WHETHER you’re a vegetarian, vegan or health-conscious carnivore, the options for eating out on the Sunshine Coast are looking up.
Gone are the days where those looking to avoid meat would resign themselves to a single meal on any menu.
The vegetarian and vegan market is rapidly expanding, with an impressive variety of options as businesses put their own take on cuisines from Indian to Thai, burgers to seafood.
Gopal’s Pure Vegetarian Cafe
If you’re looking for a great value vegetarian lunch or dinner in the heart of Maroochydore, Gopal’s is the place to be.
Grab a curry with rice for $9, go crazy with combo meals, or check out the cabinet for freshly made salads, snacks and desserts.
Eat in or take your spoils for a picnic feast in the park at Cotton Tree, just around the corner.
Look out for their stalls at markets around the region, including the monthly Nights on Ocean.
New Earth Cafe
Established in December 2013, New Earth Cafe in Coolum Beach is an all-vegan, all-raw, gluten-free haven.
Drop in for a juice, smoothie or frappe with your superfood-stocked bowl or platter.
If it’s cold out, try the hot chocolates with lavender, peppermint, ginger, mocha or chilli.
Cafe Nurcha was named among the top five burger makers on the Sunshine Coast in the Daily’s poll in June.
It started as an add-on to the vegan health food store at Wises Rd, Buderim, but the cafe’s popularity snowballed to a thriving foodie destination.
Delicats opened in Nambour last year, forming part of the town’s resurgence as a hip destination for food and cafe culture, and proved itself a winner among the Sunshine Coast’s growing vegan and vegetarian market.
The business was voted the winner in the Daily’s best burger poll in June.
The meat-free burgers taste almost alarmingly close to the real thing, customers report.
This burger joint in Maroochydore only opened in June, but has already amassed a loyal following.
The burgers may be the real star, but don’t pass up the opportunity to try the range of loaded chips.
The vegan restaurant in Ocean St, Maroochydore has been offering out-of-the-box options for meat-free meals.
The restaurant’s “pulled pork” burger, made from jackfruit, is a local favourite.
If you’ve been missing calamari, prepare to be delighted by the restaurant’s vegan option, made from coconut.
Sunspace Cafe and Eco Shop in Doonan serves up organic, seasonal vegetarian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Check out the ever-evolving menu and daily specials.
The Sun Thai Restaurant
Established this year, the Sun Thai Restaurant in Nambour is open for dinner on Sunday-Tuesday and lunch and dinner on Thursday-Sunday.
Chefs serve up tasty Thai meals with vegetables, tofu and mock meats.
Big Love Cafe
Based in the Chenrezig Institute at Eudlo, the Big Love Cafe takes on the Buddhist cruelty-free approach to food.
The cafe is closed on Monday-Wednesday, but is open 7am-6.30pm on Thursday-Sunday.
Right in the heart of Noosa Heads on Hastings St, Coconut Head offers all-plant superfood that is vegan-friendly.
Try the variety of smoothies, smoothie bowls and raw cakes.
The Greenhouse Cafe is nestled away in Lamkin Lane, off Caloundra’s Bulcock St, but still attracts plenty of hungry vegetarians.
The cafe sources local, organic products for their meals and beverages.
Ocean Shepherd Espresso Bar
If vegan and vegetarian food (with great coffee) wasn’t enough to please you, how about knowing you’re helping support ocean conservation with your spend?
Ocean Shepherd Espresso Bar, in the arcade on the corner of First Ave in Mooloolaba, is a proud supporter of Ocean Shepherd offering vegan pies, acai bowls, smoothies, tumeric lattes alongside the charity’s merchandise.