Melbourne’s Tastiest Vegetarian Restaurants
No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Melbourne’s celebrated culinary scene. Better yet; you know it’ll be good. And when it comes to vegetarian fare, the increasingly diverse and delicious options on offer are no exception. Forget ‘Meatless Monday’, this city is home to the kind of restaurants that will have even the most devoted of carnivores going plant-based every night of the week.
One of the originals and best, Vegie Bar has long been Melbourne’s mainstay for all things meat free. Set in a converted warehouse on Fitzroy’s bustling Brunswick Street, this local institution serves up classic vegetarian fare (think pasta bakes, stir-fries and tagines) that’s so in demand, you’ll likely have to wait for a table.
380 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Upon opening, the award-winning Matcha Mylkbar received a lot of press for its innovative vegan “eggs” (a clever mix of agar-agar and sweet potato, amongst other things). Since then, it’s been an Instagram mainstay thanks to the pretty as a picture meals it serves up – think lime green burger buns.
72A Acland Street, St Kilda
The flavours, like the décor, are rich and warm, thanks to the likes of bubbling tagines, crispy handmade bread and the perennial favourite – a moreish chickpea bake. With a verbal menu, each visit is something of a surprise. Expect a line of hungry patrons eagerly clutching their tupperware (post-meal takeaway is encouraged).
183 St Georges Road Fitzroy North
This non-for-profit restaurant is loved by everyone from cashed strapped students to vegetarian gourmands. Guests contribute what they feel their meal and experience is worth, according to their own financial ability. Inspired by cuisines as diverse as Greek and Japanese – you’ll find a colourful array of delicious dishes.
41 Blessington Street, St Kilda
Smith and Daughters is singlehandedly making vegan food cool. With its neon signage, sultry interiors and fine dining that busts all stereotypes; there’s certainly no blandness here. Instead Spanish and Mexican inspired dishes with a range of innovative meat substitutes are packed full of flavour, and surprisingly close to their counterparts.
111 Moor Street, Fitzroy
A much-loved and entirely meat-free pub nestled in leafy Carlton. Featuring an Israeli-inspired menu, with most ingredients plucked from the owner's 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
Bringing some serious glamour to the vegetarian scene, Transformer is the newest creation by the owners of Vegie Bar. Featuring exposed brick walls, timber detailing and a courtyard full of tumbling ivy, this eatery serves up food that’s as carefully put together as its stylish surrounds.
99 Rose Street, Fitzroy
Sometimes, it pays to stick with one thing and do it well. And in the case of Very Good Falafel, they do it very, very well. Originally creating handmade falafels on the farmer’s market circuit (with chickpeas grown by owner Louisa’s dad), this laidback Brunswick spot retains a warm, homely.
629 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Dishing up a vegan roast so good it gives the real thing a run for its money, A Fan's Note serves gourmet meat-free fare with a healthy dose of rock and roll attitude. Here, the pub classics are beautifully made, and don’t even get us started on the vegan degustation nights…
787 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
The vibrant younger sibling of Melbourne icon Shakahari, the carefully considered meals served here are nothing short of inspired. Opened due to high demand, you’ll find a fascinating combination of flavours on offer designed to turn even the fiercest of carnivores. The odds are looking good.
225 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne
I'd love to live near