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Fresh greens are just for starters!! Adelaide's vegan cuisine scene is bigger than ever!
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Vegan value

We all know that including plenty of fresh fruit and veggies in your daily diet is good for your health. Vegetarianism is widely practiced but more recently, there’s been a growing movement of people taking that next step and going vegan. This movement could be attributed to many elements, notably the health and environmental benefits which are becoming more and more important in our busy daily lives.

Lea McBride, herself a vegan for the past seven years and a vegetarian since 1991, runs Vegan Festival Adelaide and has been thrilled to witness the local vegan movement gaining momentum.

“The past 12 months alone has seen incredible changes in our city,” said Lea. “Adelaide has always been known to be at the forefront of social justice movements and a big foodie city, so it’s only fitting the two things have combined.”

An annual event, this year’s Vegan Festival Adelaide will happen on 26 and 27 October in Rundle Park / Kadlitpina.

The Vegan Festival has been implementing various environmentally friendly practices over the years and in 2018 the festival was announced as the inaugural recipient of funding support through the City of Adelaide’s Sustainable Events Innovation Fund. Financial assistance provided through this fund to eligible groups and organisations is used to help deliver environmentally sustainable events and festivals* that support the outcomes of the City of Adelaide Strategic Plan 2016-2020.

Vegan Festival food
Fine fare at the 2018 Vegan Festival | Image: Jodie Dyer-Stephens

With Council’s support, the 2018 Vegan Festival was able to implement positive sustainability measures like three bin waste separation to maximise recycling, solar phone charging stations for festival-goers and ensuring all stallholders used compostable, reusable or recyclable packaging. These actions were supported by talks by prominent members of the community, highlighting the importance of environmental stewardship and how we can support the health of the ecosystems that support us.

Say ‘I Do’ in the Park Lands

Vegan Festival Adelaide is just one of many activities on Lea’s work calendar. She also organises fine dining dinners and holds vegan cooking demonstrations twice yearly at the Adelaide Central Market.

“Adelaide was recently named the world’s 12th most popular vegan city** which is fantastic for our small city! Not only are there dedicated vegan cafés and restaurants in the CBD, but most venues now either offer vegan options or have specific vegan menus,” said Lea.

“Today we find fast food vegan-only takeaway joints, bakeries, classic ‘American Diner-style’ food alongside some fabulously healthy plant-based juice and salad bars which have taken food flavour and expectations of a vegan diet to a whole new culinary level.”

As Lea sees it, the benefits of adopting a vegan lifestyle radiate well beyond the individual making the lifestyle choice.

“With more and more options available in the market, vegan diners are expecting a higher standard of food than ever before and we expect this to reflect in local venues.”

A few of Lea’s favourite city spots for a vegan meal

Juice Lovers Juicery
34 Regent Arcade, Rundle Mall
“Fresh creative flavours have seen this venue expand due to popularity with vegans and pre-vegans alike. Started by the team from the iconic Veggie Velo burger food cart, they offer a range of juices, hot dishes, wraps and the best cakes and desserts.”

Juice Lovers Juicery
Juice Lovers Juicery | Image: juiceloversjuicery via Instagram

Lord of the Fries
23A Hindley St, Adelaide
“Veganism is now so main-stream that we needed a fast food joint in Hindley Street. This place serves the delicious Beyond Burger range and is a popular addition to the city for vegans enjoying a night out on the town.”

An epic season of events

Two Bit Villains 
Shop 150, Balcony Level, Adelaide Arcade (access from either Rundle Mall or Grenfell St)
“A super cool spot set in the stunning upstairs area of Adelaide Arcade, Two Bit Villains has also gone through an expansion serving diner style burgers, shakes, house made soft drinks, vegan mac’n’cheese and Caesar salads. Frequented by both vegans and not-yet-vegans – who continue to come long after their vego buddies have introduced them.”

Two Bit Villains
Two Bit Villains | Image: emma_s2 via Instagram

Thea’s Tea Shop
110 Gawler Pl, Adelaide
“I’ve been going here since they opened a tiny venue in Gaye’s Arcade. Thea’s is a welcome tranquil escape in the middle of the busy city, with interesting flavours and sauces and amazing teas.”

Thea's Tea Shop |
Thea’s Tea Shop | Image: kamkar_sales_distribution via Instagram

Pure Vegetarian
Shop 8, Market Plaza Food Court, Adelaide Central Market
“A Central Market classic – mock meat curies, tasty eggplant dishes and cheap market foods.”

Pure Vegetarian
Pure Vegetarian | Image: shelbyandtess via Instagram

Vego n Lovin It
Level 1, 240 Rundle St
“An institution on the veg scene, upstairs looking over Rundle Street. An eclectic venue with tasty whole food dishes.”

Vego n Loving It
Vego n Loving It | Image: hazeldominique via Instagram

*If you run an event in the city or a business that provides event services, click here to read the City of Adelaide’s Sustainable Event Guidelines,which provide clear guidance on practical measures to make events more sustainable and promote sustainability achievements. For assistance, please contact

**, 16 January 2019

Skye Murtagh

Skye Murtagh

1 comment

  • I love this. Well done Adelaide. It still needs improvement though for more establishments to provide vegan food and drinks.

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