During our travels, we met up with our friends Lore and Maty who we met in Chile and are now living a plant-based lifestyle in Australia. We got together and had a chat with them about there vegan experiences in both countries.
You lived a vegan lifestyle in Chile and Australia. Both are really carnivorous countries. What are the different experiences?
It’s definitely easier in Australia. Easier to find all-vegan restaurants in Australia and most modern restaurants and cafes will have at least a vegan option. Of course, we’re talking about cities and urban centers here. In the suburbs or very small towns, it’s harder or maybe impossible to find vegan options. Supermarkets are pretty good. It’s super common now to find things like coconut yogurt, and vegan cheese, sausages, etc.
In Santiago, there were also quite a few options. Some really very good restaurants and cafes that were only vegan, or had some vegan options. Vegetarian is easy to find. Even more traditional restaurants will usually have a “naturista” option that is vegan. Vegan outside of Santiago you won’t really find, unless it’s a town that’s a bit hippie, like Pichilemu, or Pisco Elqui.
At least sopaipillas are vegan though!
How is the vegan life in Byron? Is it easier since it is more of a hippie town?
Yeah, super easy. Which is awesome, because most other rural country towns in Australia wouldn’t have vegan options. There are a few restaurants that are either totally, or mostly vegan. And there are heaps of health food shops. Even the supermarkets have an excellent range of vegan items.
Differences for vegans in Melbourne versus Byron?
Melbourne of course just has more options. The quality is more or less the same. But it’s not fair to compare Byron to a culinary treasure trove like Melbourne.
Since Byron offers amazing seafood, do you struggle against the temptation? How do replace the traditional fish and chips?
Yeah, I must admit, I always loved fish and chips as a kid, really good memories of eating that at the beach with my family. So now when I go to the beach I usually feel like eating some crunchy fried stuff with lemon on it. There’s a restaurant in town called Fish Mongers, and they have a side dish (which is actually huge) of tempura vegetables. That’s where I get my fix.
What are your favorite restaurants in Byron?
Home. When we go out we go to Elixiba because it’s the only kitchen in town that’s 100% gluten-free, and so we don’t have to worry about cross-contamination for Lole’s celiac disease. Elixiba is really good, but the menu’s super small, so to get variety we just cook amazing stuff at home. Just last week though we found a restaurant called Succulent Cafe, that serves a vegan gluten-free ramen on the weekends. And Sake! Definitely a new favorite.
Best supermarkets for vegan options in Byron?
Mmmmm, I would say IGA, for range and quality of products. Baz and Shaz are awesome too, and family owned. But they don’t have so many vegan products, just awesome affordable organic food. And service with a smile.
Best pies in Byron?
I really like the ones at the BP service station, because we always stop there on the way out of town driving interstate. Vegan pies at the servo, only in Byron! Santos has a good range too.