GC Vegetarian Delights
Meat-Free and Marvellous
No longer do vegetarian meals mean lack lustre lentils, boring beans and detestable tofu. An increasing number of people are looking to vegan and vegetarian diets which has meant that vegie-lovers are getting seriously creative in the kitchen. It’s time to move over meat, vegetables are back and they’re sexier than ever! Not only is a vegetarian diet great news for the chickens and cows of the world, it is also great for your own health and the health of the planet. Now is the time to become a hip-hop-happening herbivore by trying out these vegetarian and vegan venues.
Mandala Organic Arts Café
Mandala Organic Arts Café in Mermaid Beach is a jack of all trades. It’s a restaurant and café, an art gallery and live music venue, a movie theatre and community and education centre as well as home to it’s very own permaculture garden. Mandala is completely vegan, totally 100% free from animal products which earns you instant animal karma points. They use fresh and local produce (can it get more local than from their own backyard) and play host to community and arts events regularly. Eat in the outside courtyard amongst the leafy greens and be sure to try the pizzas made with cashew cheese. They are the best in the business.
Govindas Pure Vegetarian
With locations in both Burleigh Heads and Surfers Paradise Govindas is a vegetarian classic. This Hare Krishna restaurant is buffet style featuring salads, hot vegetable dishes and desserts that will have you singing and dancing the streets in no time. Customers can choose from small, medium or large plates and an ‘all you can eat’ option is available for those who are feeling particularly peckish. The food is well priced and can be ordered quickly for a more wholesome take on ‘fast food’.
Magic Apple is a whole foods haven. This Burleigh Heads offering focuses on all aspects of health and wellbeing in their food. Not only is it vegetarian, they ensure that all water used for washing and cooking is filtered, that all produce is fresh that day and that no microwaves are used in the preparation of meals. With a focus on high fibre and no fat, many of the items on the menu are also gluten, dairy and egg free catering for all dietary requirements. Boasting a huge breakfast menu and a great range of salads, casseroles, and vege burgers and wraps, we’ll take a bite from this Magic Apple any day.
Cardamom Pod Broadbeach
With luxurious interiors and a relaxed dining atmosphere Cardamom Pod is perfect place to sit back and enjoy the best in vegetarian fare. Overlooking Victoria Park in Broadbeach ‘The Pod’ offers beautifully presented plant based salads, snacks and hot foods. Their drinks list includes smoothies and signature mocktails and be sure to try one of their mouth-wateringly colourful desserts to see vegan sweets done right. Their weekend breakfast menu runs from 7:30-11:30am Saturdays and Sundays so ditch the eggs and bacon and start your day by veg-ing out.
Tian Ran in Mermaid Beach is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant specialising in Asian cuisine. All their meals are meat free and also exclude dairy, alcohol, garlic and onions as is the tradition in many vegetarian based religions such as Hare Krishna and Jainism. Tian Ran uses protein substitutes made from soy, wheat, yam, seaweed and mushroom to replace the meat in their traditional recipes. Offering both eat in or take away, these reasonable priced meals are available 7 days a week. Chow down on the set menu banquet for two to six people for ultimate value and vegetable goodness.
Giri Kana Café
Great service, organic coffee and sugar-free pancakes are just some of the tantalising tempters on offer at Giri Kana Café. Located opposite the Broadwater in Southport this cosy café has gained popularity for its friendly staff, fresh salads, juices and an extensive breakfast menu. A winner with the office workers of the Southport area this green haven can cater for a quick take away or sit down meal. Open til 8pm on weekdays, the lunch and dinner menu features drool-worthy vegie and tofu burgers and combination plates of salads and hot dishes.
About the Author
Currently completing my Bachelor of Communication, I’m a boot-wearing, live-music-lovin’, two-headed Tasmanian living on the Gold Coast. One of my heads enjoys writing, the other loves art. Together they spend their days listening to ‘Electric Avenue’ by Eddy Grant, doing crosswords and drinking red wine.