Lukure Caff salad

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Your guide to vegetarian & vegan friendly restaurants in Cairns

TNQ Writer

You’ll find most cafes and restaurants around Cairns include quality meat-free dishes. The following eateries however, hero plant-based food. Here’s where to eat vegan and vegetarian food in Cairns.

Snoogies Health Bar

Pre-packages salads

Hot food bain-marie

Snoogies Juice Bar

Salad bar

If you’re after a quick and easy yet tasty and healthy lunch, look no further than Snoogies. This vegetarian/ vegan eatery and juice bar is tucked away in the heart of Cairns CBD in Mainstreet Arcade and has lovingly been serving food for 15 years. Their windows are full of tempting salads, wraps, hot food and snacks. From only $11.50, mix and match salads, curries and more to create the perfect smorgasbord of dishes for your tastes. Otherwise, choose from one of their pre-packaged loaded salads topped with flavoured hummus and drizzled with mango dressing. Did someone say “yum”? 

Details: Open weekdays 9am–2pm, Mainstreet Arcade (between Grafton and Lake Streets) Cairns

Root Vegetarian

Choose from a range of meals in the bain-marie

Tucked away in The Walk Laneway on Lake Street in Cairn CBD, you’ll find a small shop serving hearty, healthy and heavenly Asian-Argentian fusion vegan food. 

Opt for their hero Root Bowl, where you can choose from a mix of curries, stirfries, rice, noodles or salad; for something lighter, try their delicious sushi rolls and rice paper rolls; or snack on tasty treats such as salt and pepper popcorn tofu, samosas or fritters.

Their menu changes weekly so you’ll always have the option to sample something different.

Details: Open 11am-2.30pm Tuesday to Sunday, Lake Street Cairns CBD

The Lillipad Cafe

Turkish Breakfast at The Lillipad Cafe

Photo by instagram.com/bewarebrunette

As You Like It breakfast at The Lillipad Cafe

Photo by instagram.com/feedingmysoul9

For an overwhelming choice of food with equally overwhelming plate sizes, The Lillypad Cafe has got you covered with their extensive menu. Although the cafe doesn’t exclusively cater to vegans or vegetarians, you’ll find almost half of its menu features meat-free dishes.

Think burritos smothered in green chilli sauce and cheese (optional) stuffed with sauteed potatoes, tofu or tempeh and eggs (avocado for vegan); marinated organic tofu, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, avocado and hash browns; or enormous vegan antipasto platters for two which could easily be shared by three. No matter what you order, you’re guaranteed to walk out with your belly full and satisfaction level exceeded.

Details: Open everyday 7am–3pm and nightly 5pm-9.30pm

Lukure Caff

Assorted salads

Quinoa salad

Roasted vegetable panini

Vegetarian pastries

Opening in December 2020, Lukure Caff was a refreshing welcome to the Cairns foodie scene. Specialising in fast, fresh and healthy food – and of course great coffee – the Caff’s menu lends itself to a vegetarian diet with a range of tasty salads, wraps, paninis and pastries all without meat. Unlike most cafes in town, salads come standard as vegetarian, and proteins (including halloumi) can be added for a small charge.

If you’re after extra convenience, you can preorder and pay online so you can really make use of their grab-and-go ethos.

Kuranda Village

Mango Shaved Ice at Hayabusa of Kuranda

Frog's Restaurant

Fruibies Organic Tropical Fruit Bar

Kuranda, the rainforest village just “up the hill”, is a mecca for plant-based food cafes. Organic vegan juice bar and cafe Fruibies, at Kuranda Village Centre, brings a splash of colour to your diet. Think bright pink dragonfruit smoothies, papaya boats or coconuts filled with fruit salad, nice cream and shredded coconut or some seriously loaded salads. 

A wander through the markets and streets of Kuranda will afford both vegetarians and vegans many other options. Dress in a kimono and enjoy a Japanese tea ceremony and lunch at Hayabusa of Kuranda, take in the views from one of Kuranda’s oldest establishments, Frog’s Restaurant or feast on authentic Central and South American food at La Fonta Latina which focuses on local vegan and vegetarian produce.

Tip: Make a day of it and venture to and from Kuranda on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Kuranda Scenic Railway.

Gyorgyi's Delights

An arancini ball & pastry will set you back $10 for lunch

Keep your eyes peeled because you might miss this tiny stall located on along the Sheridan Street footpath at Rusty’s Markets. Here you’ll find chef Gyorgyi serving up a range of homemade vegan and vegetarian sweet or savoury treats. For around $10 you can enjoy a wholesome lunch ranging from arancini balls, frittatas, tarts and pastries each served with a healthy portion of sauerkraut and a trio of sauces. 

Govinda’s Yummies

Samosa with tamarind and date sauce

Govinda’s Yummies, specialising in “pure vegetarian food”, is a veteran of Rusty’s Markets. There’s always a line at this little stall and for good reason; for just $2.50 you can get a mouthwatering mixed vegetable samosa or for $3, a spinach and cheese samosa. Topped with a healthy serving of your choice of sauce (the tamarind and date comes highly recommended) and a side of a lemon, orange and mint cooler it’s the perfect snack or light lunch.

The Healthy Hub Cafe

Pulled jackfruit tacos

The Hub Burger

Beyond Meat hotdogs

Twice baked buffalo style cauliflower "wings" tacos

The secret is out! Cairns has an organic 100% plant-based cafe. Located inside Cairns’ organic produce store, The Healthy Hub, this cafe replicates the ethics of the store, sourcing suppliers with quality products that are sustainable, nutritious and unique. It’s unlikely you’ll stumble across this one without looking so jump in a car, on a bike or bus and head to North Cairns for some seriously tantalising vegan comfort food. From pulled jackfruit nachos, vegan sausage rolls, buffalo cauliflower “wing” tacos or a range of lighter options such as salads, wraps or smoothie bowls, everyone’s idea of comfort food is catered for.

Details: Open Monday to Saturday 9am-2pm, Moffatt Street, North Cairns

Coco Mojo

Vegan Nasi Lemak

The flavours of the world are the hero of Coco Mojo’s huge vegetarian menu at Clifton Beach. Whatever you’re craving, chances are Coco Mojo have a meal to satisfy from paella to tagines, Mexican delights and mezze platters to a range of fresh and more-ish salads. Avoid food envy by ordering the Global Street Food Board for two which offers a taste of many of the dishes to sample.

Details: Open weekdays 11.30am-late and weekends 9am–late, Clifton Beach Road Clifton Beach

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