Brisbane doesn't have the same completely ridiculous vegan food scene as Melbourne but there are a lot of decent options and overall I really enjoyed the vibe of Brisbane. The area just south of the river has a super cool man made beach as well as a swimming pool that's free to use. They even have free wifi! The area around it is often used for markets, pop ups, and celebrations and on our first evening in the city they were holding a Buddah's Birthday festival which was 100% vegetarian and awash with vegan eats.
We met up with Susan and ate our way around the area stopping for BBQ buns, shu mai, mock duck with rice, savoury pies, Turkish flatbreads topped with vegan cheese and a whole heap of garlic, as well as desserts like tiramisu, chocolate pudding, and fruit crumbles. We did a lot of sharing which is my favourite way to eat especially when I'm with people who could take or leave spicy foods.
I only ate at their location inside the Myer Centre once but it was enjoyable. I had an excellent salad with rocket, figs, roasted veggies and seeds, and a slice of mocha cake whilst Nick enjoyed a samosa with tamarind sauce and a Thai green curry pie. He loved them both but would highly recommend the pie to anyone who likes spicy food.
Vegeme was one place that I wished I'd had the time to return to one more time, it has an excellent menu but we were told that the small dishes were the way to go. We nibbled on cracked black pepper edamame, soy nuggets, and corn croquettes as well as radish cakes that I was too excited about to photograph.
I'd say that Vegeme is a must visit especially as you can have a full meal or just a few little snacks as part of a vegan eating tour of the West End. MisoHapi is another West End location and it's worth a visit but I did find their food a little hit and miss. The aubergine dengaku and the soy nuggets were both excellent but I felt pretty meh about their inari tofu and the donburi was a little bland. The avocado maki and the tofu nigiri were both decent but I've had better elsewhere.
Their vegan labelling is excellent though and again, like Vegeme, you can pop in and try a few things rather than committing to a whole meal. The West End of Brisbane is pretty crammed full of vegan options, as well as the places I've already mentioned there's The Cruelty Free Shop which sells everything you'd expect from a vegan store plus vegan baked goods like Lamingtons and meringues. Gelato Messina whist not a 100% vegan spot is located on Melbourne Street and there's a Doughnut Time located a little wander away down Grey Street. We did stocked up on black salt, cheese, and chocolate at The Cruelty Free shop and swung by Gelato Messina with Susan for one final ice cream before we had to leave the city.
Doughnut Time have locations in Melbourne, Sydney, and Gold Coast as well as Brisbane and whilst they aren't 100% vegan they do always have vegan options. The vegan mainstays are the sprinkle covered Fairy Godmother and the red velvet Liam Helmsworthy (both pictured below) but rotating vegan options include things like their matcha glazed and cream filled Matcha Matcha Man (OMG) and the jam filled Berry Seinfeld.
My final favourite Brisbane eatery is Tea Master which Nick and I only ended up visiting on our last day, if we'd eaten there sooner we'd have definitely tried to fit in a second (or third!) meal there. We ordered food to share and chose the red pork dish and the duck noodles. The red pork was a little dry compared to the versions of it I've tried in the past but the duck noodles were off the charts delicious.
With fresh noodles, succulent gluten, and loads of bok choy, it was the perfect plate of food. We also ordered bubble teas, I'd been avoiding ordering them from the usual take out spots because I'm trying to cut back on my plastic consumption (more on that in another post soon) and on the menu they were pictured in a glass so I got excited, ordered one, and then felt a little irritated / guilty when they arrived in the usual plastic cup with a cellophane lid and a thick plastic straw. Fail. They were delicious though; mango bubble tea with pearls and coconut jelly is up there with my favourite ever drinks (thanks Taiwan!) so it isn't something I'll be giving up totally anytime soon.
If you're looking for things to do in-between meals then Brisbane is a great city to explore on foot, you can walk almost everywhere especially if you're staying in the CBD and there are loads of cool places to pop into and explore. Aside from the super cool city beach my favourite spot was GOMA - the modern art gallery which was packed full of thought provoking exhibits and work by young local artists.