If you’re a foodie who just happens to be Vegan or on a Plant-Based diet, you’re in luck. Melbourne is arguably the Vegan capital of Australia, and in the last 5-7 years, there has been a monumental influx in the number of Vegan restaurants, cafes, bars and eateries that have popped up all over the state.

Gone are the days where being Vegan meant picking at a bowl of sad and limp chips whilst everyone else feasted on burgers, pizzas and anything else that, well, you couldn’t have. In 2020, one could almost say that Vegan restaurants sometimes outnumber regular restaurants (especially if you’re strolling through hip neighbourhoods such as Brunswick and Fitzroy). “What a time to be alive!” the vegans cheer.

Today, we’ll bring you through this extensive guide on some of the best vegan restaurants in Melbourne, Australia. Starting with the indulgences of fast-food and then the finest Vegan haute cuisine before finishing with desserts including Donuts and Hot Fudge Sundaes. We’ll cover everything you need to eat munch way around Melbourne. Read on to find out more!

Vegan Fast Food

First up, let’s have a look at the numerous vegan fast food options available in Melbourne…who said Vegans only drank Green Juice and ate Alfalfa Sprouts?!

Lord Of The Fries

Lord Of The Fries is essentially McDonald’s but for Vegans. If you’re looking for some greasy fare, LOTF is the place to hit up after a long night out at the clubs and bars. LOTF boasts a wide menu that offers everything from Vegan Hot Dogs, Pizza Bites, Vegan Mac and Cheese Bites, Sweet Potato and Regular Potato Fries covered in a wide medley of sauces, and their iconic “BIGGIE” – their take on the infamous Big Mac.

But wait…if you’re looking for a sinful breakfast, they serve some pretty awesome A.M tukka as well. Drop by your local LOTF for fakin’ bacon, vegan eggs, fluffy muffins, hash browns and much more. Cue your arteries giving a heavy sigh of defeat.

Lord Of The Fries

Various branches all over the Melbourne CBD

Henry’s Plant-Based Burgers

Henry’s Plant-Based Burgers is pretty new to the game and only opened on Brunswick Street at the end of 2019. Don’t let this newbie to the game fool you though – named after animal rights activist  Henry Salt, this burger joint’s philosophy is ethical fast food made with “pretender-loin” and “cheddar” cheese. The iconic High Top burger, a towering beast of a burger that features Moving Mountain Patties, Lettuce, Tomato and a triple stack of Onion Rings. Dang.

No burger is complete without sides, of course, and Henry’s really knows how to take it up a notch with their Tater Tots, BBQ Chip and Disco Fries (Beer Battered Chips, House Gravy and shredded “Cheddar”). C’mon – even a meat-eater can’t say no to that!

Henry’s

275 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

(03) 9417 7678

Red Sparrow Pizza

Red Sparrow Pizza is Melbourne’s only 100% Vegan Pizzeria and is often referred to as the “mecca of Vegan Pizza” Aside from being entirely plant-based in its operations, Red Sparrow is no stranger to coming up with some whacky and almost outrageous seeming pizza varieties. Think wood-fired Patatas Bravas Pizza (yes, that is Potato on Pizza, aka carb-on-carb….told you, they’re wild!), “Chicken and Pineapple” or even a Mushroom Pizza that hasn’t the slightest hint of tomato, but rather, a delicious cream sauce that covers crispy wood-flamed dough.

Don’t worry, they also do conventional pizza flavours for those who aren’t as adventurous, such as the classic Hawaiian, Pepperoni, Margarita and even a Salsa Verde pizza for those who like it a little spicy.

Red Sparrow Pizza

406 Smith St

Collingwood VIC 3066

Vegie Bar

Vegie Bar is probably Melbourne’s most famous vegan joint, and it makes a lot of sense considering they first opened in 1988, back when people thought that Vegans were from a different planet. Fast forward to 2020 and you’ll find that Vegie Bar is a favourite amongst many – vegans and non-vegans alike. At Vegie Bar, you’ll find a menu bursting with innovative veggie and vegan meals, raw food and cocktails that you can enjoy in their leafy courtyard.

Vegie Bar’s cuisine takes inspiration from all parts of the globe, and you’ll find items such as Samosas, Arancini, Tacos, Pizzas, Gnocchi, Pad Thai, Mi Goreng and so much more. Due to such a diverse menu, Vegie Bar is always a fantastic choice if you’re dining in a group and want to ensure that everyone’s tastes are catered for.

Vegie Bar

380 Brunswick St

Fitzroy VIC 3065

Smith and Deli

Smith and Deli are possibly one of the BEST vegan eateries in the entire world…Smith and Deli is the sister store to the iconic Smith and Daughters, run by Shannon Martinez who is one of Australia’s most popular vegan chefs, specialising in creating plant-based meals that genuinely actually taste like the real deal. Walk into Smith and Deli and you’ll go giddy with the amount of variety they offer, from Bagels, Donuts, Sausage Rolls, Egg and Sausage muffins and delicate plant-based pastries.

Aside from quick meals and snacks, Smith & Deli also stocks a wide variety of ready-made meals such as Scalloped Potatoes, Mapo Tofu and rich “Beef” Stews. Head to the freezer section and you’ll be able to get your hands on frozen pies, pastries and schnitzels. You can also purchase pasta sauces, salad dressings, sauerkraut and kimchi off the shelves, or head to the butcher section that offers an impressive range of items such as marinated chicken skewers and garlic prawns. Trust us when we say, you’re probably going to burn at least $100 if not $200 as soon as you step into this vegan haven.

Smith and Deli

11 Moor St

Fitzroy VIC 3065

Vegan Fine Dining

Let’s be honest, everyone likes to get a little fancy once in a while. Thankfully, Melbourne now boasts a number of Vegan fine-dining restaurants, so doll yourself up, slide into your favourite pumps and experience haute-cuisine at its finest at the following restaurants in Melbourne.

SHU

Stepping into Shu, you’ll never realise that it’s a restaurant…with its technicolour blue and purple lights, it almost feels like you’ve stepped into some intergalactic time warp that you dreamed of as a young child. But don’t let the decor distract you, Shu serves up some of the most innovative Sichuan inspired Vegan dishes that you’ll ever find on this side of the country.

Treat yourself to their 10 course Vegan Degustation that takes your taste buds on a wild adventure from start to finish. Enjoy the flavours  Vegan Duck Dumplings, Hot and Sour Soup, Grilled Fable Steak Skewers, Sichuan BBQ Sauce, exotic Mushroom Dumplings and a wide array of other Asian-inspired plant-based dishes. Everything at Shu is handmade and created with a delicate touch, down to their homemade Mango Mousse and Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with luscious Orange Buttercream. At an affordable $65 per head, Shu truly sets the bar for Vegan fine dining in Melbourne.

Shu

147 Johnston St

Collingwood VIC 3066

Smith and Daughters

Smith and Daughters is yet another gift from Shannon Martinez (owner of Smith and Deli), but this time, instead of Sausage Rolls and Donuts, say hello to some of the best vegan Italian fare you’ll find outside of Italy itself. A few years ago, Smith and Daughters served up everything Spanish, but as of 2017, they completely revamped the menu and are now offering Sicilian fare such as Braised Chickpeas with Cimi di Rapa, Ragu di Salsiccia, Andean Sunrise Potato amongst a whole medley of other tantalising treats.

Smith and Daughters is also home to one of Melbourne’s edgiest rock and roll inspired bars where you can enjoy a fancy cocktail or two after dinner. Of course, no fine meal is complete without dessert, and their Polenta & Almond Torta with Rhubarb, Limoncello & Custard is an ethereal concoction of different flavours and textures that you won’t be able to resist, no matter how stuffed you feel.

Smith and Daughters

175 Brunswick St

Fitzroy VIC 3065

Transformer Fitzroy

Transformer Fitzroy is a gem of a restaurant run by Laki Papadopoulos and Mark Price. This trendy looking restaurant offers an innovative, plant-focused dining experience within a relaxed, eco-friendly space. The perfect place to bring a date you’re trying to impress, get ready to feast on dishes such as Ricotta and Rye Gnocchi with Pumpkin Mousse and Blueberry Compote; King Oyster Mushroom with Confit Garlic and Sweet Corn Fritter Fries.

Their wine and spirits menu is also seasonal, allowing you to pair your meal with the perfect glass that compliments every single flavour that bursts on your palette. Their fully licenced bar also served a plethora of unusual cocktails such as the infamous Aperol Dill Spritz (crazy, I know) and the cheekily named Goji Emoji and Bumble Bee cocktails that just sound too cute to resist.

Transformer Fitzroy

99 Rose St

Fitzroy VIC 3065

Yong Green Food

Yong Green Food is one of Melbourne’s OG Vegan restaurants and is run by a pair of sisters ( Seon Mi and Seon Joo Lee) who emigrated to Australia from South Korea. This iconic Fitzroy institution specialises in a ton of Organic and Raw dishes which cater to almost any food intolerance or lifestyle imaginable. Some of the most popular raw items on their unique menu include Raw Lasagna, rAW Nachos, the classic Nutty Raw Burger and sweet treats such as Carrot Cake, Pecan Pie and Raw Vegan Cheesecakes.

Prefer cooked food? Fret not, because Yong Green also offers housemade Kimchi Gyoza, the Chickpea Korma with Beetroot and Walnut Dip and classic sweet and salty Korean BBQ with Mock Beef. The Lees make homemade Almond Milk which they use in their Fruit Smoothies, along with other popular Asian beverages such as Boba Milk Tea and Indian Lassis.

Yong Green Food

421 Brunswick St

Fitzroy VIC 3065

Award-Winning Vegan Desserts

You know what they say, there’s always room for dessert. In fact, science has proven that consuming sugar relaxes your stomach, making it possible to fit more food in even if you feel stuffed. We’ll let you be the judge of whether that is good or bad news, but if you ask us, dessert is always a good thing.

Girls and Boys

Girls and Boys is an all Vegan dessert restaurant that is run by the same people who brought Vegie Bar to Melbourne. In fact, a bunch of different Vegan restaurants now stock Boys and Girls’ desserts, if that’s not testament enough to how bloody good their sweet treats are. On top of their menu being jam-packed with every dessert imaginable, they also manage to make their Gelato, Cakes and Pastries 100% refined sugar-free. I’ll be damned if these people aren’t scientists!

Pastry chef Jackson Magner spent an entire year developing the menu for Girls and Boys that includes Matcha Almond Tarts, Maca Fudge Bars, Orange Lavender Mousse and a bunch of other sinful thick shakes and juices. Their Mr Whippy-style Choc-Top is by far one of their most popular and iconic desserts which features a Vegan Soft Serve in a Gluten-Free Cone, coated in a generous Chocolate Shell. Other unique sweets include their Caramel Miso Gelato, Affogato and their Sundaes and Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches.

Girls and Boys

382A Brunswick St

Fitzroy VIC 3065

Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop

Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop was around way before the Vegan storm hit Melbourne, and everything in this cute little bakery is 100% Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Lactose-Free, Cochineal & Gelatin-free…you get the drill! Whether you’re looking for Cupcakes, Layered Cakes, Tarts, Donuts, Deli Style Sandwiches or even fine Patisserie such as Vegan Croissants, Cinnamon Rolls, Cheesecakes, Cookies or Brownies, Mister Nice Guy has you covered. Good on him!

Owners Lucas Cook and Deb Kantor always utilise local, kosher, soy-free, organic and fair trade ingredients wherever possible, which is what we think really makes the difference in the quality of their bakes. Fair warning though – you’ll probably be on a sugar high for hours after visiting Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop, so plan in advance…or don’t and just ride the high!

Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop

151 Union Rd

Ascot Vale VIC 3032

Black Waffle

Black Waffle is a little store nestled in the middle of Northcote, and infamous for their extensive range of Vegan Ice Creams and Gelatos. Aside from frozen treats, they also serve up moreish Waffles that just so happen to be the PERFECT base for Ice Cream to seductively melt on (swoon). Lick your way through their seasonal and rotating flavours along with their signature year-round offerings such as Charcoal Gelato, Lychee, Sticky Fig and Pistachio.

Aside from Waffles and Gelato, Black Waffle also prepares fresh pastries daily, so leave some room in your tummy for plant-based Croissants, Danishes and Financiers. If you really want to go over the top, order their Gelato and Berry stuffed Croissant that is daintily adorned with precious edible flowers. You only live once, even if your jeans hate you for it tomorrow. Do note that pastries are not Vegan, but they’re still worth a mention if you’re planning on heading down with non-vegan friends!

Black Waffle

262 High St

Northcote VIC 3070

Mahadeva’s Kitchen

Mahadeva’s Kitchen is a little different from the rest of the joints on this list. They’re a pure only online business and they offer a wide selection of Vegan cakes that you can purchase either on an individual or wholesale basis. I couldn’t leave this one off the list simply because their desserts are just THAT good.

Looking for an assorted box of 12 different cakes that range from Red Velvet, Chocolate Mud, Carrot Walnut and an assortment of delicious Plant-Based Brownies? Simply click a button, check out and you’ll have cakes delivered to your door in a matter of days. Mahadeva’s also does amazing birthday cakes – choose from Rich Chocolate Ganache Cake, Carrot Walnut Cake with Cinnamon Cashew Cream and their signature Peanut Butter Brownie Slab.

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And there you have it – the best of the best when it comes to delicious Vegan food in Melbourne. Whatever you’re in search for, I am certain you’ll find a vegan equivalent at one of the above-mentioned places…whether it’s a buttery Vegan Croissant, “Smoked Salmon” Bagels or even Plant-Based Osso Bucco that will probably make you feel a little uneasy due to how realistic it tastes.

We hope that this article has inspired you to put your elasticated stretch pants on (we like to call them eating pants) and venture out into the wondrous world of Vegan cuisine in Melbourne.

Note: Due to COVID-19, most of these restaurants are now only offering contactless takeaway via mediums such as DoorDash and Uber