What I wouldn’t do to go back to Australia!
Studying in the Gold Coast for four months honestly felt like paradise. Homework can never feel like homework when you do it lying on the beach or by the pool. Besides the beautiful sights that only a 35-mile stretch of beach can offer, the Gold Coast also had endless possibilities of things to do, but more importantly for me, places to EAT.
My four months in Australia highly revolved around food. As I was living in an off campus apartment, I was entirely responsible for preparing/buying my own food. Unfortunately for my wallet, this meant I ate out a lot more than I originally anticipated because it was a lot less effort than cooking three meals a day. And while my wallet cried, my stomach rejoiced because good golly did the Gold Coast have amazing food! Never before had I lived in a place where a vegetarian (which I am) had sooo many options of restaurants to eat at. I was truly in food heaven, and although undoubtedly delicious, my jeans definitely did not fit the same by the end of my semester abroad.
While most of the restaurants I list in this food guide are vegan/vegetarian, that of course does not mean that they are off limits to non-vegan/vegetarians and that this blog post is only geared towards vegans/vegetarians (wow what a mouthful!). All of my friends abroad were ‘meat-eaters’ and they would often eat out at these places with me and completely LOVED them too! Therefore, I highly encourage you to be adventurous and try something new if you don’t normally follow a plant based diet. After all, stepping out of your comfort zone is what study abroad is all about! 😉
In no particular order of preference:
Feed the Earthlings – A very small, all vegan street food restaurant that was probably my favorite place on this list while in Australia because not only was their food amazing, but they also DELIVERED! I also loved the concept of vegan street food because I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone to out carnivals or festivals with friends and have been stuck eating French fries all day. Feed the Earthlings has everything from hot dogs to nachos, all 100% vegan. I suggest trying every almond milk smoothie on the menu. They’re the best smoothies I’ve ever had!
Doughnut time – BEST. DONUTS. EVER. They have vegan options, which I loved, but any of their donuts are amazing. They have the best selections to choose from and are always switching up flavors. The best part? Their donuts have cute names like ‘The Liam Hemsworthy”.
Kuan Yin Tea House – A family owned vegan Taiwanese food takeout restaurant. Their vegan meats are the best I’ve ever tried and always left me wondering how the heck they made them taste so much like actual meat! My favorite item on the menu? The spicy Deluxe Fried Rice!
Govindas – Buffet-style vegan Indian food! They have an all you can eat option, which was always my go-to because you saved a couple dollars versus eating by the plate. Their menu changes based on the day of the week, so it was fun to venture in on different days and try new foods!
BurgerUrge – This restaurant was located in the food court/ dining area of the university I studied at (Griffith University), which was really convenient because I’d eat a lot in between classes. Magic Mushroom = best vegan burger of my life.
Fresh Fruit Smoothie Bar on James St – This one may be hard to find because you can’t simply Google Maps it since it’s an organic fruits stand and not a restaurant. However, it’s on the very popular James street in Burleigh Heads (a small town off the gold coast) and if I found it, so can you! They have a wide variety of exotic fruits and make the best smoothies from the fresh fruit you pick out!
Osaka Kaite Sushi – This conveyor belt sushi place is super cheap and very innovative! They have different vegetarian & non-vegetarian sushi meals going around the bar on a conveyor belt and you can pick and choose the ones that catch your eye, as they go around.
California Tacos – winner of the 2015 Awards for Excellence in Restaurants & Catering! Which means this is a legit great place to eat and not just my own personal opinion. AND it’s not strictly vegan/vegetarian for any of you ‘meat-eaters’ out there!
The Cardamom Pod – While this very popular vegetarian deli/restaurant serves both hot and cold dishes, I was always walking in here for their Acai bowls and whole grain salads! I would say this restaurant is the definition of what people usually think of when they imagine vegan/vegetarian foods, as its very plant based, but I absolutely loved that so no complaints from here!
As a major foodie, I could go on writing about food forever. However, I made sure to only list my absolute favorite (and most importantly, affordable) restaurants in this post, as I know it can be a little overwhelming to have too many options. I hope all of you reading this get to enjoy at least one of the eateries I mentioned above but that you also discover your own favorite places, whether that be related to food, drinks, music, travel etc. Overall, I wish you the best during your time abroad in Australia and I hope you make unforgettable memories.
Best of luck!!