As any Melbournian knows, Australia’s culture capital is a world contended for being the top pick amongst vegans and vegetarians. All you need to do is stroll around Brunswick for a total of one minute and you will have spotted countless hipsters sipping their soy lattes, while throwing down a plate of deconstructed smashed avo on toast, throwing away any possibility of ever owning a home. However just because there is an abundance of choice around Melbourne town doesn’t mean you’re not always looking for new spots to try, or maybe you’ve just turned to this lifestyle and you’re looking for a little guidance. Well, you’ve come to the right place, friend. Read on to find my comprehensive list of the best vegan spots to dine at.
Five – The Vegie Bar on Brunswick St, Fitzroy
If you’ve never had the chance to pop into this restaurant, put it on your to-do-list. Walking in and looking around, you’ll notice The Vegie Bar is eclectic and oh-so-very Melbourne, but when it comes down to it, the food is the ultimate test – and let me assure you, they get a solid A+! A full vegan menu, packed with different cuisines, faux meat, raw food and if the name didn’t give it away, veggies! If you need a drink to wash it all down, don’t stress because they offer everything from probiotic gut shots, kombucha, coffee to smoothies and even cocktails (how could you go wrong?)! I recommend the ‘Better than a Big Mac’ a juicy burger that disguises itself as vegan very, very well. Eating here will set you back anywhere between $20 – $30 for a meal and drink. Bon Appetit!
Four – Madame K’s on Brunswick St, Fitzroy & Williamstown
I was dragged to Madame K’s by a meat-eating friend who had been taken there and blown away at how good the food was “I couldn’t even tell it wasn’t real meat” she assured me. Always open to new spots to grab dinner I went and was surprised by the cozy, intimate vibe you feel as soon as you walk in. If you are a fan of Thai/ Asian cuisine, you will be a fan of Madame K’s without a doubt. I don’t think I’ve ever been served my food so fast, and after ordering several dishes to share between my two friends and I we were only out of pocket about $20 each including drinks. If you like a little alcohol with your dinner, be sure to take it with you as it is BYO. When you hit this spot up make sure you order the curry puffs, I dare you to try and share them!
Three – The Cornish Arms on Sydney Rd, Brunswick
One of the biggest things I missed when I went vegan was a big, juicy parma from the pub that wasn’t a slab of eggplant, however, I resigned to the fact that I would have to find my way through life without them. That is until I came across a pub called ‘The Cornish Arm’s’. Now don’t throw stones at me yet, I know it isn’t strictly vegan but that’s kind of what I like about it. A pub in a buzzing part of town, where both herbivores and carnivores can rejoice (I know technically humans aren’t carnivores but let me have this one). There are two parts to the menu, their standard one and the vegan one. If there is something wrong with you and you don’t like
parmigiana’s (sicko) don’t fret as there are ample options to choose from. A meal will set you back around $23 plus however many pints of beer you order because, after all, you are at a pub.
Two – Lentil as Anything, The Abbotsford Convent & St Kilda
Different from every other restaurant on this list, but probably the coolest is Lentil as Anything. Set in the beautiful park surrounded grounds of The Abbotsford Convent, there lays a very busy restaurant. This one is special not only because the food is 10/10 and your meat-eating friends and family will happily agree to return after experiencing the deliciousness that is their 100% vegan dishes. No, the reason ‘Lentil as Anything’ is so awesome is because they are tackling homelessness in the coolest way possible, imagine entrusting strangers to “contribute what they feel their meal and experience is worth, according to their own financial ability”, well that’s exactly what they do! This allows people who are unable to afford food to 1) grab a hot meal and 2) leave without the shame of not being able to pay. Whilst there are no rules on what you need to pay, there are posters around the restaurant explaining how much their food costs to produce so please help keep this important not-for-profit alive and don’t take advantage of its honest system.
One – Lord of the Fries, multiple locations
Number one on the list is the fast food chain that has helped to make vegan junk food available to all Melbournians, even those stumbling from bars and clubs in the early morning looking for some cruelty-free goodness. It boasts a menu with a range of hot dogs, faux beef burgers, faux chicken burgers, nuggets and four different kinds of fries (I mean, it’s in the name)! I’m talking classic fries, chunky fries, shoestring fries and sweet potato fries and then you have a whole board of sauces to choose from to smother your deep-fried potato sticks in, does it get any better? There are various locations across the city and a meal (e.g. burger, fries and drink) will cost around $20. Turn to Lord of the Fries when you’re having one of those deep fried, take away vegan kind of nights, I promise it won’t disappoint. Well, vegans, I’m confident now that you have my ‘Top Five Vegan Restaurants in Melbourne’ list, your taste buds are in for a wild ride, drag your friend along and show them vegan food isn’t restricted to celery sticks and hummus but rather anything you can think of, just cruelty free. Happy eating!