With boutique precincts, cool bars and new cafes and restaurants popping up all over town, it’s no wonder Lonely Planet voted us the third top city to visit in 2018. Rivalling the hip alleyways of Melbourne, the Canberra food scene seemed to be a rather large factor when it came to Lonely Planet’s decision, and as a bit of a social butterfly, the new restaurants and bars to visit have been a dream come true!
As a vegan, it can sometimes be hard to live up to the foodie revolution, but I am ecstatic to report that many locals are more than happy to adhere to dietary requirements. I’m on a Canberra Food Mission to check out all of these delightful new places, and while testing out the best vegan burgers in Canberra might seem like a hard job, someone’s got to do it! Here’s a list of the best places to score a vegan burger (or a delicious burger in general) on Canberra’s food scene.
PULLED MUSHROOM BURGER – THE FISH SHACK, CITY
You probably wouldn’t think that a little stand-alone café called The Fish Shack in Petrie Plaza would have much in the way of vegan options, but boy you would be wrong! Well known in the Canberra vegan community as being the place for some of the best vegan burgers, The Fish Shack regularly partakes in ‘Vegan Sundays’ where everything on the menu is vegan. With scarily real ‘seafood’ available it’s hard to choose what to go for, but the pulled mushroom burger and ‘cheese’ burger are so delicious it’s the number one choice every time!
The Fish Shack | 87/105 Petrie Plaza, Canberra City | www.thefishshack.com.au
SWEET POTATO BURGER – UPPA LEVEL CAFÉ, KINGSTON
I was lucky enough to be situated next to this hidden gem for almost a year, and this milk bar style café has proven itself to be one of my favourite vegan burgers in Canberra! The Sweet Potato Vegetarian burger may not start off vegan, but the friendly owners of the café are more than happy to remove the dairy products of aioli and halloumi to vegan-ise the burger for you, and it’s definitely worth trying. The crunch of the sweet potato patty mixed with the deliciously smooth bun will have your mouth watering for more.
Uppa Level Café | 6/71 Leichhardt Street, Kingston | facebook.com/uppalevelcafe
TERIYAKI BURGER – MEADOW, CITY
Meadow is one of Canberra’s latest establishments and is filled to the brim with locally sourced, sustainable and healthy produce that sees their menu as primarily vegetarian. Almost everything is able to be turned vegan but I highly recommend the teriyaki burger for those who don’t mind a heap of mushrooms. Made of fried enoki and wild mushrooms with shallots, bok choi and a delicious teriyaki dressing, Meadow’s vegan teriyaki burger is messy, drippy and oh so yummy!
Meadow | Melbourne Building, Odgers Laneway, Canberra City | meadowlife.com.au
TASTY TOFU BAO-GERS – LAZY SU, BRADDON
Ever since going on holidays to Vietnam last year I have become OBSESSED with Vietnamese food, and none more so than bao. The deliciously soft and fluffy dough make for incredible dumplings, but Lazy Su has turned the bao into an art form with their bao burgers. With pork belly, Korean fried and tofu bao burgers (or bao-gers) on the menu there is something for everyone, but the tofu bao-ger is so off the chain that you couldn’t possibly go for anything else. Made with a tofu and sweet corn patty topped with lettuce, Asian salsa and vegan mayo, Lazy Su continues to prove that they do vegan right!
Lazy Su | Shop 1, 9 Lonsdale Street, Braddon | lazy-su.com.au
BREAKFAST BURGER – SWEET BONES BAKERY AND CAFÉ
Sweet Bones Bakery and Café in Lonsdale Street is a Canberra vegan institution as they’ve been serving delicious vegan-friendly breakfast, lunch and cakes in Canberra since 2011. With items on the menu like homemade blueberry pancakes, big vegan breakfasts with coconut bacon, and buddha bowls there’s so much on the menu to pore over, but it’s hard to go past their burger section.
My personal favourite is the Breakfast Burger because it’s perfect for those having a lazy Sunday brunch and is made of tofu scramble, lettuce, tomato, onion, Tabasco, ketchup, hummus and coconut bacon. It’s a spicy and smokey mix and will get you ready to face your week ahead.
Sweet Bones Bakery and Café | Shop 8, 18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon | sweetbonescompany.com
VEGETARIAN BURGER – BRODBURGER
Speaking of Canberra institutions, you’re not Canberran unless you’ve visited Brodburger. Now in three different locations of the Kingston Foreshore, Capital Brewing Co, and the ANU Pop Up, Brodburger is able to vegan-ise their vegetarian burger so that you don’t miss out on Canberra’s favourite burgers. Remove the halloumi and choose vegan-friendly aioli and you will be delighted with the flame grilled mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini and capsicum. It’s worth checking out with the Canberra locals.
Brodburger | 11 Wentworth Ave, Kingston Foreshore | brodburger.com.au
THE DONALD WATSON BURGER – MOOKIE
Mookie is a new burger joint to hit the Canberra City and is simply oozing with retro- American cross Asian style. The hip geometric joint has heaps of different burgers on the menu to satisfy any taste but has a specially made vegan burger called The Donald Watson burger. Made with a sweet potato, chickpea and tofu pattie and mixed with pickles, vegan sauce and Mookie slaw, The Donald Watson might fall apart in your fingers but it will also melt in your mouth. Try it with sweet potato fries to make your burger journey complete.
Mookie | 21 Genge Street, Canberra City | mookie.com.au