Happy New Year everyone! I know I already said that in my last post, but I thought it was best to cover that in case.... I don't know. Anyway.
As I'm sure you've heard (probably from us) time and time again, Brisbane isn't exactly known for it's huge range of veg eating options, but the last few months have seen a vegetable explosion of new places to eat. I thought it would be good to highlight some of the ones we're aware of here: we haven't visited all of them (some are still closed, some are too recent and we haven't had time/are lazy), but hopefully you can let us know if you've been or know someone who has, etc, and we'll add more details when we visit them/as information becomes available.
9/1 Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill | www.botanicarealfood.com.au | 3367 3334 | facebook | @botanicafood
Open: 10a-7.30p (M-F), 9a-5.30p (S-S)
(UPDATE DEC 2014 Their new hours: Tue-Fri 9a-6p; Sat/Sun 9a-5p)
Salad lovers: get thee to Red Hill! Opened just three days ago, Botanica has a focus on "real foods".
Positioned just on the corner of Musgrave Rd and Enoggera Tce, it's a prime location, and the shop, small though it is, is beautifully laid out, with simple, clean decor.
We had expected a vegetarian cafe of sorts and, though everything is vegetarian (and most is vegan), it really is just a salad take-away, though this is not a bad thing. Salad is one of those things we never eat for two reasons: firstly, it's usually horribly bland; and secondly, cutting up all those bits to make a tasty salad at home is a pain. I'm sure many share our pain. Rather than rushing around at the last minute trying to make some "WOW" salad to take to a picnic/BBQ/lunch/dinner, and without resorting to some Coles premix salad, simply walk in, pick the salad/s you want, and be on your merry way.
Aside from the salads, they also have some baked goods (we tried the brownies), a muesli made in-house (dry, to take home), a "super-greens" pesto, house aioli, and the de rigueur drinks fridge (from a quick glance, some bottled water and the Parker's Organic Juices).
We got a large box, which was about 30x15cm and was able to fit 5 salads, which came in at $20: a delicious potato salad, a green bean and sweet potato salad, a sort-of chickpea tabbouleh, a beetroot salad, and a carrot salad (former three all delicious, the final two could have done with some more variation in ingredients/flavour/texture). The brownie was $4. According to the chef, the menu will change seasonally, and will remain entirely vegetarian (he hopes). When we went, only one salad was not vegan; I imagine the situation will remain the same as their menu changes.
The menu on their website lists many things that weren't available when we went (it does note that it is a "sample"): presumably different items will be available depending on the day (we were quite excited to try the Brownie with salted coconut caramel, which unfortunately wasn't there when we were). It will be interesting to see how the menu and experience evolves as Botanica continues to grow.
Natascha Mirosch also recently reviewed Botanica for The Queensland Good Food Guide.
140 Sutton St, Redcliffe | www.peacepies.com.au | facebook
Open: 10a-5p (W-F), 9a-5p (Sat), 9a-3p (Sun), Closed: M-Tues
Opened in December last year, this shop is run by Tracey, who for several years ran the Loving Hut Express stall at Lawnton and Redcliffe Markets. Her "Peace Pies" were available at Loving Hut and The Green Edge for a number of months before the shop itself, and her desserts were available previous available (or may indeed still be available) at Vegerama in the city. The Peace Pies website also lists a number of other stockists around south-east Queensland.
Though the ultimate plan is to convert Peace Pies into a vegan grocery store and cafe, at the time we went there were very few items on the shelves. Pies are $6 each (oddly more expensive than they sell for either frozen at Loving Hut or hot at The Green Edge), or $14 with a side salad (though attractive, unfortunately unseasoned) and curly fries (yes, the Aldi ones, but I'd kill for the seasoning that was on them!). Pie nostalgics can also have their pie with a serving of mushy peas for $1.20. The pies in general aren't my favourite, but I did not mind the Thai pie I had when we went. There are also a range of drinks, including juices, smoothies, milkshakes, coffee, and tea. The menu notes that take-home meals (presumably frozen) are available, though we did not see these when there.
It seems that Peace Pies is still changing a lot as it grows (it was very busy when we went), so prices and menu offerings may have changed since we went (just after Christmas; please let us know if you've been recently!). Their grocery options will also most likely expand in the coming months, though no doubt they are having trouble coping with demand in the cafe!
Peace Pies were recently featured in Quest Newspapers' Redcliffe & Bayside Herald.
(UPDATE DEC 2014 Peace Pies has since closed)
Shop 30, Post Office Square, Brisbane CBD | www.vegerama.com.au | 3220 6000 | facebook
Open: 8.30a-6p (M-F), 9a-5p (Sat), Closed: Sun
The original VegeRama, in the Queen Street Mall Food Court, was for a while one of the only places offering explicitly vegan food (along with many vegetarian options) anywhere in the CBD area. Their new store, next to the Coffee Club on Adelaide Street (under Post Office Square) is exclusively vegan (though there has been some mention of the original store now becoming entirely vegetarian, we are still yet to confirm whether anything has changed).
Unfortunately VegeRama was closed over the Christmas/New Year period, and does not open again January 7 (today!), so we are yet to try it, but it certainly provides a boon of new options for CBD-working/living/visiting veg*ns (and omnivores so inclined!), and is probably the most conveniently located vegetarian restaurant in the great Brisbane area, barely a 5 minute walk from Central Station, and perhaps 7 from King George Square (our friend at Queensland Rail is ridiculously happy to have a convenient lunch so close to work). We will report back ourselves when we try it ourselves (and please let us know of your thoughts if you've been).
The Banana Lounge
170 Boundary St, West End | facebook
Open: 7a-3p (M-F), 8a-3p (Sat), Closed: Sun
Another to open just three days ago, The Banana Lounge was opened (just up the road from The Forest) by the previous owner of The Green Edge. Unfortunately, details are a bit scarce: we know for a fact that there are pies (Ykillamoocow No Bull Pies and Pumpkin & Barely Rolls are the likely culprits), cakes, and drinks (coffee/smoothies, etc). They also have some meals on the menu: pancakes, scrambled tofu, and plates for breakfast and lunch, made by the chef previously from Loving Hut Mt Gravatt. Alas, that is all we know! The rumour mill suggests that this will eventually be a full cafe/bar (evidenced by the newly built bar outside). Details of opening hours are also sketchy, though we'll update this as we know more and when we try it (and let us know if you have).
UPDATE DEC 2014 The Banana Lounge has since closed.
there is word of a new Indian vegetarian restaurant around Mt Gravatt (opposite Garden City); our sources say it's called Top In Town:
apparently it was an omnivore restaurant that has become pure
vegetarian (keeping the same name), though the website still lists many
meat dishes (perhaps they just haven't updated the website?). We'll have
to give it a look, and if it turns out it isn't, we'll just head on
down to Su Life instead!
And finally, outside of Brisbane, you may have heard of some changes in Maleny's raw food scene. Though there was word late last year that Kind Living Cafe was moving or perhaps closing, it has since changed hands and will continue to be open in Maleny (25 Maple Street, Maleny). The previous owner, Lucy, is now working on The Raw Food Institute of Australia, which we wait with much anticipation to hear more about, and may also be working on opening a Kind Living Cafe in Brisbane.
Raw & Peace also recently announced that they are closing their doors of their cafe in Maleny, though hopefully this is only temporary while Ames (the owner/chef) regroups. In the mean time, you can get your fix of their amazing treats at the Northey Street Markets on Sunday mornings (raw pizzas and burgers to die for. Live for. Just eat it).
If you know of any other new veg places that have opened around Brisbane/South East Queensland, and/or have tried any of those above, please let us know below. We'll add more details to this post as they become available.