Melbourne has been rated one of the world’s most vegan friendly cities, and it’s perfectly clear why. No matter what suburb you land yourself in, there’s no doubt a fully vegan/vegetarian spot, or at least a multitude of options at any eatery. Those that work in Melbourne hospo are incredibly welcoming and accommodating when it comes to dietary preferences, vegan included. If you’re dining at a place not strictly plant based, the staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and able to assist you in choosing the perfect dish. Being vegan no longer means living an anti social life confined to cooking at home. Get out there and enjoy all the Melbourne has to offer as a true vegan heaven! Whether you’re vegan or not, there is a vast amount of colourful and delicious food to explore anywhere in the CBD and beyond.
Lord of the Fries – Multiple Locations
For all those late-night greasy food needs, but 100% vegan. What to try: Chick’n Burger, Phish Burger, Chunky Chips.
Gopals – Swanston St.
A very, very affordable 100% vegan buffet tucked up on the second floor of a random building on Swanston St. The food is typically pan-Asian, with some lasagna and pies thrown in there. There are lots of fresh salads as well. Huge bang for your buck here! For $8.50 you can get rice, two curries, and salad.
Sister of Soul – St. Kilda
A classic vegetarian but mainly vegan joint on Acland St. in St. Kilda. The menu is nearly entirely vegan, or at least most dishes are vegan adaptable. Menu items ranging from healthy bibimbap, to jackfruit burger, to massaman curry, to smashed avo, there is truly something for everyone at Sister of Soul. (SOS has also recently opened in Richmond.) What to try: Gobi Pakora, Green Sister Stir Fry with Satay, Middle Eastern Roasted Pumpkin (breakfast).
Cocomama’s Juices – Elsternwick
Cocomama’s is just about to open their brand spankin’ new location on Glen Huntly Rd. in Elsternwick, just around the corner from their previous spot. Due to be bigger and better with heaps more seating options, this 100% vegan, gluten free and kosher juice and smoothie bar fulfills are you smoothie bowl cravings. The bowls are massive and they don’t skimp on toppings one bit. What to try: Peanut Butter & Jelly Bowl, Nachos, raw Snickers Slice.
Herbivore – South Yarra
A fully vegan burger restaurant smack on Chapel St. in South Yarra. Their menu is lengthy, with tons of burger and wrap options, plus fresh juices and smoothies. Their whole ethos is founded on sustainability, and their goal is to bring healthy, fast, and affordable plant-based options to the people. The burgers are piled high and wraps are stuffed silly, so you truly get a lot for your money. What to try: Earth Burger (add vegan cheese), Crispy Tofu Burger, Classic Style Wrap with Falafel.
Vegie Bar – Fitzroy
Anyone in the plant based community and beyond knows Vegie Bar on Brunswick St. in Fitzroy. It’s been operating for over 20 years, and is still busy no matter what hour of what day you show up. It’s well worth the wait though, especially when you can sit in their cozy courtyard with a glass of organic rosé. The menu is almost entirely vegan, with a few vegetarian items sprinkled in that can be adapted vegan. They also offer weekly specials, a specified gluten free menu and a specified FODMAP friendly menu. The perfect place to wind down for a feed after a long day of shopping on Brunswick St. What to try: the Laksa, Moroccan Tajine (vegan/gf adaptable), the Nachos. You can also grab some dessert at their 100% vegan ice cream bar right next door at Girls and Boys.
Smith & Daughters/Smith & Deli – Fitzroy
Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli are arguably two of the most popular vegan eateries in Melbourne. Smith & Daughters on Brunswick St. is a gorgeous restaurant with a menu that changes seasonally. Everything on the menu is listed as if it’s not vegan (i.e. Melon and Prosciutto Panzanella or Beef Ragu and Polenta), but somewhere in fine print it says “and yes, everything is vegan.” It’s designed to get the non-vegans excited about plant based dining, and it works. Smith & Deli is their sister spot on Moor St. where they serve up totally vegan subs, sandwiches, paninis, pastries, salads, and carry frozen and pantry items. There’s usually a line out the door on the weekends, but grab a sandwich takeaway and bring it to Edinburgh Gardens to enjoy in the sunshine. What to try at Smith & Daughters: Vodka Red Sauce & Meatballs, Shredded Caesar, and Tiramisu (menu changes every few months). What to try at Smith & Deli: the Foghorn Legless, the Maury Ballstein, the Cinnamon Sugar Donuts, the Croissants.
Shakahari – Carlton
Shakahari is another long-standing vegan/vegetarian restaurant, operating since 1972. The restaurant is set in a classic Victorian style home just off Lygon St. Everything is incredibly delicious and clearly created with a lot of love. What to try: Avocado Magic, Legendary Satay, Nonya Curry.
Red Sparrow Pizza – Collingwood
Tucked away on the quieter end of Smith St. Red Sparrow offers honestly the most delicious vegan pizza I’ve ever had. Just go there. What to try: Bianca Pizza, Sausage Pizza, Greek Salad, Rosemary Chips.
Tonic & Grace – Malvern
I love what Tonic & Grace are doing. Their cute spot on Glenferrie Rd. has a menu that’s at first glace fully plant based, but then you have the option of adding animal protein to your dish. Most places are the opposite – meaty items that you swap for plant protein, but here they’re making plants the forefront. Sit out in their back courtyard and enjoy the taste of health. What to try: the Mariachi Bowl, Harajuku Lover, Nyctophilia (vegan/gf chocolate pancakes!).
The Vegan Shack – Richmond
The Vegan Shack is the brain-child of a mother and son duo who are some of the most passionate vegans I’ve met. They truly care about delivering the most fresh and tasty (and Instagrammable) of vegan food to you, and are always up for a chat as they’re both front and centre in the café everyday. What to try: Magic Mushies toastie, Mexican Nacho Burger, Big Vegan Breaky, Unicorn Noodle Buddha Bowl.
Ubuntu – Hawthorn
Fully vegan and serving up the most delicious brunch, and Melbourne knows brunch. Ubuntu is a phrase that encompasses the meaning of humanity, and that we are one. You can feel the compassion, care and love that goes into the food here and that the café aims to unite all types of beings under the notion of oneness. What to try: Loaded Sweet Potato Fries, Ubuntu’s Big Breakfast, Triple Cheeseburger.
Loving Hut – Richmond & Northcote
100% vegan joint serving up pan-Asian cuisine. Everything. Is. Delicious. Don’t think twice, just get to a Loving Hut. The Richmond location on Victoria St. is a small, family-owned restaurant. The Northcote location on High St. is much larger and more suitable for big groups. What to try: Bun Cha Gio (Northcote), Malaysian Vegetable Curry with Tofu Puffs + Coconut Rice (Richmond), Tofu Rice Paper Rolls (both), Tofu Bites (Northcote).
Gojé – Yarraville
A totally and utterly delicious 100% vegan frozen yogurt place to answer all of your dairy-free dessert wishes. Pay by weight at this very cute spot with several flavours to choose from and an ample amount of toppings. Gojé also uses compostable and recyclable takeaway containers and utensils, sustainability for the win! What to try: Everything. Seriously.
Reverence Hotel – Footscray
Not totally vegan, but mostly vegetarian with a few meat options available. This pub is serving up ridiculously delicious tacos, burritos and burgers. I love how nearly everything is vegan adaptable, so if you’re ever in need of a massive pub meal, Reverence is your spot. What to try: Mock Fish Tacos, Vegan Pork (Jackfruit) Burrito, Rev “Chicken” Burger, Chocolate Nachos.
To see all these venues and more, follow the ‘Vegan Venues’ collection on the nibblit account on the nibblit app.
See more from Aliza at https://www.shaktifresheats.com/