Five vegan havens you have to try
TOMORROW is World Vegan Day and we've found the Gold Coast's best plant-based havens to mark the occasion.
Shop 3/90 Markeri Street, Mermaid Waters
Nude Sisters is rocking its new summer menu. Manager Loren Telfer highly recommends the "new concept" vegan pancakes.
"They're served with our housemade hazelnut spread, vegan honeycomb, cookie crumb and salted caramel COYO ice-cream," she says.
If savoury is more to your taste, you best try the new burger with black bean, quinoa and mushroom patty, rice paper "bacon", lashings of fresh salad, barbecue sauce and paprika aioli.
Go for a side of the new cheesy fries - the Sister's best version of "naughty".
The LC Miami
2176 Gold Coast Highway, Miami
The LC, or Lovechild Marketplace, is all about the vibe.
It also happens to be vegan, but not in that in-your-face way. In fact founder Abbey Jones is not even that keen to be on this list.
"It's really a place for everyone," she says. "That's how we like people to think of us."
The foodie hub houses half a dozen eateries offering a wide selection of cuisines and specialties, including ramen, pizza and bakery treats, with a cool cocktail bar in a relaxed setting offering patio and alfresco seating - or scatter cushions if you'd prefer.
There's also some cruelty-free retail thrown in.
The clientele is as eclectic as the menu and it's open every day from 7am- 9pm.
The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre
Elixiba's menu has been given a seasonal spring clean with some brand new additions and a rethink of some old favourites.
Manager Steph Elsworth recommends regulars try the new Caesar salad with eggplant "bacon", then there's Elixaba's vegan take on mac and cheese, featuring the housemade creamy pesto.
"It's a brand new menu," she says. "But of course we've kept all our popular dishes. We've just given them a bit of a revamp."
The bar is still serving its botanical cocktails and herbal brews, including kombucha on tap, in its enchanted forest-style domain.
Be sure to leave room for a raw dessert.
2 Nind Street, Southport
There are enough vegan delights on Giri Kana's vegetarian menu to earn its spot in the line-up.
"We do have some diary in a couple of dishes," manager Carrie Osborn says. "But all of our breakfast menu and all of our desserts are vegan."
The newest hit among Giri Kana's loyal following of herbivores are the Friday vegan doughnuts, a different flavour each week including choc hazelnut, strawberry-glazed, cookies and cream, pecan pie and caramel apple crumble.
"Our raw vegan cheesecakes are also very popular," Carrie says. "We have a lot of customers who aren't vegan or vegetarian but they come because they just love the food."
Lord of the Fries
Paradise Centre, 8-10 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Even vegans like to be a bit naughty sometimes.
Lord of the Fries serves up fast food favourites: hot chips, burgers, onion rings, nuggets, hot dogs and shakes, all 100 per cent vegan.
What started as a Melbourne food truck dedicated to perfecting the ubiquitous hot chip, Lord of the Fries has expanded to open shopfronts nationally and in NZ - Surfers Paradise is its only store in Queensland.
The hot chips remain the undisputed specialty.
There are four cuts: classic, chunky, shoestring and sweet potato with a selection of sauces inspired by international cuisines. You can choose whether to smother or dip.