Raw lasagne and raw pizza from Swan Valley Cafe
Chocolate cake from Lincoln’s Cafe 102 in Highgate
I’ve never really discussed here the way I survive as a Perth vegan when not personally in the kitchen, and I thought it was about time I made a list of places I’ve been able to find easily-veganisable fare when eating out.
Please keep in mind the following:
I very rarely eat with vegans while in Perth, as most of the vegans I know don’t live here, so I am used to eating out with my vegetarian partner or omnivore family, friends or colleagues. I am also not quite as strict when eating out as I am while cooking for myself. I aim to balance the sanity of the cook, wait staff, my eating companions and myself by limiting the number of questions I ask about food preparation to what I consider to be the basics: ‘Can this be made dairy-free?’ ‘Does this have eggs in it?’ or simply ‘No cheese, no mayo please’ are my staples. I don’t usually ask wait staff/ chefs about cooking oil or whether things are being cooked in the same pan as animal products as a matter of personal preference. I know people draw the vegan line in all different places, but this is just my personal way of satisfying my conscience in a non-vegan world. It’s not perfect, but it works for me. I apologise in advance if any of the below suggestions don’t satisfy your personal convictions and any inconvenience is caused because of it.
Dome cafes – I eat at Dome cafes regularly, because they’re everywhere and omni-friendly.
Personal favourites are the Turkish BLT–no bacon, no mayo (a crunchy Turkish toastie filled with chunks of avocado, baby spinach, hot-as-lava slices of tomato and a yummy homestyle chutney) and the Vegetarian Breakfast–wholemeal toast, no eggs (steamed baby spinach and button mushrooms, a halved and grilled tomato, baked beans out of a can, a hash brown, and a slice of toast).
Lawley’s Cafe, various locations – I get bagels from the Mount Lawley store regularly, and they also do some great basic breakfast options. My personal favourite is the Vegetarian Breakfast–no eggs (toasted sourdough, heaps of sliced avocado, steamed mushrooms and raw baby spinach).
Healthy Choice Cafe, Victoria Park – I have not been here for breakfast yet but their Works Breakfast has lots of vegan options that I really want to try. If anyone’s been here, please leave a note in the comments!
Beaufort Merchant, Mount Lawley – This restaurant also stocks pantry items you can purchase–teas, coffees, chutneys and sauces both savoury and sweet. A personal favourite is the BLT–veggie option, no aioli (sourdough with avocado, tomato, balsamic vinaigrette and lashings of rocket).
Ootong and Lincoln, Fremantle – Charming Freo restaurant. A personal favourite is the Avocado Tomato Sourdough, which comes piled high with rocket and drizzled in a balsamic vinaigrette.
Swan Valley Cafe, Swan Valley – I have only eaten lunch here so far, but their breakfast menu looks delicious. If anyone’s tried breakfast at the Swan Valley Cafe, please leave a note in the comments!
Sassys on the Swan, Perth CBD – I haven’t had a chance to eat here yet, but the mere fact that an all-day breakfast menu with an off-the-menu vegan option exists in the centre of Perth (near the Belltower) just makes me happy. If you’ve tried it, please let me know in the comments!
Raw and vegan options
Manna Wholefoods Cafe, Fremantle – I haven’t had a chance to eat here yet, but know that they have raw desserts and tags with checklists such as Raw/ Vegan/ Gluten-free etc., which I love. Fewer questions asked = greater sanity (see above disclaimer). Again, if you have eaten here please let me know in the comments!
Swan Valley Cafe, Swan Valley – A vegetarian cafe tucked away in the gorgeous Swan Valley. We tried some of the specials: raw pizza with tomato, cashew and basil sauce (served with garden salad); raw lasagne (served with quinoa salad, a beet salad, and garden salad); chocolatey beetroot maccaroons (moist, rich and delicious); raw apple delight with cashew cream (fresh, fruity and delicious), and raw chocolates. I’m not very familiar with raw food cuisine, but this was fresh, full of flavour, filling, and refreshing on a sticky summer’s day.
PAWS City Cafe, Perth – Raw and other vegan options available, as well as vegan pantry/ fridge/ wardrobe staples for purchase.
Flipside, North Fremantle and Wembley – Home to my favourite vegetarian burger in Perth, the Garden Party–no cheese, no mayo (flattened homemade chickpea patty, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, and relish). They also do great chips.
Betty’s Cafe, Innaloo – Sadly less veg-friendly spin-off of the amazing, but sadly now defunct, Retro Betty’s in Leederville (sigh). The staff are happy to replace any meaty filling in a burger with their veg patty, so don’t be afraid to ask! Favourites are the Biggles flatbread–no cheese, on a burger bun instead of the non-vegan flatbread (cooked mushrooms, avocado, lettuce and tomato with a chunky Mediterranean relish) and the Bulldog–veggie patty instead of the beef (veggie patty, jalapenos, Spanish onion, lettuce, tomato, salsa and guacamole).
Grill’d, various locations – One of those hipster places taking back the burger, with a very transparent approach that I love. They list ‘vegan info’ on their menus and contribute to local community groups on a monthly basis. Cool, right? My favourite is the Garden Goodness–no cheese, no mayo (Crisp-yet-soft-in-the-middle green veg patty, beetroot, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and relish.) I usually add dill pickles, ’cause I like ‘em.
Missy Moos, South Fremantle – I haven’t been here yet but really want to try the Jack and the Beanstalk tempeh burger, which looks vegan straight off the menu. I love that.
Wraps/ Parcels/ Pockets
Nando’s restaurants, various locations – They’re everywhere, have clear nutritional info on their menus, and can satisy that hankering for chilli heat when nothing else will do. Favourites are the vego pitta or burger–no mayo (I like to add a grilled pineapple for juiciness, and of course lots of hot sauce).
Mad Mex, Hillarys Boat Harbour – Mexican with a Subway-style setup allows for easy customisation. My favourite is the veggie burrito–no cheese, no sour cream. Nice and spicy, though heat is customisable.
Miami Bakehouse, Mandurah and Melville – Iconic award-winning bakery with a tasty vegan pastie with wholemeal pastry.
Siena’s of Leederville, Leederville and spin-off restaurants in Mount Lawley and Morley – I love a good vegetarian pizza without cheese, but the Siena’s Vegetarian Calzone–no cheese deserves special mention as the parcel method retains all of those lovely tomato and veg juices.
East Perth IGA, Royal Street East Perth – The IGA supermarket in East Perth boasts an unusual deli counter where you can buy hot, fresh curry to take away. There’s typically a very long line at lunch-time on a weekday, so you’ll want to come early. Don’t be put off if the chef/ server isn’t your best buddy immediately: he’s darn busy, and warms up to the regulars. My favourite is the large vegetarian combo–no dairy (a mixture of the daily vegetarian curries, served with steamed rice). A great deal, and worth the wait.
Punjab Restaurant, Innaloo – Gold Plate award-winning Indian restaurant, in my opinion the best Indian restaurant in Perth. The menu states which meals can be made vegan upon request, which I love. Takeaway lunch specials on Fridays are a great deal, and for dinner Mattar Mushroom, Palak Aloo and Dhal Punjabi are particular favourites.
Bollywood Restobar, Innaloo – Fewer vegan options than Punjab, but staff are always friendly and able to list vegan options.
Chutney Mary’s, Subiaco and Rockingham – Not too many vegan dishes, but these are clearly marked on the menu.
As will be obvious from the categories above, this is a very arbitrary and by no means exhaustive list, based purely on my own experience over the past few years–which means it’s heavily weighted towards the kinds of food I prefer. If you’ve eaten something awesome and vegan in Perth, please share it in the comments!