Vegan Dining Guide

To whom it may concern,

A key feature of this new website is a section where we list Vegan dishes offered by food businesses around the ACT.

Participation in this initiative has the potential to draw in customers who would otherwise not be aware of your considerate choices. Our numbers are growing daily: we currently have over 565 mailing-list subscribers and over 200 members in our extremely active Facebook group.

Vegan food is also suitable for vegetarians, those with dairy or egg allergies and intolerances, as well as those wishing to be more health-conscious or wishing for a lighter option.

Similar to those with allergies, is it incredibly important to a Vegan person to have your assurance that their food is completely free from animal products. However, don’t let such concerns put you off! Please let us know if we can help or if you would like to run some menu ideas past us.

If you are keen to let people know about the Vegan meals you offer, please complete the attached form to provide us with the info we’ll present to our members online. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Yours, in the spirit of inclusion and partnership,
Michelle Swann and Gareth Ballard

What constitutes an enjoyable Vegan meal?

A satisfying Vegan entrée or main meal for most people would contain equal portions of carbs (eg pasta, rice, bread etc); vegetables and/or fruits; and a more concentrated protein source such as chickpeas or other legumes, tofu, nuts etc. This would be good value for money considering the ingredients.

Dessert (something that Vegans miss out on most when eating out) could be a cake baked with a binding agent such as banana, applesauce or flaxseeds in place of egg, a fruit crumble, custard made with plant-based milk and many other options. These would also be suitable for your non-Vegan customers. Soy, rice milk or coconut based ice creams and creams are available if you would like to experiment with these.

What do Vegans consume?

Vegans do not eat animals or anything derived from animals, so along with avoiding meat, Vegans do not eat cheese, cream, milk or any other dairy product, honey, eggs and alcoholic beverages processed with animal products. Some people who identify as Vegan still consume honey and all kinds of alcohol but that is not the norm. It is also helpful if your staff are able to specify what kind of ‘vegetable’ oil you use as a growing number of people are avoiding palm oil for environmental and ethical reasons.

Some additives, flavourings and colours to avoid are: milk solids, cheese powders, gelatine, casein, whey, fish sauce, chicken/beef (etc) stock, shrimp paste and cochineal/carminic acid/carmine (also known as E120). These are often found in processed products and spices, pastes and sauce mixes so it is necessary to check pre-made additions to dishes.

It is also important to cook on surfaces that do not still have residual animal products on them i.e. wash the pan, wok or griddle between an animal-based meal and one being made for a Vegan customer.

Most spirits are suitable, as are most soft-drinks and juices, and most beers and wines that do not employ the use of egg, milk or fish products in the fining process.

Most places these days have soy or rice milk for hot drinks. If you do not, please consider obtaining some of this and perhaps other plant-based long-life milks such as oat. You may be surprised how many more customers you attract simply by making this available. Please bear in mind that many commercially-available chai and hot chocolate mixes are not suitable as they contain dairy derivatives.

Menu Tips

It is very helpful to identify on the menu which items are Vegan as opposed to vegetarian. Bear in mind that any meal deemed Vegan is a perfectly suitable option for a vegetarian (or any other customer) but not vice versa.

If you currently have a few vegetarian options which you are happy to adjust to suit Vegan customers, please consider reducing the price of the meal or making adequate replacements, bearing in mind satiation and value for money. Please also consider those who have allergies to things such as onions and garlic, and please never simply prepare a vegetarian meal and then remove the non-Vegan parts of it – e.g. cheese topping that was already put onto the food.

We realise this may all seem difficult! Please don’t be concerned by the amount of information – it’s actually quite easy and there are innumerable sources of information and recipes on the internet. Of course we are always happy to offer advice and suggestions for dishes, substitutions and Vegan alternatives for oft-used products.


Please list below the options you offer for Vegans (or, if you don’t offer them yet, please indicate a starting date). Please also indicate whether an item is gluten-free or raw (nothing heated above 40 degrees Celsius).





Hot Drinks

Cold Drinks

Alcoholic Drinks (the Vegan status of alcoholic drinks can be found at – they have a handy search function)

Are there any meals you would like us to put on our list that you can adjust or

make from scratch that you do not plan to add to your regular menu at this stage?

Is your establishment open to adjusting menu items on request?

On menus, do you always mark items as Vegan (distinct from vegetarian) so they

can easily be identified by customers and staff alike? If not, will you do so from

now on?

If yours is an ever-changing menu, would you either mark items as Vegan or

provide an alternative way of communicating to our society which items are

suitable for us? (if you post your menu on Facebook and you routinely have Vegan

options, we could post the link on our website). Any suggestions are welcome.

Thank you for taking the time to become a part of our guide to Vegan dining in the

Canberra region!

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