Vegan or vegetarian? There's no need to go hungry with these delicious options in and around Taree.

Vegan? Who me?

I've been a vegetarian most my life and 3 years ago I stopped eating dairy for health reasons and for the love of animals. This technically makes me a vegan.

People hear the word vegan and think we just eat spinach and carrots which is not the case. All my home cooking is the same as a non vegan minus the meat and dairy. This is done simply by replacing with alternate wholesome foods and spices to get the necessary protein and vitamins.

Providing dairy free and meat free meals also provides an option for people with food and dairy allergies plus those with heart conditions needing to limit their meat intake.

Delicious bruschetta at Cafe Giardino Taree.
Delicious bruschetta at Cafe Giardino Taree.

Where to find good vegan and vegetarian food in Taree.

Yes it’s true that there are fewer vegan/vegetarian dining options in greater Taree than you’d find in Newcastle or Sydney but I can happily report they are becoming easier to find.

So here are my personal suggestions for vegans and vegetarians in and around Taree.

Café Giardino in Taree serves a delicious vegie sandwich with grilled eggplant on their lunch menu. At Sai Thai in Old Bar there are two must-try options, tofu caramelised and hed tod crispy mushrooms, both very tasty. These two restaurants have been a family favourite over the years for small celebrations.

For something on the spicy side in Taree, TwoHans is where I go, you’ll love their vegie tempura curry.

If I had to pick a spot for a night out with friends then I’d head to the Waterfront Pavilion overlooking the Manning River in Taree, which serves great food for everyone. My choice there would be their super delicious mixed wild mushroom bruschetta or eggplant parmigiana without the cheese.

For another night out, try the Old Bar Tavern for their awesome vegan burger plus options for vegetarian pizza with vegan cheese. Yes, it really is yummy!

Other places I’ve noticed popping up with super good vegie options are Little Eataly and Toppers Pizza, both in Taree, plus the funky Flow Bar at Old Bar… where you go for the food and stay happily for the live music.

When looking for somewhere to go for a quiet Sunday brunch my choice would be to pack my own picnic made from local produce and enjoy the outdoor open space. Go Vita in Taree and Old Bar Pharmacy are now selling a superb range of dairy free and meat free products and yummy sourdough bread each Tuesday. And of course our local markets offer endless choices to put a smile on every vegan’s face, so grab yourself a good supply of our freshest local produce including organic fruit and vegetables.

Gorgeous flowers plus awesome coffee at Wild Cosmo Flowers in Taree.
Gorgeous flowers plus awesome coffee at Wild Cosmo Flowers in Taree.

The best coffee in Taree and Old Bar.

While I’m here, let’s talk about where to find the best coffee in Taree and Old Bar (yes, vegans can be coffee snobs too, LOL!).

Don’t get me wrong there are many cafes in the greater Taree area providing excellent coffee but when it comes to coffee you always have your favourite… it’s a bit like wine.

So when buying my daily coffee I must say Wild Cosmo Flowers Espresso Bar is my favourite, serving the popular Allpress coffee. And when I’m back at Old Bar my fave is definitely Buyi Espresso Bar for excellent coffee and light snacks.

Vegan wild fig slice from Buyi Espresso Bar  in Old Bar.
Vegan wild fig slice from Buyi Espresso Bar in Old Bar.

A vibrant vision of Taree

As a resident of Old Bar and Wallabi Point for 30 years I’ve always had a soft spot for Taree and its need to grow and be vibrant, which I’ve seen slowly happen.

There’s no better feeling than finding the perfect place to dine, grab a coffee or takeaway. And better still: knowing you’re supporting local businesses.

My vision for Taree is being one of those places where a visit is not complete without a stroll down the streets exploring the food, coffee and relaxed bar options. I see a town with plenty of usable open space areas whether it be day or night, with a strong vibrancy and catering for all types of taste buds, dietary and food choice needs.

I’m already loving a future for Taree like this! And the more you support the examples in my list (and plenty of others besides), then a vibrant Taree surrounded by vibrant villages becomes an inevitable and beautiful reality.

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