday 9.00am-9.00pm, Sunday 9.00am-7.00pm
Veggie Mama has long been a popular choice for healthy eating. Situated in Mount Lawley, a short drive from Perth CBD, this vegetarian cafe and takeaway is open all day, offering a cabinet full of snacks, salads and sweets, many of which are also vegan or dairy-free.
Surprise your carnivorous friends with the delicious dinner menu, from curry and dahl to quiche and ravioli. Especially popular are their patties; try the new summer recipe with broccoli, pea and mint.
The Prophet Lebanese Cafe
Address: 907 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park
Opening Times: 5.00-9.30pm every day
Lebanese menus present a range of dishes to suit vegetarians and meat eaters, so it's always a delight to discover a cafe that specialises in this exquisite cuisine. The Prophet is a well known local haunt in the lively suburb of Victoria Park, where staff are happy to help you make your choice from among the list of delicious options.
As well as the better known hommus, babaganoush, falafel and tabouleh, the vegetarian menu include simple dishes like spicy lentils with crispy fried onion, deep-fried eggplant with tangy tahini sauce and traditional Lebanese omelette.
The Bodhi Tree Bookstore Cafe
Address: 416-418 Oxford Street, Mount Hawthorn
Opening Times: Saturday-Thursday 8.00am-4.00pm, Friday 8.00am-8.30pm
The Bodhi Tree independent bookshop and cafe is a wonderful place to unwind in comfy chairs with a herbal tea, snack or lunch and a good book. The healthy eating menu is 90% vegetarian with gluten-free options, and coffee is fair-trade organic.
Situated at the far end of Oxford Street from Leederville, it's worth making the journey to spend an hour or so rejuvenating after the Christmas and New Year festivities.
Address: Old Chestnut Lane, Jarrahdale
Opening Times: Thursday-Monday 10.00am-5.00pm
Millbrook Winery's multi-award-winning restaurant is worth a special mention, not only for its top quality menu featuring locally sourced seasonal ingredients, but also for the world class wines and stunning location.
Millbrook is perched on the banks of the Serpentine River, surrounded by jarrah forest with beautiful walks and lawns to explore. The restaurant serves up a range of meat and vegetarian dishes, with veggies, fruit, herbs, eggs, honey and olives sourced from the Millbrook Winery estate, ensuring absolute freshness.
Listed among the Top 100 Restaurants in Australia by the 2018 Australian Financial Review and WA's Top 10 Restaurants by Gourmet Traveller magazine, Millbrook Restaurant is revered for its exquisite plant-based cuisine. Vegans are catered for on request too.
Millbrook is open for lunch only on Thursday to Monday. Bookings are essential.