Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Melbourne

Published by: Bounce25 August, 2022

Shifting to a plant-based diet in Melbourne no longer means you have to struggle just to find a tasty meal that will satisfy your palate. With vegan and vegetarian restaurants popping up in the city almost every day, from cheap eats to fine dining, there’s always something for everyone, no matter your preferences and diet.

The food scene in Victoria’s capital is as vibrant, colorful, and diverse as its population. It boasts an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, bars, and eateries, offering various cuisines from around the world. You’ll also find old-school pubs, street food stalls, and burger joints expanding their menu with more vegetarian dishes and vegan delights.

Indeed, eating in this multicultural city means having a world of choice of great dishes. However, it can also be overwhelming to choose the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne that will give you the ultimate dining experience. That’s why we created this guide to help you pick the right eateries you can explore while in the city. But before making your first stop, put your bags in safe luggage storage in Melbourne to dine without hassle or extra baggage.

Shakahari

What’s it like:

Serving an exclusively vegetarian menu, Shakahari is a great place to start your healthy food adventure in Melbourne. It is one of the city’s first vegetarian restaurants, crafting vegetarian food since 1972 using fresh, natural ingredients. It currently has two locations: one in Carlton and the second venue in South Melbourne.

Expect a very accommodating and friendly service in the restaurant. Every dish is well-balanced and has so much flavor, thanks to its super fresh and high-quality ingredients. It’s a wonderful restaurant to visit if you’re in the mood for something quiet and relaxed while savoring a delicious healthy meal.

Our recommendation:

If you’re in Carlton, be sure to try their Nonya curry, a gluten-free Malaysian flavored curry of different vegetables cooked in a spiced coconut stock. But if you’re in the Southern Melbourne venue, you can order the curry Enak Enak or pick the legendary Satay.

Location:

201-203 Faraday Street Carlton; 225 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne

Onda

What’s it like:

Onda is a place for those looking for Latin American flavors. It combines a sophisticated blend of modern and traditional dishes in a hospitable Spanish environment. While it’s not strictly vegetarian, more than fifty percent of its menu is plant-based and 100% animal-free.

The restaurant is located in Melbourne’s major shopping strip, best known for its abundance of shopping opportunities, cafes, and restaurants. Its bright and welcoming interior matches the colorful South American food meticulously prepared for customers to enjoy.

Our recommendation:

For a snack, try their jalapeño and potato croquettes or cassava crisps. Then have a plate of buffalo cauliflower or vegan tuna ceviche. For dessert, you might love the coconut and tapioca pudding or the vegetarian dark chocolate delice.

Location:

280 Bridge Road, 3121, Richmond

Vegie Tribe

What’s it like:

Just a short distance from the State Library Victoria, Vegie Tribe is an all-you-can-eat and pay-by-weight vegan eatery. This vegan restaurant has the widest plant-based variety in Australia. In fact, the foods available are rotated daily, so there will always be something new and exciting to try each day. This makes Vegie Tribe the perfect choice for those who want to find a vegan restaurant to be frequent in.

This healthy vegan restaurant boasts organic and gluten-free dishes, with every ingredient bought locally wherever possible. Furthermore, 10% of their profits go towards animal welfare charities. So if you’re a dedicated vegan and not only want to avoid eating food from animals but also wish to help with animal suffering, then this restaurant is definitely for you.

Our recommendation:

Besides having a buffet and A La Carte menu, you can also request or mention additional dietary requirements. If you want to try their vegan and gluten-free menu, order the chef’s special butter chicken made with plant-based chicken slowly cooked in gravy with coconut cream and vegan butter.

Location:

34-36 Little La Trobe St, Melbourne

Avocado Moment Café

What’s it like:

If you’re up early and want to get a quick, healthy bite in Melbourne’s CBD, you may want to consider dropping by a breakfast and brunch café named Avocado Moment Café. Just as the name implies, everything on the menu contains avocados as the main ingredient.

Although they don’t have a wide menu option, many of the items are vegetarian and vegan, some even being gluten-free. For example, a popular vegetarian option is the Berry Good, with strawberries and blueberries mixed with avocados on French toast. If you’re after a vegan meal, you’ll no doubt enjoy the Golden Hour, consisting of various nuts combined with avocados on sourdough.

Our recommendation:

Many customers have called this small café one of Melbourne’s hidden gems, so it’s certainly worth visiting, especially if you’re a lover of avocados. Take note, however, that it’s only open on weekends. Since it’s a breakfast and brunch café, the best time to visit is between 9 am and 1:30 pm.

Location:

69 A'Beckett St, Melbourne

Pinchy’s

What’s it like:

Are you craving some tasty vegan seafood but don’t know where to find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Melbourne that capture distinct flavors from the sea? Pinchy’s Champagne & Lobster Bar is more than just an eatery for yummy lobster rolls or a bar with the most extensive selection of champagne and beach-inspired cocktails. It's also an ideal place for those looking for a vegan and vegetarian restaurant, thanks to its entirely plant-based and vegan menu called ‘Made Friendly.’

Pinchy’s works with great producers to supply them with high-quality vegan products. Every dish on the menu is carefully crafted to excite non-vegans and vegans alike. Customers also love the restaurant’s luxurious outdoor setting, which is the city’s best rooftop location, offering spectacular views of the central business district.

Our recommendation:

The dishes in the ‘Made Friendy’ menu are surely a feast for the eyes. The vegan oyster is a must-try dish made from sea lettuce cream, rice crisp, and black garlic. There are also gluten-free options, including the white fungi ceviche and spiced tofu taco.

Location:

L1/200 Bourke St, Melbourne

Smith & Daughters

What’s it like:

Vegan and vegetarian dining at Smith & Daughters is anything but flavorless and bland. It provides an exceptional experience with its extensive menu that can be tailored to your needs and palate. You can take advantage of the set menu available every night for a party of six or more, consisting of carefully selected dishes everyone will love. Or enjoy a casual snack and drink before heading out for the night or on your way home from work.

Located in one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods, Smith & Daughters is close to several local attractions, bars, shops, and pubs. It offers an incredible service in a friendly ambiance where you can chill and chat.

Our recommendation:

While they accept walk-ins, if seats are available, it’s always best to book a table in advance. Make sure you list any dietary requirements and arrive on time to ensure a wonderful experience without being rushed.

Location:

107 Cambridge St, Collingwood

Transformer

What’s it like:

Transformer goes beyond what you expect from a Melbourne vegetarian restaurant. It delivers a refined and luxurious dining experience in a laid-back, eco-friendly space. As soon as you enter, you’ll immediately notice its relaxing and inviting vibe, featuring brass fixtures, recycled timber, exposed beams, and some greenery.

Transformer Fitzroy is built on a former electrical transformer warehouse from which its name was derived. It’s spacious and charming, equipped with a bar that serves unique cocktails, organic soft drinks, cold-pressed juices, and even coffee and tea.

Our recommendation:

You can start with the truffled chickpea Panisse or the apple, fennel, and celery salad. The beer-braised red cabbage with hazelnut is a favorite dish for those who want to experiment. There are also different vegan options to try on each menu.

Location:

99 Rose Street, Fitzroy Melbourne

Trippy Taco

What’s it like:

Trippy Taco is a Mexican street food restaurant offering notable vegan and vegetarian options. It was established out of a love for tacos and Mexican-style food, including quesadillas, salsa, nachos, and burritos. You can also order Mexican beer or any Mexican-styled mixed drink to complete your meal.

There’s a vegan option for almost everything on the menu. You can also opt for vegan sour cream and vegan cheese or get refreshing vegan ice cream. It’s an excellent place to hang out with friends or stop and catch a breath after spending hours shopping around the neighborhood.

Our recommendation:

Have a breakfast quesadilla to start your day or breakfast tacos with corn tortillas topped with avocado slices, salsa, free-range scrambled eggs, and cheese. But you can always go for the Trippys Original burrito.

Location:

234 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Yong Green Food

What’s it like:

Another vegan and vegetarian restaurant you’ll find in one of the bustling streets of Fitzroy is Yong Green Food. It specializes in raw food, organic, plant-based, and biodynamic drinks, and meals served in a vibrant space. It’s a favorite spot among vegetarians, vegans, and even carnivores with its nourishing and delicious food you can’t say no to without using animal products.

The restaurant’s menu is a perfect blend of cooked and raw vegetarian food that’s predominantly Asian. It uses only locally-sourced organic ingredients wherever possible and emphasizes the use of seasonal produce.

Our recommendation:

The raw nori roll, pineapple fried rice, and buckwheat crepe are best sellers. But if you’re hungry for some seafood flavors, try the vegetarian oyster mushroom calamari with tomato sauce and aioli.

If you’re feeling Mexican, you can also request chili bean nachos. It is topped with melted cheese, jalapeño, chili beans, sour cream, and guacamole or cashew cream for vegan options. Then pick your favorite vegan beverages from their drinks menu.

Location:

421 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

Vegie Bar

What’s it like:

Located on one of the most colorful streets in Melbourne, Vegie Bar is a flourishing vegetarian restaurant and café established in 1988. Since its inception, it has been serving only the freshest and highest quality dishes for health-conscious customers. It has excellent vegetarian options, such as vegetable curries, vegetarian noodle dishes, pizzas, and salads. It always guarantees generous portions, so you’ll never leave the place hungry.

Vegie Bar is often regarded as the heart of the vegetarian food scene in Victoria’capital, making it one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne. It takes pride in its warm and welcoming environment in a rustic and charming space. Although it is spacious, it can get busy and packed every night. But your overall experience is worth the wait.

Our recommendation:

It’s best to make a reservation if you want to secure a spot early and don’t like waiting. You might also want to consider delivery, pick-up, or heat-at-home meal options.

Location:

380 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Sister of Soul

What’s it like:

Sister of Soul is a community-oriented vegan and vegetarian restaurant with two locations in Melbourne: St Kilda and Richmond. It caters to a variety of customers with different dietary requirements using clean, nourishing, and flavorful plant-based ingredients. Apart from the vegetarian and vegan dishes, its menu includes raw food, no garlic/onion, and gluten-free options.

The restaurant prides itself on adapting sustainable methods in food preparation and cooking. It also works closely with community gardens and donates its food waste and coffee grinds each week to enrich the soil.

Our recommendation:

You can’t miss their spicy South Indian dish called Tofu Tikka Masala and the tasty Balinese fried rice with mixed veggies, mushrooms, and tofu. Or pick from their nutritional bowls and pair them with a smoothie or cold-press juice.

Location:

77 Swan Street, Richmond; 73 Acland Street, St Kilda

Try these vegetarian and vegan restaurants

These vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne prove that plant-based food doesn’t taste bland, boring, and uncreative. Even if you’re a carnivore and meat lover through and through, these dining places will challenge your preconceptions of vegan and vegetarian food.

You don’t have to go too far, as its neighborhoods have a growing number of cafes, diners, restaurants, and even bars serving mouthwatering vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out these other guides about Melbourne:

3 Days in Melbourne: Everything You Should Know
The Best Time to Visit Melbourne 2022: the Ultimate Guide
Unmissable Things To Do In Melbourne At Night

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