Vegan Food and Restaurants in Melbourne, Australia

This Vegan Food Guide to Melbourne has been created in a collaboration with Thalia from Iron Rich Vegan. Thalia is an amazing blogger who is dedicated to the issue of iron deficiency that she used to suffer from. Her blog is full of extremely helpful tips on how to introduce more iron from plant based sources, including original recipes and highly informed advice

To begin with, a short message from her:

Hi, I’m Thalia Kate from Iron Rich Vegan and it’s my pleasure to share my favourite delicious vegan spots from my former stomping ground that is the glorious city of Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne? What can I say? As a city it has won the prestigious title of ‘Most Liveable City in the World’ for 6 years in a row and rightly so. Melbourne has the food, the culture, the architecture, the scenery, the music, the art, the social infrastructure, the vibe and the economy. Most of the year it doesn’t have the weather, but as a city it ticks so many other boxes that seeing past the winter weather is manageable and that’s coming from an avid sun worshipper.

 I went to Melbourne for a stop-gap year and stayed for three and a half years. I was never bored by the food, scenery, or music and I loved every minute of it. At present it’s my favourite city on the face of the planet, so if another city takes my heart it’ll certainly be an extraordinary place. If I loved it so much, why on earth did I leave? Well, I fell in love with a French man and after one year his visa expired, so here I am in Europe exploring the vegan offerings. I imagine I’ll settle in Melbourne one day, but for now I am happy exploring the offerings of London, Berlin, Paris and much more…

If you get the chance to head to Melbourne, take it. The city is magnificent in so many ways and I am sure you will have the time of your life. As for vegan food, the standard is exceptionally high, so you can expect to be impressed, especially if you follow my lead. Here is my list of the best vegan and vegetarian/vegan-friendly eateries in Melbourne:

Admiral Cheng Ho (vegetarian/vegan)

‘Admiral Cheng Ho is owned by the same people who run Monk Bodhi Dharma, so you know it will be good for you.’

Address: 325 Johnston Street, Abbotsford, 3067       Web

 

Combi (vegan)

‘Combi is a bustling spot with European cafe food that’s forever popular with south-side locals. It’s definitely one of the best vegan eateries south of the Yarra River. It’s common to see a line of people queueing at the window awaiting their coffees, super smoothies and more. Their menu is simple, but great quality and they have a wide range of drinks and sweet treats. Try the raw pizza and the caramel slice.’

Address:  Shop 1/140 Ormond Road, Elwood, 3184     Web

 

Friends of the Earth Cafe (vegetarian/vegan)

‘Friends of the Earth Cafe is part of a co-op that has been running for more than 30 years. It has organic fruits and vegetables, bulk items and a cafe with a hearty wholesome rotating menu. It attracts a down-to-earth crowd and has a welcoming feel to it. You’ll find a range of salads, curries, soups, cakes, slices and cookies at a fair price. It’s not a place for a ‘wow’ moment, it’s just a spot to get a decent meal if you’re in the area.’

Address: 312 Smith Street, Collingwood, 3066     Web

 

Lentil as Anything (vegetarian/vegan)

‘Lentil as Anything has a special place in the hearts of many from Melbourne and beyond. It’s a pay-as-you-feel not-for-profit offering that has surely saved countless people from going hungry in their hour of need. Lentil’s was started by a Sri Lankan philanthropist in the year 2000 and now boasts 4 locations in Melbourne. For the full experience you must go to Lentil’s at the Abbotsford Convent, because it’s the best by far. You can even volunteer there if you feel called? I spent a morning sweeping the floors in exchange for my breakfast. Try anything at all, as the food is always great value wholesome food from around the world. Asian, Indian and African dishes are a regular feature here.’

Address: Abbotsford Convent, 1 Saint Heliers Street, Abbotsford, 3067     Web

 

Lord of the Fries (vegan)

‘Lord of the Fries is a tasty vegan fast food chain that’s available all over Melbourne. You can find their quick and affordable offerings South, North and East, plus centrally at both Flinder’s Street Station and Southern Cross Station. L.O.T.F is ideal for that late night fix, as they’re open until 3am! Try the miniature vegan spicy burger on a wholemeal bun with a side of onion rings and wash it down with an organic ginger beer.’

Web

 

Matcha Mylk Bar (vegan)

‘Matcha Mylk Bar is one of the latest additions to the Melbourne vegan scene. It’s modern, fresh, vibrant, healthy and all about super-dooper medicinal beverages, next level plant-based burgers, sweet and savoury bowls and vegan eggs. I never liked real eggs, but I’ve had vegan eggs and they’re delicious. If veganism is the future then the future has arrived with Matcha Mylk Bar.’

Address: 72A Acland Street, Saint Kilda, 3182     Web

 

Monk Bodhi Dharma (vegetarian/vegan)

‘Monk Bodhi Dharma is a sneaky little spot tucked down an alleyway in eclectic Balaclava. The food is ideal for breakfast and brunch. I like the simple style here and the staff members are a friendly casual-cool. Try the light and fluffy zucchini hotcakes with a soya latte, because their coffee is tops.’

Address: Rear 202 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, 3183, Melbourne     Web

 

Moroccan Soup Bar (vegetarian/vegan)

‘The Moroccan Soup Bar is deliciously wholesome crowd-pleasing food. Their menu is all vegetarian and vegan and changes regularly, if not daily. The staff are so welcoming and it’s almost like being invited to a large family dinner. They only take bookings for tables of 6, so be sure to get a big group together, or arrive early enough to get a seat. This place is popular for good reason. Try the banquet, because you’ll get to sample everything from entrees, to mains, to dessert, to tea and I promise you’ll be satisfied beyond belief. If you get a chance to try their tahini curry, please do, it’s addictive.’

Address: 183 St. Georges Road, Fitzroy North, 3068     Web

 

Mr Nice Guy’s Bakeshop

‘Mr Nice Guy’s cupcakes are delicious treats for the vegan with a sweet tooth. They are made with white flour and refined sugar, but you can buy tiny ones, so it’s alright. I did venture to their brick and mortar store and was disappointed, because it was full of bready-doughy goods and little else, so I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you like 100% bready-doughy treats. They do sell their cupcakes at some of Melbourne’s markets, so keep an eye out there. Try the adorable miniature cupcakes that come in almost every flavour and colour imaginable.’

Address: 151 Union Road Ascot Vale, 3032     Web

 

Pana Chocolate Cafe

‘Everything at Pana is so artistically created that you may want to pause for a moment before eating it. Although it’s a little on the pricy side for a small piece of high quality chocolate that disappears in a moment, it really will be an extra-special moment worth savouring. Try everything because Pana is my all time favourite raw vegan chocolate.’

Address: 491 Church Street, Richmond VIC 3121     Web

 

Shakahari (Vegetarian and vegan)

‘Shakahari is an Asian inspired vegetarian spot that has been operating for over 40 years! The decor is simple and perhaps a little dated by modern Melbourne standards, but the vibe is welcoming. Try the ‘avocado magic,’ which is avocado and capsicum rolled in aubergine and fried in a light crispy tempura batter before being served with coriander pesto. If you went there just for that it would be worth it.’

SHAKAHARI Address: 201-203 Faraday Street, Carlton, 3053    Web

SHAKAHARI TOO Address: 225 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, 3205     Web

 

Shokuiku (medicinal raw vegan)

‘Shokuiku is on a whole other level, because while it’s a cafe serving food, it’s menu is also full of medicinal ingredients for those who view their food as a tool for healing. While their smoothies are possibly the most expensive in town, it’s high quality ingredients that takes the term ‘super smoothie’ to new heights and you’d be hard pressed to find anything else like it in Melbourne. For an indulgent sweet treat try the raw vegan banana and ‘nutella’ pancakes.’

Address: 120 High Street, Northcote, 3070     Web

 

Sister of Soul (vegetarian and vegan)

‘Sister of Soul provides a range of options that will leave you spoiled for choice. I’m not sure about you, but as a vegan, I love to be spoiled by choice. This spot is conveniently located on vibrant Acland Street and it’s only a short walk to Saint Kilda Beach, so make a day of it. Try the Middle Eastern smashed pumpkin with dukkah, rocket, almond feta and pomegranate vinaigrette for a memorable brunch.’

Address: 73 Acland Street, Saint Kilda, 3182     Web

 

Smith & Daughters (vegan)

‘The Smith & Daughters menu changes a lot, so my choices are no longer a feature, but you can’t go wrong here. The crew at S&D’s are an accommodating fast-paced bunch and they’re world-class leaders of the Australian vegan scene. The food is Spanish/Mexican/South-Central American style and they have a comprehensive vegan wine list. I’ve always been well and truly satisfied after dining here.’

Address: 175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 3065     Web

 

Smith & Deli (vegan)

‘Smith & Deli comes to you from the same plant-masters who brought you Smith & Daughters. It’s a vegan takeaway deli that has sandwiches, cakes, pastries, packaged goods and a whole lot more. Sometimes it’s packed to the doorway, so try to get in early. There is no seating here, so you really just have to take your food and walk to the nearest park bench. Try the deliciously heavenly homemade vegan pies. Definitely one of the best pastry pies I’ve ever had in my entire life!’

Address: 111 Moor Street, Fitzroy, 3065     Web

 

Supercharger

‘Another new spot on the Melbourne vegan scene, Supercharger boasts four conveniently located outlets. It’s quick, high quality vegan food for the inner city lunch rush featuring salads bowls, smoothies and juices. Their menu has been designed by dieticians to boost your immune system, while catering to the ‘free from’ crowd e.g gluten free, dairy free, low sodium, low GI. Whatever you need, Supercharger has you covered.’

Address: Level 3, The Emporium, 287 Lonsdale St, 3000     Web

 

The Organic Food and Wine Deli (vegetarian/vegan)

‘The Organic Food and Wine Deli is a sneaky little spot down Degraves Lane that features lots of lovely specialty food items and a range of pies, cakes, pastries, salads, and smoothies for takeaway, or dine in. It’s nothing overly fancy, but just a great spot to get a decent bite to eat if you’re a bit pressed for time and you find yourself in need of some food while you’re in the centre city. It’s just a short walk from Flinder’s Street Station. I like their pies and their cakes are good too.

Address: 28 Degraves Street, Central City, 3000     Web

 

Transformer (vegan)

‘Transformer is fairly new to the Melbourne plant-based scene and it serves modern vegan fare. It represents the finer side of plant-based eating. The place is sleek and stylish and the menu is mouth watering. It’s by the creators of the long-standing super-popular Vegie Bar, however it is clear this place is intent on stepping it up a notch and in my view, they’ve succeeded. Try the soft and delicious steamed buns and any of the mocktails, or desserts.

Address: 99 Rose Street, Fitzroy, 3065     Web

 

Trippy Taco (vegetarian/vegan)

‘Trippy Taco is always full of life with warranted queues out the door, plus they have now opened a new site that is south of the Yarra River in vibrant Saint Kilda. Trippy taco provides delicious plant-based Mexican food complete with that fresh zing synonymous with spicy fare. Try the quesadilla with black beans and some trippy corn.’

Address: 234 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 3065    Web

 

Vegie Bar (vegetarian and vegan)

‘Vegie Bar has been running for 20 years, so it’s one of the pioneers of the Melbourne scene and after two decades it’s still going strong. The fare is a mixture of Asian and European, plus you can find super-healthy raw vegan food on the one hand, or deep-fried indulgent vegan junk food on the other hand. It’s not uncommon to have to wait for tables here, because Vegie Bar has become a household name. Their menu is loaded with something for everyone and their weekly specials are often tempting. I’ve had some excellent raw pasta dishes, delicious spelt pizza and scrumptious desserts. Vegie Bar’s chocolate cake deserves a special mention.’

Address: 380 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 3065     Web

 

Yong Green Food (vegan)

‘Yong Green Food specialises in delicious, healthy, inventive options with a refreshing Asian influence. While the decor is a little dated, the food is on point and the service is excellent. Yong Green is a favourite among Melbourne locals. Try the tasty nutritious Hawaiian live pizza and any of their heavenly desserts. My pick is the chocolate cheesecake.’

Address: 421-423 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 3065     Web