I love doing travel posts as it provides plant-based readers with the confidence to explore. So far, I’ve written up vegan guides to the U.S, Vietnam, Cambodia & Forest Haven (an all vegan bed & breakfast in Victoria) which you can check out on my blog. There will be more to come in the next couple of months but for today, I want to share my Top 10 Vegan Restaurants in my very own backyard: Melbourne!
Get ready for mouth-watering pics!
1. MANTRA LOUNGE
- Where can I find it = 167 Grattan Street, Carlton
- What type of cuisine = Hare Krishna Indian Style (Mantra Lounge does not use any caffeine in their products which is great news for me!)
- What makes them so special = Mantra Lounge is full of beautiful people, an ever-changing cheap menu, cozy bohemian setting & lots of great meal deals! You can attend cooking classes (check out my blog post ‘Cooking with Love’), Kirtan Meditation evenings & profound talks from Guru’s & Buddhist Monks.
- What do you recommend = At the moment, they have an insanely delicious Jackfruit Salad but I believe the specialty is their Lasagna which I see most people ordering day in & day out. You can get a generous slab of Vegan Lasagna, Mesclun Salad with Tahini Dressing & a slice of yummy Cake for $10 in a Mantra Meal Deal! They are my favourite vegan restaurant of all time hence making the Number 1# status!
2. LOVING HUT
- Where can I find it = 10/242 Victoria Street, Richmond (there is also a Northcote location which I haven’t been to yet)
- What type of cuisine = Loving Hut is predominately an Asian Vegan restaurant featuring a wide menu of Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese & Indian dishes
- What makes them so special = This beautiful restaurant is so cosy, full of friendly staff and their walls are covered with reasons to be vegan & care for the planet. Not only that, they sell vegan pet food, frozen meals & desserts!
- What do you recommend = I highly recommend the ‘Mongolian Beef’ as it tastes insanely similar to meat without the cruelty! Their raw desserts are pretty special too!
3. FINA’S VEGETARIAN CAFE 1 & 2
- Where can I find it = Fina’s: (268 Victoria Street, Richmond) Fina’s 2: (339 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy)
- What type of cuisine = Vietnamese!
- What makes them so special = Fina’s in Richmond became so popular that Fina’s 2 opened up in Brunswick Street not that long ago! Fina’s 2 was where Francis and I held our engagement dinner. The family owners are such beautiful & generous people. They source all of their cakes/desserts from Mr Nice Guy’s Bakeshop & their menu continues to grow with diverse, delicious options!
- What do you recommend = I recommend their big noodle soups. They are filled with tofu, veggies, noodles, mock meats & even a vegan fish sauce! You can also order whole coconuts to drink from, yum!
4. MADAME K’S
- Where can I find it = 367 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
- What type of cuisine = Vegan Thai!
- What makes them so special = You will notice that most of my top ten are in Brunswick Street as that is the Vegan Capital of Melbourne! I love Madame K’s because it is one of the very first vegan restaurants I ever went to. Their specialty is flavour which they nail in every single dish!
- What do you recommend = The mock duck pancake! You haven’t lived until you’ve tried it!
5. YONG’S GREEN FOOD
- Where can I find it = 421 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
- What type of cuisine = Yong’s are predominately an Asian inspired vegan restaurant with lots of raw & macrobiotic cuisine.
- What makes them so special = As mentioned, Yong’s has a raw menu filled with healthy options. They follow the Buddhist Philosophy of Yin & Yang hence their macrobiotic options. The menu is massive and the staff love when you Instagram their food!
- What do you recommend = This is a toss up between their Raw Lasagna or White Chocolate/Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake which I had on my birthday (pictured)
6. SHAKAHARI VEGETARIAN
- Where can I find it = 201-203 Faraday Street, Carlton
- What type of cuisine = Shakahari offers all kinds of cuisine! From Italian to Indian to Japanese to Spanish, you can try a bit of the globe!
- What makes them so special = Shakahari is a gourmet vegan restaurant so this is where you go for a special occasion. I’ve celebrated romantic date night’s, birthday’s and even work events here.
- What do you recommend = The Satay Mock Chicken Skewers! Enough said!
- Where can I find it = Shop 4/26 Princess Street, Kew
- What type of cuisine = Fusion! A bit of everything!
- What makes them so special = V-Series used to be called A Caterpillar’s Dream so you may know them by that name. They serve breakfast up until 3pm and have a wide range of vegan cupcakes by the counter. These sweet treats made an appearance at World Vegan Day this year!
- What do you recommend = I recommend the Peanut Butter Cupcake because it is too good to put into words!
8. SMITH & DAUGHTERS
- Where can I find it = 175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
- What type of cuisine = Mexican!
- What makes them so special = Smith & Daughter’s is constantly packed with eccentric staff, creative cocktails & funky artwork. They recently opened up Smith & Deli which is an all vegan delicatessen! I’ve only been there once but it was incredible!!
- What do you recommend = Smith & Daughter’s has an ever-changing menu but the deconstructed Taco Bowl is a constant and it is unbelievable! Mock Chorizo & Cashew Cream – need I say more??
9. INVITA LIVING FOOD
- Where can I find it = 76 Therry Street, Melbourne
- What type of cuisine = Juices/Salads/Healthy Eating!
- What makes them so special = I recently discovered Invita on my lunch break and now I spend a lot of time there! Not only are all the options super healthy but it’s right next to the Queen Victoria Market so I can shop for my fruits & veggies afterwards!
- What do you recommend = I recently put up the picture below on my Instagram and it received many likes & comments so I would say order the Vegan Corn Cake! It’s delicious!
10. GONG DE LIN
- Where can I find it = 264 Swanston Street, Melbourne
- What type of cuisine = Chinese!
- What makes them so special = I’ve come here with many people so it’s very special to me. It is a bit difficult to find so you will need to locate Noodle Kingdom and take the elevator to the 3rd floor where you will find Gong De Lin. You can get a booth overlooking the city & order some Double Happiness Tea. The menu is so large it can take a while to choose & all of the portions are super generous!
- What do you recommend = I recommend the Braised Broadbeans with Vegan Ham (pictured) or the Lemon ‘Chicken.’
I hope you enjoyed my vegan tour of Melbourne. I’m really proud to live in a city that has so many plant-based, ethical restaurants. I actually struggled to put this list together because there is so much more than what I listed! Hopefully the options continue to grow and grow all over the world but for now, take my word for it and try out these amazing Vegan Eats!
Peace and Love xoxox