Melbourne is said the be the most livable city in the world and it’s easy to see why. Situated in a lush corner of ‘The Lucky Country’ Melbourne’s walkable size, clean streets, liberal sentiment, high wages and buzzing creativity make for quite the cocktail. Generally speaking, locations with left-leaning ideals and an artistic temperament are going to be more welcoming to a change in global ethical standards and welfare. Melbourne is certainly no exception. Although you can find a top-level representation of cuisine from pretty much every far-flung corner imaginable, it’s the ever-growing vegan market that’s turning Melbourne into a veritable meat-free metropolis.
Whether you’ve already jumped onto the bandwagon of the fastest growing food movement in the world or you’re just merely curious about what the hell ‘facon’ is and whether you should trust it, Melbourne is the place to be. There are so many dedicated vegan cafes, delis, restaurants, food trucks, grocery stores, clothing stores, movie nights, bars, nightclubs and probably even book clubs that a vegan need no longer search for vegan-friendly places to play, but rather the omnivores among us need to hunt for meat-friendly venues…or not, as Melbourne caters for vegans who love a good lentil burger AND the ones who really-love-animals-but-hot-damn-do-they-miss-a-2am-kebab.
Here’s our guide to the pick of the crop that every Melbourne-bound vegan BUCKiTDREAMER needs to jot down in their BUCKiTDREAM diary in order to hit up on their culinary tour.
Lentil As Anything is anything but standard Located on the picturesque grounds of Abbotsford Convent sits the pay-as-you-feel, friendly vegetarian/vegan restaurant, Lentil As Anything. Pull up a chair on the terrace of this good-vibes eatery and be treated to a delicious meal of traditional meat-free fare for a more than fair price. As you dine surrounded by bush and parkland on the banks of Yarra Rive,r you can feel doubly good about your decision to drop by as every meal eaten by a paying customer goes towards a free meal for those less fortunate.
Woking Amazing @ The Vegan Mini Market is truly ***king amazing… The first Sunday of every month is a damn fine day to be vegan. Head back over to the Abbotsford Convent to take a stroll around the many fine market stalls selling everything from vegan cakes and cheese to organic veggies and vegan dog biscuits. But, for the love of seitan, do NOT leave without ordering a peking duck pancake from the VMM’s firm favorite, Woking Awesome. The flavors are bang on the money (we really mean bang-on here) but the texture of the soft-but-crispy tofu acts as a pleasant reminder that you haven’t actually just been duped into eating the real deal.
Image credit: neenzeats / Instagram
Trip out on the magic flavors at Trippy Taco Traditional Mexican food actually lends itself quite well to a plant-based diet. Think rich black bean stews with Chipotle peppers, soft corn tortillas, steamed maize tamales, fresh crispy salads and oodles of zesty guac. The owners behind Trippy Taco know this and they put on a fine show proving it. Come here to feast on the very moorish food then stay for another jug of the surprisingly-strong sangria! Olé!
Add it to your bucket list For fine fare with a feminist flare head to Handsome Her Located on Sydney Road in the alternative Brunswick area lies the socially-conscious restaurant Handsome Her. Spearheaded by a group of fierce feminists, this venue is where you’ll find delicious macadamia lattes, indulgent breakfast boards and a more than a few Sylvia Plath tattoos.
Smith and Delicious sandwiches in Fitzroy From the legends behind the one and only Smith and Daughters, Smith and Deli is THE place to get your lunch on in the Fitzroy area. Dive into to soft New York Bloomers packed with soy-based sandwich meats, crunchy pickles, and dairy-free cheese. Take a basket along with you and you’ll be able to pack yourself one hell of a picnic!
Swoop into Red Sparrow for a pizza you won’t soon forget Come here for doughy, Neapolitan-style pizza dough piled high with all the usual suspects but with a meat-free twist. A crowd favorites are the Puttanesca with San Marzano tomato base, cherry tomato, garlic, capers, olives, parsley, chili flakes and vegan mozzarella and the Sausage with BBQ base, beer brat, house pickled jalapenos, red onion, mozzarella, and aioli.
I scream you scream we all scream for Girls and Boys ice cream! Last on the list but oh-so-sweet is the inimitable Girls and Boys ice cream parlor. Be prepared to queue as word had spread far and wide about the chilled goods on offer at this vegan Mecca.
If you enjoyed reading about the biggest vegan hits of Melbourne you might also like perusing 8 Of Melbourne’s Ultimate Breakfast Spots, 10 Ultimate Coffee Shops In Melbourne and A Guide To Melbourne’s Unique Suburbs. Remember to mark your favorites down in you BUCKiTDREAM diary so you don’t miss out on any of the good stuff when exploring this most-livable city.