Bondi Beach now has a 100 percent vegan gnocchi bar called Peppe’s.
Last April, owners Joe Pagliaro and Grace Watson told Concrete Playground that they opened the vegan gnocchi bar as “a relaxed place where people can feel at home.”
“Joe and I always wanted to open a really local Italian place and so far it’s working out,” said Watson. “We’ve only been open 1.5 weeks and we’ve already seen a few regulars three or four times.”
Peppe’s menu is focused on antipasti, gnocchi, and pasta. It also includes bruschetta, mushroom arancini, salads, and desserts. Peppe’s pasta and vegan gnocchi are prepared in-house every day using fresh ingredients.
The wine is served by the glass, and both the food and drinks menus will change regularly.
Peppe’s sits on Bondi Road, which leads down to the famous beach. The Italian restaurant is in fine company; an ice-cream pop-up called Chacha’s serves vegan ice cream on the famous Bondi Beach.
Pagliaro and Watson also run Paperbark, a vegan fine dining restaurant located in Waterloo.
The variety of vegan food on offer in Bondi is no coincidence. According to a report by independent research company Roy Morgan, more than 2.5 million Australians no longer eat meat.
The report found that around 12.1 percent of the population eat food that is all “or almost all” vegetarian. This is an increase of around three hundred thousand since 2014. An earlier study from Roy Morgan found that in 2018, nearly half of all Australians were eating less red meat.
In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified red meat as a Group 2 carcinogen. This means that it is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Processed meat, including bacon, hot dogs, and pepperoni, was named a Group 1 carcinogen. Group 1 carcinogens explicitly cause cancer and this category includes asbestos and tobacco smoking.
In contrast, some health experts are advocating plant-based food as preventative medicine. The Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicines (PCRM) says that plant-based foods are low in cholesterol and saturated fat, but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. According to the website, the organization “combines the clout and expertise of more than 12,000 physicians with the dedicated actions of more than 175,00 members.”
“A plant-based diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, is a great way to achieve good health,” says PCRM.