12 July 2023

Have dietary requirements? These 10 Canberra venues will hit the spot

| Travis Radford
Future Swirl soft serve.

The half chocolate, half vanilla is a popular choice at Future Swirl. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

People with dietary restrictions, especially more complex requirements, will all have experienced looking at a menu and finding nothing they can eat.

Here are ten Canberra venues, including restaurants, cafes, bars and even food trucks, which have inclusive options to suit an array of restrictions.

There are the usual suspects with vegan, vego and gluten-free options, as well as entrants new and old catering to a wider range of dietaries.

Whether you’re after something sweet or savoury, here are some ideas to get you started on your dietary friendly food adventure.

Bowl of fried cauliflower in chilli sauce at Dada, Woden.

Peter Kang wanted to recreate the perfect Korean fried chicken from his childhood. Photo: Lucy Ridge.


Menu: Everything friendly Asian cuisine, view menu here
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, noon – 2 pm (lunch) and 5:30 pm – 9 pm (dinner)
Where: G4, 12 Furzer Street, Phillip, book here

The name Dada is derived from the Korean word ‘Da,’ meaning ‘all,’ reflecting owners Peter and Kaye Kang’s mission to cater to all dietary restrictions. Chef Peter makes everything in-house so guests can be confident there are no hidden allergens. The couple are originally from Korea but their menu is inspired by a whole range of flavours and cuisines from Asia.

READ ALSO Hot in the City: Dada is a place for all

The Future Swirl trailer

The Future Swirl trailer is parked at Waves Carwash in Braddon. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Future Swirl

Menu: Vegan and vegetarian friendly soft serves and milkshakes, view menu here
Hours: Thursday, 12:30 pm to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday, 12:30 pm to 11 pm, Sunday, 11 am to 8:30 pm
Where: Waves Carwash, 17 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, no booking required

The entire menu is plant-based but not just vegans and vegetarians are covered. The oat milk soft serves are also free from gelatin, nuts, wheat, coconut and soy. However Future Swirl asks all customers to discuss their dietary requirements as trace amounts of some allergens may remain. Owner Maddalena makes the vanilla- and chocolate-flavoured soft serve from scratch daily.

Banh mi and sticky rice

The banh mi and sticky rice at Little Phat Rolls – and don’t forget the lemon tea! Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Little Phat Rolls

Menu: Vegan and vegetarian Vietnamese street food, view menu here
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am, Thursday to Saturday for dinner
Where: Waves Carwash, 17 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, no booking required

The bright yellow Little Phat Rolls food truck is a new addition to Braddon. Owner Tien Nguyen told Region he tried every banh mi in Canberra to get his just right (he said the secret is to make the bread hot and crispy). Tien himself is vegetarian and wanted to offer a range of vegan and vegetarian options (a highlight is the homemade vegan friendly mushroom sauce, used as a pâté).

Iced buns.

These cinnabuns are a Sweet Bones favourite. Photo: Sweet Bones Scullin.

Sweet Bones

Menu: Vegan cafe and bakery, view menu here
Hours: Daily, 8 am to 3 pm (Braddon), weekdays, 7 am to 2 pm, weekends, 8 am to 2 pm (Scullin)
Where: 3/3 Scullin Place, Scullin and 8/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, no booking required

Scullin shops may have once had a reputation for being a bit of a ghost town, but no more! One of the shops helping to turn the tide has been Sweet Bones (you can also visit the original Sweet Bones on Lonsdale Street in Braddon). Patrons can also make their own vegan sweets and treats with the help of the Sweet Bones cookbook or order vegan cakes for any occasion.

Beer Tap Label

TWØBAYS gluten-free beer is available on tap at Dickson Taphouse. Photo: Liv Cameron.

Dickson Taphouse

Menu: Gluten-free beer and pasta, view menu here
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:30 am to 12 am
Where: 30 Woolley Street, Dickson, no booking required

Dickson Taphouse is a class corner pub with a twist – a dedicated gluten-free beer tap. Brewer TWØBAYS Brewing Co., whose gluten-free beer range rotates through the tap, uses gluten-free grains malted in dedicated gluten-free malt houses. Want something to eat too? The taphouse also has gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan patrons covered with their homemade pastas.

READ ALSO Beer on tap and handmade pasta for Canberra’s gluten free population at Dickson Taphouse

Au Lac Dickson Vegan Cuisine shop-front featuring staff members.

Au Lac’s food is completely meat and dairy free. Photo: Au Lac Dickson Vegan Cuisine.

Au Lac Dickson Vegan Cuisine

Menu: Vegan Vietnamese food, view menu here
Hours: Friday to Sunday, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, Monday to Sunday, 5 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: 4/35-39 Wooley Street, Dickson, book here

Au Lac’s extensive menu of vegan and vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine is also free of onion, garlic, chives, leeks and spring onions. Plus they also have a gluten-free range. The Dickson restaurant also offers dishes with meat alternatives which are made from vegetarian ingredients. You can order in, take away or even get Au Lac to cater your next event or party.

Vegan satay cauliflower features macadamia emulsion, cauliflower leaf kimchi and peanut brittle.

Monster favourite, the vegan satay cauliflower. Photo: Monster Kitchen and Bar.

Monster Kitchen and Bar

Menu: Local seasonal vegan and vegetarian food, view menu here
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 7 am to 10:30 am, Thursday to Saturday, 6 pm to 10:30 pm
Where: 25 Edinburgh Ave, Canberra, book here

Monster Kitchen and Bar has taken what it calls a ‘Veg Pledge’. This means they have menus specially for vegans and vegetarians, using locally sourced ingredients. Located on the ground floor of Ovolo Nishi, the restaurant has four spaces to enjoy the plant-based cuisine – the lounge, mosaic room and salon and dining rooms, which tell a story of Australian immigration.

Two people sharing a vegan menu item from Lazy Su.

Lazy Su hosts occasional vegan nights alongside their permanent vegan menu. Photo: Lazy Su.

Lazy Su

Menu: Vegan Asian cuisine, view menu here
Hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 5 pm to late, Friday to Sunday, noon to 3 pm, 5:30 pm to late
Where: 1/9 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, book here

Lazy Su has a lot to offer vegans. Options span a six-dish vegan set menu for those wanting to taste a little bit of everything, as well as regular vegan menu items. Throw into the mix the occasional vegan night featuring exclusive set menus with vegan wines and cocktails, and this could be the restaurant for you. Lazy Su also has year-round gluten-free and dairy-free menu options.

Four different pasta dishes on a table.

Amici hosts occasional bottomless gluten-free pasta nights. Photo: Amici Wine Bar & Deli.

Amici Wine Bar & Deli

Menu: Bottomless gluten-free pasta nights, view schedule here
Hours: Available select Tuesdays over two sittings from 5:45 pm and 8 pm
Where: 59 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, book here

This deli, wine and cocktail bar invites diners to pull up a seat to Nonna’s table every Tuesday and enjoy the pasta dish of the day until they can’t eat any more. However the gluten-free pasta Tuesdays are less regular and diners with dietary requirements should check the schedule to avoid disappointment. The regular menu also features an assortment of vegetarian options.

Morks Restaurant's kitchen staff preparing orders.

Morks promises an adventurous twist on Thai cuisine. Photo: Morks Restaurant.

Morks Restaurant

Menu: Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan Thai food, view menu here
Hours: Wednesday to Friday and Sunday from noon, Tuesday from 11:30 am, Saturday from 10:30 am, dinner on Tuesday to Thursday and Saturday from 6 pm
Where: 18/19 Eastlake Parade, Kingston, book here

Owner Benn Ratanakosol told Region in 2021 the next big thing was “more plants and less meat, driven by sustainability and technique”. Two years later and Morks has delivered, with a dozen vegan or vegetarian options on their menu and an ample number of gluten-free options sprinkled in too. Morks promises its guests an “adventurous” twist on the Thai cuisine they know.

Original Article published by Travis Radford on Riotact.

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