Category: Vegan


Vegan dining in Melbourne & Sydney: Lord of the Fries

By Midge Raymond,

One of the best vegan discoveries during our trip to Australia was Lord of the Fries. (I should add that this was good for our taste buds, but perhaps not ideal for our health: Lord of the Fries is vegan fast-food takeaway: not the healthiest but definitely delicious.)

We first discovered Lord of the Fries in downtown Melbourne, which has two locations, one on Swanston Street and another at the Flinders Street train station.

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The menu is entirely vegetarian, but most of the items, including milkshakes, can easily be made vegan. (UPDATE: As of November 2017, this restaurant is 100 percent vegan! Thrilling news.)

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As you can see from the menu, it’s definitely fast food — but it’s incredibly delicious.

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Among the very best sandwiches is the “chick’n” sandwich, which comes with vegan cheese and your choice of vegan sauces.

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We also tried the burger, which was great and nicely loaded up with veggies (adding the illusion of a healthy meal….).

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The breakfast sandwich were my very favorites, as these are nearly impossible to find in the States. They are made with a tofu “egg” and come with vegan cheese as well as a “meat” option if you’d like.

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The fries are delicious and come in many forms, from shoestring to sweet potato. Tip: get your sauce on the side, unless you like smothered, soggy fries. The onion rings are divine: very crispy on the outside and perfect and flavorful on the inside.

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The only thing we didn’t like was the hot dog, which arrived with not-quite-melted cheese and a too-large doughy bun. Perhaps this was an anomaly, but it was not at all appealing.

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Most of the locations are takeaway, but there are a few with seats, including the one in the Fitzroy neighborhood of Melbourne.

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We were thrilled to see this Australian chain always busy. Lord of the Fries not only helps the planet by being plant-based, but in addition its food is locally sourced and the chain recycles its cooking oil to fuel its delivery trucks. We hope that, as the sign reads, ethical fast food becomes a thing not just down south but around the world as well.

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Vegan dining in Adelaide, South Australia, part two

By Midge Raymond,

Continuing our vegan tour of Adelaide, we discovered several places that were not all vegetarian but had good vegan options and were also delicious.

Chopstix on Rundle is a fantastic Asian restaurant with a few gorgeous vegan dishes, like this salt-and-pepper tofu appetizer.

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The tofu and vegetables in curry sauce is also divine.

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If you’re in the mood for drinks and noshes, Rundle is a good street to explore. In Australia, the pubs are often called hotels, and one particularly cool historic pub is The Stag Hotel, which opened in 1849.

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They have South Australian wines on tap, and while very little of the menu is veg friendly (unless you are really in the mood for salad), we did enjoy a plate of chips.

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Vegan dining in Adelaide, South Australia

By Midge Raymond,

Adelaide is a beautiful South Australia city with a delightful walking downtown area that has fantastic vegan options. Among the lovely veg restaurants we discovered in Adelaide are Two-Bit Villains, Zenhouse, and Ayla’s Cafe.

Located in downtown Adelaide, Two-Bit Villians is a fun, quirky shop in the Rundle Mall.

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It’s an open, light-filled space that was quiet when we arrived for an early lunch.

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If you arrive during a busy time, though, you’ll find plenty of seating, whether at the picnic tables or at the high-tops along the wall.

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The burger is a soy patty which comes with pickles and slathered with ketchup and mustard; it’s very much like a fast-food burger, only vegan of course.

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The veggie burger was more delicious, made with lentils and covered with vegan cheese, tomato, lettuce, and avocado.

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The shoestring fries are a must!

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Also near downtown, Zenhouse is an incredible place for vegan yum cha. We enjoyed dim sum and cold salad noodles (too delicious to be photographed in time), and you can eat in or get takeaway.

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Breakfast at Ayla’s Cafe is delicious, with vegetarian and vegan offerings.

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The avocado toast is sublime, with a nice kick from the peppers sprinkled on top.

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If you’re on the move, there are vegan pastries to go, and the coffee is wonderful.

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Vegan dining in Las Vegas, part 3

By Midge Raymond,

It was by accident that we discovered Nacho Daddy, located a block off the strip (at S. Las Vegas Boulevard and E. Harmon Avenue), and we’re thrilled that we did.

First, for those looking to escape the chaos of the Strip, Nacho Daddy is festive but a bit lower-key than anyplace on the strip. It was busy but not overly crowded; it was nice to have a bit of elbow room and to be able to hold a conversation, which we did over the restaurant’s blood-orange and signature margaritas.

Nacho Daddy has a long and wonderful vegan menu, and the only challenge was trying to decide what to eat. We opted for the chick’n tacos and the vegan loaded nachos.

I can’t say enough about the chick’n tacos: two crispy, lightly fried flour tortillas stuffed with marinated chick’n, caramelized onions and a spicy tomato salsa. Absolutely beyond delicious, the tacos were served with black beans and wild rice.

We also loved the loaded nachos, a gigantic pile of tortilla chips covered with black beans, salsa, guacamole, and vegan cheese and sour cream. Adding spice is avocado lime salsa and pickled jalapeños.

The vegan menu at Nacho Daddy also includes fajitas, quesadillas, fajita bowls, chick’n nachos, and salads. If we’d had the time, we’d have tried every one of them. For a wonderful vegan meal (and tasty margaritas), this is a must-visit for plant-based Vegas travelers.

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Vegan dining in Las Vegas, part 2

By Midge Raymond,

Continuing our vegan dining coverage in Las Vegas, we had a couple meals at the Wynn and Encore hotels. While both places have vegan-friendly restaurants — a few items on each menu — the online menus have more items listed than the restaurants do. We hope this is a temporary oversight.

We began with brunch at Jardin, which is in the Encore. The only vegan item on the menu, other than oats, was a kale scramble, with a note that it could be made vegan. When I mentioned to our server that the pancakes were listed on the online menu as vegan, she checked with the kitchen to confirm that they are indeed vegan. So, ordering our vegan brunch was a bit less seamless than we’d hoped (always remember to ask! we were very glad we did).

Still, it was worth it. The kale tofu scramble, which came with potatoes and red peppers, along with toast, was sublime.

And the whole wheat pancakes, topped with berries and powdered sugar, were thick, sweet, and about twice as much as a person can eat in one sitting (though I did my best).

We loved that the toast came with vegan butter, a joy to find in any omnivorous restaurant. Because we were there for work, we sadly weren’t able sample the brunch cocktails, but all looked incredible and well worth ordering.

Jardin is also a lovely place to dine. Wynn and Encore are among the mellower hotels on the Strip (if such a thing is possible).

For a lovely vegan dinner in the Wynn, try the Italian restaurant Allegro, located near the casino; accordingly, the restaurant keeps casino hours and is open from 5 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Allegro is an inviting place with a lovely atmosphere and wonderful service; however, there were only three vegan options on the menu during our visit: vegan pizza, chicken parmigiana, and pasta.

We did not have a chance to try the pizza, but the organic ancient grain penne was amazing, gorgeously flavored with garlic and basil, with fresh zucchini, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes.


We also tried the chick’n parmigiana, which was made with Gardein and covered with vegan mozzarella and tomato sauce and served over linguine. It was slightly less inspired and flavorful than the pasta but was still very good.

It would be nice if Allegro offered a couple more vegan choices (and we were told that, unlike Jardin, they did not have vegan butter), but the offerings are delicious and maybe one day these two restaurants will offer even more.

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