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By Shannon McKeogh
November 19, 2015

The Ten Best Vegan Restaurants in Melbourne

Where vegans can have their raw cake and eat it too. 
By Shannon McKeogh
November 19, 2015


Where vegans can have their raw cake and eat it too. 

Despite popular belief, vegans do not survive solely on Oreos and Lord of the Fries. This is Melbourne, and — luckily for vegans — a wide variety of eateries now cater to non-animal derived cuisine. And with more popping up every day, vegans are a little spoilt for choice.

Whether you're looking for Mexican, Indian, a sweet treat or a pastrami sandwich (yes, really), you can find something to satisfy your cruelty-free tastebuds and satisfy your meat-eating mates at the same time. And if you don't disclose the details, they might not realise it's vegan at all. 

  • 10
    Loving Hut

    Loving Hut may not be a secret Melbourne find — there are over 200 of them worldwide — but it certainly doesn’t diminish its position as one of the city’s best vegan spots. The menu is loosely based around pan-Asian cuisine and is very mock meat-heavy, with dishes ranging from ‘ham’ sushi, deep fried ‘prawns’, rainbow salads and some Southern fried ‘chicken’. They also have a big grocery selection at the front of the High Street space, where you can buy up on all the mock meat and vegan oyster sauce you need to feed yourself very, very well. Loving Hut also have a second restaurant on Victoria Street, Richmond.

  • 9
    Sister of Soul

    Sometimes it seems like all the vegan food is north of the river, but that’s not strictly so. Sister of Soul has St Kilda and the bayside area covered with its all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner vegetarian and vegan menu. With dishes like the big vegan breakfast, tempeh massaman curry and deep fried eggplant, this is a surefire way to get your vegan fill after a session at the beach. Just make sure you save room for their version of rocky road, which includes their house-made vegan marshmallows.

  • 8
    Rice Paper Scissors

    While Rice Paper Scissors isn’t necessarily a vegan restaurant, they’re serving up some really great vegan alternatives to their meat-based meals. Although the menu is largely meat-based, most of the menu can be made vegan — and the substitutions are quite impressive. Take the waterfall pork salad for example. The slices of mock pork have a thin skin-like layer that may even have you questioning whether they’ve forgotten your vegan request. If you do have to ask, though, it’s okay — apparently they get that all the time. Other standouts are the faux pork belly banh mi and whatever they put on the betel leaf. So good. Rice Paper Scissors is located both in the city and Fitzroy.

  • 7
    Fina's Vegetarian Cafe

    On the hustling, bustling Vietnamese strip of Victoria Street, you’ll find Fina’s: a colourful and casual restaurant serving delicious authentic Vietnamese vegan. From saucy curries, crunchy veggie spring rolls, healthy pho and noodles, deciding what to order is not a simple affair. All meals are MSG-free and available with gluten free and mock meat free options. Like most places along this Richmond strip, meals are served quickly to hungry customers and scoffed down just as quickly.

  • 6
    Trippy Taco

    This quaint little Mexican eatery serves mouth-watering tacos, burritos and quesadillas with vegan soy cheese. If you need a go-to for quick, filling, tasty vegan Mexican takeaway, this is it. However, if you’d like to sit and enjoy your feast with a Corona or two — just make sure you rock up before the crowds rush in. The no-frills cantina can only seat 45 amigos, and it can get a bit squishy.

  • 5
    Mister Nice Guy's Bakeshop

    Vegans, prepare for love at first bite at this ’50s-inspired bakehouse. Mister Nice Guy’s caters for everyone’s needs. And by that, we really mean everyone; the moreish delights are kosher, soy free, organic, fair-trade, locally-sourced (when possible) and, of course, vegan. The beautifully hand-crafted cupcakes cover the classics like red velvet, but for the more curious there’s the Zombie Brainz (creamy strawberry brain frosting on chocolate cake) and Popcorn Mudslide. Single and double layer cakes are also available, as well as daily rotating bakery treats. Mock meat lovers can rejoice with an old-fashioned sausage roll, meatball sub and baguettes with all the fillings.

  • 4

    Open since 1972, this is the longest running vegetarian-turned-vegan restaurant in Melbourne, and their experience shows in their well-crafted dishes. Their much-loved hearty meals are Japanese and Indian focused, from curries to pies to dumplings. The Legendary Satay Shakahari is, well, legendary, as are the melt-in-your-mouth krub phom dumplings, filled with sweet corn, mushroom, pumpkin and walnuts. If you live on the other side of town, take note that they have a second restaurant, aptly named Shakahari Too located in South Melbourne.

  • 3
    The Cornish Arms Hotel

    As well as being a stand-up Sydney Road pub, The Cornish Arms is also an amazing place for vegans. That’s because, alongside the traditional pub fare, they also serve up some pretty great vegan meals. Love a parma but don’t eat meat? The crumbed mock chicken parma (with vegan mozzarella) will hit the spot. Got a hankering for some seafood? The vegan fishermen’s basket — complete with bean curd fish, prawns and calamari — is sure to fix you right up. There’s even a vegan ‘ribwich’, a as well as vegan burgers, pizzas and other things. It’s a great choice if you’ve got both vegans and traditional pub food fiends in your party.

  • 2

    Opening earlier this year, Transformer is Vegie Bar‘s more stylish sister. Seated in booths with lush green vines twisting above your head, you will be treated to high quality seasonal vegan dishes alongside projected art installations. There are some quirky cocktails that mix health with booze — kombucha and chardonnay, anyone? — and all wines and beers have been hand-selected with vegans in mind. It’s fancy and on the pricier side for vego food (expect to pay $40-50 a head), but vegans deserve to be wined and dined with melt-in-your mouth gnocchi too, don’t they?   

    For something a bit more casual (and cheaper), you most definitely have to check out Melbourne institution Vegie Bar around the corner.

  • 1
    Smith & Deli

    Sweet doughnuts, flaky croissants, soft mozzarella-like ‘cheeses’, hearty soups, bagels and the perfect egg salad sandwich (perfectly named The Eggs-orcist) all come completely animal product-free at Fitzroy’s New York-style Smith & Deli. You won’t be the first to say I can’t believe it’s vegan, with omnivores happily munching on faux pastrami, turkey and other deli meat delights. With communal seating and lively artworks, it’s a friendly place to stop and park for lunch.

    And if you’re looking for a sit-down deal, head over to the equally as excellent, Smith & Daughters just around the corner on Brunswick Street. Dishes may include vegan prawns, or even a vegan black pudding.

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  • Reader comments...

    Indian restaurant Footscray - November 14, 2017

    Great post!! Thanks For Sharing it. Gujjus Cafe & Chaat House: Famous for Indo Chinese Food, best Indian restaurant Footscray, Indian Restaurant in Malvern East, Melbourne. They provide the best Gujarati thali. They give very good services to their customers.

    Shane - December 3, 2016

    Contrary to the article title, only 4 of these are vegan. There are genuinely vegan establishments that you could have included.

    Donald Lowery - July 27, 2016

    Thanks for sharing this, but also there are many other restaurants in melbourne famous for vegetarian food. Recently, I visited, awsome Indian food i can say they serve.

    Bassam - June 20, 2016

    Mmmmm....not sure why some of these r on here...finas 2 , is way better than finas in Richmond, The reverence is way more supreme than the cornish...and there r other wholle vegan places that do out do these places...dollys sister, radhey chai, madame k...and many more that r superior to the ones u mentioned above!!


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