The fight for the best vegan restaurants in Melbourne is certainly heating up. Yet it’s the kind of conflict we fully endorse, because that means more plant-based food to go around.
As mentioned in our article on Sydney’s vegan scene, veganism has established itself as a norm in Australia’s dining scene. Eateries of all kinds are offering more and more vegan-friendly menus and Melbourne is one spot leading the charge.
With a cheesy pun entirely intended, it’s safe to say plant-based restaurants in Melbourne are now in full bloom. We’ve put together a list of quality restaurants in the city which are entirely vegan dedicated, as well as a few extra recommendations for good measure.
Whether you’re a vegan, someone contemplating the switch or a carnivore who’s open to new ideas, the time is right to check out one of the following restaurants.
You can never go wrong with pizza. The folks at Red Sparrow are well aware of that fact and have set up a 100% vegan pizzeria to delights of vegans and non-vegans alike. Opened in 2017 by two passionate long-term vegans, Red Sparrow’s wood-fired pizzas are town favourites. The menu features both simple classics and varieties going full-noise on the toppings. Yet trust us, all the combinations don’t just work – they work deliciously well.
Open Tuesday to Friday from 5 – 10pm, Saturday from 12 – 10pm, and Sunday from 5 – 9pm.
406 Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne 3071
A Melbourne darling to all the city’s vegans, Transformer Fitzroy offers a sophisticated and innovative dining experience. It’s not quite 100% vegan, but the menu is around 90% plant-based, so all is well. Especially when you consider how gourmet the food is. You’ve got starters like fried brussel sprouts with pickled nashi and pumpkin seed cream, large plates like roasted Jerusalem artichoke with spiced quince and black barley, and desserts like orange almond polenta with rosemary ice cream. The cocktails are also divine!
Open Monday to Friday from 5:30 – 10:30pm, and weekends from 12 – 10:30pm.
99 Rose Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne 3065
Nature Cafe Bar
Nature Cafe Bar is a down-to-earth spot for some delicious, healthy vegan fare in Melbourne’s south. They’re more a café than a restaurant, but for three nights a week this neighbourhood gem is open for dinner. The food is all fresh, flavoursome and entirely plant-based. Our top recommendations are the banana blossom fish and chips, the jackfruit burrito, the spicy chicken burger and the Asian taro salad as a side.
Open Sunday to Wednesday from 8am – 3pm, and Thursday to Saturday from 8am – 10pm.
1/3 Thompson Street, Frankston, Melbourne 3199
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With a history dating back to 192, Shakahari has been crafting plant-focused food long before veganism even existed. This Carlton spot serves pan-Asian cuisine with a large focus on Indian food which, in other words, means some creative dishes you won’t see elsewhere. We’re talking blue pea flower yam cake with preserved mustard greens, chestnut dumplings with black wood fungus and almond flakes, and handmade pumpkin spinach noodles with ginger oil and olive tapenade. They also have a location in South Melbourne.
Open Monday to Saturday from 12 – 3pm and 6 – 9:30pm, weekends until 10:30pm (Sunday dinner service only).
201-203 Faraday Street, Carlton, Melbourne 3053
Smith & Daughters
Smith & Daughters first made a name for itself serving some truly wicked tacos, but now the Fitzroy restaurant has gone Italian. The quality here is top-notch and the menu features plates to share like pan-fried lentil radicchio panzanella and non-beef carpaccio with figs, as well authentic pasta and traditional mains. They also have a sister shop called Smith & Deli serving nice breakfasts and stacked sandwiches.
Open Monday to Friday from 6 – 10:30pm, and weekends from 10am – 10:30pm.
175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne 3065
Shu is definitely the most unique vegan restaurant on our list, serving creative Sichuan dishes in a boldly colourful restaurant space. The chefs here are fond of trying new things with quality local Victorian produce, which means innovative dishes that will make you rethink Sichuan cuisine. They offer a 10-course vegan degustation and a set experimental vegan menu on Tuesdays for only $25.
Open Tuesday & Wednesday from 6 – 9:30pm, Thursday & Friday from 6 – 10pm, and Saturday from 6 – 10:30pm.
147 Johnston Street, Collingwood, Melbourne 3066
The Origin Tales
The Original Tales is a cafe and restaurant that’s all about versatility. That means a vibe which is casual and welcoming for any occasion, but more importantly a menu which is going to hit the spot regardless of what you order. You’ll see plenty of vegan Asian dishes, like Japanese gyoza and Singaporean mee goreng, as well as burgers, loaded fries and popcorn soy “chicken”.
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am – 9pm.
41 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne 3057
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Out to become Melbourne’s first European vegan restaurant, Euro Kitchen is an eatery in Fitzroy that was inspired out of sustainability and animal welfare. They’ve gone and put a delicious twist on that important cause, offering a diverse menu which spans the flavours of Europe. Think Austrian “chicken” schnitzel, British bangers and mash, Turkish doner kebabs, Swedish vegan meatballs and much more.
Open Monday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, hours vary.
100 Kerr Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne 3065
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More vegan recommendations
As mentioned, the above eateries are full-fledged vegan. We wanted to recognise their dedication to a cause they are clearly very passionate about. Yet thankfully, there’s a number of other Melbourne restaurants that are catering toward the ever-growing vegan market.
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Oh, and if you’re craving something sweet for after your meal, check out Girls & Boys. 100% plant-based and utterly satisfying, they serve gelato, sorbet, sundaes, cookie sandwiches and thickshakes.