Over the course of about two weeks, we made our way south along Australia’s east coast starting in northern Queensland near Cairns. Queensland is known for its close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef as well as its stunning coastline dotted with white, sandy beaches.
In both the urban and rural pockets of Queensland, we sought out top-notch plant-based cuisine through word-of-mouth recommendations from locals along with some old fashioned Google searching prior to our arrival.
Snoogies, in downtown Cairns, might be a little difficult to find as it’s located in a food court in the Main Street Arcade between Lake Street and Grafton Street, but the hunt will be well worth it, I promise! Ask a local, and they will likely know of the Cairns go-to heath food café and juice bar.
This vegetarian and vegan-friendly café and juice bar started about nine years ago when the co-owners, one food-focused and one juice-focused, decided to combine their strengths to offer healthy, nutrient-rich food for the Cairns community. They found the perfect “food court” space that would allow for the café and juice bar to sit back-to-back while sharing the same kitchen as well as the name, Snoogies.
The café offers an assortment of prepared cold salads, vegan dips, sandwiches, veggie maki nori and veggie patties. You’ll also find four or five different hot stews and soups, most with a Southeast Asian flavor profile. We thoroughly enjoyed the coconut-lime kefir curry. Be sure to save room for a raw energy balls or the raw cake of the day.
Snoogie’s vegan nori maki
The prices are very reasonable. The “large plate” below cost $13 AUD (approximately $11.50 USD).
This raw, vegan banana, chia, blueberry, cacao, coconut and walnut cake was excellent.
Here at the details for Snoogies:
Address: Main Street Arcade (Between Lake St and Grafton St), Cairns, Queensland, Australia 4870
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 2pm
We had a spontaneous two-night stay in downtown Brisbane between traveling around the Great Barrier Reef and heading south to New South Wales. After a quick internet search for vegan food in Brisbane, we discovered that Vege Rama was consistently rated as one of the best. We arrived in Brisbane around 1pm, dropped our bags at the hotel and went straight to Vege Rama’s newest location on Queen Street for a late lunch. This particular location is entirely vegan while Vege Rama’s original location in the Myer Center food court is entirely vegetarian, though most dishes are without dairy or egg.
Vege Rama’s hot dishes and cold salads are vibrant in appearance and full of complementary flavors. The seasoning is spot-on, making for flavorful food that satisfies the tastebuds but is kind to the body. Vege Rama uses organic ingredients whenever possible and prioritizes in-season, local produce. The hot and cold dishes change on a daily basis, but you’re almost guaranteed to find some of the more popular cold salads everyday.
Here are a few of the highlights from Vege Rama.
An assortment of cold salads including the sesame barbecue salad (on the right) with a mint tahini dressing
The vegan enchilada
Vegan peach and apricot crisp topped with coconut cream, toasted almonds and pumpkin seeds
We enjoyed multiple meals at Vege Rama during our brief stay in Brisbane and even made a special trip back to Vege Rama a week later while passing through the city on our way south to Byron Bay. The 45 minute detour was well worth it!
Here are the details for Vege Rama:
Adelaide Street location:
Address: Shop 30, Post Office Square, 270 – 280 Queen Street, Brisbane City
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 6pm, closed Saturday and Sunday
Phone: +07 3 220 6000
Myer Center location:
Address: Level E, Myer Center, 91 Queen St, Brisbane City
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9am – 6pm, Friday: 9am – 9pm, Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 5pm
Phone: +07 3 012 8586
Raw Energy started in 1998 with a simple vision: to provide fresh food, juices, coffee and smoothies and to serve the food in a fast and funky environment, hence the tagline, “Fresh, Fast, Funky.” Just four years ago, the local café embarked on a franchise model and grew from two location to eight locations, extending its reach throughout the Sunshine Coast. We checked out the Noosaville location for lunch. The café, having maintained its funky flair, offers comfortable outdoor, shaded seating with a nice view of the river. The menu, while not entirely vegan or vegetarian, has a handful of nutrient-rich vegan options as well as an extensive selection of smoothies and fresh juices.
The beautifully presented vegan lentil-macadamia burger
The vegan Mexican Roll-up was jam-packed with shredded carrots, beets and greens along with a five-bean chili and sweet corn patty, avocado, and sweet chili sauce.
The Chocolate Goji energy ball was perfectly tart and chewy and nicely balanced with bits of dark chocolate.
The details for Raw Energy’s numerous locations throughout the Sunshine Coast can be found here.