“Eat well. Travel often.” – Unknown
Top 5 Plant-Based Foods and Drinks
Travelling vegan is not always easy but Australia is definitely one country that is fully embracing plant-based food.
Cairns in Tropical North Queensland is a city surrounded by not only natural beauty, but also an abundance of natural produce. You might be visiting for the waterfalls to the south, the rainforest to the north or the famous Great Barrier Reef that hugs the coast but it would be a complete waste to leave without sampling the region’s exotic fruits and vegetables. Excellent plant-based food compliments a trip to an area of such natural beauty, perfectly. These vegan Cairns restaurants literally give you a taste of the local area whilst helping to support local growers, preserve marine life and sustain natural resources. Read on for our top 5 plant-based food and drink options in Cairns, including menu recommendations too.
1. Lafew Teahouse & Kombucha Bar
This is a fantastic Cairns restaurant for a sweet treat, hot coffee or chilled Kombucha. Lafew Teahouse & Kombucha Bar serve healthy plant-based milks and make their own immunity boosting Kombucha, which you can also buy in larger bottles to take away. This vegan Cairns gem is mainly a daytime cafe, but on Friday nights they offer a superb vegan dinner menu. If you are in Cairns, we highly recommend you make this a date night spot. The decor is intriguing yet there’s a relaxing vibe. Outdoor seating is provided on the footpath for sunny days or the unique interior makes this a great tropical rainy day option too. Don’t rush off, be it daytime or Friday night. Instead, sit back and enjoy the ambience of Lafew, a truly special place to enjoy when you are travelling vegan in Australia.
Tue-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm, Fri 5.30pm-8pm
33 Sheridan Street
On the Lafew menu we recommend:
- The Earth Burger
- The Ginger and Lime Kombucha
- The Snickers Slice
2. Snoogies Health Bar
Located in Main Arcade Shopping Centre, this juice and smoothie bar is an ideal stop for lunch in vegan Cairns. With great plant-based options for eating in or taking away, there’s something for everyone at Snoogies Health Bar. The staff are down-to-earth and friendly and will have your fresh food rustled up in no time. This location is super close to Cairns Lagoon, so we recommend you stop here on the way down to the water’s edge and grab a healthy smoothie to enjoy in the Queensland sunshine. With paper straws, bio-degradable cups and a great selection of vegan milks, including soy, rice, coconut and almond, Snoogies provides the best guilt-free drinks so close to the Great Barrier Reef.
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82 Grafton Street
On the Snoogies menu we recommend:
- Acai juice
- A mix from the buffet hot plate
- Banana Rama smoothie
3. Cheeky Yam
About Cheeky Yam
Cheeky Yam is Cairns’ only 100% plant-based cafe. They serve smoothies, fresh juices and mouth-watering comfort food at the Pier Complex where their portions are considerate of typically huge vegan appetites. Lunch doesn’t get much better than this! Situated so close to Cairns’ marina, this location is ideal for a stop after a half day boat trip or perhaps before a morning boardwalk stroll. There is ample space for sitting in and everything on the menu is made fresh, so please don’t visit in a hurry. This isn’t a place to come to and rush; relax, make new friends and absorb all this Artisan cafe has to offer.
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Mon-Fri 10am-3pm, Sat 9am-3pm
1 Pier Point Road
On Cheeky Yam’s menu we recommend:
- Turmeric Latte
- Black Bean Burrito
- Mocha Latte
4. Rusty’s Markets
If you are a price conscious visitor travelling vegan through Australia, this is the best Cairns food option for you. Revel in an obsessive amount of brightly coloured, locally grown fruit and vegetables. Closed during the week, check out Rusty’s Markets on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Your senses will be overwhelmed with vivid shades and market hustle. This location is great for photos, picnic purchases or simply a weekly grocery shop if you are in Cairns for a while. Don’t forget to bring a backpack to avoid the plastic bags that are sadly on offer so close to the Great Barrier Reef. The best bit about Rusty’s is the many stalls who kindly offer free tasters before you buy.
Fri & Sat 5am-6pm, Sun 5am-3pm
57-89 Grafton Street
At Rusty’s Markets we recommend:
- The pink dragonfruit
- The local mangoes
- Watermelon (see if you can find one small enough to carry home)
5. The Source Bulk Foods
About The Source
Another great vegan Cairns option for either picnic packing or grocery shopping is The Source Bulk Foods. Here, you will find offerings of all sorts, from cashews to vegan chocolate, pasta to turmeric tea blends. You can enjoy all of these natural ingredients in a way that really considers the area of Australia you’re visiting. The Source is a completely plastic free store where you can either take your own jars or tuppaware, or purchase re-usable ones at the counter. Not only does this store sell food, but also lots of handy tools for reducing your waste and by-products of food as a travelling vegan. Purchase a re-usable water bottle for a hike into the mountains or try the zero waste shower products for nights spent on the road. Don’t forget to take your jars, bags or tuppaware with you, or if you’re not in the area long, ask for paper bags.
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Mon-Thu 9am-6pm, Fri 8.30am-6pm, Sat 8.30am-4pm, Sun 9am-3pm
85 Lake Street
At The Source we recommend:
- Vegan Chocolate Eggs
- Organic Hot Chocolate
- Turmeric Tea Blend
We would argue that Tropical North Queensland has the greatest variety of fresh produce in Australia. From bananas to citrus fruits, mangoes to melons, the tropics provide an incredible environment for growing natural produce. Choosing to eat and drinks vegan when you visit Cairns helps to protect the surrounding natural environments, such as The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. It’s also much easier than you might think! Vegan Australia is booming right now and travelling vegan to its cities has never been more enjoyable.
These vegan Cairns restaurants will help you indulge in delicious food and drink without leaving a nasty travel footprint. Find out more about this stunning location and its surrounding natural beauty in Tropical North Queensland.
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If now you need more, check out our other Vegan Friendly Travel Diaries.
Our Two Accommodation Picks for Cairns:
1. Choose Cairns Sharehouse for longer stays
2. Choose Queens Court Motel for shorter stays