The New Year is the perfect time to try some new healthy habits out for size.  And, with the benefits of eating plant-based foods so well documented, there’s no better way to get a head-start on your healthy year than trying out Veganuary!

While going completely meat-free could be a bit of a stretch for some of us, swapping just a few meals per week for a vegan alternative is a great step in the right direction. The best part? With so many amazing cafes and restaurants offering great plant-based options nowadays, going meat-free doesn’t have to mean missing out on anything.

Here are just a few of our favorites:

Girls and Boys (Melbourne)
Taking pride of place on Melbourne’s Brunswick St, this clever vegan dessert bar serves up decadent delights made from blended coconut and soy milks, vegan thickshakes and spiced mylks, matcha almond tarts and maca fudge bars. The have a great selection of options that are free from gluten and refined sugar, too.

Smith & Daughters (Melbourne)
If you’re looking for a vegan option that’ll keep even the most stubborn carnivores happy, this is your answer. Smith & Daughters offer an all-vegan menu, inspired by South American specialties. Think paella, garlic ‘prawns’ and tacos with ‘chorizo’. Looking for a quick lunchtime bite? Head just a stone’s throw from the Brunswick St restaurant and you’ll find Smith & Deli, where all the classic deli sandwiches have been given a vegan do-over.  Don’t go past the ‘Meat’ball Sub… you can thank us later.

Bliss & Chips (Sydney) 
One look at the menu of this Newtown eatery and you could be forgiven for mistaking it as just another regular fish ’n’ chippery. Fish, crab sticks, prawns and calamari… yep, all the usual suspects are here. But, instead of marine life in the fryer, these are ocean-flavoured soy-based proteins, with a gluten-free and non-GMO batter. 

VERD (Sydney)
It’s time to face reality: the lunch bowl trend is far, far from over. And for good reason! As long as establishments like VERD (at Barangaroo and Surrey Hills) keep serving up their delicious selection of plant-based bowls, we’re gonna keep eating them. Choose one of their classic combos, or create your own. Top it off with a delicious smoothie, nut-mylk coffee or raw treat. 

Flora and Fauna (Perth)
Tucked down a little alley in trendy Northbridge, this tiny hole in the wall cafe is well worth hunting out. The decor is bright and retro-chic, the coffee is delicious (they’re brewing Micrology) and the brunch menu is all-day. With both vegetarian and vegan options available, the food here is as beautiful as it is delicious with edible flowers and raw treats aplenty!

Bambi & Co (Adelaide)
And the award for cutest cafe name goes to…! What’s more, the offering at this tiny inner-city establishment is just delightful. The menu is small and changes often, with a terrific selection of vegetarian and vegan meals like wraps, salads, soups, cakes and green juice.