February 1, 2023
Gone are the days when restaurants offered a token vegetarian meal, and we now have entire establishments championing vegetables with plant-based menus. From Fitzroy and Collingwood to Richmond and St Kilda, Melbourne's vegetarian and vegan chefs are making their mark on the culinary map, with amazing plant-based restaurants popping up every year.
Here are the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne in 2023:
NORTHCOTE & FITZROY
Originally from Northcote and having opened another location in Fitzroy, this Israeli restaurant serves an almost exclusively vegetarian menu with a few vegan options. Falafel is celebrated here, and enough to mark this restaurant as one of the best vegetarian places in Melbourne. You can choose between the green version, which is made with parsley, coriander and mint, or the red version, where the filling is mixed with chili pepper and red pepper. Roasted cauliflower with hummus, lemon and tahini is a popular option, as is the Sabich dish, which has roasted eggplant, hummus, potatoes and lettuce, washed down with Zhoug and Tahini. The cherry on top is thisBlessedit's super affordable with individual dishes ranging from $13 to $21.
If you're in the mood for some Lebanese food with a healthy amount of vegetarian options, then you're in luck.Tia Mona, named after the owners' grandmother, serves really nutritious food just like Teta (grandmother) used to cook. Appetizers include Shanklish Salata, a salad with sun-dried yogurt cheese, and Tabboulé, a parsley salad with shredded buckwheat. If you're looking for something healthier, Kousa, which is a roasted zucchini stuffed with wild rice and spices, is ready to share, as is Makhlouta, a Lebanese whole grain stew with lentils, chickpeas and potatoes.
This addition to the list won't come as a surprise to anyone - if you know it, you know it. Although it's technically a pescatarian restaurant, you won't find a better filled menu full of vegetarian options. Among classic Japanese curries, Karaage, Tempura and Gyoza, you will discoverNeko Neko'ssignature dish - vegan ramen. There are several broths available such as Tan Tan, Ankake and Miso Shio Koji, combined with authentic eggless noodles that you can taste because the owners and chefs are all Japanese. It may be plant-based, but the lack of meat doesn't detract from the flavor one bit, making it one of Melbourne's best vegetarian restaurants.
the study prayers
ST KILDA & WEST MELBOURNE
We know there are plentythe study prayerslocations spread out, but St Kilda and West Melbourne have the most excellent plant-based menus of the lot. Their ethos is based on fair trade and sustainability, and this also translates to their food. In West Melbourne you can find options such as the 'Chicken' Waffles, which features salted 'chicken' with crispy buttermilk in burnt butter waffles, with salted maple syrup and pickled radish. In St Kilda, you can find a wide range of wraps and sandwiches, including a provolone, pear and walnut wrap with crispy tofu and quinoa, as well as a satay wrap with grilled soy protein 'beef', cooked with spicy coconut. , Parsley Nugget seeds, pickled cucumber with peanut satay sauce.
You might be a little surprised by the exterior, but just because it's a classic pub doesn't mean it can't be plant-based. Open all weekO Hotel CarringbushThe extensive menu is entirely vegetarian and vegan with plenty of nut-free and gluten-free options. They don't hesitate in the options either, with starters such as dumplings with char Siu 'pork', mushrooms and sweet and sour sauce and grilled broccoli with garlic cream and beetroot. For main courses, the selection includes Chipotle tempeh Fajita with tortillas and sour cream, a deep-fried 'chicken' burger and homemade gnocchi with 'lamb' ragout, whipped feta cheese and watercress. They also have a huge vegan and vegetarian wine and beer list.
rice paper scissors
FITZROY & CBD
With an omni and plant-based menu,rice paper scissorsknow how to cook vegetables properly. With two locations in Fitzroy and the CBD, there are many things to fall in love with on their menu. The food is for sharing, especially the smoked broccoli salad and the Burmese chickpea curry. Be sure to try their large selection of cocktails, with the Double Dragon and Thaigarita being particularly tasty. The decor is subdued and dark, making it perfect for a date night, and it's definitely a contender to be one of Melbourne's best vegetarian restaurants.
very good falafel
If a restaurant is confident enough to put it in its name, it's promising that it actually will be.very good. You will probably never find it empty either, becausevery good falafelit has become a local favorite with some of the best vegetarian food on offer, although they do have some meat options. At just $13, their Falafel Platter will satisfy even the biggest appetite, and be sure to try some of their fresh salads, all of which are vegan with a few gluten-free options thrown in for good measure. With homemade cuisine and bright, open spaces, if you're looking for the best vegetarian restaurant in Melbourne, this location is hard to beat.
Huong Viet Vegan
If you are inundated with meat options and miss authentic Vietnamese food, definitely give it a goHuong Viet Veganattempt. This family-friendly restaurant in Footscray has an incredibly long menu, offering everything from Bún Bò Huế, a traditional spicy lemongrass noodle soup with a selection of mock meats, to Bò Lúc Lắc, a spicy Vietnamese beef. The flavors are fresh and varied and the portion sizes are decent too, so along with the fresh food you're making money.
mushrooms and truffle
For the best vegetarian food in Melbourne, be sure to check out this plant-based Italian restaurant,mushrooms and truffles. Tucked away on busy Hardware Lane in the CBD, it's a combination of European-style outdoor dining and a cozy interior for cooler evenings. Traditional Sicilian cuisine has been reinvented with an eco-friendly approach, with the 100% vegan menu including spaghetti carbonara, mushroom risotto and a plate of swordfish grilled in breadcrumbs. The dessert menu will not disappoint either, with panna cotta and berry coulis rising to hero status.
A Sanskrit and Hindi word referring to vegetarian diets found in the Indian subcontinent, 'Shakahari' is a well-established restaurant in Carlton, where it has been preparing an exclusively vegetarian menu for over 50 years. Drawing inspiration from Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian roots,Vegetarianserves nutritious food with Laksa Hebat, a creamy coconut and lemongrass noodle soup topped with tofu and seitan, Quinoa Croquettes, Ikigai Fritters and more. There are even some nods to the Carlton's Italian heritage, with Spaghetti Stagione rounding off the main menu.
gongo de lin
Hidden above Swanston Street is this absolute gem, serving great Chinese food at affordable prices.gongo de linattracts vegans, vegetarians and carnivores with its varied menu. The absolute highlight is the Peking duck, which ranks alongside the best vegetarian food in Melbourne. Also offered are Mapo tofu, sweet and sour pork and Sichuan-style fried green beans, all 100% vegetarian. With such a central location, it is easily accessible to everyone.
One of the most popular restaurants on St Georges Road in Fitzroy,just falafelit epitomizes the best vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne list. As well as being a hot spot for taking food to Edinburgh Gardens, it's also a great place to park and pick up freshly fried falafel. On the cards are a mix of falafel pita and platter options, each topped with pickled coleslaw and generous helpings of tahini and hummus. A straightforward choice is the harissa pita, which pairs its homemade tangy sauce with the classic pita, falafel and cucumber salad - adding the fried halloumi is also never amiss.
PASCOE VALUE TO
Touted as one of the most diet-friendly options,shop 225in Pascoe Vale South offers not only vegetarian but also gluten-free (accredited for coeliacs) and vegan meals. With homemade pasta and a selection of wood-fired pizzas, the options are extensive, from Ortolona pizza slices filled with the smoky flavor of grilled aubergine and zucchini to Quattro Formaggi gnocchi, which balances the power of the spicy gorgonzola with ricotta salata, pecorino and parmigiano. It's an intimate little place, but it's a favorite as one of the best vegetarian places in Melbourne.
Pizza Acre Verde
You can always judge the quality of a pizzeria by the Margherita pizza andPizza Acre Verdeit's nothing to turn your nose up at. With fresh pizzas coming out of the oven every few minutes, the food smells as good as it tastes. 'The Grass Is Greener' has dairy-free mozzarella, roasted zucchini, spinach, peppers, crushed peas, vegan feta and Italian topping, and there are board games to play while you wait, so smash a few rounds of Scrabble. between discs.
In a beautiful Art Deco building near Queen Victoria Market,Patchesoffers some of the best vegetarian food in Melbourne. The team here is all about Mediterranean flavors and there are plenty of options for even the pickiest of eaters. They have also used their wine selection to inform their menu and create dishes inspired by the wine's flavor and region. From Socca, a Chickpea Crepe Nicoise with Jerusalem artichoke, to an Empanada Gallega (potatoes, olives, eggs, hazelnuts and Manchego cheese in Filo dough), be sure to try the wine that goes with it for the best experience.
If you're in the mood for high-quality Mexican food,tortelliniis where you want to be. With corn tortillas made on site and even given away at other restaurants and grocery stores, you know they're going to taste great. Completely gluten-free and with plenty of vegetarian options, La Tortelliria will be able to feed just about anyone. From Quesadilla Con Frijoles to Papas con Chorizo, try a bit of everything if you can.
Don't let the "seafood-centric aesthetic" fool you.by Pinchyit is one of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Melbourne. Along with the sea-based tasting menu is the 'Made Friendly' menu, which is a smart and flavourful reimagining of some of their hit dishes.
On the cards are options such as carrot tartare with pumpkin and cashew cream and pickled cucumber, leek croquettes with vegan parmesan and herb oil. Naturally, the plant-based answer is Pinchy's famous lobster wrap, lion's mane mushroom with charred mushrooms, pinchy and lime relish on a golden semi-toasted bun
Maha / Maha Bar / Maha Leste
CDB, COLLINGWOOD, WINDSOR
Shane Delia had the foresight after considering the growing demand for meat-free meals that by 2023 will pretty much reach critical mass, which is why you'll also find three of the best plant-based menus in his restaurants,Many,Maha Baremany east. Combining the European and Middle Eastern flavors for which he is renowned, Shane's vegan menus feature dishes full of spice and incredibly deep flavours, celebrating the region's diverse cuisine with dishes such as whipped hummus, asparagus, smoked paprika and toasted sesame or smoked and fried Lebanese eggplant with shallots and date vinegar sauce with warm olives.
vegetarian bar, a Brunswick Street favorite from 1988 to 2023. We've all heard of this veggie-centric institution, from the menu to the neon Vegie Bar sign out front. The menu is inspired by Asian flavours, with curries, noodles and dahls, but also has pizzas filled with fantastic vegetables. Come early or you'll stand in line.
The refined counterpart to the Brunswick Street institution, Vege Bar,Transformerseeks to satisfy all customers, from strict vegans to omnivores. The kitchen is led by Chef Bryce Edwards (Panama Dining Room), whose ethos is to celebrate quality produce, champion individual vegetables and use bold flavors to create bold, well-rounded dishes. Be it the roasted cauliflower with a Ras-El-Hanout spice and pink harissa, or the lemon thyme fricassee served with creme fraiche and fiery horseradish. Topped with an extensive cocktail and wine list - these have been around for a number of years, although as of 2023 it is still considered one of the best vegetarian restaurants by many Melburnians.
Smith & Døtre | Smith & Deli
Now setting the standard for plant-based dining, Shannon Martinez's vegan mecca in Collingwood combines the dining experience of Smith & Daughters restaurant with its most affordable dining, grocery and all-day dining experience.. Since moving in early 2022 and now one of the biggest vegan hubs in the southern hemisphere, Smith & Deli on Cambridge Street has been offering all-day dining with everything from stir-fried tofu and mock bacon to hearty, slow-roasted soups. from plant meats to pies, curries and much more. Is it one of Melbourne's best vegetarian restaurants, delis and grocers? We certainly think so.
Pizza Red sparrow
COLLINGWOOD & PRAHRAN
Imagine eating a vegan pizza without giving up the gooey, gooey cheese. Well, now you can.Pizza Red sparrowit's the place to go for vegan pizzas in melbourne, hell they're the place to be for any pizza in melbourne. They have the most amazing meat substitutes, you won't even notice the difference. They also have gluten, nut and soy free options for anyone with a dietary concern. Get your pizza to go or eat in the industrial chic Collingwood restaurant.
Vegan curry night, anyone? Fitzroy's newest Indian restaurant is the place to be on a Tuesday night. For only $39 per main you will be treated to a selection of curries with complimentary homemade naan and a glass of vegan wine.mastiit's part restaurant, part cocktail bar, with a strong plant-based bent. There are a few options for the die-hard carnivores, but we recommend you settle in and share as many vegetarian dishes as you can.
RICHMOND & ST KILDA
Whether you are north or south of the river,soul sisteris there to bring you all your vegan, vegetarian, raw and gluten free meals. They are all about sustainability and about leading the way to a greener diet, while building community along the way. They divert food waste from landfill to the St Kilda community garden, so you don't have to feel guilty if you don't lick your plate clean - although we suspect you'll be tempted to.
Green man's arms
A little birdie told me this is the place to get the best crisps in Melbourne. It might seem a little strange to have plant-based pub food, but believe us when we say itGreen man's armsfood is very good grub. With a Lebanese-inspired seasonal menu, the food is bursting with flavour.
At the bottom of the Ovolo Hotel in South Yarra is the Latin restaurant,your mass, helmed by two members of Melbourne's culinary elite, Shannon Martinez of Smith & Daughters and Ian Curley of Kirk's Wine Bar. The entire menu here is plant-based, playing with the bold flavors and diverse vegetable integration of the region's gastronomy; get the Patatas Bravas with smoked tomato and fermented pepper sauce and the roasted broccoli cooked in seaweed butter with smoked almond Romesco sauce.
For a casual, relaxed Mexican night out, you can't miss itTrippy Taco. The name says it all, these tacos are so good they will make you feel good about life. The Gertrude Street location is a regular hotspot, with delivery drivers popping in and out at all hours and burrito lovers lining up out the door. Any of the vegetarian tacos go well with a Mojito, so meet your friends at one of the best cheap vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne.
Check out the best gluten-free restaurants inher.
Image Credit: Patsy's (provided)