Madeleine Raine explores this vibrant vegan-friendly city to discover the best vegan restaurants in Melbourne.
Melbourne – the hub of bohemian living. The city where artists become the next Michelangelo and travellers become hipsters. Where the relaxed indie vibes of Fitzroy and Brunswick mix with the bustling streets of the CBD.
Melbourne is renowned for being the coffee capital of the world, but it is also a vegan hub of quirky bars, restaurants, and, quite literally, shacks, serving plant-based food from across the world.
1. Lentil As Anything
Nestled in the quiet ruins of a historical convent in Abbotsford, this vegan eatery offers authentic Indian food.
Made with freshly grown produce from the convent’s gardens, Lentil As Anything provides homely, flavoursome alternatives to classic Australian cuisine.
Run through a ‘pay as you feel’ scheme, this eatery offers a different selection of food every day, to enjoy in its garden retreat or a communal-bench food hall.
If you’re looking for vegan food delivery in Melbourne, you can find Lentil As Anything on UberEats.
Open: Mon-Fri 12-3pm; Sat-Sun 10am-3pm; and 6-9pm every day. 1/3 St Heliers St, Abbotsford VIC, 3067. lentilasanything.com
2. Evie’s Disco Diner
Grab your psychedelic pants, put on your dancing shoes, and head over to this ’80s style New York disco diner, built into an old ironworks building in Fitzroy.
Offering everything from burgers and hotdogs to nachos and crunchy fries – and pretty much everything on the menu can be made vegan.
Whether you’re after hot wings in ranch sauce (£8.88) or a Texan burrito (£11.11), you’ll be hungry for more at one of the trendiest vegan restaurants in Melbourne.
Open: Tue-Wed 4-11pm; Thurs-Fri 4pm-1am; Sat 11am-1am; Sun 11am-11pm. 230 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC, 3065. evies.net.au
Easey’s is another American burger bar, but it offers something different. Situated in Collingwood, diners are invited to indulge in mouth-watering food, all while tucked away in the artsy bubble of graffiti-covered Hitachi M-class train carriages on a rooftop overlooking the city.
Whether you want a Your Mate Burger (£8.35) or deep-fried potatoes (£4.18), you won’t find this kind of hipster chic anywhere else.
Open: Mon 12-9pm; Tues 11am-9pm; Wed-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-10pm. 3/48 Easey St, Collingwood VIC, 3066. easeys.com.au/venue
4. Iddy Biddy
Looking for a relaxed place to wind down after a long day? This is the bar for you. Situated in the heart of St Kilda, this quirky, low-key bar offers everything from homemade pizzas (£6.66) to Napoli pasta (£11.97).
If that’s not enough, they have Mexican Tuesdays, Open Mic Wednesdays, and live music all weekend.
Unwind to the relaxed undertones of this seaside suburb and delve into your inner depths of serenity.
Open: Sun-Thurs 9am-11pm; Fri-Sat 9am-1am. 35/39 Blessington St, St Kilda VIC, 3182. iddybiddy.com.au
5. The Stables of Como
Fashioned within the former stables of the Como country mansion and gardens, this café is an idyllic spot to relax and unwind, surrounded by nature.
While this quaint café does serve some larger meals, such as their woodfire pizzas and pasta dishes, they also offer light bites and brunch options.
From avocado tartine to a spice-infused salad, this eatery offers a few country comforts for everyone who goes there.
Open: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10am-5pm. Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave, South Yarra VIC, 3141. o.hungryhungry.com/thestablesofcomo/menu
6. Smith & Daughters
Housed in Fitzroy’s old pub, this historic eatery offers an authentic dining experience for all plant-based lovers. Established by award-winning chef Shannon Martinez, it offers exotic vegan cuisine with exciting dining.
Whether you dine early with a breakfast pizza (£12.29) or indulge in the candlelit charms of spaghettini alla limone (£12.29), you won’t be disappointed.
Open: Tues-Thurs 6-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-3pm and 5-10pm. 175 Brunswick St Fitzroy, VIC, 3065. smithanddaughters.com
7. Trippy Taco
Trippy Taco specialises in Mexican street food, and it is all plant-based! Situated in the snug, trendy neighbourhood of Fitzroy, this eatery offers an exotic alternative view of plant-based eating.
Why not try their Tofu Asada Burrito (£7.98) or their special quesadilla (£7.67), all made with a soya cheese alternative. Gluten-free options are available.
Open: Mon & Wed 12-3pm and 5-8:30pm; Tues & Sun 5-8:30pm; Thurs-Sat 12-3pm and 5-9pm. 234 Gertrude St Fitzroy, VIC, 3065. trippytaco.com.au
8. Neko Neko
If you are after something quaint and quirky, then look no further. Situated in Fitzroy, this petite café specialises in plant-based alternatives crafted from traditional Japanese cuisine.
Neko Neko is renowned for having the best vegan ramen in Melbourne and it doesn’t disappoint. While the menu is as small as the interior, Neko Neko offers a friendly, homely vibe for all who enter.
Open: Mon-Fri 12-3pm and 5-9pm; Sat 12-9pm. 83A Smith St Fitzroy, VIC, 3065. nekoneko.com.au
9. Roller Door
Roller Door is in the back alleys of West Melbourne. Opening with three stools, an old tool shed and great coffee, they’ve grown to be spectacular.
Their passion for sustainability and organic food makes it a great place to bring family, friends, even the dog.
They go from serving breakfast bites, such as smashed avocado (£8.33) and acai bowls (£8.35), to lunch rolls – crumbed tempeh (£6.66) is my favourite.
Open: Mon-Fri 7am- 3pm; Sat 8am-3pm. 13 Stawell St, West Melbourne VIC, 3003. rollerdoorcafe.com
Best places for vegans to stay in Melbourne
If you are a backpacker, or just someone looking for cheap accommodation, then The Village is for you. This hostel blends the charm of its historic structure with the vibrant and modern vibes of its interior aesthetic.
From twin and double rooms to dormitories housing up to 10 people, this is a hub of excitement for all those new to Melbourne. Just a 4-minute walk to the Queen Victoria Market, bus stop, and countless tram stops, this hostel plants you in the centre of this vibrant city.
167 Franklin St; Email: [email protected]
This is not a hotel; it is a Notel. Hidden behind a single door in a cluster of high-rise buildings, you will be given an experience like no other.
Notel builds upon the quirky extravagance that Melbourne promotes by offering its customers luxury accommodation in American Airstream caravans.
Modernised and adapted to suit its customers, Notel offers a glamourised style of camping like no other.
388 Flinders Lane; notelmelbourne.com.au
Top five things to do in Melbourne
1. Visit Hosier Lane
Melbourne is renowned for its quirky lanes and vibrant street art boasting colourful creations across walls, doorways, and even bins.
Only a 4-minute walk to Flinders Street Station, Hosier Lane is a hub for tourists and artists eager to indulge in Australian culture.
From cartoon characters and animals to celebrities and politicians, there is something for everyone to marvel at.
2. Penguin Watching at St Kilda
Just off the rocks on St Kilda’s rustic pier, Melbourne’s native penguins swim, sleep and play. Wander down just after nightfall and find a flock of tourists, cameras at the ready, poised to snap Insta-worthy shots.
You cannot feed the penguins, but if you’re lucky, you’ll see them catch a meal. If you’ve never seen a penguin in its natural habitat before, this is the experience of a lifetime.
3. Old Melbourne Gaol
A trip to the gaol is not for the faint-hearted. Founded in 1845, the Melbourne Gaol was home to some of Australia’s most notorious criminals, including gang leader and murderer, Ned Kelly.
Walk in the footsteps of former prisoners as you weave your way in and out of old cells, torture chambers and recreational yards.
Open: Wed-Sun 10am-6pm; oldmelbournegaol.com
4. Queen Victoria Market
First opened in 1878, this is Melbourne’s oldest, and most frequented, market. From bookstalls to jewellers, this place has it all. With live music by locals and a friendly atmosphere, this is a tourist hotspot.
If visiting between June and August you can explore the marketplace at night. Queen Victoria Market is the place to be.
Open: 6am-3pm Tues, Thurs, Fri; 6am-4pm Sat; 9am-4pm Sun. qvm.com.au
5. Botanical Gardens
If you are looking for a serene place to relax and unwind in nature’s oasis, look no further. The Botanical Garden extends across 38 hectares and is home to over 8,500 species of plants.
There are also activities, such as forest therapy (£19.55) and punting on the lake (£41.89 per boat) and it is a great for a family day out.
Open 7:30am-5:30pm Mon-Sun. www.rbg.vic.gov.au
Now that you’ve found the best vegan restaurants in Melbourne to visit on your stay, check out our vegan guide to Ubud.