Ahhhh Melbourne, oh how I love you. Your changeable weather, your noisy trams, your laid-back attitude and your plentiful vegan options. A lot has changed since I lived in Melbourne in the late 00s, but I always remember they had a decent amount of vegetarian options. I became vegetarian while living in Melbourne, so it has a lot to answer for!
The vegan movement has come along in leaps and bounds there in the last few years, to the extent that there are restaurants in Melbourne creating vegan foods that are yet to make their way to London (vegan poached eggs anyone?!). I would have loved to have spent more time there, because I didn’t get around to half of the places on my list, and wanted to go back to most of the places I visited. Head to Fitzroy (Brunswick St especially), Collingwood, St Kilda and the CBD for the best vegan options. If you’re planning on going to Australia for a visit and you’re not quite sure which city to visit, please, please, PLEASE go to Melbourne. The people, the fresh food, the coffee and the vibe just cannot be beaten. Highly recommend using Air B&B as well – the flat I had was brilliant, and so close to the Fitzroy area where all the good vegan joints were!
If you go to one place in Melbourne for dinner, I BEG of you, make it here. They do serve non-vegan food, but the vegan options are just beyond belief! Parma (a Melbourne favourite), fisherman’s basket, souvlaki, burgers and gourmet pizzas – all vegan. I couldn’t go past the vegan double down because, well, it’s a vegan double down. I’ve tried recreating it myself at home since, and nothing compares. I mean, look at this baby.
Amazing, right?! Vegan cheese, vegan bacon and tomato, sandwiched between two southern fried mock chicken fillets, served with mash, gravy and slaw. TAKE ME NOW. The Cornish Arms is quite a large pub with an outdoor seating area, but tends to get busy, so book a table in advance if you can. A great place to take along non-vegans and impress them with how tasty and delicious your vegan food looks.
Instagrammable food, you say? Welcome to the best place in Australia for it. I tell you what, Melbourne knows how to do a sexy plate of food, and this place makes London vegan restaurant food look incredibly grey and boring in comparison. Oh yeah, the food is also tasty, how about that?! It was a toss-up between the matcha pancakes (green pancakes ahhhhh!), the soy chicken burger (green matcha bun ahhhhh!) or the vegan fried eggs with hollandaise, corn fritters, fried cauliflower and crispy kale… oh yeah, you don’t have to guess what I chose.
The weird thing is – the eggs tasted like eggs. The yolk not so much (I rarely ate yolk when I was non-vegan in any case), but the white was so much like an egg I almost couldn’t deal. The rest of the food was fantastic, and I really couldn’t fault any of it.
I also had a Smurf latte.
THIS PLACE, GUYS. I had a nice chat to one of the service guys there (he could actually have been one of the owners, I’m not quite sure) and he had a sit down and natter for a few minutes with me, telling me about the place and asking me about my photography (yeah – my massive camera was sitting on the table…). Highly recommend going here, although think about going at an odd time like mid-morning on a weekday, as all the tables were full when I went (mid-morning on a Tuesday). You will want everything on the menu.
*Even just writing up this blog is giving me serious FOMO at not living in Melbourne anymore. Sad face.*
Neko Neko is a gorgeous Japanese restaurant serving meat and vegan dishes, and one which I had no plans on visiting until I saw the “vegan ramen!” sign in the window. My friend Jay suggested we go there and check it out and I’m glad we did. We ordered the quinoa and chickpea gyoza to share as a starter, which was ace.
I also ordered the “teishoku” (Japanese for “meal set”) with bean and potato croquettes. Wasn’t too sure what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised – look at all this!!
The waiter explained to us what everything was, which I almost promptly forgot… but from memory – black rice, pickled cabbage, pickles, aubergine, tofu, creamy potato, tofu-style cashew, spicy cauliflower, red pepper and crispy potato croquettes in the middle. Loved being able to have all different tastes to try in one dinner plate. Need to try to recreate stuff like this at home!
Such a cute little Vietnamese restaurant, which was packed when I visited (always a good sign), but I managed to squeeze beside a couple of people and ordered the Vermicelli noodles with tofu and spring rolls. The menu is clearly marked with vegan options, which we love
The bowl was actually really huge and I didn’t manage to finish it all. Great value at $12, considering how big it was. They also do take away which they appeared to be doing a LOT of while I was there. Super cute little restaurant with a gorgeous blue and pink colour scheme – get Instagramming!
Seeing as there was so much to report on as far as vegan food goes in Melbourne, I’ll be doing this blog in two parts – we ALL need a rest from looking at this amazing vegan food for a bit. Mop brow, etc. Stay tuned for part two in the next week or so!
#nowplaying – Arctic Monkeys & Childish Gambino Mashup I Wanna Be Terrified