Historically, convenient vegan options on road trips in Australia have been limited, boring, and unhealthy AF. Thankfully the landscape of road trip food has changed with Oliver’s Real Food cropping up on Australian east coast highways.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a dirty DIY hashbrown burger at Maccas (McMuffin with no butter, two hashbrowns, and BBQ sauce, in case you’re interested) with a side of fries and a coke. But having this for every road trip meal gets tiresome, literally, with sweet FA nutrients in that dirty, delicious meal combo.
Instead of Maccas, I stopped to eat at Oliver’s Real Food at Buladelah and Unearthed Good Mood Food at Coolongolook on a recent roadtrip to see my new neurologist in Sydney.
Oliver’s Real Food at Buladelah
Being an Oliver’s regular, I chose my favourites: Golden Rice Nuggets with parsley and tahini dip, and a Turmeric Latte. The nuggets are delicious; crispy outside and nicely seasoned. The parsley and tahini dip is what really makes the nuggets shine though. The dip is remarkably similar to the dressing on the macroburgers and salads at Sydney’s Iku chain. I did some research and apparently it’s made by the Iku guys for Oliver’s!
My other Oliver’s recommendations:
- Snacks: Carrot & Celery sticks with hummus and capsicum dips and flat bread (the capsicum dip here is tasty). The Veggie Sushi. The “Real Crisps” Rosemary & Thyme potato chips. The Murrabba Cookie (delightfully lemony – goes well with Earl Grey tea!).
- Mains/Substantial meals: The Veggie Burrito with Cashew Cheese and Salsa (I love this burrito; the cashew cream is pretty special. I regularly get these burritos instead of going to Guzman y Gomez in Coffs Harbour. But NB: if you are a large eater, you will want a burrito and a side or dessert). The Veggie Korma (super mild spice level). The Sweet Potato and Salad Sandwich.
- Desserts: Cacao and Sago Pudding. Date and Walnut Muffin (though for some unknown reason, which I’ve discussed with Port Macquarie Oliver’s staff, Boambee Oliver’s has never had these muffins…).
- Drinks: Turmeric Latte. Any of the Pukka teas.
If it’s nice weather at Buladelah, sit at the picnic tables by the river and prepare to have the geese beg for scraps. They are sweet and gentle things, and I’m usually terrified of geese!
Unearthed Good Mood Food at Coolongolook
I stopped at Coolongolook with every intention of eating hot chips from the Salty Dog, but gravitated towards Unearthed Good Mood Food when I noticed the dappled light in the courtyard out back.
I was pleasantly rewarded with several vegan options on the menu. I wish I could remember them, but after driving 14 hours out of 36 hours, and a 4am wakeup, my short term memory was shot.
The lady serving was sweet and friendly. I asked what her favourite vegan option was and went with her recommendation of sweet potato pattie wrap. It came with salad and a home made sweet chili sauce. The wrap was fresh, packed with good flavours and vibrantly coloured. And a much better option nutrient wise for energy to stay awake on the road!
Aside from a lovely open courtyard, this café is also dog friendly. I saw a cute baby American Bulldog, and a lovely senior red cattle dog. I’m going to remember this for our future North Coast to Sydney trips with our puppers Finn and Jake 🙂