Don’t eat meat? Melbourne’s got you covered.
Melbourne is for vegans like Gold Coast is for people who’ve lost their shoes. No one asks questions. So what do you do when your shoe-wearing friends visit (aka non-vegans?) You take them out on the town and show them your favourite vegan hangouts – which is easy in Melbourne: the vegan capital.
That’s too pretty to eat. Urban Projuice is an Instagrammer’s dream. They decorate your meal with those delicate edible flowers. And don’t get us started on their smoothie bowls. Everything is or can be vegan. Riding the ovo train? Opt for eggs (you’ll feel okay about it, they’re high on the ethical spectrum.) Our go-to is the Big Breakfast – there’s just so much to love. And you won’t need to eat for the rest of the day.
315 Montague St, Albert Park, VIC, 3206 | (03) 9696 0048
Classy choice. This place is brought to you by Vegie Bar (around the corner), but with a more sophisticated menu and warehouse conversion. (Can you get more fancy than pine nut purée?) The food is made for sharing. We have fond memories of the Sweet Corn Fritter Fries, but no matter what seasonal menu you explore, the little tweaks on normal-ish menu items will impress. What are barberries? Just go with it.
99 Rose St, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065 | (03) 9419 2022
You’re onto something. That’s the best thing about Smith and Daughters. It feels like you’re cheating. Co-owner and Head Chef, Shannon Martinez is a meat-eater. She acts as a translator of sorts and you’ll be all ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’ over her creations. Going for brunch? The Brekkie Burrito is a popular menu item. Dinner? Make sure you book! Tip: Order Spanish doughnuts for dessert at the same time you order dinner. Sweets that tasty don’t last.
175 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065 | (03) 9939 3293
Same same, but different. Smith & Deli’s owned by Smith & Daughters, but it’s a different experience. Ever think, “I don’t want a sandwich for lunch – I could make that at home”? Does NOT happen. Here be the best vegan sandwich in Melbourne. We won’t spoil it, you can try them all. From buttery, meaty and juicy (we know, right?) to fresh, crispy and fluffy. The Egg McMartinez (basically egg McMuffin) sells out early, so make this your mission. Go vegan, go.
111 Moor St, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065 | (03) 9042 4117
Tricked you, that’s ‘No Egg’. Matcha Mylkbar are like evil scientists, but they make you feel so, so good. These guys created the vegan poached egg and then the vegan fried egg (made from turmeric, sweet potato and coconut), but the egg news is out. There’s usually a wait for tables (they don’t take bookings). Get there early and try weekdays.
72A Acland St, St Kilda, VIC, 3182 | (03) 9534 1111
That’s magic. And it’s what you’ll order from Shakahari Too’s menu. The Avocado Magic. Not giving away all the details, but it’s tempura fried. And it’s avocado. What you do after that is up to you. *Cough* Laksa. At Shakahari Too (and Shakahari in Carlton) you’ll be waited on by attentive staff, have a choice of organic wine, and be at one with the world. Really, it’s tranquil. You’ll find inner peace.
225 Clarendon St, South Melbourne, VIC, 3205 | (03) 9682 2207
You’re trippin’. Where do you take someone who ‘doesn’t do vegan’? Try Trippy Taco. Who doesn’t like Mexican food? No one. Exactly. It’s basic, westernised and messy, but vego. The Breakfast Taco is our pick (free-range scrambled eggs for the non-vegan, scrambled tofu and soy cheese for the plant-loving kind.) Then you can go for a brunch beer at Mr Scruff’s afterward and everyone’s happy.
48 Smith St, Collingwood, VIC, 3066 | (03) 9415 7711