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Veganism is On The Rise

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It can be difficult to get an accurate picture of how many vegans there are globally, but in the U.S., one survey found a whopping 300 percent increase in vegans between 2004 and 2019, amounting to about 3 percent of the total population or nearly 10 million people. Closer to home it is reported around 500,000 Australians are completely vegan with around 2.5 million being vegetarian and around 10 million dedicated to eating less meat.

There’s no doubt that the vegan industry is growing, and at a very rapid rate. The Good Food Institute has summarized some key statistics from a 2021 report regarding the retail sales of plant based foods:

  • Plant-based food sales have been increasing for years, but they grew nearly three times faster than total food sales from 2018 to 2020
  • The total retail market value for vegan foods is estimated at seven billion dollars, up significantly from 2019
  • Plant-based food sales have grown by 45 percent in the last two years alone

Here we take a look at a few of our favourite vegan and vegan-friendly venues – we even challenge your carnivore friends to pay them a visit…

Bodhi Restaurant and Bar – Sydney is an award-winning vegan Impos venue known for their enlightened food, good for the body, great for the soul. We wanted to pay homage to this fine-dining vegan restaurant going strong now for an astounding 30 years!

In its first location at Sussex Street Chinatown 25 years ago, Bodhi has become a name synonymous for the finest quality, and the freshest dim sum and pan Asian cuisine, offering a unique modern restaurant for dining, drinking and events. Located in the heart of Cook and Phillip Park Sydney under St Mary’s Cathedral, Bodhi is a critically acclaimed award-winning restaurant that pioneered and specialises in vegan Yum Cha and Pan-Asian cuisine.

When Bodhi first opened in China Town, no one thought it would last a month. Founder Lee-Leng Whong is one of 10 kids to two Singaporean migrants who settled in Sydney and grew up in the kitchens of fish ’n’ chip shops and Chinese takeaway joints, meaning she was surrounded by food her entire life. Even so, it took a radical late-life change to get her into the restaurant game. She had a spiritual awakening and turned vegan, much to the surprise of her family and friends. The rest as they say is history!

Under the helm now of Whong’s daughter Heaven Leigh, they have modernised the menu over the years, introducing dishes such as grilled pumpkin curry with crisp kale; faux-meat sliders; and chickpea-battered cauliflower with roasted peanuts, pickled apple and a tomato and carrot sauce. These sit alongside signature dishes of sweet-and-sour chicken and the vegan faux Peking duck pancakes – two dishes that Whong served 30 years ago without any idea of what she was doing.

With a wine list carefully selected from Australia’s finest boutique growers that are either certified organic, bio-dynamic or vegan, they complement their cuisine and go hand in hand with their philosophy of being an ethical, environmentally friendly, sustainable business. Using locally grown organic produce everything in their restaurant is freshly prepared daily and hand crafted by some of Sydney’s best Asian Chefs.

Bodhi is the alternative place for healthy eating and drinking for those with a sense of wellbeing – championing local organic produce and catering for all special dietary requirements. Celebrating the true meaning of ‘yum cha’ which is to drink tea, enjoy life and eat great food with family and friends.

Yeah Boy – Geelong West & Windsor – Melbourne’s philosophy is simple – serve delicious, nourishing, wholesome foods. They pride themselves on catering to every type of hungry body, mind and soul.

Yeah Boy’s second venue powered by Impos joins Melbourne’s coveted Chapel Street Windsor Precinct & is ideally located for a work lunch, an intimate dinner for two, or a memorable meal with family or friends. While this venue isn’t entirely vegan, they dedicate their menu to being inclusive with a wide range of choice for vegans. They provide a fusion menu with delectable like their slow-cooked eggplant steak with chili oil and smoked bush salt, K’Tucky fried cauli which is fried cauliflower with jalapeno and home-made BBQ sauce, or our personal favourite which is their charcoal tofu bao with spicy mao and kimchi *drool*

Yeah Boy also do a great Feed Me menu for just $65 for 2 people whereby you are served with more delicious vegan food than you can eat.

Dicki’s – New Farm & Ascot – Brisbane have been a much-loved Impos customer for many years. Dicki’s is a family-owned plant based café in New Farm serving up delectable vegan delights. With an epic breakfast and lunch menu as well as squeezed juices and fresh coffee, Dicki’s has already become a local favourite for both vegans and meat-eaters.

They have recently opened their little sis vegan venue Dicki’s in Ascot, Brisbane seating 65 people, and have fast become famous for their breakfast options like tofu scramble with pesto and zucchini ribbons, spiced vegan mince on Turkish bread and waffles segues into all-day options like breakfast burritos, sticky ‘duck’ toasties with slaw, build-your-own baos and smoky jackfruit tostadas.

On Friday and Saturday nights Dicki’s opens for dinner and drinks, offering spiced ‘mince’ cigars, mushroom arancini balls, eggplant parmigiana, jalapeno ‘cheese’ sticks and a collection of tacos stuffed with the likes of chick’n tenders, crumbed mushrooms and spicy Mexican-style ‘mince’. A tight wine list features three sparkling wines, three whites, three reds and two rosés – all available alongside craft beer from Stone & Wood and Fortitude Brewing Co., and a tight array of cocktails encompassing frozen margaritas, Aperol spritzes and espresso martinis.

Ziggy’s – Balaclava – Melbourne are the go-to destination for genuine New York style burgers, tap beer, good times and great beats. The are all about their local community with each burger having its own character, its own story and its own sauce. From their massive mouth-watering ZFC burger, right through to the mind-blowing beauty that is The Cheez; each decadent plateful is created with love using the best 100% Aussie produce they can get their hands on.

Ziggy’s isn’t a solely vegan venue, but they get an honourable mention due to their vegan selection, but mostly their vegan cheese-burger which is the juiciest, meatiest, cheesiest, sauciest delight any vegan could hope to devour. The Impos HQ look forward to their Ziggy’s fix and in all honesty, when one of our vegan staff first tried it, they were conflicted because they hadn’t consumed meat in over 20 years and it tasted so much like the real deal!

While vegans are rejoicing at no longer having to eat the one bland token item off the menu, with the number of Google searches for ‘vegetarian restaurants’ increasing by 110% in 2021, the takeaway here is we highly recommend a dedicated vegan section of your menu. As always, killer food photography is key and then promote it heavily across your social channels.