Feel-good Feasting: Melbourne’s Tastiest Vegan Restaurants
Melburnians are spoilt for choice when it comes to vegan eats, with innovative, imaginative, and downright delicious options across every cuisine and budget. Whether you’re after vegan-friendly fried chicken, a raw macrobiotic wholefood bowl, a quick pizza drizzled in dairy-free mozzarella, or a decadent eight-course degustation – here are a range of places to eat if you’re vegan (or non-vegan, too).
Warm service is matched only by the cosy eats at this new neighbourhood favourite. A ‘’vegan-ish’’ approach to plant-based eating, Laneway Greens provide patrons a plethora of options to suit all dietary persuasions. Diners can ‘opt-in’ and pick their protein (meat additions), or alternatively enjoy a multitude of 100% plant-based delicacies.
2/242 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
89a Swan Street, Richmond
67-69 Collins Place, Melbourne
At 130 years, the Carringbush proves that an old dog can indeed learn new tricks, relaunching as a fresh new pub that’s all about sustainability. With new owners at the helm, they’ve created an entirely vegetarian and vegan menu that will satisfy even the biggest of meat lovers. Dig into the likes of smoked potato and eggplant dumplings, maple teriyaki tofu and spiced sweet-potato steaks. Waste reduction is a focus at the new Carringbush too, with metal straws and wines on tap offered.
228 Langridge Street, Abbotsford
Serving late-night vegan fare with a disco twist, this Fitzroy hangout is a local fave. A buzzing 80s-themed diner, Evie’s Disco Diner will transport you to Stranger Things and back again, quicker than you can order a bloody Mary. Comfort food classics are the order of the day, and with meat-free versions of fried chicken waffles, burritos, mac n cheeseburgers and towering Rueben sandwiches, you won’t even miss your old meat-eating ways.
230-232 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Who says pub grub needs to be heavy? Not the folks at Green Mans Arms, an entirely meat free pub nestled in leafy Carlton. Featuring an Israeli inspired menu, with most ingredients plucked from the owners’ Yarra Valley farm, dishes such as polenta cakes, golden beets and their famous flat bread tacos feature unexpected flavours that offer a truly delicious take on veggie fare.
418 Lygon Street, Carlton
Believe it or not, vegan haven Yong Green Food is as popular with carnivores as it is with their plant eating friends. Specialising in all things raw, organic and biodynamic their colourful menu is made up of the kind of nourishing fare – everything from umami laden Japanese curry to punchy kimchi gyoza – that’s so good for you; it’ll practically leave you glowing.
421 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Vegans shall never again look wistfully at the cheesy pull of their neighbour’s pizza, before settling for a marinara. Red Sparrow has mastered the art of non-dairy cheese – their mozzarella features tapioca for stretchiness, while parmesan gets crumbliness from coconut and almond feta is deliciously tangy. Keep the party going with meat-free pepperoni or feel virtuous via supergreen pizzas topped with zucchini and broccolini.
406 Smith Street, Collingwood
Pub grub is usually a full-blown meat fest, but the considerate folk at the Cornish Arms have created a completely veganised menu of all the classic pub faves. There’s fish and chips, chicken kievs, classic parmas and even a plant-based spin on the Big Mac. You’ll never go hungry while catching up over beers or doing Thursday night trivia again.
163A Sydney Road, Brunswick
Years pass but the lustre on Shane Delia’s sleek modern-Middle Eastern diner never fades. Never one to shy away from a challenge, his eight-course vegan tasting menu is an explosion of imagination and flavour, from charred young leeks with vegan feta toasted maize ‘sambousek’ to red lentil Turkish dumplings with peas, sumac and mint. Dessert is no less exotic, with treats like saffron and orange ice and ‘sutlac’ toasted rice sorbet.
21 Bond Street, Melbourne
After four years’ conquering Latin American cuisine, Shannon Martinez is taking her “can’t believe it’s not meat” sorcery to the cheese and prosciutto-loving dishes of Italia. Faithful vegan recreations of Napoli meatballs with fresh ricotta, fig carpaccio and fried baby eggplant taste so legit they’ll have you scratching your head while licking your lips.
175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
For special occasions, EZARD offers a fine-dining vegan degustation that takes the treatment of vegetables to creative new heights. Five delicate, balanced courses leave you full but light, with dishes such as tempura tofu with aged hon mirin dressing, chilli sambal, sweetcorn and Chinese broccoli, and black radish with fermented chilli, avocado, qukes, puffed rice and yuzu. Artful plating and shining service take you all the way to dessert, currently a ruby peach sorbet number with pina colada, pink peppercorn, raspberry and native plum
187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
This not-for-profit family of eateries is as much as a social movement as it is a place to get lunch. There are no fixed prices, just an invitation to pay as much as you can in return for vegan deliciousness in a multitude of cuisines. Selections change daily – there could be Tibetan momos today, Indian spiced daal tomorrow, Venezuelan arepas the day after. What is for sure is that you’ll leave with both belly and heart full.
1/3 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
562-564 High Street, Thornbury
41 Blessington Street, St Kilda
Shakahari’s been around for over 45 years, making it a grand dame of Melbourne’s vegan dining scene. Their menu criss-crosses the world, affording the pleasure of ordering satay seitan skewers, turmeric yellow paella and a miso hotpot all in the one meal. On warm days their peaceful, leafy courtyard is particularly attractive – the perfect place to take dessert of tofu caramel topped with pistachio toffee and gingery coconut sugar.
201-203 Faraday Street, Carlton
Hidden away on the third level of an inner CBD block, this vegan Chinese restaurant offers convincing mock meat versions of favourites like sweet and sour pork and XO crab. Equally impressive however is their diverse menu of veg-centric dishes featuring uncommon ingredients – there’s kung pao hedgehog mushrooms, lily bulb soup, and rice-stuffed lotus root to name a few. Just don’t forget deep-fried ice cream for dessert.
3/264 Swanston Street, Melbourne
True to its name, this vegan and vegetarian café has a whole lot of soul, contributing to St Kilda's community gardens in between nourishing its locals with wholesome, delicious food. Many of their dishes have become staples for their loyal fanbase, like the zucchini-layered rawsagna with cashew cream or their rainbow buddha bowls. They even have a list of vegan friendly wines, beers and cocktails, or you can try something a little more left field with their spiced carrot and dandelion lattes.
73 Acland Street, St Kilda
Loving Hut serves every speed of vegan. For your raw, superfood loving types, there’s colourful papaya and pumpkin salads dressed in cashews and spicy chilli dressing. For mock-meat fans, there’s satay soy nuggets, aromatic not-beef rendang and Mongolian barbecue. And for everyone else, there’s the joy of ordering Asian favourites like pad Thai, rice paper rolls and char kway teow without asking if the kitchen uses fish sauce.
10/242 Victoria Street, Richmond
185 Victoria Street, West Melbourne
377-379 High Street, Northcote
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