Whether you’re looking for totally plant-based food or cafes with separate meat-free menus, it’s easy to go vegan in Melbourne. Here’s our guide to dining with kindness. Opening hours may differ right now, so be sure to check with the business directly before visiting.
Home Vegan Bar
Home Vegan Bar in Docklands specialises in plant-based soul food. The philosophy is holistic and healthy. Cleansing cold-press juices and superfood smoothies are only the beginning. Start the day with the big vegan breakfast, with scrambled tofu on toast and all the trimmings. Or order their double 'cheeken' cheese burger topped with mayo. Vegan wine is available on tap.
It’s not all pescatarian at Pinchy’s lobster and champagne bar. Their ‘made friendlier’ vegan menu is putting those prized crab tacos in the shade. Try the spiced tofu taco topped with pea-green balls of avocado mousse. Or their lobster roll alternative, the 'lion’s mane' mushroom roll. You’ll want to try several of Pinchy’s small-serve dishes, inspired by Spanish bite-sized dining.
Gong De Lin
Take the lift on Swanston Street up to level three and enter the vegan and vego sanctuary that is Gong De Lin. The Chinese cuisine served here uses mock meat and tofu to recreate the textures and, dare we say, flavours of meat-based dishes. Serves are generous and the choice is stupendous. Ease in with chilli wontons packed with greens. Then warm up with a clay-pot tofu stew or plate of crispy vegan fried chicken.
The fried chicken at Buza is just so good they dont want anyone to miss out. Enter the vegan KFC: Korean Fried Cauliflower. These bite sized pieces of crispy perfection some in four different delicious flavours so you can get the full Buza experience. Pick from smoked soy, original, snow cheese or sweet and spicy and enjoy.
Meat-free Mondays have gone New Orleans–style vegan at Beast CBD. Drop in for hush puppies, aka Cajun corn bombs in maple butter. Or fire up with stuffed jalapeño poppers and a Creole vegan shrimp po’boy. If you’re not already a meat-free convert, it’s a deliciously smoky-spicy way to go vegan for the night. And any day of the week, the burgers can be vegan or meaty at Beast. The choice is up to you.
BIO by DOC
DOC’s Carlton empire has spread to Drummond Street with the opening of BIO by DOC. This stylish terrazzo-floored restaurant celebrates vego and vegan Italian dining for conscious diners. There are small dishes to share, like seasonal vegie balls in puttanesca sauce. Or savour your own bowl of pesto-draped gnocchi or spinach lasagne. Your plant-based dessert could be fig tart or classic tiramisu with cashew cream. Bread is gluten free.
Daughter in Law
The food is unapologetically 'unauthentic' Indian at Daughter in Law. And that includes some inspired vegan dishes to try. Like Colonel Tso’s cauliflower, fried Indo-Chinese style in a spicy-sweet sauce. Chana masala chickpeas served with crushed pomegranate. Or try the turmeric-gold coconut curry with vegies.
Think tapas, think Movida. The original, that is, at 1 Hosier Lane. Think vegan at Movida, and you won’t want to go past the broccoli ración. Yes it’s broccoli, but not as you know it. It’s served with ajo blanco, a white sauce made with bread, garlic and crushed almonds. And topped with smoked almonds, capers and barberries. We think a Rioja tempranillo would go nicely.
Feeling peckish? Head straight to Union Kiosk. This tiny family-run kiosk on Causeway Lane is perfect for vegans on the go. Toasted jaffles are the stars of their 100 per cent vegan menu. Order a classic like tomato, cheese and Dijon, or check their socials for newcomers. Like loaded potato gems with bacon, cheese and sour cream. Yep, all those ingredients are vegan.
At Maha, Middle Eastern flavours are given a contemporary spin in a dining experience to fire the senses. Dishes are designed for sharing, and there’s a special set menu for vegans. The meze course stars roast beetroot with puffed rice. Shared mains include harissa-roasted pumpkin drizzled with pomegranate dressing. And for dessert, Turkish delight doughnuts with walnut ice cream and rosewater honey, of course.
Cumulus Inc is a culinary icon, so of course they cater to vegans. Once again, the idea is to share, so you can sample several dishes on the contemporary Australian menu. But vegans will want to save that dish of baby corn topped with chickpea miso for themselves. It’s topped with a sunflower seed and sumac crisp. Perfect with an accompanying glass of white wine.
Last updated on Tue 15 Jun 2021
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This opulent, award-winning restaurant brings Middle Eastern flavours to modern fine dining.
Le Taj Restaurant
A licensed restaurant in West Melbourne serving authentic Indian cuisine, including vegan meals.
Upbeat restaurant on Flinders Lane, serving contemporary cuisine with Middle Eastern accents.