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FOOD & DRINK

Seven Eateries to Hit When You're Trying to Make Meat-Free Monday a Habit

With options like these, you may even opt to go meat-free more than just once a week.
By Imogen Baker
June 28, 2018
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Seven Eateries to Hit When You're Trying to Make Meat-Free Monday a Habit

With options like these, you may even opt to go meat-free more than just once a week.
By Imogen Baker
June 28, 2018
  shares

SEVEN EATERIES TO HIT WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO MAKE MEAT-FREE MONDAY A HABIT

in partnership with

With options like these, you may even opt to go meat-free more than just once a week.

In the last few years, Melbourne has experienced what can only be described as an explosion of vegetarian options. Suddenly, it's not just about piecing together a meal from the sides; now, establishments have dedicated veggie sub-sections on their menus and countless eateries cook entirely with plant-based products. There's never been a better time to be meat-free.

The other wonderful thing about veggie dining in Melbourne is that you don't have to be a strict vegetarian or vegan to get in on the spoils. Even if you're only going meat-free on Mondays, you'll still find plenty of casual mid-week options, from veggie-driven fine dining, sans-meat Mexican to vegan lunch break options. No matter what you're craving, there's an eggplant option for you.

To help you form this healthy habit, we've teamed up with American Express to find Melbourne's best restaurants that make eating vegetarian deliciously simple. Really, it's not hard to do — when you live in Melbourne, it's as easy as a swipe of your American Express® Card.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.

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    Transformer is one of Melbourne’s best vego option. We’re even a bit loathe to label it as a veggie option because it’s a damn fine option for just about anyone. You won’t find any mock meat here — Transformer is all about pure veggies in innovative combinations that’ll leave you feeling full and nourished.

    For vegos, Transformer is a great option if you’re looking for inspiration for your at-home repertoire. They just handle produce differently and the menu is always a little interesting (but always very delicious). Inside, a lot of attention to detail has been given to the former electrical transformer manufacturing warehouse. Lofty wooden ceilings, painted brick walls, recycled timber furniture and a whole lot of greenery create a natural, relaxed mood that pulls you in and invites you to stay a while.

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    Since opening, Heresy has been bringing easy but healthy food to the Melburnians that frequent Equitable Place — and it’s fast becoming a veggie fave for brekkie and lunch The menu is packed with breakfast staples, bulked out with veggies so you get both your money’s worth and your two and five. There are also a bunch of sugar-free sweets for when you’re ready to reward yourself for clean eating, including chia puddings.

    For an easy lunch, tuck into your pick of the vegan and vegetarian salads (they’re all gluten-free too). Plus, every grab-and-go item comes in a reusable, recyclable, jar or container, which fits easily in your bag.

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    The Vegie Bar has been kicking around for over 20 years, so it has really figured out what we the people want: the staples, just without meat. As you weave your way through the reasonably priced menu, you’ll find everything is vegetarian, a lot is vegan, and the gluten-free options are plentiful. More recently, raw dishes have been added to the already vast lineup, but the majority of it is hearty food, spanning everything from burgers to tacos and nachos to pizza and pasta.

    The space is always buzzing — it’s sure to liven up your Monday. Vegie Bar lives in an open-plan warehouse-style room is filled with exposed brick, wooden tables and a whole lot of history. With a pinboard listing rooms for rent on one wall and a separate room that only recently received a liquor licence, this venue is a Brunswick Street institution.

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    Loving Hut may not be a secret find — there are over 200 of them worldwide — but it certainly doesn’t diminish its position as one of the city’s best vegan and vego spots in Melbourne. The menu is loosely based around pan-Asian cuisine with plenty of mock meat. Dishes range from ‘ham’ sushi, deep fried ‘prawns’, rainbow salads and some Southern-fried ‘chicken’ — so it’s almost like eating meat, anyway.

    Whatever you’re feeling for your meat-free night, you’ll find a version of it here at Loving Hut. They also now have a second restaurant on Victoria Street in Richmond.

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    Trippy Taco is cheap and cheerful Mexican that proves, with an all-vegetarian menu, that the flavour ain’t necessarily in the meat. Trippy’s menu looks like you’d expect: tacos, burritos, quesadillas and bangin’ nachos — but, they all come served sans meat and with the option of vegan soy cheese. The secret is in the beans, actually — there are lots of ’em and they’re incredibly rich and tasty.

    Food comes out super quickly, so there’s no waiting around and questioning your decision for an hour before your burrito arrives. Just make sure you rock up early — the no-frills cantina can only seat 45 amigos, and it can get a bit squishy.

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    Shakahari is Melbourne’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, opening back when vegetarianism was a dark art in 1972. They’ve spent their decades wisely perfecting a varied menu that’s balanced between light and hearty meals. But, whatever you do, do not leave without trying their signature dish, the Avocado Magic. It features a trio of deep-fried veggies served with sesame coriander puree. It’ll change your world view.

    For mains, the quinoa croquettes are a good pick to ease you into vegetarianism. The atmosphere, stoked by the fires in the various fireplaces, is always warm and great for loud conversations and family-style sharing.

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As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.

 

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