Forget having just one vegan option on a menu. At these places around Melbourne, everything on offer caters to this diet.
Red Sparrow [406 Smith Street, Collingwood] is out to prove that you don’t have to be vegan to love vegan food. Despite names like ‘pepperoni’ and ‘sausage’, all 13 pizzas at Red Sparrow are vegan, using meat substitutes and vegan cheeses. It also offers a rotating dessert menu, with delights such as a Nutella-style pizza with house-made hazelnut chocolate spread. Everything on Red Sparrow’s menu is guaranteed to be suitable for those on a vegan diet, so you can be sure your pizza, dessert and even booze are all animal-product free.
Image source: facebook.com/redsparrowpizza
The name Shoku Iku [120 High Street, Northcote], Japanese for food education, reflects the philosophy of chef Yoko Inoue. She endeavours to make Shoku Iku a place for education and food appreciation and as part of this ethos, offers cooking classes, community events and catering. The kitchen is open, so you can see Yoko at work and ask her questions. Shoku Iku specialised in organic, nourishing food with a menu that changes daily. Rest assured, everything the menu is vegan, including smoothies, tonic teas, elixirs, freshly made salads and raw desserts.
Image source: shokuikuaustralia.com
If you love plants as much as you love a good brekkie, this one’s for you. Run by horticulturalist Stephanie and her husband Taze, a seasoned barista, One for the Crow [9 Commercial Street, Maidstone] is a plant-based cafe and nursery in one. From the breakfast menu, you can indulge in the soba noodle bowl with green veggies and tahini-miso dressing, a big breakfast with vegan chorizo and scrambled tofu, or waffles with house-made vegan Nutella. At the front of the cafe is the nursery space, where you’ll find vintage and upcycled pots, succulents and hanging plants. If your thumb is not so green, get some advice in store or on One for the Crow’s Facebook page.
Image source: facebook.com/OFTCcafenursery
Smith & Daughters [175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy] is a vegan eatery with a rock `n` roll vibe, with framed band posters and neon signs adorning its walls, as well as punk rock tunes playing in the background. If you haven’t visited Smith and Daughters in a while, it may be time to return; its formally Latin-inspired menu has been made over with an Italian vibe. Highlights from its new menu include ‘beef’ and red-wine ragu, a giant ‘chicken’ schnitzel and gnocchi with broccoli pesto. Since opening in 2014, Smith and Daughters has proved so popular, the owners also started up a deli right around the corner — Smith & Deli. Here you can pick up delicious all-vegan sandwiches, buns and croissants.
After selling his cafe in Brighton, Zac Balmain and his partner Cat set off to Sri Lanka to learn more about the benefits of cinnamon. When they returned, they launched a cinnamon factory as well as cafe in Melbourne’s west. Particle Cafe [1/47 Military Road, Avondale Heights] uses the owner’s spice of choice to add flavour to its coffee, hot chocolates, teas and cakes. Everything on the menu at Particle Cafe is vegan and gluten free, with highlights including the BLAT (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato) and the immense breakfast board. If you haven’t tried macadamia feta, coconut bacon or jackfruit tacos, now is the time.
Image source: instagram.com/veganfoodsmelbourne/
Your Instagram feed will love you after a visit to Matcha Mylkbar [72A Acland Street, St Kilda]. Green burger buns, blue Smurf lattes, unicorn chia pudding and bright pink dragon fruit smoothie bowls are just a few of the incredible menu items you’ll find here. Matcha Mylkbar sticks to a plant-based menu, with highlights such as the vegan egg — made from coconut, sweet potato and turmeric. The owners are also behind the retail brand Matcha Maiden, so you’ll find plenty of matcha here, including in pancakes and smoothies.
The philosophy at Lentil as Anything [562–564 High Street, Thornbury], is that everyone deserves a place at the table. Here, there are no set prices; everyone is welcome to have a meal and pay what they can. All profits are put back into funding projects that help acclimatise and re-establish the lives of migrants and refugees. The 100% vegan menu is designed to balance carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables with a focus on Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. Also located at the Thornbury cafe is The Inconvenience Store, Victoria’s first ever pay-as-you-feel grocery store.
Image source: facebook.com/lentilasanything
If you like the sound of walking your dog with a vegan toastie in hand, The Cake Collective [778 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds] is for you. Located in picturesque Queens Park and open exclusively on weekends, The Cake Collective is tucked away behind its older sibling cafe, Curator’s Collective. Expect generous serves, with vegan versions of classics like fish `n` chips, schnitzel burgers and BLTs. As the name suggests, the jewel in the crown of this vegan cafe is cake — delightful, soft, fluffy, creamy, gorgeously decorated cake. Importantly, the coffee is also consistently good.
Image source: facebook.com/thecakecollectiveveganbakery
For a feel-good post-gym feed, head to Power Plant Cafe [2-6 Swilk Street, Templestowe]. Located inside Westerfolds Sports Centre, Power Plant is about enjoyable, healthy, sustainable food, with the kind of quality you’d expect to travel to the CBD for. The all-day breakfast and lunch menu includes items like black bean burgers, smashed avo with almond feta, and a Spanish chickpea omelette. If you’ve got the little ones in tow, Power Plant has a play space they can enjoy while you tuck into some delicious vegan eats. There’s also a separate kids menu, which includes scrambled tofu on toast and mac `n` cheese. With bakers on site, don’t leave without grabbing one of the delicious vegan cakes or pastries from the cabinet.
Image source: facebook.com/powerplantbasedcafe
Blink and you might miss this pint-sized lunch spot. At V. [7a Claremont Street, South Yarra] its super easy to grab an affordable, exciting vegan meal. While V. is a primarily a take-out spot, there is a small amount of bleacher-style seating available. The aim at V. is to showcase the who, when and where of the ingredients they use. Its team has gone to great lengths to source ethical food producers, with a focus on locally sourced, seasonal fare. A must-try is the sushi roll, which uses a mixture of enoki and shiitake mushrooms, black rice and barley, topped with a shitake teriyaki sauce. Or, if you are more of a sweet tooth, try the dessert jar with tofu, peanut butter, raspberry and mango puree.
Image source: instagram.com/v.melb
All information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication.
Except as otherwise noted, rights to all photographs posted on this website are owned by Discover Your Own Backyard.