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
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 $14, 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
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.
Details: Open 11am-2.30pm Monday to Friday, Lake Street Cairns CBD
Located on the north end of Cairns Esplanade in the Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre, Guyala Cafe serves up plates inspired by authentic Indigenous ingredients. The cafe offers a number of vegetarian and vegan options that are anything but your standard avo toast. Think truffle and tofu toasties and pina colada waffle stack.
Details: Monday – Friday 7am – 2.30pm, Saturday 7am- 2pm, Sunday 8am – 1pm
The Lillipad Cafe
Photo by instagram.com/bewarebrunette
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 and mushroom eggs benedict; 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
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, 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.
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. 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, 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; you can get a mouthwatering mixed vegetable samosa or 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
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 vegan sausage rolls, “chick’n” melt sandwhiches 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-3pm, Moffatt Street, North Cairns
Bury Me Standing Bagels
Bagels and cinnamon scrolls may be the hero menu items at Bury Me Standing, but these plant-based delights are just where it begins. Classic hotdogs have a Bury Me Standing vegan twist, served on their simultaneously chewy and soft bagel dogs, and flavoured with a range of toppings from classic sauerkraut to cheeseburger style. It’s hard to go past their Peckels Bakkas (Polish family donuts) at three for $6, which are similar to a cinnamon donut but, dare-we-say-it, arguably better.
Details: Open Thursday to Sunday 7.30am to 12.30pm, Grafton Street, Cairns (near corner of Spence Street)
Two doors down from Bury Me Standing, find the tastiest falafels outside of the Middle East at small Israeli style falafel bar, Falafellicious. It’s hard to go past their original falafels offering, freshly baked pita wrap or lettuce bowl stuffed with almost too many falafels, sauce and salad. However, they do have daily salad and sweet specials as well.
Paired with a refreshing, organic, house-made lemonade, prepare for your meal to far exceed your taste expectations; it’s simply delicious.
Details: Open weekdays 10.30am-2.30pm, and some weekends.
If you’re craving veggie/vegan delights such as smashed avo, buenos nachos or chickpea fritters, make way to Pantry 15 on Grafton St. This cafe has an abundance of vegetarian and vegan options available. including their signature smoothie bowls.